Earth Day and the Environmental Movement comes out March 3, 2020. Photo credit: Lerner. Clicking the photo will take you to Lerner’s description of the title.

The last couple of years have been full of lots of writing and very erratic updates. I am resolved to be better about posting updates in the future—we’ll see how that goes!

I have three books debuting in 2020, so far:

  • Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing up for Earth, March 2020
  • Into the Deep: Science, Technology, and the Quest to Protect the Ocean, April 2020
  • The Unofficial Guide to Everything Dungeons and Dragons, August 2020

My editor contacted me in December to let me know that Earth Day and the Environmental Movement got a starred review on Kirkus!!!!! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kirkus, it is a book review magazine/website that is notoriously hard to squeeze nice words from, let alone a star. I am gobsmacked. I’m also grateful to Twenty-First Century Books for the opportunity to tackle this subject.

But even more than the star, which is pretty darn nice, I am really pleased that the review specifically called out my efforts to call attention to environmental justice efforts and to highlight the serious missteps that often paralleled the amazing achievements of past environmental work. The more I researched for this book, the more I became convinced that we need to be honest about past failings in order to create environmental solutions that are comprehensive and just.

Though I’m sure it will be erratic, due to deadlines and other time constraints, I hope to use this space, along with my Twitter and Instagram feeds, to focus attention on two topics this year: 1) how every person, regardless of socioeconomic status and time, or lack thereof, can take small steps toward sustainability, and 2) the amazing efforts of people around the world to make sure that environmental justice is an essential part of our climate solutions.

P.S. If you’d like to read the review, you can find it here. The book is available for pre-order at Lerner, on Indiebound, or at Amazon. Since the book is marketed to schools and libraries, the book version is only available in sturdy library binding. This means a higher-than-normal price tag. I always suggest that if you’d like to support education market authors, but don’t want to pay the higher price for library binding, you can request that your library purchase the book.

Catching Up

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CUTTING-EDGE AUGMENTED REALITY and CUTTING-EDGE VIRTUAL REALITY are available from Lerner Publications or via Amazon or your independent bookseller. Photo credit: Lerner Publications

I’ve been badly remiss in keeping up the blog these last few months. The good news is that book projects are the source of this egregious procrastination. But it also means I’ve missed sharing some book news.

CUTTING-EDGE AUGMENTED REALITY and CUTTING-EDGE VIRTUAL REALITY released this fall. The two titles are part of the Cutting-Edge STEM series from Lerner Publications designed for grades 3-5. If, like me, you think AR and VR are mostly used for entertainment, you might be interested to learn the huge variety of applications I encountered while researching these books.

Augmented reality pops up in sports broadcasts and Pokemon, but it’s also being used to plan surgeries and bring the past to life in museums. Virtual reality is being used to help treat phobias and to help paraplegics regain some muscle control.

I have another book releasing January 1, 2019, also from Lerner Publications. Stay tuned!

Science News

I’ve missed sharing SO much science news, but here are a few highlights I’ve been following:

  • The Mars InSight Lander made a successful touchdown on Mars yesterday (November 26, 2018). I never get tired of watching mission coverage of big space news.
  • Marine mammal scientists have been able to use new, higher resolution satellites to track whales from space. This breakthrough may help researchers learn more about whale behavior and monitor whale populations.
  • And one more tidbit, the European Space Agency’s GAIA mission released its much-anticipated map of 1.7 billion (yes, that’s billion with a “B”!) stars. Scientists have already used the data to discover that our Milky Way galaxy has a thing for eating other galaxies.