Bound To Stay Bound

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 Carbon diaries 2015
 Author: Lloyd, Saci

 Publisher:  Holiday House (2009)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 330 p., ill., maps, 21 cm.

 BTSB No: 581205 ISBN: 9780823421909
 Ages: 14-18 Grades: 9-12

 Family life -- England -- Fiction
 Rationing -- Fiction
 Energy conservation -- Fiction
 Climate change -- Fiction
 Diaries -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

In 2015, England is the first nation to ration carbon dioxide and Laura documents the first year of it as her family spirals out of control.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 4.40
   Points: 10.0   Quiz: 128924
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 5.30
   Points: 17.0   Quiz: 46203

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure

   School Library Journal (+) (00/05/09)
   Booklist (+) (02/15/09)
 The Hornbook (+) (00/05/10)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 02/15/2009 *Starred Review* In the way that Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother (2008) was a tale of national security run amok, this is a similar cautionary look at global warming. Laura Brown, a 16-year-old Londoner and punk rocker, documents a year in the very near future, 2015, in diary form. She refers to recent massive storms brought on by climate change that have ravaged the planet and led Britain to be the first country to try “carbon rationing.” Each person is allotted a prohibitively small measure of carbon points to be used each month, essentially obsoleting such luxuries as air travel or even heating one’s home. Laura navigates the increasingly punishing circumstances with a perfectly intoned half-bitter, half-astonished teenager’s voice, complete with strains of near-future slang, and punctuates her diary with newspaper clippings and other taped-in bits of cultural detritus. As she weathers staggering uncertainty, kill-me-now family crises, and a timelessly confusing dating scene, she finds a release valve in music and her mates. Lloyd’s immersive first novel, if a bit overlong, is transformative without ever being didactic and teases out information with remarkable restraint that never feels like withholding. While the book ends without a clean resolution, that only adds to a realism that, while certainly alarmist, could well be prophetic. Deeply compulsive and urgently compulsory reading. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 05/01/2009 Gr 8 Up— Laura Brown's diary of 2015 charts the first year of carbon rationing in Great Britain. The global climate has declined so precipitously that the country has made the unilateral decision to cut its carbon emissions by 60 percent. Everyone is issued a card that tracks their allowable use of carbon for the year. This limits utility usage, travel, and purchase of anything that has been transported over a distance, including food. Laura has to cope with limits to hygiene, cell phone use, and practice time with her band and listen to lectures on reducing energy consumption. Her father's job as Head of Travel and Tourism at a local college is eliminated. Freezing weather is followed by hot drought and flooding to finish off the year. Her family initially reacts badly to the strains—her parents fight, her dad starts drinking but then tries his hand at home agriculture, her mom joins the Women Moving Forward club, and her sister, Kim, disappears for days at a time and almost dies when a cholera epidemic hits the city. The book refers to itself as an eco-thriller but it doesn't present the usual over-the-top characters and hardly believable events of so many books in that genre. It works so well because of all the normal craziness of life that has nothing to do with the environmental disaster. The family crisis, the colorful supportive neighbors, the crush on the cute boy next door, and the triumphs of Laura's band lend the story verisimilitude that will give it appeal far beyond the usual thriller for doom-and-gloom junkies.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI - Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2009 After enduring a series of ecodisasters attributed to global warming, Great Britain elects to be the first nation to introduce carbon rationing. Laura Brown is sixteen, and while she is committed to doing her part to save the environment, living on 200 Carbon Points per month is putting a serious strain on everyone’s lifestyle, leading to riots, looting, and shortages throughout London. Mostly, though, Laura is troubled by what rationing is doing to her family; they’ve never been great communicators, and the strain of having to spend more time together and share resources leads to her sister recklessly escaping for weekends in Ibiza, her mother moving out, and her father going native, buying farm animals and planting a garden in a bid for self-sufficiency in the city. There’s an impressive balance here between the high drama of worst-case climate scenarios-London sees bitter cold, life-threatening drought, searing heat, and a devastating flood over the course of the year, with body counts related to each shift-and the high drama of being sixteen. Laura’s voice remains consistently authentic as she negotiates sibling rivalry, parental conflict, failing at school, a crush on her techno-nerd neighbor, and the vicissitudes of being in a punk band. Raw didacticism and far-left politics are cleverly cached in the attitudes and actions of secondary characters, school lessons that explain the radical weather changes, and the attendant community and governmental responses. There’s even a glossary in the context of Laura’s communication with her American cousin, whose father has gone fundamentalist and who blames gays for the climate crisis. While the portrayals and scenarios are so extreme that backlash is a real possibility, this would be a good discussion text for the green clubs that are becoming more and more prevalent in schools and communities. KC - Copyright 2009 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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