A Hot Mess

A Hot Mess: How the Climate Crisis is Changing Our World

(Zest Books/Lerner, 2021)

About the Book:

We already know what climate change is and many of us understand the human causes. But what will climate change do to our world? Who will be affected (spoiler: all of us!) and how will our lives change in the future? Topics include sea levels, extreme weather, drought, animal and plant extinction, and human and animal migration. Drawing on real-life situations and stories, journalist Jeff Fleischer takes an informed, approachable look at how our world will likely change as a result of our actions, including suggestions on what we can still do to slow down these unprecedented effects.

Praise for A Hot Mess:

Foreword Reviews: “Jeff Fleischer’s A Hot Mess is a substantial, science-based guide that explains climate change through history, its deniers, and the current evidence, all in a candid, accessible format that invites young people to take action.

With a journalist’s knack for finding the human angle behind compelling issues, Fleischer begins with the Tuvalu Islanders, whose livelihoods are threatened by rising sea levels, and whose story is a signpost of the climate crisis. This dynamic introduction illuminates how the “worst-case forecasts” have already arrived, setting the stage for a skillful blend of honed facts and historical overviews, from industrialization to modern politics and its too-frequent deference to energy companies. The result is an incisive portrait of how people arrived at a pivotal moment.”

Kirkus Reviews: “Fleischer uses specific examples, recent scientific studies, maps, and informative sidebars, such as a poignant story regarding a koala that was trapped in the devastating Australian bushfires of 2019 and 2020. Additionally, the author’s conversational tone that includes the occasional pun will resonate well with the target audience.A wealth of information and an engaging approach are certain to have a lasting impact.”

YA Dude Books: “If if I win the lottery, I’m going to use the money to ensure that every English-speaking young person in the world receives a copy of this nonfiction book. Why? Because despite heaps of books on climate change out there, this is one of the best – and it just happens to be targeted to young adults. (That means many an adult will appreciate the simplicity and engagement, too – will finally “get it.”) It’s Engaging with a capital E, Readable with a capital R.”

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Interviews, Events, and Articles about A Hot Mess:

Publishers Weekly included the new edition in its Fall 2021 Roundup.

Stacked Books also included A Hot Mess in its roundup of YA nonfiction books to look forward to in the second half of 2021.

My graduate school, the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, featured the book.