Title: The Carbon Diaries 2015
Author: Saci Lloyd
Publisher: Holiday House
Concepts: scarcity, natural resources, rationing, allocation, distribution
Review: Fast forward a few years to the United Kingdom, the first country in the world to respond to the global-warming crisis by setting strict limits on how much energy every person could use. Like everyone else in the UK, Laura Brown and her family members were each given a carbon allowance of 200 Carbon Points per month that they could spend on food, heating, and travel. These ration points came on top of the higher prices people already had to pay once the carbon usage of each commodity had been factored into its cost.
Carbon rationing and the resulting abuses of the system and black market sales proved to be just the first of major events related to global warming that would fundamentally change Laura's teenage lifestyle. Incredible drought, extreme cold, riots, immense forest fires, flooding, and the most severe storm in history: just how much more could the country, not to mention the rest of Europe, take? In the midst of these catastrophes, Laura did her best to stay sane, keep her band Dirty Angels together, get the attention of the cute boy next door, and survive the antics of her dysfunctional family.
With The Carbon Diaries 2015, Saci Lloyd provides a frightening glimpse of the not-so-distant future in the context of global warming that has gone out of control. The novel makes a valiant attempt at weaving a plot that combines a sophisticated rationing scheme with natural disasters and normal teenage angst. The diary-entry format, informal teenage prose, and images with internet and email printouts should appeal to young adult readers seeking a fast-paced novel with a tech-savvy interface.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children