________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 4. . . September 29, 2017

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Xiuhtezcatl Martinez: Protecting the Environment and Indigenous Rights. (Remarkable Lives Revealed).

Linda Barghoorn.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2017.
32 pp., (pbk., hc. & html), $9.95 (pbk.), $21.56 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3425-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3421-5 (RLB), ISBN 978-1-4271-1920-9 (html).

Subject Headings:
Martinez, Xiuhtezcatl-Juvenile literature.
Environmentalists-United States-Biography Juvenile literature.
Environmentalism-Juvenile literature.
Human rights workers-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Indians of North America-Civil rights-Juvenile literature.
Rap musicians-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Alison Schroeder.

**** /4

   

Xiuhtezcatl is frustrated by the governmentís lack of action to tackle the urgent issue of climate change. In August 2015, he was part of a group of 21 young people who filed a historic lawsuit against the U.S. government. It is viewed as the most important lawsuit on the planet. It claims the government has known about the dangers of climate change for years, but has done almost nothing about it. Xiuhtezcatlís group believes that everyone has the right to live on a healthy planet with access to healthy air, water, and land. The lawsuit blames the government for not protecting this right. They want the government to reduce the use of fossil fuels, which pollute the atmosphere.

     Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, an inspiring activist for the environment, a respected public speaker, a musician, the youth director for the Earth Guardians organization, also leads a group called RYSE: Rising Youth for a Sustainable Earth. This biography explores his impressive accomplishments even though he is only a teenager. It begins by explaining his Aztec heritage and the teachings he has received from his father, teachings that impressed on him the importance of protecting the environment and respecting the earth. He has also released two music albums which also promote being environmentally conscious. Xiuhtexcatl has received many awards for his activism and volunteer work, and he has spoken at the United Nations three times. At the UN 2012 Earth Summit in Brazil, he was the youngest speaker, and he also participated in a sacred fire lighting ceremony with the indigenous elders.

     This book would make an excellent subject of an in-class study or book report. It contains a lot of valuable information and inspiring subject matter for any student. It also includes numerous learning tools, like facts and questions throughout, as well as a glossary of terms and writing prompts at the end. It would make a great addition to a school library or any educational collection.

     There are many photos in this book of Xiuhtezcatl and events that are significant in his life. There are photos of him and his father in traditional Aztec dress to celebrate their culture, many images of him engaged in public speaking and leading rallies, and even one of him performing his music on a stage. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez: Protecting the Environment and Indigenous Rights might be especially inspiring to kids because it deals with issues that are still extremely relevant, and it offers suggestions on how individuals can get involved and contribute to change.

Highly Recommended.

Alison Schroeder has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba and is a lover of childrenís books.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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