Orca Book Publishers

  • In the developed world, if you want a drink of water you just turn on a tap or open a bottle. But for millions of families worldwide, finding clean water is a daily challenge, and kids are often the ones responsible for carrying water to their homes. Every Last Drop looks at why the world's water resources are at risk and how communities around the world are finding innovative ways to quench their thirst and water their crops. Maybe you're not ready to drink fog, as they do in Chile, or use water made from treated sewage, but you can get a low-flush toilet, plant a tree, protect a wetland or just take shorter showers. Every last drop counts!

  • Whether they live alone or together, in a hive or in a hole in the ground, bees do some of the most important work on the planet: pollinating plants. What's the Buzz? celebrates the magic of bees-from swarming to dancing to making honey-and encourages readers to do their part to keep the hives alive.
    All over the world, bee colonies are dwindling, but everyone can do something to help save the bees, from buying local honey to growing a bee-friendly garden.

  • Until a few hundred years ago, people were embarrassed to buy bread in a store. Families took pride in making almost everything they owned. These days, many people take pride in buying as much as possible! New clothes, a speedier bicycle, the latest phone. If we've got money, someone can sell us a product that will supposedly make our lives better. But each year, humanity uses resources equivalent to nearly one and a half Earths, and we're still not meeting everyone's needs. Around the world, people are questioning consumerism, leaning toward more sustainable lifestyles and creating a whole new concept of wealth. What if you could meet all your needs while getting to know your neighbors and protecting the environment at the same time? Find out how growing a tiny cabbage can fight poverty, how a few dollars can help ten families start their own businesses and how running errands for a neighbor can help you learn to become a bike mechanic—for free!

  • Most of us see trees every day, and too often we take them for granted. Trees provide us with everything from food, fuel and shelter to oxygen and filtered water. Deep Roots celebrates the central role trees play in our lives, no matter where we live. Each chapter in Deep Roots focuses on a basic element-water, air, fire and earth-and explores the many ways in which we need trees to keep our planet healthy and livable. From making rain to producing fruit to feeding fish, trees play an integral role in maintaining vibrant ecosystems all over the world. Facts about trees and hands-on activities throughout help readers discover ways to get to know our giant neighbors better.

  • All the food you eat, whether it's an apple or a steak or a chocolate-coated cricket, has a story. Let's Eat uncovers the secret lives of our groceries, exploring alternative—and sometimes bizarre—farm technology and touring gardens up high on corporate rooftops and down low in military-style bunkers beneath city streets.
       Packed with interesting and sometimes startling facts on agriculture around the world, Let's Eat reveals everything from the size of the biggest farm in the world to how many pesticides are in a single grape to which insect people prefer to eat.

  • A roof, a door, some windows, a floor. All houses have them, but not all houses are alike. Some have wings (airplane homes), some have wheels (Romany vardoes), some float; some are made of straw, some of snow and ice. Some are enormous, some are tiny; some are permanent and some are temporary. But all are home. Take Shelter explores the ways people live all over the world and beyond-from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from an underground house in Las Vegas to the International Space Station. Everywhere people live, they adapt to their surroundings and create unique environments, using innovative techniques to provide that most basic of needs: shelter.

  • Pedal It! celebrates the humble bicycle-from the very first boneshakers to the sleek racing bikes of today, from handlebars to spokes to gear sprockets-and shows you why and how bikes can make the world a better place. Not only can bikes be used to power computers and generators, they can also reduce pollution, promote wellness and get a package across a crowded city-fast! Informative but not didactic, Pedal It! encourages young readers to be part of the joy of cycling.

  • Kids all over the world help collect seeds, weed gardens, milk goats and herd ducks. From a balcony garden with pots of lettuce to a farm with hundreds of cows, kids can pitch in to bring the best and freshest products to their families' tables-and to market. Loaded with accessible information about the many facets of farming, Down to Earth takes a close look at everything from what an egg carton tells you to why genetic diversity matters-even to kids.

  • Did you know that cars can run on french-fry grease or that human poop can be used to provide power to classrooms? Kids in Mexico help light up their houses by playing soccer, and in the Philippines, pop-bottle skylights are improving the quality of life for thousands of families. Brilliant! is about what happens when you harness the power of imagination and innovation: the world changes for the better! Full of examples of unusual (and often peculiar) power sources, Brilliant! encourages kids to look around for new and sustainable ways to light up the world.

  • Fair trade is not about spending more money or buying more stuff. It's about helping producers in developing countries get a fair price for their goods. In A Fair Deal: Shopping for Social Justice, Kari Jones provides a history of trade, explaining what makes trade systems unfair and what we can do about it. By examining ways in which our global trade systems value some people over others, the book illustrates areas in which fair trade practices can help families all around the world and suggests ways to get involved in making the world a more equitable place.

  • Going wild. We don't see it as a good thing. And why would we? For most of our time on earth, humanity has been running from lions and other wilderness dangers. We've worked hard to make our local landscapes as safe and convenient as possible. Sometimes that's meant paving over areas that might burst into weeds. Other times, we've dammed rivers for electricity or irrigation. But now pollution, climate change and disruptions to the water cycle are affecting the world in ways we never anticipated. What if the new key to making our lives safer (and even healthier) is to allow the wilderness back into our cities?

  • Better Together explores how people gather in groups of all kinds to fulfill the basic human need for companionship. From the smallest units of parents, siblings and friends to global organizations that try to build on a foundation of common human experience to meet their goals, people working together are a powerful force for change. Too often, we look at someone and see all the ways we are different. People all around the world come together to build things, teach and entertain each other, and provide everything from better health care to good food to security and education. Better Together examines the many ways we are the same, no matter where we live.

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