Author: Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Reviewer: Yolanda Ridge
I bought this book because I’m a big fan of Tanya Lloyd Kyi and because I thought it might be a Authors for Earth Day Eco-Book of the Month selection. It turns out I was right about Tanya’s writing skills, wrong about “Saving the World” referring to the environment (definitely a bias on my part). Instead, it’s focused on social justice – an equally important topic for middle grade readers.
Twelve-year-old Mya Parsons plans to work for the United Nations one day so she can save the world. She’s so passionate about issues such as Rohingya refugees that she forms a Social Justice group at school to do letter writing campaigns and fundraising. But when her best friend gets a cell phone, Mya suddenly has a slightly more selfish concern: she wants one too.
The pros and cons of cell phone use are well presented. With her mom away in Myanmar caring for her grandmother, Mya’s put in charge of her little sister, who’s an avid skateboarder. Having a cell phone would make this safer, she argues, along with presenting other “pros”. Her dad mainly represents the “con” side of the argument but when Mya does a school project on texting, she comes up with some cons of her own, including the use of cobalt mined by children living in Africa in cell phone production.
Mya has the same problems as many other 12-year-old girls, especially with her mom away for an extended period of time. All the issues are presented in a balanced way, without ever slowing down the pace of a good story. The social justice aspects are well presented with just the right amount of information and Mya’s causes are easy to root for. Good summer reading!!