Toxic Water: Minamata, Japan
by Meish Goldish/ Bearport Publishing, Consultant: September Williams, MD Physician-Writer, Bioethicist
It has been my pleasure to work with Bearport Publishing and acclaimed author Meish Goldish as a consulting physician-writer and bioethicist. Bearport is a School Library Publisher (http://bearportpublishing.com/about) Its books are compelling and visually compete with the best of the superhero genre for interest.
Bearport generally aims for kids preK to grade 8. The publisher currently has an Ecological Disaster series for use in the Environmental Curriculum for schools. Toxic Water: Minamata, Japan is designed to expose children from Grades 3-5 to new vocabulary and concepts. However, the book is informative and compelling for all children and I dare say adults.
Toxic Water:Minamata, Japan is written from the perspective of two little girls who are sisters. The book is nonfiction and chronicles these sisters who were among the index cases in the 1950s when "the strange disease" of methyl-mercury poisoning was first documented. It also deals with the evolution of the environmental justice movement that sprang from those people afflicted with what came to be known as Minamata Disease--severe human mercury poisoning. The text gently introduces children to the concept of United Nations Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements and the goals of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
Ask your nearest school to acquire Toxic Water: Minamata, Japan, or donate it for school library use in under-resourced communities. There is an online curriculum and teaching resource designed for 3rd to 5th graders to introduce vocabulary and complex content.
I think younger children and older children would also benefit from the book's approach. Toxic Water: Minamata Japan is scheduled to be available by August 2017.
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