This Book is Cruelty Free is the first non-fiction book written by author Linda Newbery, best known for her award winning young adult novel Set in Stone. She has been a long term supporter of various welfare and environmental organisations and has been a vegetarian since her twenties. Her latest book is an informative and eye opening guide for older children and teens told in an accessible and conversational style that never feels either preaching or didactic in tone. This would be an excellent purchase for schools providing both facts and a prompt for discussion and further study.
Children and young people are in many ways leading the conversation about the human impact on our environment and wildlife and this book is perfect for providing them with background information and support in making choices for themselves. Linda Newbery provides an opportunity for the reader to reflect on their lifestyle and offers ideas for small steps that can make a difference. The information is presented very much as a guide and prompt rather than a list of ‘must dos’ and this gives the book a wide appeal and broad range of uses in schools.
There are sections on our diet and food, cruelty free fashion and beauty, the role of zoos and animal parks, waste and recycling and encouragement to understand the role of nature and wildlife in our personal well being. The use of infographics, illustrations and large headings highlighting important points increases the accessibility and appeal to young readers. Linda Newbery provides tips on how to respond to criticism, useful advice on promoting the topic and how to campaign safely. At the end of the book a list of helpful organisations and websites are provided plus places to find tasty vegetarian and vegan recipes.
This is a thought provoking, interesting and informative read for teens and adults too and could also be used effectively by primary school teachers. I particularly like the way the reader is encouraged to feel as though each tiny step helps. The subject is framed as a discussion rather than an instruction. It makes it feel less overwhelming and allows the young person reading to feel empowered to make their own choices and to enter into reasoned discussion on the subject, which can sometimes be an emotive one.
I should like to thank Pavillion Books and Catherine Ward for providing my review copy. This Book is Cruelty Free was published on 8th July and is available to purchase online or at your nearest independent book shop which can be found on this map.