Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
The second book in the ThinkCities series explores water as a precious, finite resource, tracing its journey from source, through the city, and back again.
Living in cities where water flows effortlessly from our taps and fountains, it’s easy to take it for granted. City of Water, the second book in the ThinkCities series, shines a light on the water system that is vital for our health and well-being. The narrative traces the journey of water from the forests, mountains, lakes, rivers and wetlands that form the watershed, through pipes and treatment facilities, into our taps, fire hydrants and toilets, then out through storm and sewer systems toward wastewater treatment plants and back into the watershed.
Along the way we discover that some of the earliest cities with water systems date back to the Indus Valley in 2500 BC; that in 1920 only 1 percent of the US population had indoor plumbing; that if groundwater is used up too quickly, the land can actually sink; and more. The text is sprinkled with fun and surprising facts — some water fountains in Paris offer sparkling water, and scientists are working to extract microscopic particles of precious metals found in sewage.
Readers are encouraged to think about water as a finite resource, and to take action to prevent our cities and watersheds from becoming more polluted. More than 2 billion people in the world are without access to safe, fresh water at home. As the world’s population grows, along with pollution and climate change, access to clean water is becoming an urgent issue.
Includes practical steps that kids can take to help conserve water.
The ThinkCities series is inspired by the urgency for new approaches to city life as a result of climate change, population growth and increased density. It highlights the challenges and risks cities face, but also offers hope for building resilience, sustainability and quality of life as young people advocate for themselves and their communities.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
About the authors
Andrea Curtis is an author of books for children and adults. Her children’s non-fiction titles include Eat This!, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal, and What’s for Lunch?, named to VOYA’s Honor list. She has also written the young adult novel Big Water. Her adult books include Into the Blue, winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction, and The Stop, winner of the Heritage Toronto Award of Merit and a finalist for the Toronto Book Award. She has also won a number of National Magazine Awards. Andrea lives with her family in Toronto.
KATY DOCKRILL is an honors graduate from Ontario College of Art and Design. Her fresh brush-and-ink illustrations have attracted a wide range of clients, and she has won a number of awards for her editorial work. She has illustrated A Voice for the Spirit Bears by Carmen Oliver, among other titles, as well as many covers for children's novels. Katy lives with her family in Toronto, where she loves swimming, gardening and taking walks with her daughter.
- Commended, A Junior Library Guild Selection
Vibrant and informative.
[An] insightful STEM offering.
The text presents excellent information and encourages readers to become good stewards of a finite resource.
CM Review of Materials
[A] fantastic way to examine the urban landscape and how it affects the environment.
Globe and Mail
Educational and stylish.
[M]ind-boggling and fascinating facts.
Quill & Quire
Cogently fills an information gap for school and public libraries.
School Library Journal
Other titles by Andrea Curtis
City of Neighbors
City Streets Are for People
A Forest in the City
How Fast Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (And How to Fight Back)
How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement
The Churches of Oro-Medonte
What’s for Lunch?
How Schoolchildren Eat Around the World
What's for Lunch?
How Schoolchildren Eat Around the World