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Children's Nonfiction Recycling & Green Living

Trash Revolution

Breaking the Waste Cycle

by (author) Erica Fyvie

illustrated by Bill Slavin

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2018
Recycling & Green Living, How Things Work-Are Made, Environmental Conservation & Protection
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2018
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7
  • Reading age: 8 to 12


All the “stuff” that surrounds us has a life cycle: materials are harvested, the stuff is made and distributed, it's consumed and then it gets trashed or recycled. Using the typical contents of a child's school backpack (defined as water, food, clothing, paper, plastic, metals, electronics), this book explores those stages in detail, including lots of ways to reduce, reuse or recycle waste along the way. Children will gain new insight into the routine decisions they make about their own consuming and trashing or recycling practices. For example: How long does it take for a cotton T-shirt to decompose in a landfill? Can a bike helmet be made from recyclable materials? Which is better for the Earth, wrapping a sandwich in aluminum foil or plastic? By learning to use critical thinking skills to make informed choices, children will feel empowered by the important, constructive role they can play in the future health of the planet.

Author Erica Fyvie has found a way to use everyday objects to speak directly to children's curiosity and their desire to make a difference. With infographics, short subsections, sidebars and charts, the information presented is engaging and accessible. Playful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Bill Slavin help make complex subjects easier to understand, while keeping the tone friendly. From energy to climate, innovations to sustainability, this all-encompassing look at a timely topic is the perfect go-to resource for elementary science and social studies classrooms. Includes a glossary, resources, bibliography and index.

About the authors

Erica Fyvie has worked as an academic editor and writer and has written for magazines and blogs. She is also the author of Trash Revolution, which won a Green Earth Book Award and was nominated for a Red Maple Award, the Norma Fleck Award and a Lane Anderson Award, among others. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Erica Fyvie's profile page

Bill Slavin has illustrated over sixty books for children, including Stanley's Party, Stanley's Wild Ride, Stanley at Sea, Transformed and The Farm Team. He lives in Millbrook, Ontario, with his wife, their cat, two rabbits, five squirrels and a family of cardinals.

Bill Slavin's profile page


  • Winner, Green Earth Book Award, Children's Nonfiction Category, The Nature Generation
  • Winner, Children's and Young Adults' Book Awards - Intermediate Nonfiction Category, International Literacy Association
  • Unknown, Red Maple Nonfiction Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Unknown, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction, Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards
  • Short-listed, Middle Grades Science Book Award, AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books
  • Short-listed, Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College
  • Winner, Skipping Stones Honor List, Skipping Stones Magazine
  • Unknown, Just One More Page! Recommendation List, WSRA Children's Literature Committee
  • Winner, Eureka! Nonfiction Children's Book Award, California Reading Association
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids and Teens, The Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Youth Book Award, Science Writers and Communicators of Canada
  • Short-listed, Lane Anderson Award, Fitzhenry Family Foundation

Editorial Reviews

Offering good reasons for reducing, reusing, and recycling, this book sketches an overall picture of the waste cycle, fills it with densely packed facts, and connects it with readers' lives.


... very informative, with thoughtful explanations of what we can all do to make environmentally friendly choices.

Science Magazine

... the content is both approachable and interesting, and it leaves readers with a sense of responsibility for the Earth's future.

Kirkus Reviews

Anyone who's interested in the waste cycle will have fun getting information out of this book.—San Francisco Book Review

San Francisco Book Review

Endlessly informative and eminently readable ...

School Library Journal, starred review

... reinforces the need to be aware, to make responsible choices, and for everyone to do their part in reducing the amount of waste in the environment.

CM Magazine

Anyone, adults included, will learn something new and valid by browsing through Trash Revolution.

Resource Links

Slavin illustrates in lively pen-and-ink art, featuring cartoonlike characters implementing workable solutions to combat waste, which Fyvie encourages readers to embrace themselves.

Publishers Weekly

... impressive and comprehensive ...

School Library Connection

Other titles by Erica Fyvie

Other titles by Bill Slavin

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