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The novel, A Friend of Earth by T.C. Boyle is a very interesting Cli-Fi (Climate Fiction) story. The book begins in a future where the world is dying due to the great impact humans have had on it. Many animals and plants have gone extinct, and lots of the Earth is inhabitable. However, a very rich musician is still trying to collect and protect the animals still living on this planet. He has an elderly man take care of the animals and work with them to get them to better health. Surprisingly, this elderly man was once an extreme climate change activist, who participated in many events during the time when global warming could be stopped. The novel contains many flashbacks of the elderly mans former life, which was quite crazy and intense. I really do not want to give away too much more of the novel, because it really is an amazing and captivating read.
The Author T.C. Boyle
The Author T.C. Boyle

Target Audience:

The writing of the novel can be a bit confusing due to the constant change of setting in relation to the time of the story. A major part of the story is in the future, however most of the plot and character development is in flashbacks that the main character has. Not only can this be confusing to a reader of a younger age, but many of the topics that play in to this novel are adult like in nature. There is violence, swearing, sexual content, and lots of other subjects that would not be appropriate for high school aged children. However, this is a perfect college level novel that most students would find interesting and exciting to read. Yes, the main subject is climate change, but there is also a strong theme of romance and adventure that run throughout the novel as a whole.

Teaching Ideas:

Due to the fact that this is for sure a college level novel, it is great for having discussions about each chapter and writing reaction papers. Students will get the most out of this novel by listening to other peoples opinions of the writing and what each section means. Also, a group discussion would help make understanding of the flashbacks and setting changes that occur in this novel. Since this novel is interesting and exciting, and for college level students, I do not believe that there will be an issue with some of them not doing the proper reading. "Busy work" notes will probably not be required, however to effectively participate in a group discussion the students will hopefully come with some notes or thoughts prepared for each class. Lastly, both English classes as well as Climate Change classes can use this novel as a supplemental tool to keep students interested in the subject while providing them with more information, aka a realistic, possible outcome for the future of our planet.

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For any questions or more information feel free to contact me:Emma Garber