book review: No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

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NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE by Greta Thunberg
★★★☆☆
Penguin, 2019

 

How you feel about this book is entirely going to depend on what you’re expecting to get out of it.  This is not a scientific text, nor is it an in-depth exploration of possible solutions to climate change.  This is a rallying cry; a wake-up call to anyone who isn’t paying attention to the catastrophic state our planet is in.  If you’re familiar with Greta Thunberg from the news or social media, you’ll pretty much know what to expect from this, and it does deliver.

That said, my god did the repetition in this short book start to grate.  It actually rather irritates me how poorly curated this essay collection is; the impact of Thunberg’s words starts to neuter itself the further you read, by no fault of her own but because the editor saw fit to include near-identical speeches back-to-back on several occasions.


You can pick up a copy of No One is Too Small to Make a Difference here on Book Depository.

15 thoughts on “book review: No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

  1. Totally with you on this! I believe an updated version has recently come out with additional speeches, alongside photography that documents the rise of Greta’s school strike initiative. Hopefully that has helped to dilute the irksome (though somewhat understandable) repetition.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right?! I wasn’t really expecting a lot of science from this book (which a lot of people also cite as an annoyance in negative reviews) but I was not expecting it to be so poorly curated. I’d rather have a 25 page book that hits hard than a 150 page book (or whatever this was – I listened on audio) that neuters its own impact by hitting the same beats over and over and over and over.

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  2. I think Thunberg is awesome but I have little desire to read this because it does seem like it would be a repetition of what I’ve already heard from her. Do you think it would draw in a reader who wasn’t familiar with her?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know what, I am struggling to answer this question because my gut reaction feels very contradictory! I wouldn’t recommend it to people familiar with Thunberg because it’s very much what everyone already expects and knows about her; but I also wouldn’t recommend it to people unfamiliar to her because I think the repetition and her strident tone could be alienating. I’d be much more likely to recommend that someone scroll through her twitter account than read this. That said, I DID give it 3 stars and I don’t think it’s a worthless book! I think it’s about managing expectations and know what you’re getting into if you’re interested in picking it up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review, I felt similarly! As Callum mentioned, I’ve also been wondering whether the updated version resolves the repetition a bit. I was sad to have bought this right before I saw a new edition was coming out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just worry that the newer edition will make the repetition worse?! I mean, I certainly hope not, but without knowing which speeches are being added it’s hard to say. I’m curious to read some new reviews once it comes out though!

      Liked by 1 person

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