Chance of Rain Reviews “Tree Rings’ Tale”

Emily Green had some kind words for my book in the LA Times:

Many texts about climate change begin with rapidly melting polar ice, but Fleck’s opens instead with the 19th century explorer John Wesley Powell and his navigation of the Colorado River. Ferociously wild in Powell’s time, the Colorado is tamed by dams and is the water source for seven Western states: Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California. We in Southern California rely on it so heavily that our farms and cities use more than one-third of the river’s allotted U.S. flow.

Intermingling the history of the Colorado River with the emerging science behind climate change, Fleck connects the river’s diminishing volume to tree ring data, soil deposition in rock formations, ocean currents and even what kind of leaf pack rats stuffed in their little prehistoric middens. As he does so, it becomes clear how climate has changed and how further changes might affect us in the future.

Still time to order for Christmas!


  1. John,
    “Tree Rings’ Tale” looks like a timely read. Most kids spend little time exploring nature and when they learn about nature in the classroom, it’s abstract, confusing and, often, scary.

    I’m Chicago-based, but will be spending this winter in Colorado and California vacationing and visiting schools.

    Would you consider a book swap? I’ll send you a couple “Environmental Guide from A to Z” books for one of your “Tree Rings’ Tale.”

    Tim Magner
    Growing Green Minds

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