Everyone Can be a Hero
By J. R. Birch
Inside Outsider Publications, 2010, 293 pages
In The Iron Heel, Jack London used a narrative from the future to present the dystopian and utopian possibilities that existed in his time. Everyone Can be a Hero, a new independently published book for older children and teenagers, uses a similar device.
It is set in England in 2040 in a world blighted by a nuclear accident and running low on resources. While warning of the dangers of Britain’s nuclear energy generation and waste processing industries it also explores the possibilities of a society built by the people themselves, including renewable energy. It has a lot about growing organic food in cities — even referencing Cuba.
The book is available as an e-book and in a printed edition. The printed version is a fabulous example of what you can do with recycling. The paper is 100% recycled, using vegetable-based inks. The books are hand-strung and the part-recycled cardboard covers are individually finished.
While the book’s sound factual basis relates to the British nuclear industry, Australia’s role in supplying much of the world’s uranium makes it equally relevant to young people in this country.
Australian anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott endorsed the book saying, “I think that it is easily accessible for the teenage group who need education about the dangers of nuclear power and waste.”