Quantcast

'Some Act of Vision': Young Adult Novel Takes a Look at Fracking

Fracking

Book review: Some Act of Vision by Lori Stephens, ASD Publishing; 2013; 296 pages, $13.99

Jordan Walker spends her days preoccupied with typical teenage problems: navigating the often-difficult landscape of high school, dealing with her blended family and sometimes pesky little brother, and worrying about cute boys. Ballet, however, is Jordan’s passion, and when the novel opens she is en route to her debut as a principal dancer in a local production of “Romeo and Juliet.” However, unbeknownst to Jordan, there are larger—and darker—forces at work in her Texas suburb.

Fracking activity near her town triggers a massive earthquake, destroying a large portion of the community. Jordan’s family narrowly escapes, but the earthquake also tears apart a chemical plant, and the Walkers are exposed to a mysterious toxic gas released in the aftermath. When they awake the next morning, they discover that they are invisible. They are forced to go on the run to escape the military, and in the process Jordan learns to find herself, literally and metaphorically.

Stephens’ novel is beautifully written, a fast-paced, rollicking page-turner that nevertheless raises many important issues about environmental and social responsibility. Never straying into preachy territory, Stephens’ science fiction plot serves as a parable about the dangers of ignoring environmental damage in our own communities. Jordan is a likeable and relatable heroine, and teenaged readers will share in her growing realization that inaction and willful blindness to both personal and ecological issues can harm everyone.

The novel’s title (a quote from dancer Martha Graham) reminds us that all art is ultimately an assertion of vision on the part of the artist. Stephens takes this image further by suggesting that it is only an act of willful vision on our parts—acknowledging what is happening around us and refusing to pretend nothing is wrong—that will ultimately enable environmental change.

——–

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

How to Teach Kids About Sustainability

Fracking Pennsylvania: Flirting With Disaster

Award-Winning Books That Deepen Our Connection to the Natural World

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A Boeing 737-800 BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) is marked "Prime Air" as part of Amazon Prime's freight aircraft during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France on June 22. Mustafa Yalcin / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

It's Prime Day! The day when thousands of increasingly absurd items are discounted so deeply that you suddenly need items you never knew existed. Yes, I do need a hotdog shaped toaster next to me while I watch this Fast & Furious seven movie box set! And I need it in my house today!

Read More Show Less

By Peter Sinclair

The weather in many areas across the U.S. has been – and certainly throughout America's heartland was for much of the past winter and spring – frightful.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
There's a short window between when a tick bites and when it passes on bacteria or virus. MSU Ag Communications, Courtesy Dr. Tina Nations, CC BY-ND

By Jerome Goddard

When it comes to problems caused by ticks, Lyme disease hogs a lot of the limelight. But various tick species carry and transmit a collection of other pathogens, some of which cause serious, even fatal, conditions.

Read More Show Less
tomosang / Moment / Getty Images

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

Say goodbye to one of the dreamiest things about childhood. In the Midwest, fireflies are dying off.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A new Climate Emergency Fund contains more than $625,000 which will go to grassroots climate action groups like Extinction Rebellion and students who have organized weekly climate strikes all over the world. @ExtinctionR / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Heeding the call of grassroots campaigners, several wealthy philanthropists announced Friday a new fund that will raise money for climate action groups around the world.

Read More Show Less
Skyhobo / iStock / Getty Images

The Trump administration is preparing to roll out a proposal that would remove communities' ability to officially contest decisions regarding how much pollution can be released by local power plants and factories, the New York Times reports.

Read More Show Less
In this May 10 photo oil flows at a Chevron oil field in Kern County, California. California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response

California officials ordered Chevron Friday "to take all measures" to stop a release that has spilled around 800,000 gallons of water and crude oil into a dry creek bed in Kern County, KQED reported.

Read More Show Less