A Hot Mess

How the Climate Crisis Is Changing Our World

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

We already know what climate change is and many of us understand the human causes. But what will climate change do to our world? Who will be affected (spoiler: all of us!) and how will our lives change in the future? Topics include sea levels, extreme weather, drought, animal and plant extinction, and human and animal migration. Drawing on real-life situations and stories, journalist Jeff Fleischer takes an informed, approachable look at how our world will likely change as a result of our actions, including suggestions on what we can still do to slow down these unprecedented effects.

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Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Science, Young Adult
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction, Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, STEM, STEM: Interdisciplinary
Copyright 2021
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Zest Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 192
Publication Date 2021-11-02
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN050080, YAN051090, YAN003010
Dewey 363.738/74
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Lexile 1260
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Charts/Graphs/Diagrams, Reviewed, and Sidebars

Author: Jeff Fleischer

Jeff Fleischer is a Chicago-based author, editor, and journalist. He is the author of A Hot Mess: How the Climate Crisis Is Changing Our World (Zest Books, 2021), Votes of Confidence: A Young Person's Guide to American Elections (Zest Books, 2020 and 2016), Rockin' the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries (Zest Books, 2015) and The Latest Craze: A Short History of Mass Hysterias (Fall River Press, 2011). His fiction has appeared in more than seventy publications including The Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Journal, Shenandoah, The Saturday Evening Post, and So It Goes by the Kurt Vonnegut Library and Museum. He has a master's in magazine journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor's in both journalism and history from Indiana University.


  • Booklist Top 10 Books on Environment & Sustainability Books for Youth, Winner, 2022
  • Green Earth Book Award, Long-listed, 2022



“This science-and-social-studies crossover offers a global perspective of climate-related developments . . . a documented, balanced, and accessible update on an evolving crisis.”—Booklist

Foreword Reviews

A Hot Mess is an unvarnished introduction to climate change that’s refreshing about sharing the supporting science.”—Foreword Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

“A wealth of information and an engaging approach are certain to have a lasting impact.”—Kirkus Reviews