Book Review: The Greatest Cause of Mia Dubois
Reviewed by Audrey Davis
An inspiring read with a powerful message
Chris Casavant’s middle grade novel The Greatest Cause of Mia Dubois tells the story oftwelve-year-old Mia who, after facing the danger and shock of a hurricane head-on, learns about climate change and realizes this multi-faceted problem requires solutions much more in-depth than simply recycling.
Through meeting new friends, strengthening relationships with old ones, and passionately standing behind her beliefs, Mia boldly yet confidently takes her first steps on a path she creates toward the future she wants to see.
The novel and its characters are well-written and well-rounded, and the story itself effortlessly addresses an admittedly bleak subject matter in a light and optimistic way. Though it may seem bleak and occasionally overwhelming, it is our planet, our future, and our responsibility, so ultimately it needs to be discussed, openly and frequently. I definitely enjoyed the story’s message, and it is presented in a way that is extremely easy to comprehend yet engaging the whole way through.
The novel presents opposing sentiments to climate change such as the concept of ‘N.I.M.B.Y.’, and others before settling on the main why?— because this planet is our home, for the present and the future, but also home to many unique plant and animal species.
The author does a great job of explaining the complex nature of climate change as well—it isn’t just that the Earth is becoming warmer, but that mechanical emissions contribute to the issue, as does outsourcing manufacturing jobs, meat overconsumption, socio-economic disparity, and many more.
Not only does Mia learn what messages to convey if she wants to help others see her perspective, but how to deliver the message, effectively and efficiently. Her feelings of despair are tangible, relatable, and valid, but not domineering; Mia learns to temper her thoughts and feelings, to see the bigger picture, through self-education and interacting with others of different circumstances outside of her own sphere.
It is easy to criticize a person’s lifestyle from an outside standpoint, but ours is a “system that pollutes and wastes, and we’ve all grown up in that system. It would be great to convince [everyone] to change their ways, but it’s really the system that needs to be changed.”
I would definitely recommend this book. It has a nice, clear, motivating message for middle-school age kids as well as adults and leaves the reader with a sense of hope toward the climate change fight—that even a small change can make a big difference.
As humans, we are all in this fight together whether we like it or not, and it isn’t fair to future generations to pretend that nothing is happening or that negative consequences are a distant concept. It is important that we acknowledge the systemic issues so that we can take corrective action.
“Even if it feels like no one is listening to you, or like they think you’re wrong or wasting your time, keep going. Keep fighting. You should never stop fighting for something you believe in, especially if your goal is to help people.”
Publisher: SDP Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction / Environment
Print Length: 274 pages
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