Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and Planet in Crisis, by Greta Thunberg, Malena Ernman, Beata Ernman & Svante Thunberg

“An extraordinary account of how one family rose, with unshakable moral clarity, to the tremendous responsibility of being alive at the moment when our immediate collective decisions will determine the fate of life on Earth. They share their story of courage not because they want our accolades, but because they demand our company. Greta Thunberg has already inspired a global moment–this book is part of how we will win.” –Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything

When climate activist Greta Thunberg was eleven, her parents Malena and Svante, and her little sister Beata, were facing a crisis in their own home. Greta had stopped eating and speaking, and her mother and father had reconfigured their lives to care for her. Desperate and searching for answers, her parents discovered what was at the heart of Greta’s distress: her imperiled future on a rapidly heating planet.

Steered by Greta’s determination to understand the truth and generate change, they began to see the deep connections between their own suffering and the planet’s. Written by a remarkable family and told through the voice of an iconoclastic mother, Our House Is on Fire is the story of how they fought their problems at home by taking global action. And it is the story of how Greta decided to go on strike from school, igniting a worldwide rebellion.

Heather comments
This was a totally unexpected read which I would recommend to any environmentalist or educator.  It was initially published in Swedish in 2018 and titled “Scenes From the Heart”. Not only is the book a great insight into the life of Greta and her family but it is filled with tons of useful environmental statistics.  The book is set up as a series of scenes or glimpses of family life which give the back story as to how Greta became an environmental activist. Indeed, Greta was named Time’s person of the Year for 2019, nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize (2019, 2010), and listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in 2019 by Forbes Magazine. Written uniquely by all members of the family, the “scenes” in this book show that their life is far from normal. Living with a diagnosis of autism and her sister’s diagnosis of misophonia certainly impacts their family.  It is Greta’s unconventional parents, an opera singer, and actor, who are the heroes in this story.

Heather S.

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