Wednesday 12 July 2023


Global by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano (Hachette Australia) HB RRP $32.99 ISBN: 9781444951912

Reviewed by Kellie Nissen

Climate change is an issue on the forefront of the minds of many Australians, particularly our younger generation. While there is much doom and gloom in the media and through other outlets, what we need are stories of hope and ones that encourage and empower readers to effect change, no matter how small. Global by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin and Giovanni Rigano does just that.

The beautifully illustrated graphic novel centres around two young people, living very different lives in different parts of the world but still facing the same issues.

Twelve-year-old Sami is a fisherman living in a village on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Along with his grandfather, Sami spends much of his day at sea, gathering a meagre catch of fish – often just enough to feed their family and the other villagers. All around he sees the effects of climate change; higher tides that destroy the sea wall of his village, less fish, landslides that impact part of his village … and more frequent storms. One night, Sami decides to return to his long submerged family home, desperate to find out about his past and make a change. He doesn’t know about the approaching cyclone though.

Meanwhile, fourteen-year-old Yuki is living north of the Arctic Circle in a dwindling Inuit township in Nova Scotia. She becomes concerned about the interbreeding of polar and brown bears – known as grolar bears – due to rising temperatures caused by climate change. As Yuki observes, ‘the trouble is, nature played a trick on grolars. They don’t have the skills to hunt on ice or catch salmon on rivers’. With no innate hunting skills, the hungry grolar bears are moving into her town. Yuki decides to head out to study the bears and try and work out how they can be protected from being shot. However, she soon finds herself being stalked by a hungry grolar bear, alone in the wilderness with her dog and reliant on her wits and a single harpoon.

Eoin Colfer is best known for his graphic novel series, Artemis Fowl. Together with Andrew Donkin and Giovanni Rigano (the team behind Illegal – the powerful tale of one boy’s journey to reunite with his sister), Colfer is broaching new and important ground with Global, which is sure to appeal well beyond its target midgrade audience, with its relatable characters and gripping storyline.  


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