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A Powerful Way to Change DNA

By Yolanda Ridge
Illustrated by Alex Boersma
Interest Age: 14+
Grade: 9+
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: W.8.1,1a,1b,1c,1d,1e,2,2a,2b,2c,2d,2e,2f,4,5,6,7,8,9b,10
SL.8.1,1a,1b,1c,1d, 2,3,4,5,6

Reading Level: Lexile 1180L
Paperback : 9781773214238, 132 pages, September 2020 , 9.25" x 7.5"
Hardcover : 9781773214245, 132 pages, September 2020 , 9.25" x 7.5"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773214252, 132 pages, September 2020


We can change the world with gene editing—but should we?  

CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. If it sounds complicated, it is—but it’s also one of the most powerful ways we can shape the future. And it’s poised to completely upend the way we think about science. 

Author Yolanda Ridge tackles this topic in a friendly and accessible tone, with two introductory chapters covering the basics of DNA and gene editing before taking readers through the ways that this ground-breaking science could affect them by potentially:

• eliminating diseases like malaria and cancer,  

• improving the stability of our food supply, and

• helping to manage conservation efforts for threatened animals and environments.
 But all of these possible advancements come with risks, the biggest being that the consequences are unknown. Chapters end with “Stop, Go, Yield” sections encouraging readers to consider the pros and cons of using CRISPR. “Cutting Questions” give readers the opportunity to further reflect on the ethics of the science. 

CRISPR is a game changer. This important book, with detailed scientific illustrations, brings much needed clarity to a topic that will affect readers for generations to come.

*A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection


  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2021


“Science literally on the cutting edge, offering prospects of wonder and terror in equal measure.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 05/17/20

“A relevant, evidence-based resource for high school students and academic library collections. Ridge successfully demonstrates the necessity of an educated debate about the nuanced pros and cons of gene modification.” 

- School Library Journal, 07/01/20

“This was the perfect introduction to DNA modification and editing. It explained complex topics in mostly easy to understand language.” 

- SMS Nonfiction Book Reviews, 10/18/2

“A thought-provoking, insightful look at a complex and controversial topic that’s sure to pique student interest.” 

- Booklist, 08/01/20