79 pages 2 hours read

Alan Gratz

Two Degrees

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2022

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Part 1, Chapters 1-17Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “The Sierra Nevada, California”-Part 1: “Miami, Florida”

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary: “Red Flag Warning”

Akira Kristiansen and her father, Lars, are riding their horses on a remote trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Akira’s horse, Dodger, alerts them that he senses something dangerous, and they soon realize there is smoke rising from the valley below. Akira is concerned; she has learned about climate change in school and has noticed that fires in California burn hotter and longer with every passing summer. Just that morning, the National Weather Service issued a “red flag warning” for the Sierra Nevada, to signal high fire danger in the area. Lars does not share her worry. He points out that small fires allow fuel to burn off gradually and prevent larger, more dangerous fires. Akira is skeptical; she has noticed that nearly every recent blaze in California has become a destructive megafire. She stays silent, though, as she knows how her dad feels about climate change and isn’t in the mood for an argument.

Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary: “King Sequoia”

Akira and Lars wind their way higher into the mountains, admiring the fall colors along the way. Passing groves of Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine, they finally reach their destination, a grove of giant sequoias. Reverently, the duo dismount and gaze at the trees.