Elyssa Campbell’s debut novel Poison Town tells the story of a fourteen-year-old who becomes an environmental activist - in a company town built around a smelter. She faces a mystery – what is poisoning the town when there has been a successful clean-up.
Addie’s town is built around a lead and zinc smelter. The company has done an extensive cleanup of its operations, but the air and water still seem dangerous. Addie decides to find out if the smelter is still poisoning local residents. To do that, she needs help.
This novel allows young readers to confront climate anxieties while finding inspiration in Addie’s believable and realistic actions. Addie is overlooked and treated as a child who wouldn’t understand. Big mistake. She uses adult naivety to her advantage and confronts what most people in her town are too fearful to address.
Elyssa Campbell adds an author’s note to her story, pointing to real-life examples which closely parallel the situation and events in her novel.
About the author
ELYSSA CAMPBELL'S stories have been published in literary magazines in Canada and the United States. She’s also into skiing, hiking, and playing with her dog. She is a substitute teacher, and self-identifies as having an ADHD brain. She grew up in a town with a smelter and now lives near Vancouver, Canada.
Inspired by the author’s own experiences, this original exploration of the impact of environmental pollution is a quick and accessible read, with consistent, smooth pacing and solid characterization… An absorbing story of grassroots environmental activism by teens.