According to the Canadian charity Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP), many millions of migratory birds die each year from building collisions, cats, pollution, climate change, invasive species, and habitat erosion. Without serious efforts on our part, the problem will only get worse.

Lights Out shows that children can make a real difference by taking action to reduce light pollution that throws migrating birds off course. It tells the story of a flock of sparrows thrown off course in cities where "headlights and billboards glare. Business signs and streetlights shine." Natural landmarks and stars which the birds need to navigate disappear, and the sparrows' calls to each other — "Here I am! Where are you?" — bounce off buildings and add to the confusion.

When a girl discovers a dazed sparrow that got left behind by its flock in the confusion, she gets help taking it to a wildlife rescuer. She picks up a pamphlet with ideas about how to ensure safer flights for birds and gets to work with friends on a multi-faceted plan, including writing letters that encourage neighbors and business owners to turn off their lights at night. Author Jessica Stremer uses avian imagery to bring their efforts alive: "The movement spreads like a bird's song carried by the wind."

Bonnie Pang's illustrations of adorable sparrows and a lively, diverse urban neighborhood add to the inspiration. Closing resources include a short essay on Birds, Migration, and the Dangers of Light Pollution, information about FLAP and the U.S. National Audubon Society, ideas for how to help, a description of flyways (established routes between winter and summer nesting areas), and a bibliography. Readers ages four to eight will find in these pages much encouragement for making their own contributions to the Lights Out movement.

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