Ever wonder how Earth Day came about? Rachel Carson (Conservation Heroes) by Marie-Therese Miller tells the story of the amazing woman who is often credited with starting the modern environmental movement. It was nominated for a 2011 Cybils award in the MG/YA nonfiction category.
Rachel Carson’s life story is a complex and inspiring one. She was a trained biologist, conservationist and writer. Marie-Therese Miller starts with a focus on Rachel Carson’s most famous book, Silent Spring, and the controversy that swirled around it when it was published. Next she delves into Carson’s childhood, explaining how Carson came to be both a nature-lover and a writer. Miller writes about Carson’s education, her love of the ocean and her earlier books. She also explains how Carson was suffering from many health problems, including breast cancer, while she was defending herself against the critics of Silent Spring.
The book is illustrated largely with black-and-white photographs, giving the book a distinctly period feel. Unfortunately, they do little to entice the young reader who is skimming the book to delve deeper, which is too bad.
Rachel Carson is likely going to be placed on shelves as a resource for research reports, but it deserves wider circulation. It is likely to encourage future conservationists, as well as enlighten those interested in women’s history. Young writers will definitely enjoy learning about how Carson became a writer and the powerful influence her writing had on others. Readers will discover Rachel Carson’s work and life story still are very relevant today.
Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Library Binding: 135 pages
Publisher: Chelsea House Pub (L); 1 edition (March 2011)
For Earth Day celebrations, this book would be great paired with The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson and Nick Kelsh
The biography was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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This week’s round-up is at Books 4 Learning.
9 Replies to “Rachel Carson”
My daughter researched Carson for a Wax Museum biography project in 5th grade, and really enjoyed learning about this influential environmentalist. Thanks for the review!
Thanks for the timely post. For younger kids, there is Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World, by Laurie Lawlor.
Rachel Carson – definitely an Earth Day hero. Thanks for adding your review to the mix. I posted a review of “Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World”, along with an interview with author Laurie Lawlor earlier this month, if folks want to check out that book. Spending my day checking in on the Red-tailed hawk chicks hatching up at Cornell (via nest-cam; there’s a birdcam link on my blog). Hawk mama is sitting in a nest full of snow, and as of yesterday one of the chicks was working its way out of its egg.
Thanks to everyone for stopping by with suggestions for activities and related books.
Thank you for this great review…and for the suggestion of a paired book.
Thank you for participating in Nonfiction Monday. Nice review. Rachel Carson sounds like a fascinating person!
Rachel Carson is a strong female, it appears. I always enjoy reading nonfiction books with a “period feel” to it, and I definitely love seeing photographs, be it colored or black and white. May your review aid in helping people get to know Rachel Carson and her environmental pursuits. Thanks for the review!
Actually, black and white photos can be wonderful. I loved the photographs in Migrant Mother.
I just came across this lovely review for my book. Thank you, Roberta, for taking the time to read all about Rachel Carson and for the favorable review you penned. It was my privilege to write about Carson’s love of the environment, her scientific acumen, her writing talent, and her strength of character. My hope is that her life will inspire others to care for the earth and all of its inhabitants.