#Nonfiction Monday Girl Warriors: How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earth

Are you an advocate for any causes? I am an advocate for children’s books, and more specifically the middle grade title  Girl Warriors: How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earth by Rachel Sarah.

In this book you will meet 25 girls and young women under the age of 25 who have decided to speak up for the Earth and for themselves. Eloquent and innovative, they hope to change minds and make a difference.

Young women like:

Daphne Frias in West Harlem, New York City describes herself as “an un-apologetically fierce Latina, who is proudly disabled,” and is currently in medical school.
Maya Penn in Atlanta, Georgia who is an eco-fashion designer, animator, producer and TED speaker.  Here she explains how even the dyes used to color fabric can harm the environment.

Although this video is from 2014, you can see on her Mayas Ideas 4 the Planet website that Maya is still incredibly active helping people and the Earth.

Malaika Vaz in Goa, India who is a National Geographic Explorer and filmmaker.
Vanessa Nakate in Uganda, Africa who founded the @TheRiseUpMovem1 and has been building solar-powered schools in Kampala.

Chicago Review Press books are all about getting hands on. If the stories  of these girls and young women inspire you, delve into the four pages of resources in the back matter to find out where you can make a difference, too.

Rachel Sarah is trained as a journalist, which shows in her clean and unobtrusive writing. She has gleaned personal details on each of the young women, making each of them stand out as memorable individuals.

Girl Warriors is an exciting book for young readers interested in activism and making a difference. Get inspired by a copy today!


Although there are many, many ways to make a difference, I am going to suggest considering the Green Bridges™ program from the Herb Society of America. Their goals are to create patches of native plant gardens across communities to:

  • help alleviate the problems caused by habitat loss and fragmentation
  • help protect nearby natural areas
  • remove or contain invasive species
  • provide food and shelter for local pollinators and other wildlife


Researching and choosing to plant responsibly-grown native plants can make a difference!

Side note:  Rachel Sarah and I are both members of STEAMteam books and our books released on the same day, April 6, 2021.


Reading age : 9 – 12 years
Publisher : Chicago Review Press (April 6, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1641603712
ISBN-13 : 978-1641603713


Disclosure: The book was provided digitally for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

Writing List Poems

List poems are lists of related things arranged in such a way as to convey an idea or story.

List poems have been around for a long time. Sei Shonogan was a Japanese writer/poet who wrote list poems. She lived around the year 1000. People still read a collection of her writings called The Pillow Book.

Here is an example of one of Sei Shonogan’s poems:

Things that Pass by Rapidly

A boat with its sail up.
People’s age.
Spring. Summer. Autumn. Winter.
~ Sei Shonogan

My own examples of list poems:

Things my cat George likes:
Rubbing faces when he gets up in the morning
A dropped Cheerio
The top of the cat-scratching post
Chasing ping-pong balls down the stairs
Things I like:
My cat George

Things that I smell on my morning walk:
Wet dogs
New grass
Car exhaust
Dryer sheets from someone’s laundry
Breakfast cooking on Sunday mornings

Things I hear on my morning walk:
Dogs barking
Leaf blowers
Cars and trucks on the main street
Birds singing
Ducks quacking
The sound of my two feet on pavement

Kenn Nesbitt’s website has more detailed instructions and examples.

Now write a list-inspired poem!

#amwriting #poetry – Resources for Learning Craft

Today I’ve gathered a list of resources in honor of National Poetry Month 2021. If you haven’t ever considered writing poetry, you will after listening to these. Inspiring!


Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival April 2021

This year the children’s book festival was virtual. The linked title will take you to the entire list of replays for the talks, but the one that stood out to me was Word-Joy: Experience the Transformative Power of Poetry with Irene Latham
, Vikram Madan, and Laura Purdie Salas.

Each author read not only from their own works, but also from the work of someone whom they admire. Then they discussed a number of practical activities to get children and adults excited about poetry.

Laura Purdie Salas discussed haiku riddles and equation poems. Check her website for much more.

Irene Latham read from her book,  NINE:  A Book of Nonet Poems.

A nonet is a 9-line poem that adds syllables either up or down, from one to nine syllables or from nine to one syllable. As she says, using a form like this can be freeing when it comes to writing poetry.

Vikram Madan is an artist as well as poet, so he likes to use art as an inspiration for poetry and poems as an inspiration for art.


Writing Excuses Podcast

In their 16th season, the crew at Writing Excuses did a poetry series that really helped me understand and appreciate poetry better. Each episode comes with a writing assignment. Well worth the time investment.

16.11: What is Poetry?

16.12 : Singing Versus Speaking

16.13: Day Brain vs. Night Brain

16.14: Poetic Language

16.15: Poetic Structure, Part I

16.16: Poetic Structure: Part II

16.17: The Time To Rhyme

16.18: Poetry and the Fantastic



Children’s poet Marilyn Singer is a regular visitor at DIY-MFA. I couldn’t find a link to this year’s interview, but here is a recent one.

Episode 306: Recipes for Poetry and Creativity – Interview with Marilyn Singer

Do you have any favorite poetry resources from last month or any month? Feel free to leave them in the comments.


STEM Friday #Kidlit Waiting for a Warbler

Today we’re highlighting a new informational fiction picture book, Waiting for a Warbler by Sneed B. Collard III and illustrated by Thomas Brooks.

The story is told in two separate strands. The main text shows two children, Owen and his sister, as they watch for birds to return to their area. They particularly anticipate the arrival of the Cerulean warbler whom they had briefly spotted the year before.

The second strand follows a group of migrating birds as they take the harrowing journey north across the Gulf of Mexico. It is intense and fraught with danger.

The story switches back and forth between the two story lines before converging. Along the way, readers learn about the importance of providing habitat for birds.

Thomas Brooks has a background as a scientific illustrator, which is readily apparent. Although the illustrations have a soft focus rather than being photo real, the birds look like they can fly off the page. The baby birds are adorable.

The backmatter (we love backmatter) includes an “Author’s Note”, birding information for kids, and guidance for using native plants to transform yards into bird and wildlife habitats.

Waiting for a Warbler is perfect for young birdwatchers and nature lovers. They will likely want to return to it again and again. Enjoy a copy today!


Check out more books by Sneed B. Collard III (links to reviews here or at Growing With Science). Many of the posts have activity suggestions.

See the bird category at Growing with Science for many more hands-on activity suggestions based on children’s books.

And be sure to visit our growing list of children’s books about bird migrations at Science Books for Kids.


Reading age : 6 – 8 years
Publisher : Tilbury House Publishers (February 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 0884488527
ISBN-13 : 978-0884488521


Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.