Rachel Carson

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)
ISBN-10: 1604139501
ISBN-13: 978-1604139501

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.