Designed as an interactive learning experience for kids 9 & up, author Pat McCarthy’s Friends of the Earth: A History of American Environmentalism gets high marks as a valuable and easy-to-follow reference book. Truth be told, it was a good refresher for me, too.
A retired elementary school teacher, McCarthy highlights 10 of our nation’s most influential conservationists and environmentalists, and provides a glimpse into each person’s individual efforts, struggles and triumphs – inspiring young readers to become little activists. Beginning with Julia Butterfly Hill (you know, the 23-year old who spent two years perched in a giant redwood tree to combat clear-cutting in California), the author brings to life the important works of: John James Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Cordelia Stanwood, Gifford Pinchot, Aldo Leopold, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Margaret “Mardy” Murie, Rachel Carson and Roger Tory Peterson. She tells their compelling stories with words, photos and illustrations and encourages kids to get involved by taking on little eco activities.
The collection of mini bios are presented in workbook style, with 21 thought-provoking activities sprinkled throughout … kids can learn how to build a compost; make a couple of different types of bird feeders; plant a tree; study the greenhouse effect; make recycled paper and test for acid rain. (more…)