Friends of the Earth: A History of American Environmentalism with 21 Activities

Overview

From John Muir pushing a president and a nation into setting aside vast preserves—including Yosemite, Sequoia, Mt. Rainer, and the Grand Canyon—to Julia “Butterfly” Hill saving a 1,000-year-old redwood while bringing to light the devastation of our old-growth forests, Friends of the Earth chronicles the efforts of the men and women who dedicated their lives to protecting the United States’ natural heritage. Other notable profiles include John James Audubon, who introduced the study of birds to North America; ...

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Friends of the Earth: A History of American Environmentalism with 21 Activities

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Overview

From John Muir pushing a president and a nation into setting aside vast preserves—including Yosemite, Sequoia, Mt. Rainer, and the Grand Canyon—to Julia “Butterfly” Hill saving a 1,000-year-old redwood while bringing to light the devastation of our old-growth forests, Friends of the Earth chronicles the efforts of the men and women who dedicated their lives to protecting the United States’ natural heritage. Other notable profiles include John James Audubon, who introduced the study of birds to North America; Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who worked to conserve the Florida Everglades; and Rachel Carson, who opened the world’s eyes to the dangers of pesticides. Together, these environmentalists’ inspiring life stories tell the history of American environmentalism, from its inception to the present day. In this comprehensive resource, children also learn how to put their concerns into action. Step-by-step instructions on how to build a birdfeeder, conduct a water quality survey, start a compost pile, create their own recycled paper, and test for acid rain are included, as well as a time line of historic milestones and a list of popular parks and sites to visit or explore online.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—McCarthy profiles 10 individuals, all born prior to 1910. The chapters are arranged chronologically, highlighting individuals such as Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, Aldo Leopold, Cordelia Stanwood, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Margaret Murie, and Rachel Carson. In addition to biographical information, each chapter features corresponding hands-on activities. For example, the section devoted to John James Audubon provides directions for building a nest and constructing a birdhouse. Black-and-white photographs provide interesting visuals that illustrate each individual's story. The writing is lively and clear, and the text is appropriate for both research and pleasure reading. Budding environmentalists will appreciate these accessible and inspiring biographies.—Lindsay Cesari, Baldwinsville School District, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Brief biographies of early conservationists and environmentalists provide a look at the development of the movement. Readers meet John James Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Roger Tory Peterson and Rachel Carson, as well as less familiar names: Cordelia Stanwood, Gifford Pinchot, Aldo Leopold, Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Margaret "Mardy" Murie. Each featurette is about six to eight pages long, offering enough detail to provide a flavor of the people's lives and explain their significance to the movement. Each chapter includes one or more activities (mostly simple science experiments) themed to match the biography--not always successfully. The activity for the Muir chapter is to bake oatmeal scones, which seems strange when compared to others: bird identification, making a plaster cast of an animal footprint or a bird feeder, etc. The last section describes future challenges. The text is mostly written in short sentences that don't jibe with the more complex content and may sometimes perplex readers: "For years, we've heard the cry, ‘Save the rainforest!' This is another side of deforestation." This effort offers an odd mix of complexity and oversimplification: "The rate of global warming can be slowed if people will take a few simple steps"--carpooling, using public transit, eschewing motorized transportation and limiting trips. More useful for the biographies than the environmental information. An only-serviceable collective biography for those interested in the history of the movement. (Collective biography. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569767184
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/2013
  • Series: For Kids Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,390,520
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat McCarthy is the author of Heading West and 10 other children’s titles. She has written for Children’s Digest, Cricket, and other publications. She lives in Greenville, Ohio.

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