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Girls Gone Green

Girls Gone Green

5.0 4
by Lynn Hirshfield

Hayden Panettiere, Mischa Barton, Ellen Page— everyone’s going green these days, but saving the environment is a large task for anyone to take on, especially a teenager. Yet the everyday green girls profiled here have a passion—to do just that. They’ve stepped up, taken the initiative, and made their voices heard, and in doing so, they have


Hayden Panettiere, Mischa Barton, Ellen Page— everyone’s going green these days, but saving the environment is a large task for anyone to take on, especially a teenager. Yet the everyday green girls profiled here have a passion—to do just that. They’ve stepped up, taken the initiative, and made their voices heard, and in doing so, they have helped to effect change—from creating a cosmetics line free of toxic chemicals to trying to conquer global warming to encouraging the use of wind power. Filled with stories from real girls who made a difference, plus lots of celebrity green girls who are doing their part to help out, Girls Gone Green gives girls everywhere the inspiration to do something to help their world. It doesn’t matter how small the change is—it only matters that you make the effort to bring about that change.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
From cosmetics to lunch bags and Alaska to Hawaii, every type of environmental cause is profiled in the pages of this unique nonfiction book. The focus here is on the environmental activists themselves, famous and everyday young women alike. This book is laid out like a magazine with loads of photos and graphics, but it is organized thematically by types of activists, including "The Beauty Entrepreneurs and Fashionistas," "The Animal Advocates," "The Educators and Artists," "The Recyclers," "The Growers and Grocers," "The Defenders of Air, Land, and Water," and "The Environmental Scientists and Green Engineers." Far from a catalog of standard school science projects, each short article showcases an unusual attempt at making a difference, which often proves to be successful beyond the wildest dreams of the girl behind it. Author Lynn Hirshfield appears to have two goals in her selection of females to profile: to inspire young women to take action now, and to show them adult examples of environmentally conscious living while encouraging the maintenance of these values throughout life. Scattered celebrity profiles are included to give star power and status to the ideas presented in the book, but their sections are too vague and slight to match the passionate voices of the everyday young women featured throughout the book. With numerous practical tips, a list of web sites, and a wide range of activities, this title offers myriad ways for girls to live green. Includes a table of contents, a "Green Girl Pledge," and resources pages. The type is set in Ecofont, which uses 20% less ink, and printed on paper from renewable resources using soy-based inks. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
VOYA - Bethany Martin
Mixing profiles of teenage girls with shorter accounts of "grown-up green girls" and celebrity activists, this book highlights girls and women working for environmental causes they are passionate about. Each profile chronicles what inspired the young person to take action on a particular issue, steps she is taking to solve the problem, her plans for continuing action, and tips on how the reader can get involved. The stories of adults provide examples of careers in environmental fields. Even though each teen's story is told in first person, the unique voice of the individual girl does not come through. The tone and style are the same throughout all the profiles and third-person accounts of adults. The book is visually appealing, packed with photographs and illustrations. However, some of the one-page or longer adult and celebrity accounts are awkwardly placed within the longer teen profiles, interrupting the flow of the narrative. Page numbers are not provided in the table of contents for the shorter profiles, forcing the reader to flip through pages to find them. Overall, this book succeeds at what it aims to do, inspire teen girls with stories of other teens and provide concrete ideas for teenagers to positively impact the environmental causes that matter to them. It is a solid choice for public and school libraries; recommended for young adults looking for ways to make a difference. Reviewer: Bethany Martin
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This volume is packed with ideas and suggestions for living green. Chapters describe the work of beauty entrepreneurs, animal-rights advocates, educators, artists, grocers, scientists, and engineers. Women and girls of various backgrounds share their stories of how they are making the world a better place, whether through recycling, creating usable lunch bags, writing blogs, or cleaning up beaches. Scattered throughout the book are vignettes or statements by celebrities such as Hayden Panettiere, Ellen Page, and Jessica Lowndes. Bright colors and copious photographs highlight the lively layout. The book concludes with suggestions for things readers can do to make the environment greener.—Patricia Ann Owens, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges
Publishers Weekly
Likely to motivate conscientious readers, this handbook profiles real-life teens who have embraced environmental causes, along with a few star contributors (Hayden Panettiere writes the foreword). Each teen narrates her own section: one girl's concern over Bronx River pollution inspired her work, while another took lessons she learned about recycling from summers on Bowen Island in Canada to her life in Los Angeles: “It's important to think of the world as just one tiny island, where every action we take has consequences.” Ages 10-up. (Mar.)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Excerpts from Girls Gone Green, by Lynn Hirshfield

Foreword by Hayden Panettiere

For actress and activist Hayden Panettiere, being green means looking below the surface.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love animals and how passionate I am about protecting them. So when Jeff Pantukhoff, president and founder of the Whaleman Foundation, approached me about being their spokesperson five years ago, I jumped at the opportunity!

The Whaleman Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to raise public awareness of the issues that affect cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and porpoises) and their ocean habitats through their research, films, and public outreach campaigns. When I heard about the plight of the whales and the work the Whaleman Foundation was doing, getting involved was a no-brainer for me.

I’ve learned so much since becoming a part of the foundation’s efforts. Soon after I agreed to help, Jeff took my mother, Lesley, and me on our very first trip to San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja Mexico, the only undeveloped mating and birthing ground for the California gray whale. It was a truly amazing experience. Along with seeing all of the beautiful gray whales and their newborns firsthand, I also learned about the threats that they face along with other whales and dolphins, such as loss of habitat, entanglement in fishing nets, toxic and noise pollution, global warming, increasing and expanding whaling—the list goes on and on. It was on this trip that Jeff showed me a short film and explained to me his vision and goals for the Save the Whales Again! campaign.

The goals of our campaign are to end whaling worldwide while raising awareness to the other threats whales and dolphins face. There is a brutal practice in Japan that has unnecessarily and painfully taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of dolphins and other small whales. They blind and frighten these helpless animals by hammering on metal poles in the water, driving them into small coves where they are trapped in nets and then killed. I experienced this firsthand on a trip with our team to Taiji, Japan, in 2007. There we paddled out into the bloodred waters of the killing cove, where over thirty pilot whales had already been slaughtered. With fellow activists, I honored the beautiful animals that had lost their lives there while unveiling the truth to the world. During our peaceful ceremony, the Japanese fisherman, unprovoked, became violent and physically aggressive toward us. After being hit with large poles and threatened with spinning boat propellers, which came inches from us, we held our ground. The media attention generated by the incident was massive, and it became one of the largest steps toward victory since the whaling moratorium was put in place in 1986. I am aware this fight will not end overnight, but I am committed to seeing this battle through until the very end.

My tip to you is to take action on a cause that is important to you. Use the stories of the green girls in this book as your inspiration. They are taking action on so many different causes and making amazing progress on behalf of our planet. And so can you! You can help me protect the whales and dolphins that call our oceans their home. With your help, these beautiful and intelligent creatures will be saved.

For more information, please visit www.savethewhalesagain.org and learn how you can get involved.


Note from the Author

I used to think I was a pretty green person—I recycled, supported green groups, bought organic, checked for fair-trade certification, didn’t let the water run when I brushed my teeth, and always, always, always turned out lights. . . but I had never come across any carbon footprints, a term that kept coming up during meetings at my new job at Participant Media. In late 2005, I was hired to work on the early pre-theatrical release campaign for the film An Inconvenient Truth. Mystified, I went to the resident green expert on the team, Lisa Day (who is so green that even her shoes are made out of hemp!), and asked her where I could pick up a pair of these carbon footprints, which, in my mind, were some kind of super-eco odor-eating shoe insoles that absorbed heat and pollution. Thank God they didn’t throw me out to the curb right then and there.

With great patience, Lisa explained to me the green basics and helped me calculate my carbon footprint. In doing so, I had a good overview of the impact (numerically) I was personally making on the planet. I changed some of my habits, got a hybrid car, adjusted the thermostat, took canvas bags to the market, and cut out plastic bottles, but being green was still a daunting jumble of facts and figures, and the idea of ME having the ability to curb global warming by my little behavioral changes was also still too abstract. It was too scary to think about the responsibility of saving the whole planet and much easier to feel all gloom and doom about the situation. I didn’t feel confident that my individual actions really made any difference at all.

Ironically, one of my duties was to manage outreach to teachers and students to see the film and get them involved in our social action programs. It was at the first of these high school field trips to a special screening of the film that the calculations translated into real actions. Hundreds of students streamed out of the theater, totally psyched to take action. They bombarded me with questions and asked for resources and had so many great ideas and such enthusiasm. They wanted to DO SOMETHING, and, for the most part, do something is exactly what they did. These passionate young environmentalists became my teachers. And they didn’t wait for adults to tell them what to do or how to do it. They were not scared or intimidated by the task of saving the planet. There was work to do, all kinds of ways to help, and every little bit of effort was needed and appreciated.

Over the last four years, I have had the honor and pleasure of meeting so many young people working on a vast spectrum of environmental initiatives, and a majority of these young green activists are girls. Perhaps it is natural for girls, who may one day be mothers, as well as working professionals, to feel especially nurturing. Some of the young women profiled in this handbook have earned national recognition for their achievements, while others are making strides on more local levels. Some are packing up for college, while others are still packing their lunches for elementary school. Each and every one of the girls profiled in this book is an eco hero who offers hope and direction for her generation.

I would like to thank all the green girls and experts who shared their stories within these pages, with a special thank-you to Hayden Panettiere for her inspiring foreword, and also the following people for their contributions toward the creation of this book.

Story Editors: I am grateful to Jenny Mancino and Diana Mendez, my main green girl guides throughout this process, without whose help this book would not be possible. Thank you for your diligent research, creative support, and most of all, patience!

Editorial Assistants: Ariana Gadd, Chris Eggertsen, Sarah Newman, EK Peyton, Ashley Doyle, and Rachel Stratman for all their hard work keeping facts, details, and ME on track. You guys are amazing!

Interns: Camilla Savoia, Jake Gissy, Lindsay Weller, Paulina Bolinski, and Glenna Moran for their unbridled enthusiasm. Awesome!

Green Publishing Pros: Merrilee Heifetz of Writers House; Penguin’s Eileen Kreit, Doug Whiteman, Karen Chaplin, Kristin Gilson, and Alaina Wong; and Nancy Cushing-Jones, Barbara Weller, and Cynthia Cleveland of Broadthink. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Special thanks to my colleagues at Participant Media, with a great big green shout-out to Ricky Strauss for being the first in line to support my idea for this book years before I really knew what it was about. To my two amazing mentors, Buffy Shutt and Kathy Jones, who always seem to know what’s best for me and who constantly surprise me by never saying no to my harebrained schemes. Thank you to Jeff Skoll for now having inspired me to write THREE books. His mission to create socially conscious media that inspires and compels social change is something I try to emulate. I’m grateful to Jim Berk, our head honcho, for his leadership and his vision. Thanks also to Jeff Ivers, Bob Murphy, and Gabriel Brakin for their investment in and continued support for my adventures in publishing. A great big hug to my dear marketing partners-in-crime Karen “Ariel The Mermaid” Frankel, Amanda “Gossip Girl” Garrison, Jeff “Brussels Griffon 3X” Sakson, and Youtchi “Dior” von Lintel. A tip of the hat to our social action team for the good work they do every day: Bonnie Abaunza, Christina Lindstrom, John Schreiber, Liana Schwarz, and Daniel Maree. A salute to our “AIT” mavens: Diane Weyerman, Courtney Sexton, Bryan Stamp, and Yelena Rachitsky. A nod to our digital wizards: Fonda Berosini, Wendy Cohen, Joshua Tremblay, and Chris Gebhardt. A green wave to Analiza Gonzales, Laurie Luh, and Mai Imai for always keeping an eye out for me.

Connectors: Jeff Pantukhoff, Claire Jones, Kelly Bush, Tara Walls, Danica Krislovich, Susan Paley, Alice Markowitz, Carmelle Druchniak, Aileen Zerrudo, Iris Yen, Delphia Duckens, Thameenah Muhammad, Michelle Tompkins, Sandey Kang, Michelle Kydd Lee, Maureen Harrington, Jane Berk, Amy Chendar, Brian Gerber, Michelle Kleinert Bader, Michael Donkis, Sue Patricola, Randy Smith, Michelle Ferguson, Jennifer DeVito, Andrew Barker, Lori Tabb, Jill Calcaterra, Robert Jigarjian, Jennifer Bubalo Sloan, Archie Drury, Tom Rielly, Gary Hirshberg, Jack Merrill, Nathalie Harewood, Livia Firth, Pat and Nigel Sinclair, Sharon Lawrence, and my fellow WIFF Trustees.

Family and Friends: Pola Hirshfield, Burton Hirshfield, Suzanne Hirshfield, and Eli Pearl; Susan Cartsonis, Andy Cohen, Ian Corson, Jay Corson, Laura Edwards, Margi English, Nana Greenwald, Aline Grunwald, Jesse and Stephen Nathan, Jackie Papier, Barbara Perlin, and Gina and Chris Shelton.

My green tip to readers: Please consider spaying or neutering your pets! Help control pet overpopulation and please consider adopting your next dog from a shelter. I support K-9 Connection, an organization that brings the magic of dogs and kids together. At-risk teens ages fourteen to eighteen train homeless shelter dogs in basic obedience, assisting the dogs to develop the skills to become adoptable. For more information, please visit www.k9connection.org.


Meet the Author

Lynn Hirshfield is the author of Sassafras: True Confessions of a Poodle Princess and Sassafras Goes to Hollywood and was inspired to write this book as a result of her work on the award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. Lynn currently runs publishing for Participant Media, the producers of such socially relevant films as The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson's War, The Soloist, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Syriana. She lives in Venice Beach, California. To learn more about Girls Gone Green, please visit pyv.org.

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Girls Gone Green 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
LCSmith More than 1 year ago
Girls Gone Green is a fantastic book and a definite must for all young girls especially those interested in the environment and in taking action on green issues. The author profiles young girls who have demonstrated that one person can make a difference and that one person can have a ripple effect on the global planet. The book features young girls along with their mentors and role models and covers a number of issues such as animal advocacy, safe cosmetics, green fashion, clean water and air, rain forest preservation, global warming, recycling, sustainable farming, etc. In addtion, the book has eco tips, website information, and information about how girls can get involved in green issues. I highly recommend this book to all preteen and teenage girls and to their mothers.
Rebecca123 More than 1 year ago
It's not uncommon these days to hear about people going green, but what is out of the ordinary are the girls and young women profiled in the new book, Girls Gone Green. Author Lynn Hirshfield has put together a collection of stories that will inspire many to get involved in the movement to protect our environment. In these pages, we meet teens who are passionate about the cause, and are willing to put in long hours to enlighten and motivate others to become a voice for the planet. Girls Gone Green primarily focuses on the efforts of real green girls who are making a difference in their schools and communities, but we also hear from celebs like Alicia Silverston, Ellen Page and others who have gotten involved. This refreshing book is a terrific read for young and old, and if we are very lucky, it will be just the first in a series of stories meant to compel us all into taking action for the good of the world.
DevM More than 1 year ago
Just when you thought that teens today were only interested in vampire movies and prime time soap operas, along comes a book which shows us just how much our youth cares about the environment. Girls Gone Green, by Lynn Hirshfield, recognizes girls and young women who have gone out of their way to do their part to make our planet a better place. These short stories tell us about girls who have devoted time and effort into sharing their ideas about recycling, wind power, energy conservation and more. This book also allows us to peek into the lives of some celebrity girls who have gone green too, like Alicia Silverstone, Ellen Page and Mischa Barton, and learn from their actions. Girls Gone Green should be a must read for our teens as it will go a long way toward motivating others to get involved. I hope Girls Gone Green will be just the first in a series of books designed to inspire us into action. Author Lynn Hirshfield has a real winner with Girls Gone Green.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago