Kieran Doherty has filled a long-standing need and written an excellent biography of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas for young adults. Marjorie Stoneman Douglas: Guardian of the Glades (TwentyFirst Century Books) is very well-written and illustrated; as a matter of fact, it transcends the genre of young adult book and can serve as a primer for Douglas' life for anybody with an environmental bent, whether teenager or adult.
School Library Journal
Marjorie Stoneman Douglas's evolution as a conservationist is eloquently described in this biography....This inspirational look at the feminist and humanist will be a welcome addition to women's studies and environmental collections.
From The Critics
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who died in 1998 at 107 years old, made it her life's work to save the Florida Everglades from developers' bulldozers. This book tells her story, from her childhood through to her death. Accompanied by pictures, the book examines the impact of this remarkable woman on the ecology of Florida, and ultimately, the its governmental policies and daily lifestyle. This book is very attractive to look at, with a two toned green and black cover that will enhance any home library or coffee table. The first page of each chapter and the photos are each etched with leaves and ferns. However, the text contains few direct quotations or thoughts from Douglas herself. Both the vocabulary and ideas are very mature, and may confuse younger and less-knowledgeable readers. Strong readers who like biography or who are interested in ecology, especially that of Florida, will likely enjoy this book for its praise of Marjory Stoneman Douglas' work and her enduring legacy. 2002, Twenty-First Century Books, 131 pp.,
— Audrey Berner
This timely, moving, strong biography of an important figure in America's ecological movement is also the story of a woman who set an example of how to live, through tragedy and sorrow, to make a life for herself. Marjorie Douglas was a champion of the rights of the poor, of women, and of the earth itself. She was born in 1890 and died at the age of 108 after becoming one of Florida's most respected and beloved environmental activists. This book is a moving tribute by a man who calls her "a woman of great courage who was willing, always, to speak her mind and to stand up for what she believed in." He chronicles her life from her unhappy childhood through her disastrous marriage and into the years when she became a prolific writer and social commentator in Florida, until she eventually discovered the one love that she would devote most of the rest of her life to protecting: the Everglades, her "River of Grass." Quality writing, excellent documentation, a full index, and a solid bibliography add to the usefulness of this biography. It belongs in any library that collects science biographies, biographies of women, books on environmentalism, or is in the State of Florida. It is suitable for both young and adult readers. Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. VOYA CODES: 5Q 3P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Twenty-First Century, 160p,
— Gillian Wiseman
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-This remarkable woman overcame a tragic childhood, a disastrous marriage, and the uneasy search for a career to emerge as a prolific writer and conservationist best known for The Everglades: River of Grass. Douglas spent her early years surrounded by her maternal relatives in Massachusetts. After graduating from Wellesley College in 1912, she began working in department stores. Her unhappy marriage ended in divorce, and she decided to move to Florida to live with her father, whom she had not seen for 20 years. There she found her calling as a professional writer. Successful and widely published, Douglas turned her attention to the threat posed by Miami developers who wanted to drain the Everglades and she dedicated the remainder of her life to preserve it. Her evolution as a conservationist is eloquently described in this biography. Ten chapters chronicle Douglas's life in a readable, well-organized style that utilizes quotes, documented in the endnotes. A bibliography lists primary, secondary, and newspaper sources. Grass motifs are used in the chapter title pages as well as to complement the soft, gray-toned photos scattered throughout the book. This inspirational look at the feminist and humanist will be a welcome addition to women's studies and environmental collections.-Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.