Children's LiteratureRachel Carson said that the sound of a conch shell inspired her to begin her study of the sea. Rachel Carson's pioneering books, especially The Sea Around Us and Silent Spring, inspired far more: the eventual formation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, and a new consciousness in the American mind of the fragile nature of our environment. More subtle, but perhaps more far reaching, is the realization that women can excel in the study of the natural sciences. Part of the "Our People" series, Simon's biography puts Carson's achievements in the context of two dark times in our country's history-the Great Depression and World War II. The author also presents a human side to this early environmentalist-the struggle to work and write amid family obligations. This fine biography features Carson's formative years, her chance to intern at Woods Hole Oceanographic institute, her earning a masters degree in Zoology from Johns Hopkins University, and her writing. A time line, bibliography, Web sites, list of places to visit and brief discussions about the great Depression, World War II and the effect of becoming a best-selling author are included. This is an important book for young readers about a remarkable woman who had a passion what she did. 2004, The Child's World, Ages 8 to 12.