Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Series: Candlewick Biographies
Hardcover: 56 pages
From the meadows of Scotland to the farms of Wisconsin, from the swamps of Florida to the Alaskan tundra, John Muir loved the land. Born in 1838, he was a writer, a scholar, an inventor, a shepherd, a farmer, and an explorer, but above all, he was a naturalist. John Muir was particularly devoted to the high cliffs, waterfalls, and ancient giant sequoia trees that, through his careful influence, were set aside as one of the first national parks in America - Yosemite. Here is the life story of the man who, moved by a commitment to wilderness everywhere, founded the Sierra Club in 1892, a conservation group that carries on his crucial work to this day.
My thoughts: This is a great biography for the target age group! They will thoroughly enjoy reading about John Muir. Biographies I read as a child were so boring and uninteresting, but Kathryn Lasky has presented John Muir’s life from his early years in Scotland to moving to America and then to his later years with such relaxed, almost lyrical prose that one can’t help but be interested.
When he finally began his trek through America, he left Wisconsin and walked to the Gulf coast of Florida. From Florida he went by boat to California. In California his real life’s work began. He discovered the wilds of California and began to chart the very essence of that nature in his blue book. He was the instrument through which our National Parks were established and for that we should be forever grateful.
In this biography, the end includes a biographical list of sources and further reading. As with all good biographies, there is an index at the back of the book to facilitate study and re-discovery of facts. I highly recommend this as a choice biography for young readers.
The illustrations by Stan Fellows are striking watercolors showing the colors and beauty of nature from the tiny flowers John Muir so loved to the vast mountains. Tiny details as well as majestic mountains fill the pages to render the book beautifully engaging for the young reader.
GIVEAWAY: The good folks at Candlewick Press have graciously provided a copy of John Muir America’s First Environmentalist for one of Chat With Vera’s readers to win. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form. Maybe you can win this for that special young reader in your life. Begins May 19 & ENDS June 10 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to addresses in USA only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of John Muir America’s First Environmentalist from Candlewick Press in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.