Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday- Rachel Carson and her Book that Changed the World

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website. 

Rachel Carson and Her Book 
That Changed the World
by Laurie Lawlor
Illustrated by Laura Beingessner
Published 2012 by Holiday House
Copy obtained from public library

If you don't know anything about Rachel Carson, this book gives a great overview of her journey to becoming a biologist and changing how people look at the environment. After writing two books about the ocean: The Edge of the Sea and The Sea Around Us, she began to notice disturbing trends in the environment. Determined to show the government and the American people how toxins were affecting the environment, she wrote perhaps her most important book: Silent Spring. This book detailed how poisons like pesticides were polluting the air and water and what it meant for people and all living things. The epilogue describes the changes in environmental policy were put in place after Carson's death as a result of Silent Spring.  This book is written in a manner that is appropriate for grades 2-5. 
Here are some of the most interesting tidbits:
*When she was eleven, Carson had a story published in a children's magazine. This is when she decided to become a writer.
*She was a shy person who had trouble fitting in socially at college. She would much rather go to the science lab than a party or dance.
*Rachel was inspired to become a biologist because of a biology professor named Mary Scott Skinker. 
*Although she never married, she adopted her niece's 5-year-old son. 
*She wrote Silent Spring while bedridden with cancer and never lived to see the effects of her book. 
*Sadly, Rachel Carson died at the very young age of 56. 

This book could be used.....
As part of a unit on biographies.
As part of a science/ecology unit.
To discuss how writing can change the world. 

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  1. Thanks for sharing, this is a new book and biography for me! I always like getting new titles :)

  2. This book is new to me, too, Gigi. Thanks for sharing about it-on my list!

  3. I am so excited to learn about this title Gigi! It goes well with my theme today - The Wonder of Women (picture book biographies) Adding it to my TBR list! Thanks for highlighting it here.

    1. It does go well with your theme. Loved your books!

  4. Gigi - I read this when it first came out. I thought it was a good introduction to Rachel Carson. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This sounds like a book I need to have! Or at least read!

  6. I've seen this before. Thanks for reminding me to check this out!