Monday, January 11, 2010

Book Review: Heroes of the Environment

Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect Our Planet by Harriet Rohmer, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin. Chronicle Books, August 2009. Review copy provided by publisher.

There's a general consensus that the environment is in need of some saving and in Heroes of the Environment we meet a dozen people who are doing just that. From providing space in cities to grow fresh vegetables to installing solar panels to bring electricity to rural Native American houses to inventing new ways to test water for harmful chemicals, these people are doing what it takes to make positive changes.

I don't know that this book has a large amount of browsing appeal, but I do know that it'll be a valuable addition to units on ecology and the environment. (And hey, Earth Day will be here before you know it!)

One thing I really, really liked about Heroes of the Environment is the diversity of the people featured. Each chapter gives information about a different person and what he or she is doing to help the environment. The people featured are all Americans (with the exception of one Mexican and maybe a Canadian or two) and they are all from different areas of North America, different ages, and different ethnicities. Kids may find most compelling the stories of actual kids who are doing something to help the environment, but they will find inspiration in the works of others, too.

This would be a great book to start a discussion on what your kids could be doing to help the environment in your community. Start a recycling program, clean up local beaches or parks, investigate threatened animal or plant species in your area. Some tips for getting involved are included at the end of the book.

Happy Nonfiction Monday! Check out this week's roundup at All About Children's Books.