Friday, November 20, 2020

Marjory Saves the Everglades

Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas 
by Sandra Neil Wallace; illus. by Rebecca Gibbon 
56 pages; ages 4-8
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2020   

theme: environment, biography, STEM

Before airplanes and automobiles, a girl in gold-rimmed glasses sailed on a steamboat to Florida.

I don’t know about you, but after reading that first line I really want to know who she is and why she’s heading to Florida. And whether her parents know about this.

Whew! Yes, parents are there. And young Marjory, having bitten into sweet oranges, has developed a taste for the southern state. But she and her mom end up living in the north, where Marjory explores the outdoors and, eventually, college. And later, returns to Florida where she reunites with her father and writes for his newspaper, the Miami Herald.

Marjory wrote about how women should get the vote. And later, when developers began digging and draining the Everglades, she began writing about the environment. After a trip to the Everglades aboard a houseboat, she lobbied the National Park Service to include the Everglades as a park. She also began asking questions: were the Everglades really a swamp? She donned boots, grabbed a trowel, and began digging… to discover that what looked like a swamp was really a river. Slow-moving, but a river. Putting pen to paper, she began to write – and fight – to save the Everglades.

What I like about this book: This is the perfect book for kids who wonder if their voice will count. Marjory Stoneman Douglas may have been only one person, but she made a difference. I like that she shows how a person, no matter what their age, can learn new things, and use their skills to save what they love. There is also back matter: an author’s note, a brief introduction to Everglades species, resources, and tips for protecting the environment. The most important tip: NEVER GIVE UP!

Beyond the Books:
Where is your favorite place in nature? Take a few minutes to write about why you like it. If it’s close by, go visit and take some photos. Write about how this place is important to the local plants, wildlife, and people.

Take a virtual tour of the Everglades. You can find one here at the National Park site.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.

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