Wangari's Trees of Peace
by Jeanette Winter

Price at time of review: $17.00
32 pp.
Harcourt .
San Diego, CA
ISBN: 0152065458

Grade Level: 1-7

Reviewed by CBC Reviewer

Combining a unique blend of ecology, social justice, and character education, this book tells the story of how Wangari Maathai helps bring indigenous trees back to Kenya. Her work not only restored the ecology but helped poor women find the materials they needed to survive.

A brilliant student, Wangari Maathai was awarded a scholarship to complete her degrees in biology in the United States. She was the first East African woman to earn a Ph.D. and began a movement to restore indigenous trees. Wangari's efforts encouraged the local women in the nearby tribes to help, and together they restored Kenya back to being “green.”

The book describes the effect of reforestation on the environment and the impact of self-help on the woman who "walk tall, their backs straight...gathering firewood close to home." Written for primary students, this story will inspire readers of all ages. The ecological lessons are paired with a powerful message of the importance of individual contributions that won't be missed by readers. This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2009 will inspire many readers to ask: "What can I do?"

Review posted on 1/28/2009

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