We loved this review from Reading by Example because she says she found herself “cheering for the researchers.” Moonbird is not only a love song to B95, but a love song to all those researchers who band, count, wait, fly to, marvel at, and share their knowledge of the rufa red knot. Let’s all let out a cheer for the researchers!
Moonbird is that rare book that entertains as much as it informs. The author chronicles one breeding cycle of a red rufa knot, B95. He is the oldest known shorebird of his species. The challenges B95 faces, both natural and manmade, bring a lot of suspense to the topic. I found myself cheering for the researchers who kept persisting in their inquiries about why the red rufa knot’s numbers are dwindling. It could serve by itself as the primary resource for a unit of study. You have got geography, history, environmental science, biology…and that is just the content areas. —Reading by Example
We congratulate the Green Earth Book Awards on 10 Years of honoring environmental children’s literature and their donation this year of 10,000 environmental books with a message of stewardship to area schools!
Phil Hoose was pleased to join the celebrations on two previous years when they honored his books, Hey, Litte Ant and Moonbird.
“Being able to deliver engaging material about the environment in such a big way is a perfect representation of our first decade of success,” said Ian Kline, chairman of the board. “We’ve engaged thousands of students with books, outdoor classrooms, and even a student-designed nature trail. The impact is incredible – we’ve seen children of all ages embrace environmental responsibility through our programs.”
The 2014 winners are:
Jennifer O’Connell – The Eye of the Whale a Rescue Story (picture book)
Kathi Appelt – The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp (children’s fiction)
Suzanne Goldsmith, Washashore (young adult fiction)
Melissa Stewart and Higgins Bond – A Place for Turtles (children’s nonfiction)
Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie– Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest: A Photographic Journey Through the American Bald Eagle Nesting Season (young adult nonfiction)
We could not help but share this letter from the astounding student Erica Eliza Smith.
“I just finished reading Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice for the second time. The first time I read it was back in eighth grade (I’m a junior now) when I was trying to figure out what it meant to be a teenager in a world run by adults. This was the same year I read We Were There, Too! and It’s Our World, Too!
I believe that every book I’ve read has changed my life. But your books have changed my life more than any other book beyond certain religious texts and the books that taught me how to read. You’re the only author I’ve found who seems to care about young people who want to read about other young people.
Young people do have stories worth telling. I understand that my school textbooks will never devote a significant number of pages to young people for the same reasons they don’t talk all that much about women or people of color. Paper and class time is limited. We can only cover the presidents and generals. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t there too. That doesn’t mean we didn’t witness historical events at the very least. And there are always untold stories about people like Claudette who changed things.
I feel like youth are the most neglected of any demographic group. My school offers a women’s history class, which I’ll take next year, and all but one of the movies we watched in U.S. History this year featured African Americans. But so far as young people are concerned, we have Sacagawea and Emmett Till. I wish they’d include more stories about youth. It would help us see history as our story instead of something that happened to old dead guys.
Reading your books, especially We Were There, Too! felt like going through a treasure trove. Here was a young person for all my favorite pieces of history. The sweatshops of the Industrial Revolution. The women’s suffrage movement. The Salem Witch Trials (I’m descended from an accused witch). The pioneer trails (them too). And more little slices of history I’d never given much thought to. I can’t thank you enough for bringing all these stories to light. Please know that your efforts to dig up these people and put them on a page was worthwhile. I recommend them to teenagers and adults alike. Keep writing great stories!”
Phillip Hoose and Pete Seeger, 1996
In the fall of 1954, Pete Seeger began his long-running column “Appleseeds” in Sing Out! Magazine. He dedicated it to “the thousands of boys and girls who today are using their guitars and their songs to plant the seeds of a better tomorrow in the homes across our land.”
He was indeed a planter of seeds, seeds that germinated as individuals and small groups with backbone and heart.
I knew him best through his central role with one of those groups, the Children’s Music Network.
READ MORE of Phillip Hoose’s article, “Singer Seeger’s Legacy Extends Throughout Maine and Across the Generations.”
Look! Hey Little Ant popped up in a Little Free Library the other day.
HEY LITTLE ANT in a Little Free Library
The Little Free Library movement started in Wisconsin and has spread all over the world. It’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.
How many birds have their own Wiki page?
Moonbird Photo by Jan van de Kam