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Inspirational read for all ages10/11/11| Li Miao LovettThere’s something about hero stories that make us feel hopeful and good about ourselves. Harriet Rohmer’s Heroes of the Environment goes beyond that. It’s easy nowadays to pat ourselves on the back for planting a tree or two while the forests are dying. Her collection of real people going to bat for the environment shows them doing extraordinary things – like designing an “eco-machine” that could clean up entire watersheds – and yet they come from ordinary backgrounds. The profiles are written in a language accessible for young people, but she doesn’t shy away from technical terms like APFO (ammonium perfluorooctanoate, used to make Teflon). Ms. Rohmer captures the courage of activists who stand up to corporations – not an easy thing to do – but stresses that it takes a community to make change happen. These heroes are committed and serious, but they also have a sense of humor. One young man started a business in salvaging and reusing construction materials, only to have his mother say, “I sacrificed so you could go to school to learn to pick up trash?” He didn’t give up. And neither did the 11-year-old who kept electronic waste out of the landfill; his program has expanded to Mexico and three African countries. Ms. Rohmer’s heroes inspire us with their pluckiness, and might just give lead a young reader down the path to their own eco-quests.
Engaging Book for Kids10/11/11| America JaneI found this book when I was looking for a book to help my son with an activity he had to do as a Wolf scout. He had to read three stories about people helping our world. What a great resource I found in this book! Not only were all our stories in one place, but they were interesting and accessible to my 8-year-old. We both enjoyed reading the stories, and were especially fascinated by the eco-machine. I appreciated how the stories involve children in some way, often talking about how the person being profiled was impacted by issues as a child and how they came to help solve the problem as an adult. Whether my child chooses to make a career out of helping the environment is up to him, but either way I loved how this book demonstrates that we can make a difference in our world and follow our passions, whatever those may be. Thanks for writing this great book. (I gave a little plug about it on my America Jane Speaks blog while I was at it. This book is a great resource for parents.)