Reviews for Heroes of the Environment : True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect the Planet


Booklist Reviews 2009 November #2
Rather than featuring the usual roundup of environmental heroes, this title spotlights 12 contemporary conservationists who are working to fight pollution in cities, oceans, and wetlands, from Alaska to Mexico City. Many of the featured activists are young people. At age 11, Alex Lin started a campaign in Rhode Island for the safe disposal of electronic waste ("Today's technology should not become tomorrow's toxic trash"). Erica Fernandez, a teenage Mexican immigrant in California, led a successful fight to prevent a pipeline that would transport highly explosive gas through her neighborhood. Julia Bonds, a coal-miner's daughter in Appalachia, is working to replace coal with wind power. The book's format is lackluster, but the black-and-white photos do show the individuals at work in their communities. The powerful mix of personal stories with crucial environmental and social issues will be a call to action for young readers, who will want to move on to the final section: "How You Can Get Involved." Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2009 October #1
Introducing a dozen North American eco-activists, most of them teenagers or younger adults, Rohmer conveys one inspirational success story after another. With the notable exception of El Hijo Del Santo, a Mexican masked wrestler who stages public events to draw attention to a range of environmental issues, the "heroes" here at least began their work on a local, grassroots level. Alex Lin coordinates an initiative to refurbish discarded computers and other e-waste; Debby Tewa promotes and installs solar-power systems on Arizona's Hopi Reservation; as a teenager Erica Fernandez stood up to protest the planned construction of a huge natural-gas pipeline through her California town. The author largely steers clear of technical details--which makes John Todd's invention of biological-waste filters and Kelydra Welcker's development of a method of testing water for the pollutant C-8 appear easier than seems likely--but provides plenty of encouragement for concerned young readers. Two-toned art and small, murky black-and-white photos add further notes of earnest purpose. (Nonfiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 January

Gr 5-9--The mantra of the environmental movement is "think globally, act locally," and this book offers examples of local heroes who are helping to save the planet. Maps, illustrations, and photographs are used to good effect. Each of the 12 chapters tells the story of a person doing his/her part to preserve our environment. Debby Tewa works to bring solar energy to Indian Country, and Sarah James speaks on behalf of the Gwich'in Indian Peoples of Alaska and Canada who want to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling. Judy Bonds, a community activist in West Virginia, works to bring an end to mountaintop removal mining; and Omar Freilla founded ReBuilders Source, a New York City-based company that recycles building materials. Stories come from all across America and include a diverse group of men and women, making this volume of interest to a broad audience. A final section offers information on how readers can get involved in their own communities.--Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL

[Page 125]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2009 December
Students might ask what they can do about environmental problems, or they could assume that there is nothing that one teenager can do about overwhelming problems. This inspiring little gem is packed with stories about people who are concerned about the environment and have followed through with action that will thrill readers young and old. The stories of the carefully selected heroes range from a female solar electrician for the Hopi Indian Reservation to an engineer and designer who invented an eco-system to clean toilet water at a school. A young entrepreneur developed a business to grow food in inner-city Milwaukee, while another recycled building materials in the South Bronx. An Appalachian grandmother challenged harmful practices in mountaintop removal. One teenager's research resulted in a patent for a system to treat household drinking water, and another spent years working to protect California's coastline. A wrestler from Mexico activated students to prevent pollution of the lagoon in Tijuana. A middle school teacher from Louisiana inspired his students to protect the wetlands near New Orleans. This book provides stories of dedicated activists rather than a political or scientific discussion of environmental problems. It is marketed for readers age seven through fourteen, but it should be available to high school students and teachers for science, social studies, or pleasure reading. One can only hope that students will feel empowered by these success stories.--Marilyn Brien Illus. Photos. Maps. 4Q 3P M J S Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.

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