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John Muir: America's First Environmentalist Hardcover – March 14, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 1050L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (March 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763619574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763619572
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 10.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,907,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-4-Lasky's picture-book sketch of the naturalist's life focuses on Muir's special love of California's snowy Sierras and Yosemite Valley and his successes in founding Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Club. The author recounts aspects of Muir's boyhood years in Scotland and teens in Wisconsin to introduce his personality and interests, and the brief account of his accomplishments closes with the often-told story of his Alaskan adventure with his dog Stickeen in 1870 and a page on the 1890 legislation to establish Yosemite as a park. The epilogue summarizes his achievements and later years without indicating how long he actually lived. Fellows's acrylic paintings, sometimes full page and often wrapping around the text, provide pleasant impressions of the man and the impressive landscape. This is a useful introduction to Muir, the founding of the national parks, and the broader idea of environmentalism. A final page describes the work of the Sierra Club.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-7. Wilderness adventure is an essential part of this big, handsome picture-book biography of a pioneer environmentalist who was entranced by storms as much as by the small things in the wild places he cherished. Lasky's clear prose quotes liberally from diary entries Muir recorded as he walked from Wisconsin to the Gulf Coast of Florida in 1867, tracked glaciers in Alaska in 1870, and later served as guide to the famous, including President Theodore Roosevelt, who founded Yosemite National Park. True to Muir's vision, Fellows' spacious double-page watercolors show the beauty of the wide landscapes in storm and sunshine as well as the tiny details in a single meadow. Back matter includes a bibliography of Muir's quotes and a note about the work of the Sierra Club, which Muir founded in 1892. A good starting place for science and biography projects, this book will also appeal to young activists with its message about people needing "beauty as well as bread." Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Hi Readers! Thanks for coming by my author page. I've written all sorts of books - from fantasy about animals to books about science. One of my favorite animal fantasy series, Guardians of Ga'Hoole, is a major motion picture. I liked writing about Ga'Hoole so much that I decided to revisit that world in a different series, Wolves of the Beyond. I've recently added a new Guardians book: The Rise of A Legend, the story of Ezylryb, the great sage of the Ga'Hoole Tree. Another new book just came out, the first in the Horses of the Dawn series. I think of it as an equine retelling of the Spanish conquest of the New World. Visit my website, for the latest news. All my best, Kathryn

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's a pleasure to see Kathryn Lasky's biography, John Muir: America's First Environmentalist appear for a younger audience than biographies of Muir usually writes for: Stan Fellows provides gorgeous watercolors to accompany a book which uses John Muir's own diaries as a foundation for an exploration of his life and thoughts. Students in grades 3-5 are provided with a review of his childhood dreams and early love of nature, and will find the picturebook format most accessible.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on November 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"I heard the storm and made haste to join it, for many of nature's finest lessons are to be found in her storms." -- John Muir, quoted in John Muir: America's First Environmentalist, which is an excellent picture book for older readers.

I love how a picture book like this can provide enough inspiration to potentially change a readers perspective of the world in 32 pages of text and paintings. In portraying the life story of this great American hero, Lasky and Fellows offer a wealth of fact, memorable journal quotations, a blast of frigid Arctic blizzard conditions, and a taste of romanticism. Anyone who has experienced the majesty of Yosemite or the other national parks that were established in the wake of his advocacy for wild, public spaces, should recognize that Muir has played a role in helping create what America is today to a degree no less important than was played by its better known founding fathers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A basic introduction to the life of John Muir, written for children in early elementary school. The illustrations are beautiful and add to the story line. We bought the book because two of our grandsons, ages 8 & 11, will be visiting Muir Woods in California in March. So, we wanted them to learn a little about John Muir. However, after reading John Muir's own writtings, I wish this book had been more faithful to his words. I thought the stories of his younger life were exaggerated and not true to Muir's own words. However, a different book where the author used Muir's own words was too long for the boys at this age and the pictures were only in black and white. So, that is why I chose this book.
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