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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: 10.7 x 9.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,099,727 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, www.kathrynlasky.com for the latest news. All my best, Kathryn

Customer Reviews

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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bob Walch on June 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
This excellent biography is the perfect way to introduce a youngster to John Muir. There is no downside to this book which is why it has won a number of awards. In fact the whole family will enjoy reading this account of Muir's life. If you want greater detail after having finished the book check the "Sources" list at the back.

Book provided by publisher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on May 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
John Muir is such a household name that, as a journalist for 40 years, I had neglected to read much about him. Someone might say to me, “You know John Muir, of course.” And I’d answer, “Certainly.” I thought I knew him.

Then I opened up Candlewick Press’s new biography of Muir for young readers and, I must confess, I really met this inspiring man for the first time. Sure, I knew that he had founded the Sierra Club; that he was responsible for helping to establish our first national parks; and even that he was famous for hiking incredibly long distances with minimal provisions in his shoulder bag. But this fun-to-read overview of his life by Kathryn Lasky really gives us a glimpse of Muir’s life in a fresh and detailed way, including lots of details I had missed.

I wasn’t aware of his childhood in Scotland, which Lasky covers. I had no idea that Muir was involved in early research on receding glaciers. I didn’t know that he was a conscientious objector during the Civil War. I had no idea that he personally guided Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson in treks along his favorite trails.

The truth about the best of children’s books is this: They’re for children—but they’re just as much for the adults who love them. That’s certainly true of this book!
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