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Nobody Particular: One Woman's Fight to Save the Bays Paperback – September 15, 2005

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Editorial Reviews Review

Think of her as Erin Brockovich on a shrimp boat. This unassuming, working-class mom, a fourth-generation East Texas shrimper--"no education, no money, no clout," she says--turned her life upside down to fight the good fight against chemical plants that were destroying her livelihood and the bays she held dear. This comic-book-style biography of unlikely activist Diane Wilson follows her radical transformation, from the first days of pulling up nothing in her nets to her hunger strike, law suits, and run-ins with the EPA.

The format might lead you to believe this is strictly kids' stuff, but Wilson and author and Caldecott Honor artist Molly Bang manage to pack a lot of information into the book's mostly black-and-white panels (maybe a little too much for some younger folks). But readers of all ages will find inspiration in this political, feminist tale of how one person--"nobody particular," says Wilson--can fight big business and win. (Ages 9 to 12) --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Bang (Common Ground) continues in an environmental vein with this cramped account of commercial shrimper Diane Wilson's fight to protect her native Texas waters from pollution. Taking a chronological approach, she tracks Wilson's growth from ordinary citizen (or "nobody particular") to environmental activist; the tale of how Wilson plays David to corporate Goliaths is an inspiring one. Artistically, Bang attempts a new style, apparently in order to shoehorn in a vast amount of information. On most spreads, she floats densely lettered black-and-white comic-book-style panels over full-color backgrounds that depict, variously, everything from the marine ecosystems of the Gulf waters to bird's-eye views of petrochemical plants. Additional elements include newspaper clippings, photographs and sidebars. With so many items vying for attention, the visual presentation is generally cluttered. Several scenesAfor example, a lovely, limpid close-up of two whooping cranes feedingAstand out in refreshing contrast. There's much to appreciate here, but it may be for motivated readers only. Ages 11-up. (Jan.) .)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 47 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green (September 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931498946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931498944
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,596,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Molly Bang is an award winning children's book illustrator and author. Her
works include 3 Caldecott Honor Books: Ten, Nine, Eight, The Grey Lady and the
Strawberry Snatcher, and When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry, which
also won a Jane Addams Honor Award and the Arbuthnot Award. The Paper Crane
won the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award in 1987; Goose won the School of Library
Journal Best Book of 1996 and another work, Common Ground: The Water, Earth,
and Air We Share, won the prestigious Giverny Book Award in 1998 for the best
children's science picture book. Her latest book, My Light, is an ALA Notable

Her only work for adults is Picture This, which shows how an understanding of
the most basic principles enable a person to build powerful pictures. It is
used by art and graphic departments in colleges around the country.

Bang received her bachelor degree from Wellesley in French, and Masters in
Far Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona and at Harvard. She has also
worked as a reporter; as an educator for public health projects in Bangladesh
and in Mali, West Africa, incorporating information on maternal and child
health into stories; and as a teacher in colleges.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Betz-Zall on November 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Teenagers looking for nonviolent heroes like Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, need only read this book to find one. Diane Wilson, a shrimp fisher in Texas, learns that chemical factories which provide many jobs are also poisoning the water, reducing her livelihood and affecting the community's health. She rapidly becomes a hero to environmentalists and an enemy to the companies and local government, and has to undertake a hunger strike to get the federal government to enforce its own laws. Black and white comic-style illustrations flesh out the story, with a background of full color paintings depicting the natural systems affected. Like a graphic novel or Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the World, the illustrations brim over with facts, which may overwhelm many readers. But those who persist will understand just how much willpower it takes to overcome environmental injustice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. S. VINE VOICE on July 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Diane Wilson:

"This much I know: Within 25 miles of my house are five giant chemical plants--one each for Alcoa, British Petroleum, DuPont, Formosa Plastics, and Union Carbide. By night they look like magic lit-up fairy castles. In daylight they turn into gray and twisted surrealistic pipe dreams. We grew up high on their strange perfumes, knowing workers whose bathwater turned yellow every night until they died early, knowing we weren't supposed to fish the waters where Alcoa dumped tons of mercury...

"Now, I'm nobody particular--just a shrimper and momma--no education, no money, no clout. How can a nobody make these corporations quit dumping their poisons on us. If I stop to think on it, I'll know I'm a fool and go patch a shrimp net, quiet my mind in moving twine and fingers."

Molly Bang's picture book, NOBODY PARTICULAR: ONE WOMAN'S FIGHT TO SAVE THE BAYS is an astounding dual story--a powerful introduction to the complex competing demands upon the world's scarce fresh water supplies coupled with the jaw-dropping true story of Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation Texas shrimper who successfully took on multinational corporations and the EPA in order to protect the Texas bays from significantly increased toxic industrial discharges.

In the background of each two page spread, Molly Bang illustrates and discusses the prehistoric and historical development of, importance of, and mounting pressure upon the world's estuaries and fresh water supplies. As with her other environmentally related picture books, Molly Bang has a knack for portraying the interconnectedness of ecosystems and how they drastically affect and are affected by human beings.
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