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Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World
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Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  217 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of "Silent Spring," here is a biography of the pioneering environmentalist. "Once you are aware of the wonder and beauty of earth, you will want to learn about it," wrote Rachel Carson, the pioneering environmentalist. She wrote" Silent Spring," the book that woke people up to the harmful impact humans were havi ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Holiday House
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Here is a young person growing up in ordinary circumstances, with a passion that Rachel herself nurtured, a passion for the out of doors. This story about Rachel Carson shows a rather comprehensive story of her life, from the early childhood days in her poverty-stricken family (that didn't change) to her persistence in learning more and more about the world of science. It tells of her education when few women were entering the world of biology, and her turning to writing to share what she was ob ...more
Jun 30, 2015 Greg rated it it was amazing
Laurie Lawlor's book offers a wonderful biography of the biologist and author of "Silent Spring", the book that changed the world. We learn of Carson's childhood, exploring woods, orchards and fields; the hard times that befell her family during the Great Depression, and her struggles and sacrifices as she pursued an educational course that few women had undertaken. Eventually she earned her Master's Degree from Johns Hopkins, only to wind up as a part-time teacher and article writer. A full-tim ...more
Gail Gauthier
Jun 13, 2014 Gail Gauthier rated it it was amazing
"The first thing that struck me about this book is that very early on we hear that Rachel as a child explored the outdoors by herself and had a mother who had an interest in nature. This child got her start without any formal environmental instruction, such as we would want for children these days, and, yet, she turned into Rachel Carson.

Another thing I liked about this book, and, yes, this is just me, is that it describes a woman's story. Carson as a young woman had needy family to deal with. A
Hannah Fjeld
Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this book: nonfiction, picture book, biography
Estimate of age level of interest: grades 2-6
Estimate of reading level: grade 3-4, guided reading Q

Brief description: An introduction to the life and work of Rachel Carson, with a focus on the writing and publication of Silent Spring.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your book: According to Huck, “good biographies serve to put the facts into a fr
Mar 16, 2015 Victoria rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! As a big fan of Rachel Carson and her work, I was a little skeptical about how this children's informational book would handle her life story, but Lawlor does a fantastic job depicting not only her life but her passions as well. If I had my students read any of her work, I might also have them quickly skim through this just to get some background information on who she was as a person. The epilogue at the end is a plus because it lets readers know what happened afte ...more
Jan 31, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it
A wonderful and important picture book biography of an overlooked female scientist, writer, environmentalist and heroine. Recommended for everyone.
Ashleigh De nicola
Dec 06, 2014 Ashleigh De nicola marked it as to-read
Rachel found adventure in almost everything. She loved nature and often times involved herself in risky situations to do what she wanted. What she wanted in this particular book was to write and publish he book. Carson really loved nature and just the beauty of the earth. Her book impacted others lives by showing them how harmful the planet actually is. After reading this, I started to pay more attention to nature and our environment. This is also a great biography to share with children who com ...more
May 27, 2014 Yundehap rated it really liked it
I like this lovely book very much.
I didn't know Rachel Carson until I read this book. I love this biographical book very much. The information is simple but complete. The illustrations are wonderful.

This book encourages us to start pay attention about nature and our environment. As she scribbled in her journal: "Once you are aware of the wonder and beauty of the earth, you will want to learn about it."

I would recommend my nephews and nieces to read this book to expand their knowledge.

Jun 29, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
This is a biographical picture book about the environmentalist Rachel Carson. The book covers her childhood, which she spent outside in her family’s woods, orchards and fields. Her mother loved nature and passed her passion on to her daughter. Though times were tough and her father struggled to make enough money to support the family, Rachel was able to attend Pennsylvania College for Women in Pittsburgh. It was during this time that she started to be concerned about the environment. Rachel deci ...more
Apr 13, 2015 Vanessa rated it liked it
Rachel Carson loved nature from childhood. Growing up during the Great Depression, she spent most of her time wandering the woods and fields surrounding her house. Her parents worked hard so she could get an education and eventually become one of the world's leading biologists. She fought a battle against chemical companies using insecticides which were proven harmful to humans and wildlife.
Recommended for ages 8+
Bethany Bennett
Feb 10, 2014 Bethany Bennett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feb-books
I hate biology but this book actually got me to be interested. This is a great story of how even though you get rejected once or twice or things like that, it doesn't mean you should give up. You just have to keep trying to get your views heard and get your thoughts put out there. This book is really quite inspirational and I really thinks kids will love it. Maybe girls more than boys
Jun 01, 2015 Kari rated it really liked it
After reqding about Silent Spring and Carson in Amelia to Zora, the girls wanted more information. This book is a beautiful free verse offering for just such a purpose. The book is a good overview on Carson's life and studies ending with Silent Spring's publication and Carson's passing. A wonderful epilogue provides information on changes coming after Silent Spring as well. A great book for Mighty Girls, nature champions, and budding writers/scientists. Who knows maybe someday I will actually mo ...more
Gail Shipley
Mar 14, 2015 Gail Shipley rated it really liked it
Shows how one person can make a difference. Good for a classroom discussion. Shows a woman being a scientist and author. Rachel was one of the first environmentalists and definitely one of the first women to be one. This short picture book is well written and is simple to understand. Rachel discusses DDT and other harmful chemicals.
I love this book. I wish I had written, and illustrated it. It made me go read Silent Spring, but that was quite a bit less interesting to me, and I didn't make it all the way through. (a lot of it sounded like "old news," although it's shocking that we still haven't "gotten" the message!!!!)

A lovely story.
Grades 2-5

This picture book biography provides an accessible and comprehensive look at the life of Rachel Carson and her work as a biologist and environmentalist. While the main story ends with her death at age 56 soon after the publication of "Silent Spring," an epilogue goes into detail about the battle that took place after the book's publication, and the slow recognition by America and other countries that what we do to the world around us has a profound impact on animal and plant life. Whi
Aug 02, 2014 Naomi rated it really liked it
An introduction to the life of Rachel Carson which gives the background of a strong female scientist when they weren't welcome. Loved the lessons on overcoming adversity, pursuing one's passion and never giving up. Don't miss the bio at the end.
A beautifully illustrated book but it reads old to me, but might not be appreciated by children unless they were reading with a parent or a teacher. I believe it is an important story so parents and teachers should introduce it!
May 27, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it
Very well written biography of a historical scientific figure that doesn't always make the history books. The author respectfully treats Carson's story, and talks of environmental threats in terms understandable to children.
Oct 31, 2013 KimBear rated it really liked it
"Once you are aware of the wonder and beauty of the earth, you will want to learn about it," wrote Rachel Carson, the pioneering environmentalist. Rachel found many adventurous ways to study nature. She went diving to investigate coral reefs and tracked alligators on a rumbling "glades buggy" through the Florida Everglades. However, one of the bravest things she did was to write and publish Silent Spring, a book pointing out the dangerous effects of chemicals on the living world. Powerful men tr ...more
Sarah Herrington
Apr 29, 2014 Sarah Herrington rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
It's got a ton of good information, but I found it a little tedious and the writing not as compelling as I wished it had been. It's such a great story, though!
Luke Hanes
Feb 01, 2016 Luke Hanes rated it it was amazing
Great for kids at about 4th grade on up, and also great for adults who want a snap shot of Carson's life. Very well done.
Well this just made me bawl.
"I could never again listen happily to a thrush song if I had not done all I could."
Nov 17, 2014 Susie rated it it was amazing
A woman scientist who wrote The Silent Spring and brought attention to pollutions that are damaging our world.
Judy Ekblad
Apr 04, 2016 Judy Ekblad rated it really liked it
Looking forward to seeing Leslie Goddard portray Rachel Carson at the Elmhurst History Museum on Thursday, April 7, 2016.
Jul 15, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it
A wonderful picture book biography about Rachel Carson.
Sep 25, 2013 Christina rated it liked it
Nice look at the life and work of Rachel Carson, the pioneering environmentalist and author of Silent Spring. She became a biologist at a time when very few women did so. The book chronicles her hard work to become published, and to raise awareness of chemical pollution and environmental issues. Excellent list of source notes in the back, an epilogue telling what happened after Carson's death and the publication of this groundbreaking book. I felt the illustrations of this picture book are so-so ...more
Ana Cob
Mar 23, 2015 Ana Cob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Great conversation starter...
Dec 09, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
In this picture book biography of the life of Sylvia Earle, the author carefully tells a story of a young girl who was enamored with the diversity of life around her. From her early days in New Jersey to her later life in Florida, where she fell in love with the sea, Sylvia Earle was interested in the life she found and studied. This story tells the story of how Ms. Earle became a very important oceanographer with groundbreaking research and personal experiences with the sea and its inhabitants.
Elaine Bearden
Feb 27, 2012 Elaine Bearden rated it really liked it
picture book format. This is a really powerful story. The telling at the beginning seems to jump around a bit. Then it is more chronological. I'm not sure the text is anything special, but it is not lifeless either. Kids may be interested in this story of a woman who started writing stories as a child and loved to lift rocks and look underneath. The illustrations help to tell the story as well. The story kind of feels like Miss Rumphius. Would be neat to share with a class.
Jul 24, 2012 Peacegal rated it really liked it
Shelves: humane-education
Budding naturalists will be enchanted by this book. Carson's story is an inspiring one about sticking up for what one believes in and persevering despite enormous odds.

The section at the book's conclusion, which details the chemical lobby's fight to censor and belittle what Carson had to say in her famed book Silent Spring, is both gripping and familiar-sounding in this new millenium.

This book would be a wonderful choice for a humane education or ecology unit.
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Laurie Lawlor grew up in a family enamored with the theater. Along with her five brothers and sisters she spent summers in a summer stock repertory company in a small mountain town in Colorado that was run by their mother (costumer, cook, accountant, and resident psychiatrist) and their father (artistic director).
More about Laurie Lawlor...

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