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Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  409 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she foun ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Lisa Vegan
Feb 26, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody who cares about sustainability, the earth, people
Recommended to Lisa by: Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This is a gem of a book. The illustrations made me so happy and this non-fiction book is truly inspirational.

I love this book’s illustrations. I have a special fondness for intricate drawings of tiny (on the page) plant life. The trees and crops shown here are so beautiful, as are the people, the dog, the whole classroom that’s shown, and I was enchanted on almost every page. I could be happy viewing over and over those miniature plants and trees. Just lovely!

The true story is just wonderful, an
...more
Kathryn
Mar 10, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
This is the a beautiful and inspiring story of Kenyan Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement. But, first and foremost, Wangari loves trees, nature, and the harmony that sings when humans work in rhythm with their environment--and this love, which began in her childhood, is what inspired her in everything else. I think this story is so powerful not only because it shows us a truly outstanding woman--but it shows how we ...more
Jo Ann
Sep 27, 2011 Jo Ann rated it it was amazing
I read this short children's book 3 years ago when it came out, but it has not been added to my list until today. Wangari Maatha was a personal hero of mine...she died yesterday in Kenya after a long battle with ovarian cancer. I was a freshman when Wangari was a senior at the small Catholic college we attended in Atchison, Kansas. When she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, I was excited and proud! She was beautiful, inside and out, and this little book is a true gem...it is only a very simple ...more
Miriam
Apr 15, 2010 Miriam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, picture
Planting the Trees of Kenya is an account for young readers of the life and work of Wangari Maathai, Founder of the Green Belt Movement. Nivola explains the environmental issues in a simple, non-politicized manner, focusing on the relationship between people and local ecology and the virtues that enabled Maathai and other Kenyan women to restore the forests: hard work, independence, patience, determination. The story also encourages readers to think about ways they can make a difference on a loc ...more
528_Tracy
Oct 26, 2011 528_Tracy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-international
Claire Nivola's Planting the Trees of Kenya tells the story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai and her quest to bring back the trees of Kenya. This beautifully illustrated picture book follows Maathai's story from her childhood in Kenya, to her education in the United States, and the founding of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in 1977. In 2004, Maathai was the first woman from Africa to win a Nobel Peace Prize for her work in teaching Kenyan women to plant trees and reclaim their land. ...more
Q_Barb
Mar 08, 2011 Q_Barb rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll520-info-bios
Beautifully illustrated, with simple text in picture book format that tells how Wangari, the first women from Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize came to found the Green Belt Movement in 1977 in her native Kenya. When she left for college in America, her country was lush with trees, clear streams and small family gardens and livestock. When she returned in 1966, three years after Kenya gained its independence from Britain, the landscape was considerably different. Trees had been cleared for ...more
Susan
Sep 20, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing
This book made me cry but in a good way.

What a beautiful story, made more so because it is one based on the true life of Wangari Maathai. There are so many layers to this book, text and illustrations, I think you could read it repeatedly and get something new from it every time.

The world needs more people like this. The world needs more books like this. What a joy to read this story. What a joy to learn that people are planting trees and caring for the world this way, even when the odds were aga
...more
CH _Kenya  Walker
Mar 21, 2010 CH _Kenya Walker rated it liked it
Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she found the village gardens dry, the people malnourished, and the trees gone. She set about bringing the trees back and restoring t ...more
Amber
Dec 03, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this picture book biography. I liked the illustrations, and the text is informative. Wangari Maathai's story is interesting. I knew basically nothing about Kenya. There are a few minor discussion points, nothing that's dwelt on. It mentions in the extra biographical info at the end that there's a problem with "ever-expanding population dependent on ever-shrinking natural resources," just in passing. It also mentions in the main text that the fig tree was sacred, meaning that it was to ...more
Tricia Pham
This book is the story of a girl who grew up in Kenya with luscious land full of plants and trees, and her return to Kenya and the changes she makes. Her name is Wangari Maathai and she has returned home after living in America to attend college. She comes back to find that the land is dry, her people are malnourished and the land is cleared of most of the trees. She decides that she is going to make a change and begin the Greenbelt Movement by planting trees. She does this so that the health of ...more
Jasmine Lambert
Nov 29, 2015 Jasmine Lambert rated it it was amazing
Author Claire Nivola tells her story about Nobel Peace Prize Winner and founder of the Green Belt Movement that took place in Kenya. Wangari Maathai grew up all of her life in Kenya where the soil was rich, the streams ran fast with fish, and the land covered with green. Trees in the wooded areas, and bushels, vegetables, fruit trees, and plants in the area surrounding the town. Trees like the fig tree were sacred and to never be bothered by the people. Wangari went off to school in America when ...more
Amanda Skarupsky
Planting the Trees of Keyna: The Stoey of Wangari Maathai is a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner. This story details the life of Wangari Maathai who was the first woman from Africa to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Maathai was determined to return the state of Kenya's natural environment to earlier days when the countries people greatly needed the land. After severe deforestation, the country was dry and barren and the people of the villages could no longer get the resources they need ...more
James Daniels
Miss Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Noel Peace Prize. She used her education to help her people in their time of need, in fact the entire country of Kenya. I consider this women part revolutionary and part humanitarian, she recognized the internal problems of Kenya. Wangari did not point fingers or blame anyone. she compared the problem to the solution, which was the people. From the commercial growers, who were cutting down all the trees to the villagers who cut and slavaged the remaining ...more
Mackenzie Cannon
Dec 09, 2014 Mackenzie Cannon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cultural, t-l-307
This story is about a woman in Africa named Wangari Maathai, who grew up in the Kenyan highlands surrounded by luscious trees and rolling hills. Wangari returned home from college in America too see that the beautiful Kenyan lands that she remembered were transformed and cleared of trees. She decides that she wants to make a change in her area, and begins the Greenbelt Movement in hopes to plant more trees and help her village grow. She ends up gaining the help of friends and family to help rest ...more
Patricia Lopez
Dec 08, 2015 Patricia Lopez rated it liked it
The book Planting The Trees Of Kenya: The Story Of Wangari Maathai tells a great story of a women who stopped at nothing to help her people. In this book a girl named Wangari is in love with her communities’ surroundings, she loves the trees the grass and all the farm hills that Kenya has to offer. She has a great deal of respect towards them, soon comes the time in where she leaves to America to study Biology in a college. And when she comes back she sees that although she was gone for 5 years ...more
Angela Hutchinson
This book is about Wangari Maathai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2004. Wangari was raised in Kenya and this is her story about her travels to America to obtain an education. Once she finished her degree, she returned to Kenya and the landscape had drastically changes. The land became dry and the nutrients were gone. Wangari decided that she was going to help restore the landscape. She began planting fig trees then she recruited others to so the same such as, soldiers and school children. At the ...more
Jessica B
Jun 07, 2015 Jessica B rated it really liked it
I listened to this book on my Kindle. Wangari Maathai was the first woman to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. This book is about her and the Green Belt Movement. Wangari grew up in Kenya, where the vegetation was rich, trees were all around, and the land looked beautiful. However, when she returned, she found the people were not caring the land. Wangari took a stand, and led the people to see what they could do to help. An inspiring nonfiction picture book that shows we can make a difference.I wo ...more
Amy Stipp
Oct 14, 2009 Amy Stipp rated it it was amazing
The story of Wangari Maathai is inspiring. Maathai went to America to study in 1960's. When she came back to Kenya, she found her land had changed. She began to teach her community the importance of taking care of their land and how to do that, starting the Green Belt Movement. I personally connect to this and am inspired by her determination to involve her community in taking care of their community, which in turn takes care of their health, as I have been learning about my own need for simplic ...more
Shaeley Santiago
Sep 26, 2011 Shaeley Santiago rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: environmental science teachers
While Wangari Maathai was away at college in the USA, Kenyan farmers were changing their farming methods and cutting down many trees. When Maathai saw how severely the environment, resources, and well being of the people were affected, she began showing women how to plant trees & the Green Belt Movement began. As a result of her work, Maathai was the first African woman to receive a Nobel prize.

Links to The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough and One Hen: How One Sm
...more
Julie Tompkins
Jul 25, 2008 Julie Tompkins rated it it was amazing
This book is a biography written as a picture book about Wangari Maathai’s life and work. Maathai is women who spent her life promoting conservation of natural resources in Kenya, Africa. The book starts out by describing Maathai’s childhood in a farming community in Kenya. It goes on to describe her formal education in the United States and her work when she returned to Kenya. Maathai worked hard to teach her people to conserve their resources, plant trees and crops, and once again become the s ...more
Susan
The story of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya which focuses on environmental issues. This book describes the dramatic change undergone by Kenya in the first decade of independence from British rule and the pending environmental disaster created as farmers abandoned traditional methods of farming, cut down all the trees, and enlarged their holdings in order to grow more cash crops. When Wangari Maathai returned to Kenya from college in the United S ...more
Patricia  Leon
Apr 29, 2012 Patricia Leon rated it it was amazing
~“When we see that we are part of the problem, we can become part of the solution”.—Wangari Maathai

Planting the Trees of Kenya is the remarkable story of Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Wangari grew up on a farm in the hills of Kenya, and as a child remembers it was, “clothed in its dress of green”. The landscape was lush, streams were filled with fish, and people took care of the land. Wangari went on to attend college in America for five years. U
...more
Elizabeth
Nov 01, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc-international
Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A Nivola
Planting The Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A Nivola, is the picture book story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Maathai recounts what life was like in Kenya when she was a young girl. There was respect for the land and traditions. Maathai came to the US to attend college, during which time Kenya gained its independence from Great Britain. During the years she was gone, land th
...more
Marissa Masterson
Apr 17, 2012 Marissa Masterson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eced-221
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola is a Teacher's Choice Award book from 2009. Main character, Wangari leaves her home of Kenya where the fig tree is sacred and everyone grows their own food to America where she goes to a college ran by Benedictine nuns. She finds inspiration there and when returning back to Kenya, she sees that everything has completely changed and their lives have become a struggle. To change it all around, Wangari taught the people o ...more
Irene Perez
Nov 19, 2012 Irene Perez rated it liked it
Planting the Trees of Kenya
Grade:K-2nd grade
Reading level: E
Genre: Information Book
Award: Jane Addams

Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
Setting: U.S. to attend College and her return to Kenya
POV: Second person

This book tells the story of Wangari Maathai who left a verdant Kenya to attend college in the U.S. Upon her return home she found the Kenyan landscape changed. Large scale tea plantations had replaced small subsistence farms. There had been rapid desertification. People were malnourished, und
...more
Viridiana
Nov 19, 2012 Viridiana rated it liked it
Title: "Planting the Trees of Kenya" by Claire A. Nivola
Grade/Interest Level: k-2nd grade
Guided Reading Level: E
Genre: Information Book

Award: Jane Addams

Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
Setting: U.S. to attend College and her return to Kenya
POV: Second person

Summary: This book talks about the story of Wangari Maathai who left a verdant Kenya to attend college in the United States. During her return home she found the Kenyan landscape changed. Large scale tea plantations had replaced small subsist
...more
Natalie Sabbath
Oct 23, 2012 Natalie Sabbath rated it liked it
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai
Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
POV: Third Person

Summary: “Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai,” written by Claire A. Nivola, is the happy tale of the life of Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Nivola begins the Maathai’s story by describing and illustrating the land of Kenya, Africa in the days of Maathai’s childhood, full of all kinds of trees and fresh streams. Maathai then travels to America to earn he
...more
Bianca
Nov 10, 2012 Bianca rated it really liked it
Title: Planting the Trees of Kenya
Grade/interest level: Primary (k-2nd grade)
Reading level: Fountas and Pinnell, E
Genre: Information Book
Award: Jane Addams

Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
Setting: U.S. to attend College and her return to Kenya
POV: Second person

This book tells the story of Wangari Maathai who left a verdant Kenya to attend college in the U.S. Upon her return home she found the Kenyan landscape changed. Large scale tea plantations had replaced small subsistence farms. There had bee
...more
Maria Salinas
Nov 19, 2012 Maria Salinas rated it liked it
Title: Planting the Trees of Kenya
Grade/interest level: (k-2nd grade)
Reading level: F&P E
Genre: Information Book
Award: Jane Addams
Main Characters: Wangari Maathai
Setting: U.S.,Kenya
POV: Second person

The story is about Wangari Maathi the main character of the story that leaves Kenya to attend college in the United States. Wangari remembers Kenya as the place where many trees could be found, fish were found in the streams, and the people always cared for their garden. When Wangari returned ho
...more
Leslie Morrison
Wangari Maathai was born in the highlands of Kenya, an area that was covered with green plants, strong fig trees, and clear running streams. Wangari attends college in Kansas, and she returns to her homeland five years later to see a dramatic change. Streams are murky and low, people have become less healthy, and the trees have been cut down, leaving the land parched and brown. Wangari realizes that it’s within her power and the power of her community members to make a change. Wangari teachers t ...more
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Claire Nivola writes: “I was born in 1947 in New York City. When I was a year old my parents bought an old farmhouse in The Springs on Long Island—the seashore town that appears in Elisabeth (FSG). The “country,” as it still was then; animals; being read to; and reading were among the passions of my childhood. The daughter of an artist father and mother, I drew and sculpted from earliest childhood ...more
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