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John Muir: America's First Environmentalist (Candlewick Biographies)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  78 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Quoting from John Muir's diaries, Kathryn Lasky tells the inspiring tale of one of America's most dedicated environmentalists, aided by Stan Fellows's evocative, dramatic acrylic paintings.

From the meadows of Scotland to the farms of Wisconsin, from the swamps of Florida to the Alaskan tundra, John Muir loved the land. Born in 1838, he was a writer, a scholar, an inventor,
Hardcover, 42 pages
Published March 14th 2006 by Candlewick
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(showing 1-30 of 173)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This book left me wanting to read more about Muir and his wanderings. I can't imagine having the freedom to just walk in the wilderness, exploring for days, maybe seeing no one else for days. He even went to Alaska! Thank goodness he did, or we might not have some of the wilderness preserves that we have today. My favorite picture in this book is of the "hanging nest" he built himself--a little house suspended over a millstream, approachable by stepping on rocks. What a nifty place to read! High ...more
Vera Godley
May 18, 2014 Vera Godley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great biography for the target age group! They will thoroughly enjoy reading about John Muir. Biographies I read as a child were so boring and uninteresting, but Kathryn Lasky has presented John Muir’s life from his early years in Scotland to moving to America and then to his later years with such relaxed, almost lyrical prose that one can’t help but be interested.

John Muir’s early years found him interested in many things: Nature, science, math, inventions. His mind was intrigued by h
May 18, 2015 Vivian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
An admirable attempt to capture highlights of the life of a pioneer conservationist in a mere 40 lavishly illustrated pages.

Had I been the editor I would have included in the text on the first page an explanation of why a boy is wearing what looks to today's child like a nightgown. The text does call it a nightshirt, but I think an aside would have helped, being as the first page must capture the interest of the younger reader. I would also have translated the Scottish phrase "I canna get doon",
Jun 24, 2014 Pam rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating biography of John Muir, an environmentalist from the 1800's who was the founder of the Sierra Club. In our age of cell phones, video games, movies, etc. children will wonder how John Muir set off on his travels with so little (a piece of bread in his pocket on a trip to explore a glacier!). Yet he needed very little because he loved the beauty of the wilderness and felt it "should never be touched or changed or disturbed in any way". From Scotland to Alaska we follow John a ...more
Carol Kennedy
Mar 19, 2015 Carol Kennedy rated it really liked it
Shelves: tristate-reviews
This biography of John Muir is an excellent introduction, with gorgeous illustrations by Stan Fellows. It takes the reader through the life of this great man from the time he was a little boy to the founding of the Sierra Club in his fifties. One really gets a sense of the person and his love of nature. The chapters are well organized and follow his life chronologically, and there is a good list of resources, an afterword about the Sierra Club with information on how to join it, and a good index ...more
For its intended age group, this biography of environmentalist John Muir describes his early years and his love for the great outdoors. Once he realizes that the natural resources he loves may not last forever without some protection, he channels much of his energy into their preservation. Thanks in part to his influence, the nation established several national parks. The text is lively and relies a great deal on Muir's writings to provide a sense of this determined and dedicated man while the a ...more
Sammi Rideout
Mar 13, 2012 Sammi Rideout rated it liked it
This book is about a guy named John Muir who was America's first Enviromentalist. He started when he was a very young boy, proxamitally at the age of 8. The main characters was John Muir, his father(he didnt have a name in the book.), Johns dog Stickteen. John was 8 years old when he statred discovering and traveling around the world. John had ran into many difficult things, his dad would always treat him very mean. So John ran away. John had many adventures in this book. He traveled in many dif ...more
Laura Wouden
John Muir, America's First Environmentalist was written by Kathryn Lasky. This book is about daring, wild, young John Muir. He was born in Scotland in 1838. John had a younger brother named David. His dad owned a store so he could not always keep an eye on those daring boys. John loved to find adventure in the outdoors. In the meadows he loved to look at the birds. John Muir was a really smart young boy even though he did not go to public school, he would studied about the same things he would ...more
John Muir: America's First Environmentalist by Kathryn Lasky. This book is about a man named John Muir who took an interest in the environment at a young age. Muir’s first curiosity sparked in with songbirds. In 1849 the Muir family moved to America where John’s father pursued farming in doing so pulled John and his brother out of school to help keep up with the farm. John began to teach his self-coming up with devices that measured temperature, atmospheric pressure, and a star clock. Discoverin ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Shelli rated it really liked it
Interesting and informative book covering the life of John Muir. The illustrations were lovely and I enjoyed learning about his early life (something that I had not found covered in other picture books.) I think this book would be better received by its target audience in a small chapter book format. Most older kids may dismiss this as a baby book, and younger kids would not sit through such a lengthy read.
Hallie Adkins
This book tells the story of John Muir in a simple, yet engaging way. The illustrations that are on each page provide the reader with a visual experience that would not have been obtained without these beautiful paintings. This is a great book for younger readers who want to find out some life history information about John Muir.
Apr 17, 2015 Julia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This Biography covers all of John Muirs life. Because this book has so much reading it would probably be best for upper Elementary school students. With great illustrations this book starts off with Muirs life in Scotland in 1838 all the way to his work in Yosemite in 1890. Overall a very enjoyable read!
Chris Young
Jun 17, 2014 Chris Young rated it it was amazing
There was a lot I didn't know about John Muir before reading this book. His father didn't want learning to distract John distracted from farm work, so he was told he had to wake up early in the morning if he wanted to study. So John woke up at 1:00 am every day to teach himself math and science. He was an inventor, creating saw mills, clocks, and a bed that tilts up to wake you in the morning (maybe to help him make his 1:00 am study appointments). He was a draft-dodger, heading up to Canada to ...more
Karen Mcintyre
Lasky, always insightful, uses primary documents in the way of diaries to help create this portrait of one of America's great naturalists. Stories of his early childhood in Scotland and later his experiences in the wilderness of America shaped his commitment to preserving wild places.
Brenda Thompson
What a wonderful story about John Muir. The chapters are divided by time periods. Very interesting details about his life. The illustrations are beautiful and perfect for the book. Great read. Students who like nature would love this book.
Arlo Powell
May 02, 2015 Arlo Powell rated it it was amazing
This book is great for critical literacy and inspiring discussions about environmentalism and being a good steward of our planet. I would read it to intermediate elementary students and keep it in my classroom library.
Apr 03, 2014 Emily rated it liked it
This biography of John Muir is told in chronological order and would be a great model for sequencing in writing.
Jun 14, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
Nice overview of Muir.

Enjoyed the illustrations by Stan Fellows.

Kate Detjen
Apr 16, 2012 Kate Detjen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: text-set
This book follows the story of the young man John Muir. He was born in Scotland and later moved to America because his father wanted to become a farmer. This story follows his adventures from the swamps of Florida to Alaska. John Muir loved the outdoors, and was always fascinated by nature and land. He became a famous writer, inventor, farmer but most importantly he became America’s first environmentalist! He is the reason America has any national parks. His commitment to the wasteland and natur ...more
Alison Durbin
Although this book is meant to be a brief biography of John Muir, its value showed more so in its wonderful imagery (in my honest opinion). For this reason, I think this book would pose as a great example in teaching young children vivid imagery in their writing. I had never heard of John Muir prior to reading this book, but I truly enjoyed learning more about him and his contributions in regards to his inventions and his scientific theories.
Jul 25, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing
This was really a well-researched text. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I learned an awful lot about the man behind our greatest national parks and the Sierra Club. This was a bit longer than the other picture book biographies that I've read, so it might suit older elementary and middle school grades better than a younger audience, but it's well worth the read if your given the chance.
Dec 10, 2013 Hank rated it really liked it
This is an excellent choice if you are looking for a picture book that highlights the fascinating life of John Muir. Lasky writes beautifully of Muir's adventures across America. The illustrations are great. The book seemed to inspire interest in Yosemite National Park, glaciers, and wilderness generally when I read it to my daughter.
May 10, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
Very comprehensive book with nice illustrations and great source notes. It may seem a little long for younger children and would be best read in several sittings. Probably best for older elementary/middle school students.
Jul 16, 2012 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Great story about a young man in a time that travel and life were simple. I've used this book to guide students through environmental issues and connections to social studies, reading strategies and some math.
Jun 12, 2012 Maria rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
Very interesting book about John Muir and how he ended up in California and Yosemite. Awesome pictures and sequential in nature.
Brenda Kahn
Jan 18, 2012 Brenda Kahn rated it really liked it
Gorgeously illustrated and written in a casual conversational tone.
Jan 24, 2014 Mckinley rated it really liked it
Well done biography pointing out life and achievements.
Derek G
Derek G marked it as to-read
May 24, 2016
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May 24, 2016
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Jun 11, 2016
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
More about Kathryn Lasky...

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