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Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,176 ratings  ·  214 reviews
As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something—and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans. . . .

         This true stor
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 21st 2008 by Harcourt
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I read this following Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai and while perhaps "Wangari's Trees" might be appealing to a younger picture book audience than "Planting the Trees" I much prefer the latter.

In this ("Wangari's Trees"), we do still have the same inspiring story and the author's note at the back is excellent. But, I was not as captivated by the storytelling (and the use of present-tense kind of annoyed me, for some reason) and the illustrations were not my cup of te
Lisa Vegan
I am going to be fair to this book and not simply compare it to Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai, a book I read very recently for the Picture-Books Club at the Children's Books group. Both books are about the same extraordinary woman and the Greenbelt movement she started in Kenya over three decades ago. I thought the other book (story & illustrations) was better, but this one is very good too, and it has a few pieces of information that weren’t included in the other boo ...more
This picture book biography introduces readers to Wangari Maathai who was born and raised in Kenya under an umbrella of green trees full of birds and who received a scholarship to study in America. Upon her return to her homeland, she found stumps where once the trees had grown tall.

Fearing her country would become a desert, Wangari enlisted the heklp of village women to help her replant the trees. She even paid the women for keeping the trees alive. Her journey was rough and she was beaten and
Reading_ Tamishly
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
And this is how educated women change the lives of many and actually save the 'world' she grew up in.

While many are there to nip your dreams and vision, you as an educated being can still try your best and make your dreams come true if not for the sake of you and you alone but for the rest of the people whose lives would change just because you make your dreams come alive.

The author's note at the end provides some good background of Wangari Maathai.

This is the second picture book I have read b
Another picture book about Wangari Maathai, published in the same year but several months later. I don't clear have clear memories of the other book separate from the review. But for this one, I don't particularly like the art. The text is okay but not all that great. The subject is still a good one. The one page afterword is pretty good. ...more
I mean, it's fine, I guess, but so basic it really doesn't inspire much deeper discovery or further interest. The text reads like the language of Wise Spiritual Native Man and Magical Negro combined. I will give points for the cover, which is an enlarged version of a picture inside--the tiny seedlings, medium-sized mountains, and giant woman are pretty powerful. ...more
Jeanette Winter, whose picture-book biographies include The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq , and Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan , turns her attention to the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize-winner Wangari Maathai in Wangari's Trees of Peace. Growing up in rural Kenya, Wangari developed a deep love of the natural world, but when she returned to her homeland after her college years in the United States, she discovered a land that had been stripped of its greenery, a ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wangari's Trees of Peace is a story about a girl who grew up around a ton of trees, which she enjoyed seeing. when she was older she move to the U.S, and when returning she notice all of the trees were being cut down to make buildings. Wangari decides to stand up and plant trees to make her homeland better again. this story teaches children to stand up for what you believe in even if other people do not agree. in the story the contrustion workers laughed at the women who planted the tress and th ...more
Apr 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wangari's Trees of Peace offers young kids an introduction to the inspiring life's work of Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan woman who won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for founding and driving the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. Due largely to her determination, vision and courage, thirty years later over 30 million new trees reforest Kenya.

What young children will learn from this appealing picture book is the story of how she led the women of Kenya to re-plant the hillsides of their country one tree at
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I know so little of the important and beautiful people who have helped our world, and continue to help our world. In this case, I had to learn about Wangari Maathai from a children's picture book, but it was quite a lovely one. Highly recommend. ...more
Lauren Rhodes
Literature Requirement Nonfiction #1: biographical (picture book)

Wangari is a little girl growing up in Kenya who adores her culture and the luscious tress that support life in her homeland. She wins a scholarship to receive an education so she leaves her homeland to gain all the knowledge she can. Years later when she returns home she sees hardly tress and whole forests have been cut down and nothing had been replanted it its place. She is so heartbroken to see such destruction of her homeland
Maci Thornton
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
This book is an info-text about the environment but also a biography about Wangari Maathai. As she was growing up, she remembered seeing tees ever, but when she returns to her home, she find that all the trees have been cut down. She decides she needs to do something about it and begins replanting trees by starting in her own backyard. It's an easy read and very straight to the point, but the message is inspiring.
I wish I had read this book sooner because I would have used it in my fifth-grade s
Larissa Langsather
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Mom: Okay, so I honestly didn't know these were practically the same story (Seeds of Change) just told differently when I first reserved these books for the month, I try not to do TOO much review reading before hand so that I don't make judgements and so I can give my reviews without outside influence, but any way it worked out great. It was a great way to teach my girls compare and contrast.
Girls: They love the story of Wangari. (again I read this book almost ever night for a week). This book d
Anne Mukendi
Oct 26, 2017 added it
Shelves: 1, ece-3600
Wangari's Trees of Peace is a non fiction book written by Jeanette Winter. The language of the text is very simple. It is a story about a young girl that lived in a very forested Kenya. She had to move away to America and upon her arrival, all the trees in her town were gone. She began to plant trees again and began a movement for other woman to do the same. The men of the town had her imprisoned but when she got out, kenya had returned to being a beautiful forested land. The colors used in this ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Winter, Jeanette Wangari's Trees of Peace: a true story from Africa. Harcourt, 2008. PICTURE BOOK.

By the time that Wangari returns from her college education in America, most of the trees of Kenya had been cut down to make room for modernization. Now she saw that the women of the villages suffered in poverty, due in part to the loss of those trees. Starting with her own back yard and her own village, Wangri plants one sapling at a time and encourages others to join. After thirty years, thirty m
Jean Hussey-Stone
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful true story of a Kenyan woman who had passion, vision and determination to cause change. Wonderful story to read to children, enlightening them on how it only takes one person to bring about the process of change while enlisting others to help accomplish that goal. Wangari not only brought trees back to her village area, but helped the women by paying them to help her reach her goal. It is full of very colorful and animated illustrations that keep the readers attention.
Tiffany Williams
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a woman who sees change that she does not like and takes a stand to save the women of her town.
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Perfect book for early elementary explaining the life of this Nobel Peace Prize winner and changer of the world.
Michelle (driftingsong)
Love this book! Simply written but with a message that one person can change things for the better, even if it just starts locally.
Sydney Schupp
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm-335
Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story From Africa is a non-fiction book about Wangari Maathai. I think this book could be appropriate across many grade levels, however, I would probably implement this book, along with the lessons I listed below, in my 3rd or 4th grade classroom. This book does a wonderful job of telling the true story of Wangari Maathai and how she took action to stand up for what she believed in. Wangari started the Green Belt Movement Kenya in 1977 when she noticed all of the ...more
Wangari Maathai received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize,, was the first woman from East Africa to earn a PhD, and is a member of parliament in Kenya.

This picture book tells her story, from childhood through studying abroad, coming home, and beginning the Green Belt Movement.

The illustrations are nice, but I would have preferred them to be page-sized, rather than enclosed in boxes significantly smaller than the pages. Or the pages could be smaller.
Gracie Johnson
Jan 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-with-dad
"She wanted to help the land and people. We should too." ...more
Cristina Munster
Sep 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book about the Green Belt Movement of Kenya, initiated by Wangari Maathai in 1977. A movement that solved the lack of firewood, poor soil, erosion and lack of drinking water in the area.
Alyssa Clark
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-stories
1. This book has been awarded with many honors including: the 2008 School Library Journal Best Books, the National Children's Book & Literacy Alliance, and the NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People in 2009.
2. I think this book is appropriate for grades first, second, and up.
3. This book is about Wangari, a woman from Africa, who truly appreciates the trees and nature in her village. Wangari leaves Africa for school, but when she returns all of the beauty she loved, is gone. S
Taylor Endozo
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Summary: Wangari Maathai was a young girl living on Mount Kenya in Africa. There were many beautiful trees all around her as she grew up there. One day she wins a scholarship to study in the United States. After six years, she returns to Mount Kenya where the ground is dried up and the trees are gone. Wangari is so sad, but decides to do something about it. She plants nine seedlings in her own backyard. After a while, she starts a small nursery and gives seedlings out to the other women in her v ...more
There is a picture book biography of environmental activist, feminist, and humanitarian Wangari Maathai who won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. It celebrates her life and work and is sure to be a hit with fans of nevertheless, she persisted stories.

Wangari was one of the first people to recognize the connection between environmental destruction and extreme poverty, and her efforts to fight deforestation in her native Kenya ran afoul with capitalist forces that insisted on their rights to purchase la
Hannah Parks
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Wangari's Trees of Peace," is a childrens book featuring diversity, powerful women, and an inspiring environmentalist message. It is a true story about a woman from Kenya who leaves to study in America for six years and comes back to discover that the beautiful trees she got firewood from had been cut down by the government to make room for corporate buildings. Wangari decides to take a stand, recruiting the women of her village and starting a continental movement of repopulating the forests. W ...more
Marlene Murphy
This biographical text details the story of Wangari Maathai as a young girl who leaves Kenya on scholarship to study in America. While away, her homeland is changing due to the rise in industrialization. Her once beautiful home is now barren as the lush green landscape has been cut down. She is heartbroken and decides to plant 9 seedlings. As the seeds grow so does an idea to plant more and get other women involved. This idea becomes the Green Belt Movement and leads to Wangari becoming a Nobel ...more
Ashley Vogel
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wangari's Trees of Peace tells the true story of a woman named Wangari Maathai. I think this is wonderful book for young girls to read because Wangari is a great example of how women too can change the world. She was the first woman from East Africa to earn a Ph.D. This book is also very informational and introduces children to the topic of deforestation and how it affects our environment. Wangari's Trees of Peace teaches children about how it is important to stand up for what you believe in, ev ...more
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have read two adult books about Wangari Maathai. This is a perfect child's book that depicts Wangari as a young girl in Kenya who cannot understand why the forests in Kenya are being destroyed. As an adult she wonders, "Where are the trees?" "And where are the birds?" "Will all of Kenya become a desert?" "I can begin to replace some of the lost trees here in my own backyard - one tree at a time." Through inquiry, hard work, and dedication, this book takes you through Wangari's life and commitm ...more
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