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Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest

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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  52 reviews
From the world of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls comes a historical novel based on the life of Dr. Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist and environmentalist from Kenya.

Wangari lives in the lush, green, land of rural Kenya where the soil is perfect for planting, the trees tower into the sky, and the streams are full of mysterious creatures. All day,
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ebook, 128 pages
Published March 10th 2020 by Rebel Girls
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Just into 2 pages into the book, I was like 'Well, this is a 5 star book!' and hell yes, I was right!
I seriously did not want to finish up reading this book because it's so damn beautiful and amazing and too short and really uplifting! And I will make sure to reread this one and have the physical copy with me in the future. I need to tell this story to every child and this is the book that is needed to be at every bookstore, every library and in every classroom.

This book is so damn important.
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Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
This is the inspiring story of Nobel Peace Prize winning Dr. Wangari Maathai, the activist/environmentalist and first Kenyan woman to receive her PhD.
The biography details Maathai's childhood in the fertile land of rural Kenya, her time in America pursuing a higher education, and her eventual return to Africa where she noticed the overworked soil and deforestation destroying the land and its ability to feed the people.
Maathai started the Green Belt Movement in an effort to develop and educate
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Jaine
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Like the hummingbird trying to put out a fire, it has been the small acts of individual Kenyans that saved the park. Wangari's letters inspired other to write to the newspapers about what was important to them. It was just like planting trees. When each person planted a single tree together, they created a forest. When each person raised their voice, together, they created a movement."

I am so blown away. I can't even call this a children story (middle grade) because it just made a huge impact
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Mary
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Activism? Check. Environmentalism? Check. Feminism? Check. The incredible power of using your one-hummingbird voice for good? Check check check check. I LOVED this book it is a perfect story for young readers, both engaging and inspiring, and I instantly pre-ordered a copy for my voracious-reader 6 y/o nephew. I love what the Rebel Girls series is doing for young readers, and I will absolutely be stocking up on these for when my baby daughter is at the chapter book stage. This wonderful novel ...more
M - The long hot spell
I requested this middle grade children's book through Net Galley because Im already a fan of the great things that Wangari Maathai did for her country, Kenya, and further afield. Her story is such a wonderful success story because she pushed on against greed, danger, sexism, and helped so many people - and animals. What did she do? She showed people how to green the land when the environment was failing.

Maathai began the Green Belt Movement in the late seventies and one of her drivers was that
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Morgan Tallman
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galley
I had never heard of Dr. Wangari Maathai before, and this was a short, inspirational read. I loved learning more about this strong woman's life, how she grew up in Africa, and how she fought for her belief's and countries strength. The story of the hummingbird specifically is going to stick with me for a long time. This was a great read, and I only wish there was more of it.
Mary Brickmeier
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley to read and review.

Okay, yall, I'm crying. This book was phenomenal! Before I really get into the review I want yall to read this quote that I fell in love with. It says, "What good was it to be big like the elephant of powerful like the leopard if you weren't going to help when it mattered?"
This is considered a children's book, but I hope that everyone, no matter their age will read it. It tells the most wonderful story of Dr. Wangari Maathai who
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Manya
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
_The e-arc of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review._

"The world is changing, why not change with it?"

This book was absolutely beautiful. I loved it.

Dr. Wangari Maathai (1940 - 2011) was an environmentalist from Kenya. She was the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize. She was an inquisitive young girl. Her relationship with her family was a delight to read about. I would recommend this book to everyone, especially young girls. The book is
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Vanessa
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We need people in government who want to lead. Not just rule.

Thanks to Rebel Girls for the ARC!

This book is written for children, but I recommend it to everyone. I'm a huge fan of the Rebel Girls books, because they always bring inspiring stories of strong women, from all parts of the world.

This one tells us about Dr. Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist and environmentalist from Kenya. Her life wasn't easy, but she fought against all the odds to save nature, plant more
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Charlotte Jones
This was an amazing introduction to a woman that I had never heard about before! Coming from Kenya, it was not only unheard of for girls to finish high school but Wangari also went to university and a doctorate. Starting the Green Belt Movement and fighting for the environment, she is a figure worth celebrating.
bet mercer
I'm glad to know more about Dr. Maathai through such a well-told story. It's simple and succinct, yet maintains an honesty and depth that is engaging and inspiring. The illustrations are a vibrant addition that bring Maathai's culture and enthusiasm to life. I look forward to reading more in the Rebel Girls series.
Liliana Silva
It is a book that tells the story of a woman who made history in her country, Kenya, at a time so difficult for women. It was a good read, I recommend!
Keondra Freemyn
A beautiful snippet of the expansive life and career of Dr. Maathai. Written in easy to understand language, the story of Wangari Maathai is brought to life through stunning images that capture her work as an environmentalist and political activist. Dr. Maathai is a personal hero of mine and I was pleased to see that the authors did not shy away from describing the pushback she received along every step of her journey. This book is perfect for young readers and budding environmentalists and ...more
ea
Before this, I had never heard of Dr Wangari Maathai (shame on me, i know) so reading this felt a little bit like being a little kid again, hanging out in the library during the breaks and reading all the fun books I could get my grubby little fingers on. And what a read this was.

It is exactly the type of book that'll give kids (and me, apparently) a confidence-boost; seeing how this absolutely amazing woman went from not even being offered schooling initially to graduating university and
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kb
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Before this book, I knew very little of Kenya and didnt even know who Dr. Wangari Maathai was. So reading it felt like I was eight again, and in the most wonderful ways. The illustration of a woman planting a seedling on its cover transported me back to my school days when we were taken out to tree-planting activities, and it made me nostalgic yet excited to jump into the story.

Dr. Wangari is an environmentalist, activist, and feminist all in one pot. What she and the Green Belt Movement had
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Terri
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate to win two books from the "Rebel Girls" series, published by Timbuktu Labs, Inc. "The Rebel Girls is an award-winning cultural media engine founded in 2012, spanning over seventy countries. Through a combination of thought-provoking stories, creative expression, and business innovation, Rebel Girls is on a mission to balance power and create a more inclusive world." The series is recommended for readers in grades 2 - 5. I can't wait to share them with my third grade advanced ...more
Annie
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest is a is a biography of Nobel Prize winning environmentalist/activist Dr. Wangari Maathai aimed at middle grade readers. Due out 25 Feb 2020 from Rebel Girls, it's 128 pages and will be available in hardcover and audio formats.

This is a biography which is factually based but also has allowed some (unspecified) changes for narrative flow. I liked learning about her early life and struggles to pursue an education
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Cassie
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
As a girl with family from Kansas and who went to KU I am overjoyed that Rebel Girls did a book on Dr, Wangari Maathai. I am a little disappointed to learn she did not go to the University of Kansas like I was taught in my environmental literature class.
Now that being said I do not understand why her story in this book was a work of fiction and not a biography. As I was reading I thought something felt off with the writing and story progression. Looking back and seeing it was a work of fiction
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Chari Regina
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"What good was it to be big like the elephant of powerful like the leopard if you weren't going to help when it mattered?"

This book about Dr. Wangari Maathai introduced me to the story of a woman who is a hero. I read this book hoping to learn about an interesting woman, what I read was a book that would inspire ANYONE to make a difference in their world. Dr Maathai overcame obstacles, proved the naysayers wrong and has a legacy that has outlived her and will continue to make a difference. This
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Isabelle
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest // by Rebel Girls

"The world is changing, Wangari. Why not change with it?"

Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest is another exciting book coming from Rebel Girls. Following the style of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls books, this one again shows how one woman who has all the odds stacked against her can make a big difference for herself, her town, and even her country by doing small things one step at a time.

I've always been a fan of Rebel Girls books and have
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Danica
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read many Rebel Girls books now, and each one gets better than the last. Thank you to Rebel Girls and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. And honestly - each of these books is powerful, inspiring, and heck, probably not someone you've heard of before and should have!

Dr. Wangari Maathai was an environmentalist who fought for the power of trees and the importance of replanting trees to help save the Earth and the communities living on it. This story travels from Dr.
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Mary
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not know what I was getting when I asked for this book from Net Galley. It turned out to be informational, educational, and interesting.

Dr. Maathai was a young girl when the book started, She wanted to go to school like her older brother, but girls did not go to school in Africa unless your family was rich. Young girls were expected to stay at home with their mothers and younger siblings to keep the home fires burning.

But Wangari was lucky, her Uncle and Grandfather stepped up to get the
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Anitalia Payne
Thank you NetGalley and RebelGirls for the ARC provided.

I loved this book! Brilliant and inspiring story that anybody can read, children and adults. To be honest I dont know any woman named Dr. Wangari Maathai until I read this book. She is such an dedicated, smart, intelligent woman that really wants to take care of her place and country (Kenya) and not being afraid by how hard she was struggling just to want to save the Earth and her country.

Reading this makes me remember how I have to take
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Jessica
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Biographies have been becoming more and more popular with middle grade readers! This biography of the amazing Wangari Maathai is from a new series of chapter books from the same company that published the Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls series. My class LOVES those one page biographies, and I think this new chapter book format will also be a big hit! This one tells the story of a young girl in Kenya who grows up to become an influential force in turning her country around after British ...more
Corinne Edwards
The Kenya of Wangari's childhood is a green and thriving place and she as grows up wrapped in the natural world, she chooses to study science. After studying in the United States, Wangari returns to a different Kenya, dry and impoverished - but Wangari does not get discouraged by a large problem. She uses her hands and her powerful voice to create very real change.

This short biography is a great introduction to the incredible work of Dr. Maathai. She is so inspiring and you finish the book
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Shawn
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only slightly fictionalized (likely based on interviews) biography of Wangari Maathai. This story of a Rebel whi grew up poor in Kenya and ended up becoming a doctor of biology and a politician who helped save her country and bring it back to life. She triumphs through hard work and love of family and nature.
It is targeted at the 3rd to 5th grade reading level and so it's a bit sanitized as to the treatment she endured on entering politics, but the essential story is still there. Truly a
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Lilithcarter
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgally, 2020
I received this book from Netgally in exchange for an honest review!

Being such a short book have no idea why it took me so long to finish it.
I must admit that I have never heard of this magnificent woman, but I have heard of the green belt project. This truly fascinating story takes you to a journey about love of living things, plants, animals and humans. A must read for the younger generations as the global warming crisis is very noticeable all over the world we need more inspiration to plant
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Teresa Bateman
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wangari grew up in Kenya where there were not many opportunities for education for girls. Nevertheless, her family made sacrifices so this inquisitive girl could reach her dreams. She eventually got her doctorate with a special interest in ecology. One of her great worries was the way her own country was cutting down trees, resulting in ecological catastrophe. She began a movement to plant trees across her country that eventually led to significant change, but not without significant sacrifice. ...more
Melissa
I adore all the Rebel Girls books for bringing the stories of amazing women to life that I otherwise probably would not have learned about. Dr. Wangari Maathai was the first Kenyan woman (and the first woman from east and central Africa) to get a PhD in the 1970s. She went on to become a renowned environmentalist - colonialism under the British had wreaked havoc on the Kenyan landscape and she started the Green Belt Movement to replant the forests that had been lost. Starting just one tree at a ...more
Bookbed
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2020
Dr. Wangari is an environmentalist, activist, and feminist all in one pot. What she and the Green Belt Movement had done for Kenya sends a powerful message to reader of any age. How her story is written is genuine and sincere, and the language flows beautifully, letting the important messages shine the most. Her story reminded me about what it means to see possibilities in little things, and how to take care of the natural resources that give us life in the most simple, sustainable way.

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