2014 winners for the Green Earth Book Award, which is a national recognition of authors and illustrators whose books best inspire young readers to appreciate and care for the environment. AIn its 10thyear, the Green Earth Book Award has five categories.
The 2014 winners are …
The Eye of the Whale a Rescue Story by Jennifer O’Connell
On a cool December morning near San Francisco, a distress call was radioed to shore by a local fisherman. He had discovered a humpback whale tangled in hundreds of yards of crab-trap lines, struggling to stay afloat. A team of volunteers answered the call, and four divers risked their lives to rescue the enormous animal. It was the first successful whale disentanglement performed off the West Coast of the United States and prompted a rare and remarkable demonstration of animal behavior.
As people found out about the event, questions arose. Did the whale help the divers by staying still and calm as they cut the lines or was she just exhausted? Was the whale full of joy after being freed or did she swim in circles to stretch out her huge body after being tied up for so long? How do we explain the whale nudging all the divers, then looking directly at them? (The divers said that this was one of the most fantastic moments of their lives.)
This celebrated story, beautifully depicted in Jennifer O’Connell’s mesmerizing paintings, will make you wonder about animal emotions and the unique connections we can have with other animals, even whales. [picture book, ages 6 and up]
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
Raccoon brothers Bingo and J’miah are the newest recruits of the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The opportunity to serve the Sugar Man—the massive creature who delights in delicious sugar cane and magnanimously rules over the swamp—is an honor, and also a big responsibility, since the rest of the swamp critters rely heavily on the intel of these hardworking Scouts.
Twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn is not a member of any such organization. But he loves the swamp something fierce, and he’ll do anything to help protect it.
And help is surely needed, because world-class alligator wrestler Jaeger Stitch wants to turn Sugar Man swamp into an Alligator World Wrestling Arena and Theme Park, and the troubles don’t end there. There is also a gang of wild feral hogs on the march, headed straight toward them all.
The Scouts are ready. All they have to do is wake up the Sugar Man. Problem is, no one’s been able to wake that fellow up in a decade or four… [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
A Place for Turtles by Melissa Stewart and Higgins Bond
A Place for Turtles introduces young readers to the ways human action or inaction can affect turtle populations and opens kids minds to a wide range of environmental issues. Describing various examples, the text provides an intriguing look at turtles, at the ecosystems that support their survival, and at the efforts of some people to save them. [non ficiton picture book, ages 6 and up]
Washashore by Suzanne Goldsmith
Fourteen-year-old Clementine has left her city life in Boston to spend the winter on Martha’s Vineyard. She’s what the locals call a Washashore (WASH-a-shore) . . . someone who has come to live on the island but isn’t from there. An outsider.
Clem doesn’t have any friends and doesn’t fit in. Her mom and dad aren’t getting along. Coco, her best friend, is three hours away. But then Clem finds a fallen bird–an osprey–on the beach. And she meets a lonely boy named Daniel. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest: A Photographic Journey Through the American Bald Eagle Nesting Season by Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie
Take a photographic journey of American Bald Eagles during nesting season. Through 160 breathtaking images captured in eagles’ natural habitats, this factual account offers a rare glimpse into the behaviors and activities of America’s national symbol as it prepares a nest, mates, lays eggs, and raises its young. Travel with adult eagles as they gather nest materials, forage for prey, and ward off intruders into their territory. Inside the nest, observe how eaglets grow from hatchlings into fledglings, and experience first flight. Included are tips for observing eagles and a glossary of terms. [young adult non fiction, ages 12 and up]
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.