Monday, September 26, 2011

Seeds of Change ~ by Jen Cullerton Johnson

Wangari Maathai died yesterday, a great loss to the world.  I was quite impressed when I first learned about her by reading Unbowed: A Memoir, and just this summer I read a beautiful children's book about her called Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton Johnson.

Here's a summary of the book — and her life.
"As a young girl in Kenya, Wangari was taught to respect nature. She grew up loving the land, plants, and animals that surrounded her — from the giant mugumo trees her people, the Kikuyu, revered to the tiny tadpoles that swam in the river.  Although most Kenyan girls were not educated, Wangari, curious and hardworking, was allowed to go to school. There, her mind sprouted like a seed. She excelled at science and went on to study in the United States. After returning home, Wangari blazed a trail across Kenya, using her knowledge and compassion to promote the rights of her countrywomen and to help save the land, one tree at a time.  This book brings to life the empowering story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman, and environmentalist, to win a Nobel Peace Prize."
Look at one of the fantastic illustrations.
Read what people are saying about her:
Wangari Maathai, born 1 April 1940, died 25 September 2011.  May she rest in peace.
Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace ~ by Jen Cullerton Johnson, illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler, 2010, biography for children (Kenya), 9/10

Unbowed by Wangari Maathai, 2006, memoir (Kenya), 9/10
Both books are excellent. Rated: 9 of 10.


NatalieSap said...

I've had Seeds of Change on display in my library for a month now, but I've never picked it up. Now that I know a little more about it, I surely will! Thanks for sharing. :)

Helen's Book Blog said...

What a shock that she died, I hadn't heard (I've been a bit out of touch with the news lately). How did that happen?

What an amazing woman!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I hope you do, Natalie, because it's about a strong woman who made a difference -- not only in Kenya, her country, but in the world. (And the book is short and easy to read.)

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Helen, I'll answer by quoting NPR, the first link on my list above:

Maathai died of cancer Sunday in a Nairobi hospital. She was 71. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her work promoting environmental stewardship, empowering women and peaceful resistance to violence.

Now might be a time to plant a tree in her memory.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Planting a tree is a nice idea, Bonnie!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Helen, that sentence about planting a tree is part of the quote, though I'd like to take credit for that nice idea. I'd have to find somewhere to plant a tree, unless I chose to shape a bonsai tree, because I live in an apartment complex.