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Toby Lolness is less than 2 millimeters tall. He and his family are part of a whole civilization that lives inside a giant tree. His father has discovered an inconvenient truth about the health of the tree and if they don't change their irresponsible ways their tree will die, leaving them homeless. This book is peppered with great illustrations,including a map of the tree on the inside. Toby Alone will make you think of the environment.
Lee Welles is a past camp instructor who really gets it when it comes to enrapturing children. This is a quick and fast read which has been billed as "fiction with a mission". This book is the first in a series which establishes Elizabeth, the main character, with the power of "Earth".
Elizabeth was happy to be at the end of the school year. She anticipated playing on the farm with her best friend and various family members. That was until the Harmony Farm Corporation moved into her town. Her world starts to crumble as her best friend moves away and her parents whisper of farmers selling their land and the effects this factory farm operation could have on them. When she thinks things can't get much worse, she meets the most unusual creature, Gaia, the living entity of the Earth. Strange things begin to happen to her, around her and through her! Elizabeth wonders if meeting Gaia has been a blessing or a curse. Will elizabeth have the strength to fight a large corporation? or will her upstate New York home be spoiled by profit driven pork production that fouls the air, land, and water?
Book 2 in the series. Way of Water is the winner of the 2008 Nautilus Gold Award in the category of Young Adult Fiction Fantasy. Miho's backyard has always been the sea. The creatures of the sea are an endless source of fascination for her. Miho finds herself in the care of her uncle after her family has been stolen away by the sea. She has never met this uncle nor has she met his world and culture,Japan. From the city of Nagoya to the seaside town of Goza, Miho is trying to fit in by learning the language, the culture, at the same time she is dealing with her own grief. While in Goza, Miho discovers her family history and embraces new teachers, an old man who becomes her Sensei of Sho-Do. Sho-do is also known as "The Way of the Brush". It is there that she meets Gaia from the first book. Gaia grants Miho amazing powers to connect with the "minds in the water" and she is given access and understanding to the many worlds of the oceans. Many questions face her as she learns and tries to use her powers to restore the balance of her traditions while teaching others to understand The Way of Water.
This book comes at environmentalism from a whole other angle. Oliver is the type of boy who enjoys pulling the wings off flies just to hear the little snap. His whole life changes when his mom moves the family to a run down old house in a small town. While attempting to install a TV antenna on the roof, Oliver tries to avoid a kamikaze attack by a vicious crow and falls through into the attic. There he finds a strange, glowing gem that has the power to transform him into any creature he touches. Suddenly he enters the amazing parallel world of the Pond, where he befriends a fat salamander named Mooch and a misfit crow called Antoine. Together, with their other friends they need to save the pond from a power hungry crow who secretly plans to use the animal's fears and distrust in humans for his own evil affairs.This lively and witty book, complete with body humor is a refreshing non-preachy delight and teaches kindness and stewardship from the perspective of the animals.
The next three books are from one of my favorite authors Carl Hiaasen.
(From the Carl Hiaasen Website)
You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting your dad in the local lockup. Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor-which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can't prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah's dad is stuck in the clink.
Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally . . . somehow. His allies may not add up to much-his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate-but Noah's got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all.
Roy Eberhardt is the new kid–again. This time around it's Trace Middle School in humid Coconut Grove, Florida. But it's still the same old routine: table by himself at lunch, no real friends, and thick-headed bullies like Dana Matherson pushing him around. But if it wasn't for Dana Matherson mashing his face against the school bus window that one day, he might never have seen the tow-headed running boy. And if he had never seen the running boy, he might never have met tall, tough, bully-beating Beatrice. And if he had never met Beatrice, he might never have discovered the burrowing owls living in the lot on the corner of East Oriole Avenue. And if he had never discovered the owls, he probably would have missed out on the adventure of a lifetime. Apparently, bullies do serve a greater purpose in the scope of the universe. Because if it wasn't for Dana Matherson…
Mrs. Starch – fearsome biology teacher – never returned from a field trip to Black Vine Swamp.
The principal says she was called away on a "family emergency," but Nick and Marta don't buy it. They think Smoke, the class delinquent, has something to do with her disappearance.
And he does! But not in the way that they think. There's a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. And Nick and Marta will have to reckon with an eccentric eco-avenger, a stuffed rat named Chelsea, a wannabe Texas oilman, a singing substitute teacher, and a ticked-off Florida panther before they'll really begin to see the big picture.
Two of my favorite picture books fit in our green theme as well so I'm adding them here.
Old Turtle by Cheng-Khee Chee
This beautifully illustrated book is a tender,thoughtful, and moving story about a turtle who gets everything on the earth to work together to take care of eachother and the place we call home.
This sweet little book shines a light on all of the endless possibilities each day holds. The opportunities and chances that won't come again. While doing this ,it kindly delivers the message about stewardship of our planet. It's just a wonderful read.