Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest

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Pub Date 25 Feb 2020 | Archive Date 25 Feb 2020

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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, she plays beneath her favorite fig tree, and at night she gathers around the fire with her family to listen to her mother’s stories.

Then Wangari grows up and goes away to school, and things start changing at home. Farmers chop down the trees. Landslides bury the stream. The soil becomes overworked and dry, and nothing will grow. People go hungry. After all her studies, Dr. Wangari Maathai realizes there is a simple solution to these problems: plant a forest full of trees.

Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest is the story of environmentalist and activist Dr. Wangari Maathai, who became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. It's also a story about the importance of making your voice heard, and using that voice to protect the natural world.

This historical fiction chapter book includes additional text on Dr. Wangari Maathai’s lasting legacy, as well as educational activities designed to encourage caring for the planet and believing in the power of one.

About the Rebel Girls Chapter Book Series
Meet extraordinary real-life heroines in the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls chapter book series! Introducing stories based on the lives of extraordinary women in global history, each stunningly designed chapter book features beautiful illustrations from a female artist as well as bonus activities in the backmatter to encourage kids to explore the various fields in which each of these women thrived. The perfect gift to inspire any young reader!
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.


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ISBN 9781733329217
PRICE CA$16.00 (CAD)

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Featured Reviews

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 in colonial Africa as a girl from a rural and economically challenged area. She worked for her progresses and when she had failures and setbacks, she picked herself up and tried again. Strength and conviction are a recurring theme in her life and I respect her determination.

Stories with strong and believable female role models are important and welcome for boys and girls. This is a well told biography of a subject who might be unfamiliar to many readers. The art by Eugenia Mello is colorful and engaging and illustrates the story well.

Well done and worthwhile. This would be a superlative choice for classroom, school library, gift, or personal library.

Five stars.

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Rebel Girls should be commended for the informative and engaging stories of accomplished women, Dr. Maathai is so deserving of the attention and accolades she receives by the recounting of her life and dreams.
I was generally familiar with Dr. Matthai but this book increased my knowledge of all that she did. She encompassed all the ideals and qualities that should be emulated by the readers. I would recommend this book to older elementary school students since some of the subject matter may be a bit too difficult for young ones.
Her life commitment to the environment is so detailed in the book and serves as a testament to what others can do to help sustain it. It is, indeed, so timely and applicable to today. The illustrations are so vivid and powerful, What an exemplary person and book!

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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 time, the organization has since planted millions! This book has a fantastic message for children - that every little bit can help, dream big but start small, etc. I also liked that they included instructions for young readers in the back on how to start a plant of their own!

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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 made it her mission to educate those around her and all over the world the importance of taking care of our planet. She saw the destruction and devastation that happened to her village because of deforestation and capitalistic greed. She knew that taking care of the planet is all of our duty and we can get the job done by teaching those around us simple tips and tricks on how to protect and regrow the trees that we depend on for oxygen, shade, nourishment, and beauty. A lot of people doubted Wangari and stood in her way, but she did not allow the neigh sayers to stop her from doing what she knew to be right. She took care of the Earth until her final days and left a legacy to all the children of the world to protect the areas that we were once able to play and grow ourselves.
The story was powerful and beautiful, but I think my favorite part of the book was the illustrations! They were magnificent and added a great layer to the story. We got to look on as Wangari was a little girl and helping her mother garden and take care of their land. We also got to see her as an adult fighting against the government to protect what should always be rightfully protected.
I look forward to having children one day and being able to read this book, and the other Rebel Girls book, to them. I hope that one day my children will be just as strong and courageous and Wangari and all the other Rebel Girls that are out there.

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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.

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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 don’t 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 care of my plants more better and how I want to take my kids to teach and influence them how to appreciate the nature and everything that has been given to us. Dr. Wangari Maathai and her brilliant ideas needs to be continued in anywhere in this world.

I really recommend this book for any children or middle grade readers, just to inspire and make them learning about how to take care the nature, how to reach their dream like Dr. Wangari Maanthai, how not to given up the dreams just like that.

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Thank you NetGalley for the advance reading copy of this book for review. This brilliant and inspiring series for young girls (for all I should say) adds another bright feather to its cap with this beautiful book about a warrior called Wangari Maathai. Though I have heard about this wonderful lady in passing, I regret that I have never read about her life or her brave deeds earlier. This well written and beautifully illustrated gem deserves a place in your library and in your child’s heart.

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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. Maathai's home country of Kenya to the US in the 60s (not a friendly place for a woman of color to visit the south) and back to Kenya while earning degrees and making waves. She was the first woman to earn a PhD from East Africa and returned from the US to town that had trouble believing a woman could possibly be qualified to instruct politicians about the importance of protecting the environment.

All through her life, Dr. Maathai was fighting an uphill battle. To see women, especially women of color, learn, fight, dream, work and succeed in inspiring and important. Perseverance and confidence in doing the right thing are hard-earned lessons Dr. Maathai encountered and her story is an inspiration to anyone with the privilege to learn her name.

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