Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults
Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
by Robin Wall Kimmerer; Monique Gray Smith
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Pub Date 01 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2022
Lerner Publishing Group, Zest Books ™
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Drawing from her experiences as an Indigenous scientist, botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer demonstrated how all living things—from strawberries and witch hazel to water lilies and lichen—provide us with gifts and lessons every day in her best-selling book Braiding Sweetgrass. Adapted for young adults by Monique Gray Smith, this new edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us. With informative sidebars, reflection questions, and art from illustrator Nicole Neidhardt, Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults brings Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the lessons of plant life to a new generation.
A Note From the Publisher
Title also available as library bound for $42.65 (ISBN 978-1-7284-5898-4).
Average rating from 70 members
Absolutely fantastic first chapter. I can already tell this book will be perfect for budding botanists and naturalists, and I was entirely hooked and ready to go grab the first copy of the original that I can find.
This first chapter—the writing, the beautiful visuals, the accessible questions to inspire a YA audience to think deeply and make connections—is spectacular. I have had Braiding Sweetgrass on my TBR pile for a while now, but I think I will go straight to this YA edition to read with my children. I read this chapter with my 12-year-old and 7-year-old (who is an avid gardener) and they can’t wait for the full version to be available. The ideas of marrying science and beauty seems so simple and intuitive, yet we are trained to separate them. This is wisdom you can feel in your bones, yet feels new and fresh. Will definitely want a copy on our shelves when it comes out!
I quickly downloaded the preview of BRAIDING SWEETGRASS FOR YOUNG ADULTS as soon as I saw it offered in the ‘read now’ section of NetGalley. I own both the paperback and the special hardcover edition of the original, as it is one of the most influential environmental texts to exist. With that in mind, I am so impressed with the first chapter excerpt. There’s a huge gap in the market re. environmental reads for young readers—the same young readers we are reliant upon for care & preservation of the natural world, and to raise their voice in favor of the planet—that is slowly filling with options like this. I truly cannot wait to see it in it’s entirety, and to share with every young reader I know.
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a sample chapter of "Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults". Below is my honest review of the first chapter.
I picked up this book because I had actually read part of the original version in college for one of my sociology/environmental studies courses. I was really glad to see another version for young adults, not because the original is hard to read, but because I think it would attract more readers.
So, this chapter is the author's (Robin Wall Kimmerer) reasoning for becoming a botanist. Very quickly, you learn that Kimmerer is Native American and that her perspective of the world is very different than a non-Native American. For example, she views plants as "teachers and companions" rather than mere objects. She has a beautiful way of writing that grabs attention of the reader that incorporates the culture that she grew up in.
Additionally, the sample chapter is very simple and short. It comes with pictures and word boxes to separate/emphasize different ideas. The color theme sticks to black/grey/various shades of green, which fit the theme of the book. The chapter ends with some discussion questions that I suspect instructors can use for their classes.
One of the benefits of this chapter is that it's short; it's about eight pages long. And having worked with youth for a couple of years, I've learned very quickly that many youth don't like to read. But I think this chapter gets the point across rather quickly, which would allow the reader to maintain attention and learn something without getting bored.
Overall, I would love to read the rest of this book as I did not read the whole original book while in college. It's quick and easy to read while also exploring a different perspective on how our relationship with nature can be, and should be, different.
I read Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer just a few months ago. I recently found out that Monique Gray Smith is adapting it as Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults, which is exciting! Thanks to NetGalley, I was provided a sample chapter with illustrations by Nicole Neidhardt. I'm definitely going to be reading the full version once it is released in November 2022.
First of all, Neidhardt's illustrations are breathtaking, and coordinate perfectly with the text on the page. There are also photographs of different plants that are being discussed. I like that there are offset definitions of terms included in the prose, as well, to help the young adults reading the book to understand concepts that might be new to them. There are also offset discussion questions, to help the reader think critically about the text that they are reading. At the end of the sample, there are further discussion questions for even deeper critical thinking about the topics that were brought up in this chapter.
I loved Braiding Sweetgrass and I think this book, adapted for classroom use, will be a wonderful addition to a high school, middle school, or homeschool curriculum. There are highlighted discussion questions, definitions, diagrams, illustrations, and reflections added to the already poetic and thoughtful essays written by Kimmerer in the original book. I think this will appeal to science teachers, parents who like to engage deeper in readings with their kids, and teens themselves. It's definitely more approachable to a young reader than the thick volume of the original. Don't get me wrong, the original Braiding Sweetgrass book evokes beautiful sensory experiences in nature, or deeply emotional issues through each essay-story. But it could look like a wall of words to younger readers. I appreciate this reworking of the beautiful original book with the target audience of younger people in mind. Our youth deserve to experience climate change through the perspective of loving earth and nature, rather than an unsolvable crisis they feel powerless to change. I think this book will be a great step in the direction of empowering our youth to stand for nature through the motivations of love and wonder.
I read the original edition of Braiding Sweetgrass in a Native American Literature class in graduate school and absolutely fell in love with it. I’ve taught the original edition to my students a few times (excerpts of certain chapters), but this edition, with the beautiful illustrations added, makes me more excited to include it in my curriculum than ever. Absolutely gorgeous additions to an already beautiful book. Very exciting!
Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults has me mesmerized in the short 7-page excerpt offered. I, too, asked a lot of questions and needed to know how everything works together, although not with an Indigenous lens. Tthe self-reflection questions in the sidebar are thoughtful. I look forward to reading the rest of the book.
Estimating this as 5-star
The layout of this sample chapter is pleasing to the eye and the text is easy to follow without being over simplified. There are highlighted definitions and discussion questions to engage deeper with the text. I look forward to seeing the rest of the book. This looks like a great companion to the adult version.
I have long been a fan of Robin Wall Kimmerer and her work. This version is the version I didn't know I needed. It is one I can use with budding researchers and educators (preservice and inservice. Just perfect!
I can not wait for the full book to be available so I can evaluate it for use in my classroom. I am so excited that a young adult version is going to be available, and the first chapter is just fantastic!
Braiding Sweetgrass is on my TBR, and this peek into the Young Adults edition was such a treat! I appreciate how Kimmerer encourages readers, from the very beginning, to stand strong in who they are and what they want to learn alongside introducing the overall theme of the book. My favorite quote from the sample chapter reminds us that while we can respect what science teaches us, it is not the whole story:
"Back to the questions that science does not ask. Not because they aren't important, but because science's way of knowing is too narrow for the task."
I’m so excited for this book to be published. I can think of many ways in which this adaption can be utilized for young adults. I know how much I enjoyed Braiding Sweetgrass and I love the adaption. The images are beautiful, clear, and compelling. The definitions are enough to clarify things for readers but are not visually distracting. I’m so excited to see the full version!
Just as the author was pulled into plant life from the beginning, I was pulled into this book in the first chapter. The prose is fluid and the tone welcoming. I've never felt a particular kinship with plants per say, but after reading these first few pages, I want to. As a school librarian, I would love to add this book to our library. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book when it is available.
What a gift!
I am blown away with how effectively Robin Wall Kimmerer's journey and heart for storytelling has been translated in this new version for young adults. Even as an adorer of the original Braiding Sweetgrass, I've found myself wondering if young adult shouldn't have been the real audience all along. Braiding Sweetgrass is thought provoking, timely, relevant, a joy, and should be required reading for anyone interested in the different ways in which we can relate to and be in relation with the world around us. So what a gift it will be to have a more accessible and visually engaging version of Robin's stories for our young naturalists, environmentalists, and Indigenous youth.
I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to read an advance chapter of Robin Wall Kimmerer's "Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults" and eagerly await its full release this upcoming fall 2022!
The first chapter of Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, is engaging, informative, and asks critical questions for the reader to ponder. Robin brings her family history into the chapter as she explores her experience entering into the forestry school at the university and facing cultural and scientific delegitimization by her freshman advisor. She weaves the scientific and personal in an engaging, narrative form that flows naturally and would engage any young reader.
I'm excited to purchase this book when it comes out in November for both myself and my class of incoming 4th graders!
I thought this was a beautiful introduction to this book. I loved how much you could hear the authors voice while reading it. The way she approaches the subject matter is engaging and delightful, while shedding light on how science can still look at problems too narrowly. I thought it was beautifully written and engaging, and It felt like an read that I could easily learn from. I loved how she highlighted her culture and how it was interwoven into how she views science. I think it was well done and easy to follow and great to learn from!
“I was teaching the names of plants but ignoring their songs.”
The author invites us to relate to the natural world as more than objects of study, scores of data. Her experience of listening to native elders and reconnecting to her way of knowing prior to the demands of white colonizer academia extends an invitation to the reader to see, to know, to behold in new and rich ways.
What a beautifully engaging chapter! I love the "experiment" text on the side that encourages readers to experience what they're reading. The text is exceptionally well written and poses questions, and allows readers to think and ponder before going into an explanation or answer. I am eagerly anticipating the release of this book! I am also looking forward to the "generational" book studies that this release will allow and encourage around the country.
Not my typically genre but I am glad that I picked this one up, even if it is only a sample. Cannot wait to read the rest of the book.
This is my new favorite book. My heart. My soul. Beautiful. This teaches the young adult the awareness and how to be thankful for the beauty that surrounds us.
What a wonderful treasure to have available to younger audiences. There are not enough young adult books of this nature on shelves today. In Addition to the language aimed at young adults, there are actionable questions, intent to help the young, inspired get engaged and interested in the topic. Though this was a NetGalley book with just one chapter presented, I look forward to reading this full book once published.
The original book has been on my to read list for quite some time so being able to read the first chapter of the Young Adult book was a blessing. I loved how the author was able to tie in their personal experiences with plants and carefully give a brief but powerful overview of their journey to connecting with nature. I love that the language is so accessible and that the literature lends itself perfectly to be utilized in academic settings. Will definitely make sure to check in around the release date to give the entire book a read!
I would like to thank NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for providing me a free e-ARC sample of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
While I didn't know this was a sample chapter when I downloaded Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults, I really enjoyed reading this sample chapter. Kimmerer really illustrates the beauty that nature has to offer us and how we should be viewing nature as a holistic perspective rather than purely scientific. This chapter was easy-to-read and I loved the illustrations inside the book. While I don't have enough insight on this book since I have not read its predecessor, I was thoroughly impressed with this book.
I would love to review the rest of the book and I can't wait to get this on my to-be-read list.
I loved the adult version of this book and the young adult version delivers as well! This version makes the information so accessible for younger readers, and the visuals and reflection questions add greater depth to the insight that is omnipresent. I would recommend this to everyone (not just YA) so that they, too, can “look for relationships and understand the threads that connect the world. To join instead of divide.”
This first chapter sneak peek has me completely hooked! I can't wait to see the full Young Adult version because I think it will be absolutely perfect for the secondary classroom. I even want to read some of it to my elementary children because they are in exploration and science. The way it is set up with questions to ponder, definitions and calls to action makes it an engaging and dynamic read. I love the different text features that include text boxes and illustrations. Kimmerer sets up the book excellently by juxtaposing two different ways of knowing - one scientific and one experiential. I can't wait to read the rest!
Having read the original it was refreshing to see this book's focus shift to a younger audience. I think this book should be required reading.
I wish we could have had more than just the first chapter because it was beautiful! I'd never even heard of Braiding Sweetgrass before but now I think I'll have to check it out. There's just something so wonderful to me about books adapted for my students. I am super excited for this one!
The beautiful, informative words of the original are effectively reworked for a younger audience in fashion that is easy to understand, complete with illustrations and guided subtitles. This is a necessary resource in secondary school classrooms, especially in natural science classes!
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