Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Author: Sandra Neil Wallace
Illustrator: Rebecca Gibbon
Published September 22, 2020 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Summary: From acclaimed children’s book biographer Sandra Neil Wallace comes the inspiring and little-known story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the remarkable journalist who saved the Florida Everglades from development and ruin.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas didn’t intend to write about the Everglades but when she returned to Florida from World War I, she hardly recognized the place that was her home. The Florida that Marjory knew was rapidly disappearing—the rare orchids, magnificent birds, and massive trees disappearing with it.
Marjory couldn’t sit back and watch her home be destroyed—she had to do something. Thanks to Marjory, a part of the Everglades became a national park and the first park not created for sightseeing, but for the benefit of animals and plants. Without Marjory, the part of her home that she loved so much would have been destroyed instead of the protected wildlife reserve it has become today.
About the Author: Sandra Neil Wallace hopes that her stories inspire readers as much as they inspire her. Her book The Teachers March! How Selma’s Teachers Changed History was written with her husband, Rich Wallace, and has received three starred reviews to date. Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery received the Orbis Pictus Book Award, was an ALA Notable Book and a Booklist Top 10 Biography for Youth. Formerly, Sandra was an ESPN reporter and was the first woman to host an NHL broadcast. She continues to break barriers as co-founder of DailyGoodNH.org and lives with her family in New Hampshire. To learn more, and to download free activity kits and other resources, visit SandraNeilWallace.com.
Praise: “Marjory Saves the Everglades will inspire children of today and tomorrow to be persistent and follow their dreams to create a better world. Sandra Neil Wallace captures Marjory’s passionate commitment to justice for our natural world and all of its inhabitants.”
Review: Marjory Stoneman Douglas is such a special person to us Floridians, even before the tragedy at the school named for her. Marjory changed the course of history here in Florida helping establish our very own ecosystem where amazing wildlife live. We’ll forever be grateful for her, and I am so happy for this beautiful biography commemorating her life and teaching even me more than I knew about her.
Wallace did a fantastic job choosing which parts of Douglas’s amazing life to share, going through much of her life without overloading the narrative, while also showing how important the Everglades are.
The illustrations are perfect because they are so detailed and engulf you when reading about the Everglades. Also, they are so colorful bringing to life all of the amazing wildlife!
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This picture book biography will be perfect for older elementary and secondary classrooms! I would love to see it being used when speaking about humans/women who made a difference or wetlands, so it’ll be a perfect cross-curricular read hitting science, social studies, and reading.
There truly is so much that can be done with this picture book. While reading, I found many differen sections I could stop and do a lesson about an aspect: transportation over time, women’s right history, onomatopoeias, article writing, women in military, women during WWII, expansion of the USA, poaching, National Park history, swamp vs. Everglades, animals of the Everglades, effects of pollution, Friends of the Everglades, and more!
The back matter of the book also offers great opportunities to diving deeper including articles to learn more about Marjory and a mentor text timeline.
- How did Marjory’s persistence show that anyone can do anything they put their mind to?
- How did Marjory change the world?
- How can we keep the Everglades safe?
- What birds and wildlife live in the Everglades that live no where else?
- How is the Everglades unique?
- What adjectives would you use to describe Marjory?
- Before saving the Everglades, what else did Marjory do that she should be honored for?
Read This If You Love: Picture book biographies, Enviornmental-focused picture books
**Thank you to Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review and Simon & Schuster for providing a copy for giveaway!**