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Book Review: Moto and Me by Suzi Eszterhas

In Book Reviews, Children's Books, Conservation by Anna Monders

When Suzi Eszterhas was a kid, she told her mom that when she grew up, she was going to live in a tent in Africa. And she did. She became a wildlife photographer and spent three years living in a tent on the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. While there, a park ranger asked if she would help raise an orphaned serval. (Servals are mid-sized, spotted wildcats found in Africa, and they are considered at risk in some regions, due to habitat loss and hunting.) The serval kitten was just two weeks old when she got him. She named him …

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The best environmental books we’ve read in 2017

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Birds, Book Reviews, Children's Books, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Fiction, Nonfiction, Oceans, Pollution by John Yunker

It’s that time of year again, a time to reflect on the books that have left their mark on us. Books that will, over time and with luck, leave their mark on society as well. I polled our contributors to see what books they’ll remember best from 2017. And here we have it — a selection of children’s books and adult fiction and nonfiction — some of which we’ve reviewed and some of which we hope to still. A word of thanks — to our contributors, for reading and reviewing books that make a difference; to the authors of these books that inspire …

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Looking for a new ecolit book to read? Here are 20 from which to choose…

In Animal Rights, Birds, Book Publishers, Children's Books, Climate Change, Conservation, Events, Fiction, Nonfiction, Pollution, Veganism by John Yunker

I’m happy to be participating on a unique promotion, organized by Margi Prideaux, that showcases 20 environmentally themed eBooks on Instafreebie. And, yes, these book are free to download. All you have to do is sign up for the author’s email list. To see the full list of books, click here. The promotion goes from today until June 15th. And I think I speak for all authors by saying that if you enjoy the book we welcome your reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. These reviews really do matter — and not just to our egos.  

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A Q&A with author Jennifer Longo

In Book Reviews, Children's Books, Fiction, Q&A by Midge Raymond

Jennifer Longo is the author of the novel Up to this Pointe (learn more about the book here). Thanks to Jennifer for chatting with me about her wonderful book! Q: Your author bio refers to your “obsessive love of Antarctica” — what led to this obsession? A: Oh, my favorite topic! In 1998 I was in grad school doing research for a play about the history of photography, and I went to the Kodak website (on the new-fangled Interwebs). The entire site was devoted to Frank Hurley, Ernest Shackleton’s expedition photographer. All the plate glass negatives and photographs were there, and …

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Book Review: Up to this Pointe by Jennifer Longo

In Book Reviews, Children's Books, Climate Change, Conservation, Fiction, Oceans by Midge Raymond

Jennifer Longo’s Up to This Pointe is a delightful, wholly original novel that brings YA readers to territory not often visited in this genre: Antarctica. Seventeen-year-old Harper Scott is a relative of Antarctica explorer Robert Falcon Scott (“He is our third cousin’s aunt’s great-grandfather. Or something.”), but she’s not interested in science. She and her best friend, Kate, have been planning their entire lives to graduate early from high school, join the San Francisco Ballet, and live together in the city. But when Harper’s dreams fall into jeopardy, turning her world upside down and leaving her with the desire to …

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Book Review: Whippoorwill

In Animal Rights, Children's Books, Fiction by Anna Monders

When sixteen-year-old Clair Taylor’s neighbors get a dog and leave him staked in the yard in freezing weather, she tries to ignore the whimpers and cries—the clear neglect—that is going on outside her window. The dog is none of her business, and Mr. Stewart, the neighbor, is a rude and abusive man. Eventually the dog’s suffering becomes too much for Clair, and she begins visiting him. His name is Wally. His neck is chafed raw. He’s covered in mud and poop. And he goes crazy for attention. Clair wishes she hadn’t closed her eyes to the situation for so long. Through …

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Book Review: Rescued

In Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Children's Books, Endangered Species, Fiction by Mindy Mejia

Rescued, Eliot Schrefer’s third entry in his anticipated quartet of ape novels published by Scholastic, represents a departure in many ways from the first two books in the series. Endangered and Threatened both took place in Africa and featured early teen narrators fighting to survive alongside bonobos and chimpanzees. In Rescued, Schrefer brings his series to the United States and introduces us to John, a sixteen-year-old football player who is the product of a broken home, and Raja, the orangutan his father smuggled into the country to become the family’s pet. We first meet these two as they are separated, Raja …

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Do Unto Animals: A Guide to Raising a More Compassionate Family

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Birds, Book Reviews, Children's Books, Conservation, Endangered Species, Insects, Nonfiction, Veganism by John Yunker

I grew up around cats, so it always struck me as odd when people didn’t understand what a cat’s purr signified. Then again, I did not grow up around cows or goats or sheep and don’t understand their behaviors. You have to learn how to live among animals. How to read the languages they speak through their body language and the noises they make. And since not all of us were raised in households with pets or by outdoorsy parents, how do we learn how to peacefully coexist with animals when we don’t have much practice? This book provides a great start. What I …

Book Review: The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston

In Book Reviews, Children's Books, Fiction, Oil by Anna Monders

Imagine a world that is just like our own—same countries, same technologies, same history—but with one major difference: dragons. The dragons in The Story of Owen don’t limit themselves to feeding on damsels in distress. They’ll eat anybody. And livestock, too. But if there’s one thing these low-intelligence beasts truly can’t resist, it’s carbon emissions. Fossil fuels are like candy (and of similar nutritional value) to all species of dragons. Dragons were a nuisance before the industrial revolution, but every small village had its dragon slayer. Now with increased carbon emissions, dragons are a major threat, and all dragon slayers …

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Review of The Eye of the Whale by Jennifer O’Connell

In Animal Behavior, Book Reviews, Children's Books, Oceans by Anna Monders

A humpback whale is tangled in hundreds of yards of crab-trap lines. She can’t get free. She can barely keep her blowhole above water to breathe. The whale has been spotted by a fisherman, but will the rescue team be able to free her? Will they even arrive in time? Based on an actual event that occurred in 2005, The Eye of the Whale tells the story a whale rescue effort that took place eighteen miles off the coast of San Francisco. Author/illustrator Jennifer O’Connell brings the story to life for young audiences. Her picture book has rich illustrations and just …