Book review: John Muir: America’s first environmentalist

Lasky, Kathryn. John Muir: America’s first environmentalist. Illustrated by Stan Fellows. Includes bibliography and index. “Candlewick Biographies.” Candlewick, 2006. $14.99 ISBN 978076366470 45 p. Ages 6-9. P6Q7

Using his diaries as source material, Kathryn Lasky brings Scottish immigrant John Muir to life in this biography for young readers. Muir’s own words show his love of the land and his passion to see over the next horizon, as he walked from Wisconsin to Florida, Alaska to California. As a farmer, inventor, ranch hand, naturalist, and author, Muir studied nature, from wildflowers in Florida to glaciers in Alaska. Later, his letters and other writings influenced politicians to preserve wilderness areas through the creation of national parks, notably Yosemite National Park. Vivid acrylic paintings of Muir and the landscapes around him show growth and maturity from the early picture of two brothers climbing the roof of their Scottish home, through Muir’s wandering years, and to the iconic picture of him as a white-haired philosopher. Recommended for school and public library collections. October 2014 review by Jane Cothron.

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