Elspeth Lorraine

Book Reviews

April 26, 2023

"Marjory Saves the Everglades" By Sandra Neil Wallace Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

Happy Friday everyone! I have a wonderful surprise for you today! Since tomorrow is #EarthDay, I've paired up with fellow #KidLit writer and blog writer Melanie Uteg! We will be "swapping" blogs for today to celebrate. I'm posting her review on my page and she'll be posting my review on her page. To read my review click HERE. Melanie is a writer, naturalist and gun violence prevention activist. She's also my number one critique partner and encouragement champion! Is that a thing? It is now! Please sign up for her for wonderful reviews and get a double dose of Children's Literature in your life. You can subscribe to her page HERE. Happy Earth Day! We hope you enjoy our reviews of two Earthy-Science-STEM books!

Alright Melanie, take it away!

It’s true. I am reviewing ANOTHER picture book biography. I can’t get enough! And this book is stunning in every sense. I loved the illustrations, the story, the back matter - all of it. It is a lengthy picture book, and yet, at the end, I was craving to uncover more about Marjory Stoneman Douglas. I may read her book, “The Everglades: River of Grass,” to learn more about this complete trailblazer. She was a Wellesley graduate (1912), a Miami Herald journalist, a World War I Naval Reservist, an environmentalist, a feminist and suffragette, an activist…and she accomplished all this by being a “nuisance” and living to the age of 108! She died in 1998, the year after I graduated from high school, but I wish we had been friends. All of her accomplishments are brilliant, but her claim to fame is her unwavering support and defense of the Everglades. In 1920, Marjory returned to Florida from Europe, where she had been reporting on the refugee crisis caused by World War I. She was devastated to see commercial development destroying the Everglades. Marjory devoted her time and energy to learning everything about the Everglades and its important ecosystem. She then successfully lobbied the U.S. President and Governor of Florida to make it a National Park. Her work did not stop there - she continually had to fight to keep the Everglades safe from degradation.

Heart: As some of you may know, I am a gun violence prevention activist. I got involved in this public health movement after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In the “Author’s Note,” Sandra Neil Wallace notes that the students in Parkland have followed in Marjory’s footsteps: becoming activists to make positive change and prevent gun violence.

Head: At this very moment, Fort Lauderdale, Florida is engulfed with water after heavy rainfall dropped over a foot of water on already-saturated-soil. With the impending climate crisis, Florida will undoubtedly experience more floods and more hurricanes. Now is the time to follow “Marjory’s Tips for Protecting the Environment: 1. Join a local environmental group… 2. Study the issues… 3. Speak Up, learn to talk clearly and forcefully in public 4. Be a Nuisance… 5. Never Give Up.”

Thank you, Melanie! I also read this book and fell in love with the illustrations. Rebecca uses watercolor and colored pencils so y'all knew I was gonna love it.

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