Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

My good friend Alyson posted about Blog Action Day, a day for all bloggers to raise environmental awareness in some way that pertains to their blog topic.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

I'm in.

As a participant in Blog action day, I decided to list a top 5 environmentally interesting works of fiction (well, four works of fiction and one really important ecological masterpiece). Originally, I’d said 10, but I was really stretching for that. I can guarantee all of the following are good, thought-provoking reads.

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn. I used this book the first year I taught AP Environmental Science. From the synopsis posted at B& "The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. "You are the teacher?" he asks incredulously. "I am the teacher," the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time save."

Hoot by Carl Hiassen. From B&N: “Carl Hiaasen, bestselling author of Basket Case and other hilarious Floridian capers, serves up a high-spirited fight for the environment in his first work aimed at younger audiences.” Several of my students chose burrowing owls as their research project after reading this.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Simple. Poignant.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. This should be required reading for everyone. From B&N: “Rarely does a single book alter the course of history, but Rachel Carson's Silent Spring did exactly that. The outcry that followed its publication in 1962 forced the government to ban DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson's book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.”

The Missing 'Gator of Gumbo Limbo: An Ecological Mystery by Jean Craighead George. This book started some great conversations back in the day with my step-daughter. For years, it was one of her all-time favorite books. From B&N: “Liza Poole lives with her mother in one of the last balanced ecosystems in North America -- the Gumbo Limbo Hammock deep within the lush kingdom of the Florida Everglades. Some may think it strange to live outdoors, but Liza feels lucky to live in her small yellow tent amidst tropical birds and exotic plants. And at the center of this natural paradise lies Dajun, the majestic alligator who protects Gumbo Limbo's environment. Then, one day, a state official arrives with frightening orders. Dajun is scaring people nearby -- he must be killed! Liza takes action to save the invaluable 'gator, but suddenly, he is nowhere to be found. Now, she must find Dajun before it's too late, and her search will lead her into the heart of an exciting eco mystery!”

Happy Eco Reading.