Cover image for Rachel Carson and her book that changed the world
Rachel Carson and her book that changed the world
Lawlor, Laurie, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [2012]

Physical Description:
32 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Retells the story of Rachel Carson, a pioneering environmentalist who wrote and published "Silent Spring, " the revolutionary book pointing out the dangerous effects of chemicals on the living world.
Reading Level:
Elementary Grade

890 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 6.2 0.5 149296.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.7 3 Quiz: 56789.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH31.C33 L39 2012 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
QH31.C33 L39 2012 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Biography
QH31.C33 L39 2012 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
QH31.C33 L39 2012 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
QH31.C33 L39 2012 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QH31.C33 L39 2012 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring , here is a biography of the pioneering environmentalist. "Once you are aware of the wonder and beauty of earth, you will want to learn about it," wrote Rachel Carson, the pioneering environmentalist. She wrote Silent Spring , the book that woke people up to the harmful impact humans were having on our planet.

Author Notes

Laurie Lawlor's books have appeared on many notable lists, including the ALA Notable Children's Books, the ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Her Muddy as a Duck Puddle and Other American Similes was an IRA Teacher's Choice. She lives and teaches in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Laura Beingessner is the illustrator of several books for children, including Our Corner Grocery Store by Joanne Schwartz, which received a starred review from School Library Journal, and If the Shoe Fits by Laura Whipple, winner of the William Allen White Children's Book Award. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This book's bold title is hard to dispute: Carson's Silent Spring (1962) did, in fact, change the world, awakening people globally to the environmental threats posed by industrial chemicals. Lawlor attributes Carson's interest in nature to a childhood spent largely alone, during which her mother introduced her to the haunting melody of a wood thrush. A rare chance at college followed, where Carson made up with academic curiosity what she lacked in social popularity. After WWII, her writing broke through, and much of Silent Spring was written while she battled breast cancer. Lawlor's prose is nonrhyming but possessed with a noble rhythm ( she lost her heart to a world of restless water and sky ). Beingessner's soft tempera paintings are pleasingly two-dimensional and alternate pastels and earth tones to bring home the highs and lows of Carson's too-short life. Though Carson never got to see the changes brought on by her work, readers can use this fine book, as well as the informative back matter, to learn all that happened next.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lawlor explores Rachel Carson's development as a scientist and writer, beginning with a childhood spent reading and exploring nature. Carson (1907-1964) attended college, obtaining her master's degree in biology (a formidable accomplishment for a woman at the time). But despite her determination to become a scientist, she was responsible for supporting her family following the death of her father. Slowly, Carson's writing gained attention, and her dedication to protecting the environment from pollutants led to her magnum opus, Silent Spring. Beingessner's light-filled paint and ink illustrations have an understated, 1950s-era grace, which is complemented by Lawlor's quietly contemplative prose. Carson emerges as a proud, conscientious woman who never allowed the constraints of her era to interfere with her convictions. An epilogue elaborates on the significance of Silent Spring. Ages 6-10. Agent: Stephen Fraser, Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-As she did with Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit (Holiday House, 2001), Lawlor has presented a concise and lively picture of her subject. Using language heavy with imagery ("Her camera captured four eggs, mottle white and brown, precious as shining fruit"), she discusses Carson's early years, including her innate love of nature and her early desire to become a writer. She describes Carson's struggles to support her frequently impoverished family as well as her fight to carve a place for herself at a time when women scientists were scoffed at. The controversy and impact of the publication of Silent Spring are not dealt with extensively in the main text as it ends with Carson's premature death at age 56, but a detailed epilogue supplies the needed information. Source notes reveal Lawlor's extensive research and the respect she has for her subject. Beingessner's tempera and ink illustrations do a fine job of capturing the natural world that Carson loved so much. For a slightly younger audience than Joseph Bruchac's Rachel Carson: Preserving a Sense of Wonder (Fulcrum, 2004), this book is a worthy introduction to a woman whose work still influences environmental decisions today.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.