Celebrating the best in environmental Lit
Fall is our favorite time of the year — we give authors and illustrators the recognition they deserve and then donate their books to kids of all ages! On Nov. 8, we bestowed the national Green Earth Book Award to our 2017 winners, who then shared their thoughts with celebration attendees on how to teach kids of all ages how protect our planet.
While the winning authors were in town to accept their awards, they also shared their knowledge and stories with kids and young adults. Through lively presentations to students throughout the Washington, D.C. area, they talked about our environment and what students can do to be good stewards of the planet.
“It’s like winning the Newbery of the environmental world,” said Children’s Fiction winner Mary Knight about the award, “and that happens to be a world that I love.” During her D.C. visit, Knight gave a presentation to 85 sixth graders at the Sidwell Friends School about how the protagonist in her book, Saving Wonder, uses words to save the mountain he calls home.
Children’s Nonfiction winner Maris Wick made STEAM learning come alive to over 250 students at Hillsboro Charter Academy in Purcellville, Va. and Lafayette Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Using the colorful comic drawings and the sassy yellow goby fish narrator from her book, Science Comics: Coral Reefs, Cities of the Ocean, she surprised them with facts like over 80% of our oxygen is actually produced by marine plants on coral reefs. Said one student, “I don’t usually like nonfiction, but I love this book!”
Young Adult Nonfiction winner (The Story of Seeds: From Mendel’s Garden To Your Plate, and How There’s More of Less To Eat Around The World) Nancy Castaldo’s talk with 300 7th graders at Swanson Middle School in Arlington, Va., was a wake-up call about the fragility of something many of us take for granted: our plant-based food supply. She laid out a case for the importance of plant diversity by presenting engaging scientific and historical information about monocultural agriculture, seed banks around the world, “seed warriors” who have laid down their lives for seed preservation, and the effects of climate change on crop biodiversity.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to donate over 750 award winning books to all the students at the author presentations.
Said winner Nancy Castaldo:
Receiving the Green Earth Book Award is a highlight of my career as an environmental educator/author. All recognitions are wonderful but to have THE STORY OF SEEDS recognized by my environmental peers makes this so very special. The events surrounding the acceptance made it even more meaningful. I loved my time visiting Arlington 7th graders. They are why I write. Sharing the morning with them filled me with hope for our future. Thank you, Nature Generation, for such thoughtful planning. I left having formed new friendships and filled with inspiration!
Said winner Mary Knight:
I care deeply about the natural world, not just for its resources and its right to thrive, but for its ability to inspire our wonder and curiosity–two vital aspects of what I believe it means to be fully human. I wrote my novel Saving Wonder, because I want our children and our children’s children to experience this wonder and to know that they have the power to preserve our environment through the power of their words. Winning the Green Earth Book Award is not only an incredible honor for me as a writer, but it supports my book’s purpose to inspire this caring for the natural world. When young people care about something, they want to protect it. The Nature Generation has also introduced me to an entire community of people who share my passion for the environment, and this sense of being “in-it-together” has restored my hope. I’m excited to get back to work on my next novel which will again explore environmental themes!
Turning the Page was the official bookseller of copies of the winning books during the awards event. All proceeds benefited their programs that link DC public schools, families and the community so that, together, they can ensure students receive valuable educational resources and a high-quality public education.
It’s up to all of us.
By sponsoring our Read Green Program efforts, these sponsors are helping bridge the gap in environmental literacy.
Watch the Video
Our winning authors are always delightful, and the author school visits fun and educational, and our Award Ceremony /Green Tie Reception inspiring. Throughout our Read Green Festivals, our authors visit five area schools and we donate books to the schools and students. Check out our video highlighting our programs and winning authors!
Click here to check out pictures from past years