SALISBURY, MD---The first prize for environmental stewardship in children’s literature in the United States, the 2008 Green Earth Book Awards at Salisbury University recognize works that inspire young readers to appreciate and care for the environment. They are also supporting prominent international environmental groups.
Held Wednesday, April 2, during SU’s Children’s Literature Festival, the 7 p.m. ceremony in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center has a guest list that reads like a who’s who of children’s literature and environmentalism. It includes keynote speaker Phillip Hoose, the widely-acclaimed author of books such as Hey, Little Ant.
The three Green Earth Book Award winners receive $2,500, as well as $500 for an environmental organization of their choice. Jean Davies Okimoto, author of Winston of Churchill: One Bear's Battle Against Global Warming, will contribute to the conservation group Polar Bears International. O. R. Melling, author of The Light-Bearer’s Daughter, has chosen the Golden Eagle Reintroduction Project in Ireland, which is the setting of the book and the place where the bird became extinct in 1910. Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, who together wrote The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, have selected stopglobalwarming.org, an Internet-based grassroots organization founded by David.
“Through our partnership with SU and the Children’s Literature Festival, we are able to publicly showcase and honor the writers and illustrators whose books have earned the national Green Earth Book Award for their promotion of environmental awareness and stewardship for young people,” said Dr. Laura Marasco of SU’s Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies and Newton Marasco’s board of directors. “The respect and care for the earth is a responsibility for all of us on this planet.”
Since 2005, the Newton Marasco Foundation has honored nine “Green Earth” books, awarding $22,500 to 29 authors and contributing $4,500 to environmental charities in the authors’ names. The foundation also has recognized 18 Honor Books. This year’s Honor Books are: Adventures of Riley: Polar Bear Puzzle by Amanda Lumry and Laura Hurwitz (Eaglemont Press); An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming, written by Al Gore and adapted by Jane O’Connor (Viking Children’s Books); On Meadowview Street, written and illustrated by Henry Cole (Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers); Secrets of the Sirens, by Julia Golding (Marshall Cavendish Children’s); The Sorta Sisters, by Adrian Fogelin (Peachtree Publishers).
Presenters at this year’s Green Earth Book Awards ceremony include John Wolinski of SU’s Teacher Education Department; Sue Corbett, a children’s book reviewer and reporter for the Miami Herald; Peter Trick, executive vice president of the Newton Marasco Foundation; and Lisa Bryant, education reporter for WBOC-TV.
The 2008 Green Earth Book Awards are supported by SU, Constellation Energy and Pepsi Bottling Ventures of Delmarva. The ceremony is preceded by an environmental community fair at 5:30 p.m. and followed by a book signing and reception. A breakfast reception with the authors is 10 a.m. Thursday, April 3, at Poplar Hill Mansion, 117 Elizabeth St., Salisbury. All events are free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6030. Or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu and the Newton Marasco Web site at www.newtonmarascofoundation.org.