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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

2007 Green Earth Book Awards Honor Environmental Authors

SALISBURY, MD---Environmental stewardship takes center stage with the Green Earth Book Awards at Salisbury University on Wednesday, April 18.

SU partners each year with the Newton Marasco Foundation, an environmental foundation based in McLean, VA, to offer a national award to books that inspire children and young adults to better care for the environment. This year's award presentation takes place during Salisbury University's Children's Literature Festival at 7 p.m. in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center.

More than 100 books this year were nominated for the Green Earth Book Award in three categories: children s fiction, for readers up to 12 years old; young adult fiction, for readers between 13 and 21; and nonfiction, for readers up to 21. Panels of literary and environmental professionals chose the winning books. This year’s recipients are:

• Uno’s Garden, written and illustrated by Graeme Base (published by Abrams Books for Young Readers) for children s fiction;

• Flash Point, by Sneed B. Collard III (published by Peachtree Publishers) for young adult fiction; and

• A Place for Butterflies, written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Higgins Bond (published by Peachtree Publishers) for nonfiction.

“Each of these books beautifully inspires young readers to care for the environment,” said Amy Newton, president of the McLean, Va.-based Newton Marasco Foundation (www.newtonmarascofoundation.org).

“Environmental stewardship is something that we all should care about,” said Dr. Laura Marasco, assistant professor of social studies education in SU’s Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies and a member of Newton Marasco’s board of directors.

“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. What better place to present these awards than in an environment that fosters learning and cares about children's literature?”

In Uno’s Garden, Uno moves to the forest and discovers hundreds of plants and imaginary animals, including a Snortlepig. But as more people arrive, buildings thrive while plants and animals   including the Snortlepig disappear. Uno’s children then take extra care to recover the natural wonders, but the Snortlepig still is nowhere to be found in this tale that emphasizes the importance of balancing development and conservation. 

A high school football player from a logging town learns about the delicate ecology of the forest in Flash Point. In a coming-of-age tale that mixes friendships, fistfights, heroism and romance, the book educates young adult readers about logging, forest fires and birds of prey.

A Place for Butterflies is a pictorial introduction to butterflies and their specialized habitats. Young readers learn about the role of butterflies as pollinators in complex food chains and discover their importance and fragility. The book also presents 11 species of butterflies illustrated in their preferred habitats.

Each award includes $2,500 to the winning author and illustrator, as well as $500 to an environmental organization of the winner’s choice. Base has designated his $500 contribution for the World Wildlife Fund. Collard divides his $500 between the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Rainforest Action Network. Stewart has chosen the Massachusetts Audubon Society for her contribution.

In addition to the award winners, the Honor Books chosen by the foundation for 2007 are: Abigale the Happy Whale, written by Peter Farrelly and illustrated by Jamie Rama (Little Brown Books for Young Readers); All the Way to the Ocean, written by Joel Harper and illustrated by Marq Spusta (Freedom Three Publishing); Firestorm: The Caretaker Trilogy: Book 1, written by David Klass (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers); Frog Heaven, written by Doug Wechsler (Boyds Mills Press); Home and Other Big Fat Lies, written by Jill Wolfson (Henry Holt); Quest for the Tree Kangaroo, written by Sy Montgomery and illustrated by Nic Bishop (Houghton Mifflin); and Saving the Buffalo, written by Albert Marrin (Scholastic).

Presenters at this year’s awards ceremony include Lisa Bryant, host of WBOC’s Learning Matters; Sue Corbett, book editor for the Miami Herald; and Pam Holley, president of the Young Adult Library Services Association. Roland Smith, author of children’s picture books and eco-adventure novels, keynotes the ceremony. His book Cryptid Hunter is part of the Reading Rally for sixth-grade students in Maryland this year.

The ceremony is free and the public is invited. A book signing and reception follow. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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