Sarah's Stars

Jeanette Winter. Wangari's Trees of Peace
Harcourt  $18.95  ISBN 978-0-15-206545-4  32 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 15

The earth was naked. For me the mission was to try to cover it with green.

Wangari's Trees of Peace is the story of a woman named Wangari Maathai who grew up in a small village in fertile Kenya. After traveling to America to go to college, Wangari returns to see that the lush land she remembered is gone, replaced by dry, cracked earth. Where are all of the trees? But instead of sitting around and wishing the trees would grow back, Wangari sets about to plant more. She encourages the village women to help her and she pays them for their labour. Unfortunately, the government disapproves of Wangari's movement, and they beat her and lock her in jail. But it's too late; Wangari has started something huge and in total, 30 million trees will be planted! The best thing about the story is that Wangari is a real woman, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 because of her Green Belt Movement.

The tale is told in simple sentences, which makes it engaging and interesting to even the youngest of readers. It's an incredibly moving story, accompanied by colorful illustrations that take the reader on a journey to a hot, green Africa. I thought it was a thought-provoking book and I really enjoyed the format and the pictures. Wangari's Tree of Peace is a story that will find loving homes on many different shelves.

I give Jeanette Winter's Wangari's Trees of Peace five stars.


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