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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Review: Listening to Crickets: A Story about Rachel Carson by Candice F. Ransom

TITLE: Listening to Crickets: A Story about Rachel Carson

SERIES: Creative Minds Biographies


PUBLISHER: Lerner Publishing Group

DATE OF PUBLICATION: January 1, 1993

FORMAT: Paperback, 64 pages

GENRE: Juvenile Non-fiction, Biography

ISBN: 978-0876146156
Rachel Carson combined her gift of writing with her love of nature to change how the world viewed DDT. Through commitment and persistence, she entered a world where few women tread. Carson provides an excellent role model for children to broaden their views on future careers.


I read this non-fiction biography about Rachel Carson to my children.

Until I read this book, I had no idea who this remarkable woman was! While she initially planned to major in literature to pursue her dream to become a writer, the two mandatory science credits that she needed to take to obtain her degree changed her plans. It was unheard of for a woman in the 1920s to become a scientist. It just wasn’t proper! She was not swayed by the opinions of others and did proceed to change her major. She ended up graduating with a Master’s Degree in Marine Zoology from Johns Hopkins University and found her dream job that united both of her loves: writing and science. She wrote a series of radio broadcasts on the topic of marine biology.

Rachel’s first book, Under the Sea-Wind, published in 1941 was about the sea from the point of view of the creatures who inhabited it. Her second novel, The Sea Around Us, published in 1951 was an instant best-seller and made her famous. Her success continued with her third book, The Edge of the Sea, published in 1955 which described the life and geology of the East Coast.

Against all advice, Rachel again listened to her heart when she published Silent Spring in 1962. It was a highly controversial book about the environmental effects of the use of DDT and other chemical pesticides. Her book was the catalyst that resulted in DDT and other chemicals being almost completely banned in the United States, Canada, and other developed countries. She was not afraid of the public backlash, and our world is a safer and healthier place because of her! Many farmers now use natural enemies (usually other insects) to manage crop pests or biodegradable insecticides.

This is a very informative, interesting, and inspiring biography that is suitable for children ages 9-14. I highly recommend it!


5 stars!! Highly recommended!

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