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Up Close: Rachel Carson by Ellen S. Levine

Up Close: Rachel Carson

by Ellen S. Levine

Series: Up Close

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The author talks about Rachel Carson a scientist and her book about Silent Spring that was published in 1962. The book also tells about the financial struggles and gender discrimination she had to go through being her field. She had to take care of her entire family because she was the only one really making any money . I had never heard of Rachel Carson before reading this book . I loved it and would use it in a science class as well as a class to teach young girls that they can do in theirs lives. ( )
  rmthoma2 | May 7, 2012 |
I wanted to like this book more than I did. It was well researched and well written but it did not keep me engaged. Levine included Carson’s own words throughout the book. The book includes chapter notes, a bibliography and an index. It also has black and white photos taken throughout Carson's life. I was familiar with Rachel Carson having grown-up during the 1970s and the birth of the environmental movement. A subject this exciting deserves a less dry book. I would offer it as additional reading if students wanted to know more about Rachel Carson and would seek out other texts that might be more engaging. ( )
  rwilliamson | May 7, 2012 |
A well-written, interesting biography about Rachel Carson, this book depicts the "mother of the environmental movement" as a strong, intelligent, and hard working female scientist. Written chronologically, this book opens with Carson's childhood. Growing up on a farm and spending a lot of time outdoors, Carson was very interested in the world around her. Ellen S. Levine showed the reader just how influential Carson's upbringing was. Her farm life, especially since it was near a factory, were integral to the creation of her most famous book, "Silent Spring," which caused many people to criticize Carson's work. I would recommend this book to middle or high school students who want to know more about the beginning of environmental science. ( )
  chelsea6273 | May 6, 2012 |
Levine’s “Up Close: Rachel Carson,” is a biography of the environmentalist Rachel Carson. The author draws on primary sources to tell a story that spans all of Carson’s life, with particular focus on her interests and achievements in science and the environment. At a time when young girls growing into women were expected to take a certain path, Carson went against the grain. Rather than preparing for a life as a housewife, she insisted on pursuing a graduate education in science. She went own to combine her duel enthusiasms for writing and science to write “Silent Spring” and became one of the early leaders of the environmentalist movement.

This book is written in language that is accessible, though the story does feel slow at times, especially when the focus is her early life. I feel the author leans toward depth and detail in this area. The most fascinating parts of her story come when her book is released and controversy ensues. Particularly entertaining are the quotes directly from Carson in response to her critics.

Today, the environment is part of our national dialogue. Issues of the environment have become politicized to the extent that a person's political party or ideology directly impacts which scientific evidence he is going to believe. Though I had known very little about Rachel Carson before reading this book, the significance of her work in undeniable and the challenges she had to overcome are inspiring. She deserves a lot of credit for bringing the environment into the national consciousness. The backlash she experienced is a close parallel to the debate still going on now. This is why I believe her case can be relevant to either an American History or Civics classroom. This is a great example of issues become politicized and of how moneyed interests try to influence policy. ( )
  DustinB1983 | May 5, 2012 |
This is a good book that teaches about self determination, perseverance and never giving up. It is also a good book for a science teacher to use when talking about the origins of the EPA and what types of individuals influenced its beginnings. As a math teacher it would take much preparation to find data statistics to use for math problems. ( )
  kratzerliz23 | May 5, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670062200, Hardcover)

Rachel Carson combined her love of science and writing in her awardwinning and controversial book, Silent Spring. Revealing the dangers of pesticide use, it brought readers a new awareness of man’s contamination of the environment and ultimately led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:13 -0400)

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Discusses author and marine biologist Rachel Carson's efforts to protect the environment, from her childhood nature outings through the impact of her 1962 book, "Silent Spring."

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