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Summary: The story traces the ecological evolution of the Nashua River: from its impact on native Americans and early American wildlife and vegetation to its ecological impact on the Nashua River Valley in the early part of the 20th century. This is an environmental history that contrasts the devestation caused by pollution and ignorance with the power of one woman’s mission to preserve the Nashua River Valley for future generations.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 6 to 12
Reading Level: 4.7
Age of Child: Read with child 7 years old.
Young Reader Reaction: From the moment we started reading, she was captivated by the information and illustrations. As the book progressed and she could see the devastation of the Nashua River, she began to be visibly disturbed (especially by the picture of the polluted water) and even cited examples of how she has impacted the environment by recycling and picking up trash.
Adult Reader Reaction: This was a wonderful story of environmental consequences. I enjoyed the contrastsof the pristine beauty of the early river and the ravages of factory pollution with the upbeat ending that conveyed the message, “People can make a difference.”
Pros: The book is a great story about consequences. It can lead to a wonderful discussion about the impact we all make (both negative and positive) on the environment.
Borrow or Buy: Buy it! This is one of those stories that teaches a valuable lesson. Take it out when you see your child litter or before you visit a park or environmental feature.
Educational Themes: This book complements Native American History and science lessons. It is a platform to discuss the larger environmental impact humans make on the world and may be the impetus for teaching children Earth responsibility and ecosystems