For summer holidays my family always rented the same little beach side cabin and one memory I have from this time is finding a copy of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson on the shelves. I know I read some of it although I am sure it was mostly beyond me. I do remember the main themes though, of the interconnection of life and the terrible damage wrought by insecticides on all parts of the food chain.
Silent Spring remains one of the most effective denunciations of industrial malpractice ever written and is widely credited with triggering popular ecological awareness in the US and Europe.
This book Rachel - The story of Rachel Carson is the perfect way to introduce this important activist to students. The book begins in 1912 when Rachel is five. On the subsequent pages we follow a chronology of her life and each episode serves to build up a picture of why Rachel wrote her most famous book Silent Spring. "She called it silent spring because if all the birds were killed, their songs would not be heard in springtime."
Here are a set of teaching notes for this book. This book could be used with children from Grade 1 right up to Grade 6.
The illustrations by Wendell Minor are perfect :
His sun- and moonlit scenarios, particularly two wordless spreads, fittingly display the striking beauty of the landscapes and seascapes that so inspired this courageous crusader.