Review of Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas
by Sandra Neil Wallace; illus. by Rebecca Gibbon
Primary    Wiseman/Simon    56 pp.    g
9/20    978-1-5344-3154-6    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-3155-3    $10.99

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, journalist and fierce champion of Florida’s natural environment, spent her long life (1890–1998) advocating for the protection of the Everglades. ­Wallace’s account begins with Douglas’s brief childhood visit to sunny Florida with her father and her early life of books and nature in New England with her mother and aunt. In her own adulthood, divorced, Douglas arrives in Miami and takes a journalist position at the Miami Herald, the paper her father had started. Wallace’s narrative incorporates relevant quotes from Douglas: “I wanted my own life in my own way.” After service in the navy in WWI, Douglas returns to Florida and begins, with Ernest Coe, a campaign to designate the Everglades as a national park. Successes and obstacles ensue — “The Everglades is a test. If we pass it, we get to keep the planet” — set against Gibbon’s illustrations of lush Florida landscapes filled with multitudes of birds, marsh grasses, people, and marine life, and contrasting images of ever-encroaching development. Douglas is unbowed, writing The Everglades: River of Grass and organizing the Friends of the Everglades. Though the biographical detail is selective, the back matter is useful for filling in blanks. Endnotes provides a timeline and background on Douglas, her conservation efforts, a field guide to Florida wildlife, and additional resources.

From the March/April 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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