“Creating a New World View” – When Rivers Burned: the Earth Day Story

whenriversburned350I write this review on the eve of Earth Day, 2014. Reading When Rivers Burned: the Earth Day Story  brings this day newly and significantly alive.  Author Linda Crotta Brennan takes readers  through the dramatic unfolding of events and introduces us to the cast of players who created the first Earth Day, April 22, in the tumultuous year of 1970.  Brennan has written a tight chronology of environmental disasters beginning after World War II from civilian use of DDT to smog that killed in many cities including Donora, Pennsylvania, to Cleveland in 1969 when the  Cuyahoga River began to burn with oil and industrial chemicals.  Brennan tells the story of activist leader Gaylord Nelson who shaped policy and thinking and brought about legislation that established the Environment Protection Agency.  Maybe most importantly, the book offers young readers the story of a young graduate student with a passion to protect the environment, Denis Hayes.   Students will read how, in envisioning Earth Day, young Hayes led “the largest demonstration in American history.”   When Rivers Burned has been named a Notable Social Studies Trade Book by the National Council for the Social Studies and  an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers’ Association.

3 comments for ““Creating a New World View” – When Rivers Burned: the Earth Day Story

  1. April 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I’m honored to have my book reviewed by The Pirate Tree. Thanks to Terry Farish for her kind words.

  2. April 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I am always fascinated with the story of how transformative legislation came to be, and wonder what Linda has up her sleeve next.

  3. April 22, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Thanks for this review of a very interesting book. Few people realize how bad the environment had become before Earth Day helped initiate legislative reform. Sadly, the fight is not over!!!!

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