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This is the inspiring story of Wangari Maathai, women’s rights activist and one of the first environmental warriors. Overcoming great obstacles, Wangari began the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in the 1960s, which focused on planting trees, environmental conservation and women’s rights. She inspired thousands across Africa to plant 30 million trees in 30 years, saving many from hunger and poverty. Her remarkable story of courage and determination shows how just one person can change the world.

The story shows children how desertification works: how land is eroded and degraded when trees aren’t there to hold the soil in place so it’s not taken away by winds and heavy rain. It explains how all living things are dependent on each other and if trees are taken away, then you not only lessen the fertility of the soil, but you lose the animals that live there and then the animals that rely on those animals for food and so on.

As well as explaining important green issues, the book also talks about Wangari’s fight for human rights and shows how important it is to stand up for what you believe.

The gripping narrative non-fiction text by Gwendolyn Hooks, winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children, hooks readers from the start. Vibrant illustrations from print-maker Margaux Carpentier, one of the featured artists in Taschen’s The Illustrator: 100 Best from around the World, vividly evoke Wangari’s amazing life story.The consultant, Dr Jane Irungu, grew up in Kenya, but is now a Professor at the University of Oklahoma. She was inspired by Wangari when she was growing up and went on to get a PhD just as Wangari did.



‘Carpentier’s saturated geometric illustrations emphasize the bold impact of Maathai’s actions’, Publishers Weekly, May 2021