I was sad to read that Jean Craighead George, naturalist and author of My Side of the Mountain and more than 100 other books, died this week at age 92.
In 2009, SB&F, AAAS' review journal, presented George a AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books lifetime achivement award. My partner and I were lucky enough to share an elevator ride up to the ceremony with her and her family, and she was lively and gracious while we chatted for a few minutes.
Science NetLinks created the middle school lesson Jean Craighead George: Unsentimental Naturalist to accompany a reading of Julie of the Wolves or another George novel of a teacher's choosing. I think it works equally well in either a science or an English classroom (or as a combined unit). SB&F has additional biographical information about George on her prize page and an audio interview with her on her Book Talk page.
Amazingly, I have not read any of her books (although my partner has), and I'd welcome your thoughts on where to begin. Should I start with one of her two best known titles or read one of her lesser known works? Do you or your students have a particular favorite?
This is such sad news. Meeting Jean Craighead George is definitely one of my very special memories. She was such an incredible story teller and environmentalist...and had been one long before people were called environmentalists.
In the picture below she is signing my copy of Julie of the Wolves.