Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day (Hardcover)

Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day By Shaunna Stith & John Stith, Maribel Lechuga (Illustrator) Cover Image
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(KIDS/SCIENCE & NATURE)

Description


This true story of the first Earth Day - told through the eyes of a fictional child - will inspire readers of all ages to stand up for their planet.

"[A] credible fictional narrative that draws children into what becomes an origin story for Earth Day and the birth of a movement." - Booklist, Starred Review

"A beautiful and motivating way to look into the makings of the very first Earth Day. Black Beach shows how far we've come and still how much work we have left to do." -Dave Matthews, Musician and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador

"[A] perceptive view of a major milestone in the environmental movement. . . . this story offers a template for the sort of internal sea change required to spark real concern for environmental - or any other - issues." -Kirkus Reviews

"The Stiths and Lechuga offer up a fast-moving chronicle of the events and emotions leading up to the first Earth Day. Artwork with airbrush textures aptly communicates Sam and others' dismay when confronted with the oil-slicked beach and wildlife. Sam's emerging eco-consciousness neatly provides evidence of the role that youth can play in helping to protect the planet." -Publishers Weekly

Twenty million people across the country made their voices heard on the first Earth Day.

Some came out to celebrate the environment, while others protested and demanded change.

A movement was born.

In 1969, Union Oil caused an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara that would change the world. Hazardous crude oil from the blowout flooded the Pacific Ocean, harming wildlife and devastating habitats. But from this ecological disaster sprang a new wave of environmental activism that continues to this day.

Based on actual events, Black Beach: A Community, an Oil Spill, and the Origin of Earth Day follows Sam and her classmates as they fight back. Sam initially feels powerless watching her parents and neighbors try to clean up the oil spill. But as her awareness grows, she learns she's not alone in caring for the Earth. The impact of the spill seeps into living rooms and classrooms across the nation. People everywhere are motivated to act, and a movement to protect and celebrate the environment is born.

About the Author


Shaunna and John Stith are passionate about protecting the planet. Originally from the East Coast, they now live on the Santa Barbara Channel in Southern California where they are continually inspired by the hard work of young eco-activists. Like Sam, they've learned it feels a whole lot better to stand up and act than to sit back and watch. Black Beach is their first picture book together.

Maribel Lechuga is an illustrator living in Madrid, Spain. Her versatility and sensitivity make her illustrations stand out. She loves beautiful textures and bright colors, nature, animal watching, and hiking. @mlechugaillustration

Praise For…


"After an offshore drilling accident has sent oil gushing up the Santa Barbara Channel, it reaches a beach near Sam's home. She and her parents go to see what has changed. Dark oil coats the water and lies in patches on the sand. Other Santa Barbara residents join them and try to rescue sea birds, though no one really knows what to do. Sam is sad and then angry about the damage to her favorite place. She and other children help pack small bottles of black oil, which are sent to politicians. After visiting Santa Barbara, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator and environmental activist, starts an initiative leading to the establishment of Earth Day, which increases awareness and action at Sam's school and beyond. The writers use sensory details effectively in creating a credible fictional narrative that draws children into what becomes an origin story for Earth Day and the birth of a movement. While the title page features an idyllic scene of Sam and other children playing on the beach, the place is almost unrecognizable later with oil coating the water and sand. The illustrations sensitively depict children and adults reacting to a serious issue and working together for change. A fine read-aloud choice for Earth Day."
— Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

The Stiths and Lechuga offer up a fast-moving chronicle of the events and emotions leading up to the first Earth Day. Anchoring the account is fictional protagonist Sam, portrayed with pale skin, who's inspired to take action when a 1969 oil spill contaminates local Santa Barbara beaches: "The sparkling waves that used to crash down,/ whoosh up, and tickle Sam's toes were silent./ All she could hear was slop.../ slop.../ slop." Artwork with airbrush textures aptly communicates Sam and others' dismay when confronted with the oil-slicked beach and wildlife. As the racially diverse town begins a cleanup effort, the group successfully works to attract national attention, leading to the first Earth Day. Sam's emerging eco-consciousness neatly provides evidence of the role that youth can play in helping to protect the planet. Back matter includes an authors' note.
— Publishers Weekly

"[A] perceptive view of a major milestone in the environmental movement. . . . this story offers a template for the sort of internal sea change required to spark real concern for environmental - or any other - issues."
— Kirkus Reviews
Product Details
ISBN: 9781499813043
ISBN-10: 149981304X
Publisher: little bee books
Publication Date: February 21st, 2023
Pages: 40
Language: English