Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Going Green

To celebrate Earth Day, I thought I'd post about one of the greenest writers I know, Bonnie J. Doerr. Bonnie writes tween eco-mysteries where green teens capture poachers and save the environment. Bonnie's most recent release, Stakeout, was a finalist for the Green Earth Book Award.

But Bonnie doesn't just write about the endangered animals, she does hands-on research. Here's one example of how involved she gets in her research.


In an interview with the Authors for Earth Day blog, Bonnie explained why she writes her books: "My dream is to rekindle that spark of wonder and fascination with wild things by providing fun, fast-paced stories featuring young teens as environmental heroes. I write stories that organically show, rather than tell, young impressionable readers how fragile our environment is. I write especially for ages ten to thirteen. Readers this age are shaping enduring personal goals and values." Bonnie hopes those values include caring for our fragile planet.

She's taken time out of her busy schedule to share a bit about her writing life and passion for the environment.

Please tell us about your journey as a writer.

I began to write poetry first, then short stories. But by the time I drafted my first novel, the die was cast. Each piece of writing had brought me closer and closer to natural settings, to crimes against the environment, and finally to where I am now—writing ecological mystery/adventures.

How does Earth Week inspire you?

During Earth Week I’m reminded more than ever about why my writing took off in he direction it did. A deep appreciation of nature and the need to be immersed in the outdoors on a regular basis has defined my mental health for as long as I remember. I've been astounded to learn how many people are missing that gene. In recent years my astonishment turned into alarm. This lack of dissociation from nature, I believe, is in many ways at the core of our environmental crisis.

Is this disassociation from nature a problem for kids?

Watch the wonder and delight on a young child’s face when first observing a nest of eggs hatching, a tadpole growing into a frog, or a bean sprouting and reaching for the sky and you know how much joy children naturally find in nature. It's important to nurture that appreciation.

It's sad to see how that spark goes out as young children become teens and tweens. And what about kids who live in the city or whose lives are too busy for this kind of play? And what of adults who are too busy to spend time enjoying nature?

Without first having experienced something, how can we come to care for it? It seems tragically understandable that a lack of association with the natural environment leads to ecological abuse, or at the very least, taking our natural environment for granted.

So how do you get your message about being green out to kids?

I realize not every child can visit a wilderness, or explore a National Refuge, but every child can feel like they have when immersed in my novels. Teens can learn how much fun it is to be outdoors, how sensitive the environment is, and how they can set a good example for the adults in their world. They can virtually join other teens as they work to improve the Earth and save its creatures. It’s one small thing I can do to inspire environmental stewardship.

It's great to know that you and other authors are working to make kids aware of how important it is to be green.  

For more great books to celebrate Earth Week, check out the Mixed-Up Files blog

And, Bonnie, thanks for taking the time to share your passion with us.

To learn more about Bonnie J. Doerr, visit her website and her blog BonnieBlogsGreen. Bonnie is also featured on the Girl Scout website, Aurora Reviews (who gave Stakeout a 5-star review), and TBR.

From now until the end of the month, Island Sting and Stakeout are both on sale in the Leap Books store for 40% off. And the Island Sting e-book is FREE for Amazon Prime members and only 99 cents for other Amazon shoppers. Watch for the Stakeout e-book coming soon. If you leave a comment below from now until April 30, 2012, your name will be entered in drawing for a free e-book or an autographed paperback of Stakeout or Island Sting.

1 comment:

Cate Masters said...

Wonderful interview. I love that you're trying to inspire young people to be more environmentally conscious, Bonnie.
Anyone who hasn't seen Bonnie as TBR's Featured Author should visit her there too! Well worth the read.