Force of Nature: A Novel of Rachel Carson (Hardcover)

Force of Nature: A Novel of Rachel Carson By Ann E. Burg, Ms. Sophie Blackall (Illustrator) Cover Image

Force of Nature: A Novel of Rachel Carson (Hardcover)


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(Juvenile Fiction)

A beautiful and hopeful story of how a young impassioned naturalist grows up to change the world. For everyone who cares about our fragile planet.

"An absolute joy to read." —Book Riot

"Gracefully written…pleasing to the eye and ear." —Kirkus Reviews

Rachel was a girl who loved

science and the sea,

books and writing

and all the creatures of the world.

Rachel was quiet,

a listener by nature.

But when she saw problems,

she could not remain silent.

Some people thought girls

shouldn’t be scientists.

They thought girls

shouldn’t use their voices

to question or challenge,

even to protect

all the creatures of the world.

Luckily Rachel didn’t listen

to them.

Ann Burg's debut novel, All the Broken Pieces, was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Jefferson Cup award winner and an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society, among its many honors. All of her subsequent novels in verse have garnered multiple awards and starred reviews. Serafina's Promise was named an ALA Notable, a Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner, and an NAACP Image Award finalist. Unbound was the winner of the New-York Historical Society Children's History Book Prize, the Christopher Award, and an Arnold Adoff Poetry Honor. Flooded was a Bank Street College Claudia Lewis Award winner, a Bank Street College Best Children's Book (with outstanding merit), and a Junior Library Guild selection. Burg worked as an English teacher for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with her family. Visit her online at
Sophie Blackall found inspiration for her drawings in Rachel Carson’s writing and in her deep love for the natural world. “The ripples of Rachel’s work affect us still, encircling us, reminding us more than ever that we are all connected.” Sophie has illustrated over fifty books for children, including the New York Times bestselling Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows and the Caldecott Medal winners Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and her own Hello Lighthouse. Originally from Australia, Sophie now splits her time between Brooklyn, New York, and the Catskill Mountains. Learn more at
Product Details ISBN: 9781338883381
ISBN-10: 1338883380
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English

Praise for Force of Nature:

“Gracefully written in short, rhythmic lines, the text is pleasing to the eye and ear. Many pages of this beautifully presented celebration are enhanced by Blackall’s tiny, hand-labeled, grayscale drawings. . . . A convincing and charming portrayal of a woman who made a difference.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Burg crafts a fictionalized telling of Carson’s life, which is accompanied by delicate and realistically rendered b&w illustrations of birds, flowers, and insects by Blackall." —Publishers Weekly

"An absolute joy to read. Burg’s writing, paired with illustrations by Blackall, bring Carson to life and give the reader a glimpse into her personal side. . . . Burg captures the awe and wonder that Carson had for nature and the natural world and her desire to share that with others, especially children." —Book Riot

Praise for Flooded: Requiem for Johnstown:

* "Stunning, significant and sorrowful, Ann E. Burg's requiem melts history into prose... Highly recommended." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"Chillingly effective." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Awards and Praise for All the Broken Pieces:

ALA Best Books for Young AdultsIRA Notable Book for a Global SocietyJefferson Cup Award WinnerBooklist Editors' ChoiceALA Popular Paperback for Young Adults

* "[A] stirring debut novel... will make readers want to rush to the end and then return to the beginning again to make connections between past, present, friends and enemies." -- Booklist, starred review

* "Using spare free verse, first-time novelist Burg beautifully evokes the emotions of a Vietnamese adoptee as he struggles to come to terms with his past." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "The verse form carries highly charged emotions and heavy content with elegiac simplicity." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"The story is a lovely, moving one." -- School Library Journal

Awards and Praise for Serafina's Promise:

ALA Notable Book ALA Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies Américas Award, Commended Title ​​​​​Kirkus Best Book of the YearSchool Library Journal Best Books of the Year Parents' Choice Gold Award WinnerNew York Public Library 100 Books for Giving and Sharing The Herald-Sun Wilde Award for Longer Books, Middle Grade Novel Cybils Awards Finalists, Middle Grade Fiction NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Literary Work -- Youth/Teens nominee Michigan Great Lakes Great Books Award Nominee Bank Street College Children's Book Committee -- Best Children's Books of the Year Kansas' William Allen White Award

* "Lilting, lyrical, and full of hope." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Powerful and uplifting." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"The grace of the Haitian people is revealed in Burg's poetic language, the vastness of Haiti's needs apparent in the details of Serafina's world. Serafina's journey is one readers will find unsettling but, at the same time, rich with examples of true courage and dignity." -- Karen Hesse, author of the Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust and Safekeeping

"Serafina is certainly a resilient and admirable character who will touch the hearts of many... Through this story, Ann extends the reputation she established with All the Broken Pieces." -- Don Gallo

"A fascinating poetic tale, a magic window that opens gently and brings to your heart the cultural richness and wonders of a fate-taunting nation." -- Denize Lauture

Awards and Praise for Unbound:

New-York Historical Society Children's History Book Prize WinnerArnold Adoff Poetry Award for Middle Readers, Honor BookChristopher Award, Books for Young PeopleKirkus Prize NomineeNYPL Best Books of the Year

* "A combination of historical precision, honesty, and adventure... Beautifully done." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Strong readers will appreciate the rhythmic flow of the poetry and the well-executed pacing... An ideal selection for classrooms and libraries... across a wide grade range." -- School Library Journal, starred review