Legal reporter Eliza is stunned when she finds a bug and two spiders talking to her and asking for her help with a cause. The puzzled and yet intrigued Eliza at the Mausoleum door follows the creatures through the crypt to NoHoSap, a safe place for living animals, away from humans and their exploration. As the surprises and shocks unfold for Eliza in NoHoSap, she learns of her role in a great cause – climate change. Will the Change Agents of NoHoSap be able to influence the world with the help of their human friends? Or penetrate the skeptical human conscience indifferent to the world’s real issues prowling the Earth?
In this unique urban fantasy novel, author Sarah E. Lewis honors her canine Bebop and inspires people to save the Earth from climate change. Bebop plays a significant role in the story as he is not only Eliza’s faithful companion but also a guide for NoHoSap, a change agent dedicated to making the Earth a flourishing home for all creatures. This intriguing story also satirizes the whole human race using several discourses and interactions among animal species. The story features a scene where animals protect and help rescue humans in a flood. It comes off as a silent mockery upon humans encroaching on animals’ natural habitat.
The Change Agents presents a critical topic wrapped in fantasy fiction, in which animals have taken over the role of humans. Readers will appreciate the comical representation of technology-driven animals in the story, such as BG (Billy Goat) rapping and mixing crazy tracks amid the dancing animals. Having the animal participate in such a serious social issue as climate change adds fun and makes the book ideal for older elementary children. The chapters were reasonable lengths and easy to break out for discussion topics.
The author wisely enlists the state of every habitat due to weather fluctuations by including the species that live there in The Alliance members of NoHoSap, who help explain to readers the ravaging change in the ecosystem. With subtle satire, the book invites readers to become Change Agents by adopting lifestyles that improve nature.
The Change Agents is a valuable book for parents and educators to teach children a valuable lesson on climate change while entertaining them with amusing creatures.
Pages: 380 | ASIN : B09LJX3MT7
Tags: adventure, animal fiction, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens books, climate change, ebook, ecology, elementary school, Environmental Ecology, Environmental Science, epic adventure, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids books, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, Sarah E. Lewis, story, The Change Agents, urban fantasy, writer, writing
The Problem with Poppy is about a porcupine that has trouble making friends and overcomes that fear. What was the inspiration for your story?
Like Poppy, I have been defensive where I didn’t need to be out of fear as I had experienced trauma which made it difficult for me to trust people and make friends. I wanted to write a book that drew on my own personal experiences but in a child appropriate way to show children that if they too have an issue with making friends, they need to overcome a fear and trauma or are defensive, they are able to overcome this. Everybody has a natural defence system, it’s a survival skill, but there is a time and a place to use it and as Poppy learns in the story, being defensive when she doesn’t need to be can have upsetting consequences. However, Poppy makes the brave step to address the issue and makes a lifelong friend in the process. I think people can relate to Poppy and learn that being brave and addressing your issues can make your life so much better and happier.
What inspired you to write a series about the rainforest?
The rainforest is so important as it enables so many different species of animals to live there. Sadly, with deforestation and poaching occuring around the world, I wanted to write a book which teaches children the importance of protecting these animals and the rainforest as well as educating them about how to deal with their own issues. I also wanted to help protect the animals and rainforests in any way I could and as a result of book sales from The Problem with Poppy and the next two books in the Sumatran Trilogy I donate £1 per book sale to Rainforest Trust UK which is then used to save the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, where the book is set. The Leuser Ecosystem is the last place on earth where tigers, porcupines, orangutans and elephants co-exist in the wild so I wanted to educate children on this amazing part of the world and what we can all do to preserve it.
How did collaboration go between you and the illustrator for the book?
My illustrator, Olena Osadcha, is based in Ukraine. It has been a pleasure working with her for this book. Olena is also illustrating the next two books in the Sumatran Trilogy, What’s Troubling Tawny? and Hooray for Heidi! Olena shares the same passion that I do in relation to the story and feels that the book has some important messages for children. Olena and I have worked very closely in getting the illustrations as perfect as possible to make them fun, cute and captivating for the reader.
I see there are two more books in the series set for publication, are they going to build on The Problem with Poppy or are they their own stories?
The next two books in the Sumatran Trilogy have some similarities to The Problem with Poppy but also some differences. They will both be set in the Sumatran rainforest but they will introduce new characters into each story while at the same time the characters from the previous book making cameo appearances! The next two books will, again, touch on important messages for children such as self confidence, self esteem, self worth, working as a team, trying your best, taking part in activities, along with reinforcing the importance of saving the rainforest and the animals that inhabit them.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, children, childrens books, ebook, ecology, education, Emma Sandford, goodreads, kids, kids books, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, parents, picture books, read, reader, reading, story, teachers, The Problem with Poppy, writer, writing
Dargo: Eco Hero follows a lonely young man as he rises from despair in his going-nowhere-fast job to his new position as hero for the environment. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
This came from many sources. Part from a dream (the character’s first name and the bone thing). Part from my childhood adoration of my older brother. Part from a recent visit to Northern California, where I was shocked by mile after mile of freeway with memorials to fallen highway patrol officers, many with Hispanic names (hence Fernandez). Part from my own experience of being bullied in the workplace. Part from my ongoing love affair with music. Part from my life-long love of nature. Part by the First Nations American elder who saved his people from annihilation due to his translatory skills and eloquence of speech. Part from the ordinary cold-war Russian soldier who did NOT hit the red button to signal incoming nuclear attack (otherwise, we would not be having this conversation, I suspect). All this reminded me of what just one person can do, even though they may feel at the end of their tether.
Dargo is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
There are plenty of people who don’t fit into everyday society. So many have suffered as a result, and of course still do. I wanted to say that no matter how hard things get, be exactly who you are.
And please BE. Don’t give up. Things will turn around. Hang in there. There may be 7.5 billion people and counting in this world, and the pressure to conform to the idealised ‘thing’ is greater than ever, but we need YOU! As Samara Jones learns in The Girl with Ten Diamonds, my companion novella to Dargo, “You can’t clone a soul”.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
This disconnect between humanity and nature, and how that problem might be addressed. Because it absolutely must be! You can’t save it if you don’t love it, and you can’t love it if you don’t know it.
Also, personal redemption. So very, very important in this increasingly crowded and competitive world. I wonder how many fell through the cracks-of-no-return just today…
So, as Dargo discovers, he begins by lifting spirits, and that includes his own.
I really hope this book lifts readers’ spirits in these very tough times we find ourselves in. Especially important for those trying to save the Earth. It’s a tough gig, and I hope Dargo can provide a little solidarity and joy.
Find nature and you will find yourself — worked for me!
Thanks for reading.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Kahnilla the Dragon. She will be the 6th instalment in this Treasury of Feel-Good Stories. This series follows the style of Dargo – examination of serious, topical issues through humorous story-telling.
The series has stories for all ages. Kahnilla is another adult fairy-tale. It deals with hate and its cost, and how young people and others learn to hate by following wrong information. The story focusses on the importance of true listening, thinking for oneself, and getting one’s facts from reliable sources. We really need to, more than ever!
Kahnilla is in production now, and will hopefully be out early next year.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dargo: Eco Hero, ebook, ecology, fairytale, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, humor, Karina McRoberts, kindle, kobo, literature, nature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, satire, story, writer, writing
Poor Dargo Fernandez. He doesn’t want much out of life. In fact, he really wants nothing more than to belong. At the rate he is going, he won’t even accomplish that much. His life is more of an existence than anything–he has no social life to speak of. When Dargo comes face to face with the fact that even his meager position in the company is in jeopardy, he heads for home with his heart on his sleeve. Wondering how he will be able to pay his bills, Dargo finds himself creating a laundry list of new worries on his journey home. Before he can even begin to resolve his issues, he is quite literally swept away to face a whole new challenge
Dargo: Eco Hero, by Karina McRoberts, follows main character Dargo Fernandez as he rises from the depths of despair in his going-nowhere-fast job to his new position as hero for the environment. McRoberts’s work hits on a few genres but hones in primarily on fantasy. In fact, it gives me the best kind of Wizard of Oz vibes. The author has nailed the same type of warmth as L. Frank Baum but puts her own unique spin on main character Dargo and his band of merry cohorts.
The ecological lessons conveyed in McRoberts’s work are huge ones. She is successful in creating quite an impact with her words and the experiences of her cast of characters. I was especially impressed with the mixture of personification and metaphors found throughout the writing. The imagery she creates leaves readers breathless at times. Her writing is timely and gives voice to the environment in a way no other writer I have seen has been able to do.
Dargo: Eco Hero is a short read, easily digestible in one sitting, it packs an important punch–and one we all need to feel right about now. Protecting and appreciating the earth for the miracle it is tops this author’s list of priorities. Readers looking for a hard dose of truth in their fantasy reads will appreciate McRoberts’s style and character development. I highly recommend Dargo’s story to anyone looking for something different, something fun, and a book that will leave them smiling.
Pages: 85 | ASIN: B083RBML74
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dargo, dargo eco hero, ebook, ecology, fairytale, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Karina McRoberts, kindle, kobo, literature, new adult, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, satire, story, writer, writing, young adult
Ash Narro is the eponymous Namer of Spirits in this engaging eco-fantasy by Todd Mitchell. She is a young girl with a talent for finding the true names and souls of beings and thereby taming them. She is growing up inside the walls of a village that is hiding from the perils of the outside world, including the unpredictable and fearsome dao fora, who seem to attack at random. But the village has been cursed, and their fear and greed has blinded them to what’s important while their farms struggle under plagues of webworms. When a dao fora youth called Fen finds his way inside the walls and is imprisoned in a cage by fearful villagers, Ash befriends him and sets him free. Branded a traitor by her own people, she goes on the run with Fen to clear her name and to find the Sky Tree in the hope it will provide the answers that her village needs to survive.
Engaging characterization in this adventure will have readers rooting for the protagonists right from the start. The magic is enchanting, and the monsters are frightening and have hidden sorrows. The lineup of otherworldly beings is rich without even a hint of the confusion or clumsiness that many less experienced writers get bogged down in within this genre. Author Todd Mitchell’s naming is both creative and evocative; I particularly loved the mistcats and the illwen.
The Namer of Spirits is among the best of its kind, and it has a superb cover too. Drawing devastating parallels with the real world, Mitchell has created a captivating allegory on the effects of deforestation. This is a thrilling educational adventure novel for children ages 9 and up, but this beautifully crafted story will also be loved by adults.
Pages: 300 | ASIN: B095Z374J7
Tags: adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, ecology, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science ficiton, steampunk, story, sword and sorcery, The Namer of Spirits, Todd Mitchell, writer, writing, young adult
The Nature of Nature makes a clear case for why protecting nature is in all of our best interests. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Because in the last 30 years I have seen nature decline all around us, and this felt like seeing your favorite museum (or cathedral) burn to the ground. I felt like most people do not understand how nature works, and why it is so essential to our survival. Without the natural world there would be no us.
You are a renowned ecologist with decades of experience in the field. How has your experience helped you write this book?
The book actually wrote itself because all these ideas and facts had been accumulating in my mind since I started traveling around the world and conducting scientific research. They had to go somewhere, so I put them in paper.
What is one thing people can change in their everyday life that will make a positive impact on the environment?
Eat more plants and less meat. Eating a plant-based diet (what’s called being “flexitarian”) would reduce the amount of land, water and chemicals we need to produce food, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (livestock burp huge amounts of methane).
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
That we’re all dependent on each other, but not just among humans, also between all species of plants, animals and microbes that live on our planet – therefore we need to protect our natural world as if our lives depended on it – because they do.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books to read, ebook, ecology, educational, Enric Sala, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, the nature of nature, writer, writing
In The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild, Enric Sala talks everything nature and discusses conservancy, the importance of protecting the planet, and living responsibly. Having been a marine biologist for decades, Enric Sala pulls from years of experience to provide a sharp and informed perspective on the environment and how man has managed to drastically change nature. As he discusses the wild, animals, plants, and every living thing, one can tell how passionate Enric Sala is about the subject. The agony in his words when addressing the destruction of nature, the joy in his tone when he discusses conservancy and how to preserve the planet’s endangered species makes one fall in love not only with the book but also the work the author has been doing over the years.
Through the lessons and Enric Sala’s stories about his work and personal life the reader is exposed to a world that is so vital to us, yet nebulous. I enjoyed the experiences Enric Sala shared about his line of work. The stories the author gives are eye-opening and will leave you feeling informed about the role humans play in destroying flora and fauna. Not many people get to witness directly how human activity affects animals both on land and in the sea. Enric Sala shares this reality through simple and engaging language that kept me rapt.
Readers will learn a lot about the value of saving the environment and how politics, the economy, and other sectors are affected when the environment is destroyed. Through this book, the author encourages everyone to be an environmental activist in little ways. Modernization and civilization have led to an increase in air pollution. To control this, the author encourages people to adopt new lifestyles and engage in activities like tree planting and cleaning the environment to ensure that the air we breathe and the water fish swim in is not harmful.
The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild comes at a critical time for the planet and should be essential reading. Enric Sala has written a thought-provoking book that distills complex ecological concepts into easily understandable ideas that could save the planet, improve your health, and strengthen the economy.
Pages: 272 | ASIN: B08273CTZK
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The Orangutan Rescue Gang written by Joyce Major is a riveting adventure following a group of children that set out to rescue an abused orangutan! This was a heartfelt story with a beautiful message portrayed through a thrilling adventure through the rain forest of Sumatra.
I loved Jaylynn’s character (though her father got on my nerves a lot) and Bima and Zaqi, although supporting characters, brought new dimensions to Jaylynn’s character and the story. Little O was adorable, his plight was heartbreaking but also serves to get you immediately invested in the story. I loved that Jaylynn was determined and persistent, from the moment she met Little O his safety and freedom were the only things on her mind. It was great how she and her best friend back home, Matt, helped recruit people to help Little O and it showed that if you truly want to do something to help change the world, you can if you stick to it and take action. While the character development in this story was one of the books stand out features, I felt like towards the end Zaqi’s character backtracked a bit, becoming a toddler and pitching a fit when the rescue center option was placed on the table, but that could just be my interpretation.
The Orangutan Rescue Gang shines a light on the horrible truth behind the abuse of primates and the ecological disaster happening in the rain forest. This book does a fantastic job of helping children become aware of a problem that could be abstract, as it’s happening so far away. I truly hope that those who read this decide to help primates because it is devastating that poachers do those things to them. The one thing I would have liked to see included in the book would have been an epilogue containing maybe Jaylynn, Bima, and Zaqi working with Orangutans and maybe JayLynn’s father visiting her at work or volunteering with her. I really would have liked to see Matt visiting her since he was a big help in the rescue as well, even if it was from afar.
This book is both creative and informative. Joyce Major does a great job of relaying an important message while telling a story that is consistently entertaining.
Pages: 137 | ASIN: B07PMTN95B
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, children, childrens book, ebook, ecology, education, fantasy, goodreads, habitat, Joyce Major, kindle, kobo, literature, monkey, nook, novel, orangutan, primate, rain forest, read, reader, reading, story, The Orangutan Rescue Gang, writer, writing, young adult