Hello friends and welcome to my stop on the This is the Story of You blog tour! Beth Kephart’s latest book is about love, family, survival and nature when a superstorm hits a small town . Read on to find out more about the book, read author Beth Kephart’s thoughts about writing environmental stories, and enter to win a copy of This is the Story of You for yourself. Thank you to Chronicle Books for sending me a review copy!
About the Book:
On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But then a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, upending all logic and stranding Mira’s mother and brother on the mainland. Nothing will ever be the same. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira’s home. A friend obsessed with vanishing disappears. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on—to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future. Gripping and poetic, This Is the Story of You is about the beauty of nature and the power of family, about finding hope in the wake of tragedy and recovery in the face of overwhelming loss.
Author Beth Kephart on “Environmental Stories”
In the May 2016 issue of The Writer magazine, author Melissa Hart studies the middle grade and YA authors who have, in her words, “embraced environmental topics to create stories, activism, and stewardship among young readers.”
Inspired by a love of nature and concerned about the effects of climate change, middle-grade and YA authors are crafting novels that explore issues such as deforestation, endangered species, polluted oceans and devastating superstorms. Readers, rather than shrinking away from these tough topics, are absorbing the stories—even rallying to organize sustainability projects in schools and neighborhoods.
I quote Melissa’s wise words because I agree with them so wholeheartedly. This Is the Story of You was one of Hart’s featured books in her piece, along with Ana Maria Spagna’s The Luckiest Scar on Earth, Helen Landalf’s Flyaway, and Eliot Trechel’s A Series of Small Maneuvers, among others. Clearly there are a growing number of writers who share my commitment to building meaningful stories around environmental urgencies.
And many of us don’t just write these stories. We take them to the communities. An earlier book of mine, Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River, features the river as narrator—her hopes, her hearts, her dreams, her history. The book is, in fact, the river’s autobiography. I have taken Flow in and out of classrooms. I have taught rising eco-minded Philadelphia teens about the heart and soul of rivers. I have listened to their concerns. This is their world we are leaving behind. We have a responsibility to help them see it and to encourage their nurture of it.
(Sidenote: My characters in This Is the Story of You are working on their own senior thesis projects, which I call their Project Flows. One story feeding another.)
Language and plot cannot be sacrificed in environmental stories. Characters still must rule. The thing is, environmental stories make the Earth a character,too.
I believe in them.
Thanks, Beth! I’m sure your book will give readers a thirst for more environmental stories so the recs are appreciated.
About the Author:
Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of nineteen books, including Going Over, Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, and Small Damages. A National Book Award finalist, Kephart is also a winner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fiction grant, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Leeway grant, a Pew Fellowships in the Arts grant, and the Speakeasy Poetry Prize. Kephart teaches workshops at many institutions, to all ages and creative nonfiction workshops at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a popular keynote speaker and frequent contributor to the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and many national journals. She blogs daily at beth-kephart.blogspot.com
One reader will win:
- A copy of This is the Story of You
Prizing courtesy of Chronicle Books, giveaway is open to US and Canada entrants age 13 and up. Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter!