CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
Eureka! Nonfiction Children's Book Honor Award
SONWA Award Winner, Young Children's Literature
SCBWI Crystal Kite Award Winner
Keystone State Literary Award Shortlist
WSRA Children's Literature Committee Recommended Books
RWR Best Book, Most Inspirational Books category
In India, there is a boy who loves nature. The boy treasures his precious river-island and the wildlife who share it with him. But each year he witnesses animals displaced from loss of habitat, while his island slowly erodes away. He worries that if animals whither without trees, people will too. With nothing but a handful of bamboo saplings, the boy sets out on a mission to reclaim the land the river has taken.
The Boy Who Grew A Forest follows the true story of Mishing tribesman, Jadav Payeng, who single-handedly planted over twelve hundred acres of lush forest on a once barren island in northeastern India.
"Gholz's respect for Jadav's accomplishments shines through in her endearing presentation of his life...The Boy Who Grew a Forest celebrates an incredible man and arouses in its audience a respect for nature that may motivate them to follow in Jadav's footsteps. Superb."
—Shelf Awareness *Starred Review
"Payeng’s story is eloquently told and beautifully illustrated. It will inspire readers to recognize the power of individual determination..."
"...the story provides young children with a real-life example of the connections between man and nature."
"Lush, realistic illustrations document young Jadav's sadness, fear, determination, and eventual success as readers watch the barren, disintegrating island transform into a living forest supporting all manners of life. VERDICT: An inspirational read-aloud for units on plants, the environment, or Earth Day."
—School Library Journal
"This is an amazing little book about how one quiet and humble soul can impact millions of lives...Ms Gholz’s prose is sweet, simplistic and super-inspirational. The reader can hear the boy’s determination in every word; can actually feel him willing the sandbars back to life with every sapling he plants and every bucket of dirt he hauls."