Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cool Brainiacs: Booktalk 3

Not all brainiacs are math and science geniuses. Sometimes a brainiac is just a smart person who thinks of a brilliant solution to a problem - a solution which no one else has thought of. Mama Miti was that kind of brainiac. She was born and partially raised in Kenya -- in Africa, and during her lifetime, she started to see Kenya getting sick: poverty, scarce drinking water, not enough food, lack of jobs, and the growing disappearance of nature. It scared her, and it saddened her, too. People had been trying to think of solutions, but nothing was working. Mama Miti had an idea: get the local people in villages and tribes to plant more trees, even if it just meant starting with one tree. One tree? You'd be amazed what good things can come from a tree. It can be shelter from the burning sun, it can provide food, it can protect watersheds, and it can protect animals. A tree is a starting point for many good things. The tree movement she started was called the Green Belt movement. It has helped many people and villages in Africa. She had an elegantly simple idea. So, remember: a brainiac can use her brain to help thousands of people, just as Mama Miti did, in this fabulous book called Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli.

[Booktalkers: Much of this I got from Mama Miti's [a.k.a. Wangari Maathai] memoir called Unbowed: A Memoir, available in many libraries. If you're booktalking to high schoolers or adults, you might consider using Unbowed.]


  1. Congratulations, Carey, on beginning your blog. Excellent. Keep it up. I've written about your blog on my blog.

  2. Thanks so much, Susan! Can you send me the link to your blog so I can link to it?