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Early Spring - An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World
Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World
Author: Amy Seidl   Foreword by: Bill McKibben
Product Code: 8584 ISBN: 978-080708584-4
Binding Information: Cloth 
5 1/2 X 8 1/2 Inches (US)
Copyright Date Ed: 
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Price: $24.95 In stock.
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An ecologist and mother brings the overwhelming problem of global warming to a personal level, with a mix of memoir and science
"The human heart is the most sensitive instrument, and that is why Amy Seidl's marvelous book is so important, a new kind of contribution to the rapidly growing library on global warming."
-Bill McKibben, from the foreword

Robert Frost wrote about nature and rural life in New England, and Norman Rockwell painted classic scenes of farmhouses and American traditional life, images reproduced as symbolizing an idealized history born of New England sights. But New England, a region whose culture is rooted in its four distinct seasons, is changing along with its climate.

In Early Spring, ecologist and mother Amy Seidl examines climate change at a personal level through her own family's walks in the woods, work in their garden, and observations of local wildlife in the quintessential America of small-town New England, deep in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Seidl's testimony, grounded in the science of ecology and evolutionary biology but written with beauty and emotion, helps us realize that a natural upheaval from climate change has already begun: spring flowers blossom before pollinators arrive, ponds no longer freeze, and animals begin migrations at unexpected times. Increasingly, the media report on melting ice caps and drowning polar bears, but Seidl brings the message of global warming much closer to home by considering how climate change has altered her local experience, and the traditions and lifestyles of her neighbors, from syrup producers to apple farmers. In Vermont, she finds residents using nineteenth-century practices to deal with perhaps the most destructive twenty-first-century phenomenon.

Seidl's poignant writing and scientific observations will cause readers to look at their local climate anew, and consider how they and their neighbors have adjusted to the reality of global warming.

Find out more at

Listen to an hour-long interview with Amy Seidl on Vermont Edition

Read Amy Seidl's posts on Beacon Broadside

Review   Publishers Weekly - September 29, 2008
"[I]ntimate reflection. . .Seidl's tender descriptions of her young daughters' encounters with the natural world. . . add personal poignancy to a subject 'few can stand to talk about at any length.'"
Review   Library Journal, starred review - October 1, 2008
"Informative and hopeful, this book is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries."
Review   Booklist - February 1, 2009
"[A]rtfully broadminded . . . reminiscent of the Old Farmer's Almanac . . . [P]rescient . . . deeply personal and solidly scientific, Seidl's chronicle manages to be concerned without being cloying."
Review   Seven Days - April 13, 2009
“Fascinating . . . accessible . . . poetic . . . engaging”
Review - April 14, 2009
"Early Spring has the potential to be immensely influential, a real turning point in the popular appreciation of climate change impacts among laypersons and scientists alike. Read it."

"This is the voice we need to hear now: a biologist mother, with no time for despair, bearing witness to the unraveling of the ecological world within her children's backyard-which is all of our children's backyard. With urgency and grace, Amy Seidl delivers the message I've been listening for."
-Sandra Steingraber, PhD, author of Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood

"Seidl ponders the human predicament in a titanic and visionary personal inquiry that remains fixed on promise even in the face of grim and unsettling facts. This is a brave book."
-Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

"An eloquent celebration of commitment to family, community, and the ever-so-fragile natural world . . . Regardless of where you live, this may very well be one of the most important books you'll ever read."
-Howard Frank Mosher, author of A Stranger in the Kingdom

"Early Spring contributes something of great value to the tradition founded by Rachel Carson. Amy Seidl brings her own professional training as a biologist, as well as her engaging lyrical voice, to bear on the blurring of seasons around her Vermont home. The result is a timely, important book-both troubling and lovely."
-John Elder, author of Reading the Mountains of Home

"Who would have thought a few years ago that coal-burning plants on the other side of the globe could affect us? The hills and hollows of Vermont would seem to be the last place on Earth you'd expect to feel the effects of global warming. But Amy Seidl tells lovingly of how Vermont's nature and landscapes will change, and what could be in store."
-Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven

"Early Spring is brave and eloquent testimony from a reliable witness about the extraordinary changes we face in the very nature of daily life on Earth. It reminds us that the human heart and mind have their place in the order of things, too."
-James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency

"This is a quiet but important little book in the spirit of Gilbert White, J. Henri Fabre, and Thoreau, three other writers who grasped that close observation of local details can lead to transcendent understanding. Amy Seidl, a graceful and trenchant writer herself, combines scientific research and home truths to alert us, at gut and heart and head levels, about what's happening to our planet."
-David Quammen, author of The Reluctant Mr. Darwin

"This slim and informative book speaks to the heart as well as the mind. Painlessly and in quiet, personal language, it taught me much about ecology and my native New England."
-Mark Bowen, author of Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming

"Informative and hopeful."
-Library Journal, starred review

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