My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer is first and foremost beautifully written. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at hours and is narrated wonderfully by the author. The physical edition is 391 pages.
This nonfiction book is many different things. It is the melding of science and folklore, as the author is a trained botanist. It is a brief history of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and an exploration of their folklore and spirituality. It is an awakening of ecological consciousness. If you are at all interested in ecology or nature in general, you would probably enjoy this book.
The main reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 stars is the fact that it felt too long for me. But I did really enjoy the experience of reading it.
CW: Brief and not graphic descriptions of animal death
I recently found out that Monique Gray Smith is adapting this as Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults, which is exciting! Thanks to NetGalley, I was provided a sample chapter with illustrations by Nicole Neidhardt. I’m definitely going to be reading the full version once it is released in November 2022.
First of all, Neidhardt’s illustrations are breathtaking, and coordinate perfectly with the text on the page. There are also photographs of different plants that are being discussed. I like that there are offset definitions of terms included in the prose, as well, to help the young adults reading the book to understand concepts that might be new to them. There are also offset discussion questions, to help the reader think critically about the text that they are reading. At the end of the sample, there are further discussion questions for even deeper critical thinking about the topics that were brought up in this chapter.
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