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Green Prizes for Sustainable Literature:

A cookbook, a children’s book about global warming, and a classic parable of environmentalism were among the books that took honors at the 2008 Green Prizes for Sustainable Literature, presented October 4 at the Santa Monica Main Library.

The Green Prizes, in their second year of presentation, were created by a partnership of the Santa Monica Library and the Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment. Introducing the awards, Shannon Perry spoke of the library as “a really important part of a sustainable community” and described the features that contributed to the Main Library’s LEED Gold certification.

From 50 submissions, a committee of sustainability experts and library employees chose the following books:

Adult Nonfiction: Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and No One Saw It Coming, by Paul Hawken (Viking Press). Hawken’s book examines the rise of environmental and social justice movements around the world.

Adult Reference: The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World, by Leslie Garrett (New World Press). This book by a syndicated columnist provides answers to commonly asked questions about environmental shopping.

Adult Honorable Mention: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper Perennial). Author Kingsolver describes her family’s experiments with living only on food raised in their own environment.

Youth Nonfiction: One Well: The Story of Water on Earth, by Rochelle Strauss (Kids Can Press). A youngsters’ guide to the ways water is used and how kids can help protect our most basic resource.

Youth Picture Book: On Meadowview Street, by Henry Cole Greenwillow). Words and pictures tell the story of a girl whose new home contains a back yard that she nurtures into a real meadow.

Youth Honorable Mention: Winston of Churchill, by Jean Davies Okimoto, illustrated by Jeremiah Trammell (Sasquatch). A brave polar bear rallies other bears in the fight against global warming that is destroying their Arctic home.

Adult Local Impact: The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook, by Amelia Saltsman (Blenheim Press). This cookbook, based on ingredients available at our local farmers’ markets, is indeed home-grown. Saltsman, who was present to pick up her recyclable glass trophy, told the audience that she wrote the book in the Main Library, sitting near the cookbook section. “I’d get interrupted by the announcements of the tour for the new library.” She also self-published her book (her imprint, Blenheim, is her favorite apricot).

Youth Local Impact: The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon (Orchard Books). The producer of An Inconvenient Truth and her co-writer present a guide to reducing child-sized carbon footprints.

A special Pioneer Award was given to Theodore Seuss Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss) 1971 book The Lorax, a parable in which a greedy, short-sighted business-grinch destroys a vast forest of trees in order to use part of the trees for the manufacture of “thneeds.”

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