Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree

By: Sally M. Walker

Here is the compelling story of the near-extinction and dramatic recovery of the iconic American chestnut tree. Author’s note. Note on scientific classification of chestnut trees. Appendices. Source notes. Glossary. Select bibliography. Index. Full-color photo insert. Black-and white photographs, illustrations, and maps.

ISBN: 9781250125231

JLG Release: May 2018


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: Chestnut blight , Control of diseases and pests , Trees , Chestnut trees , American chestnuts , Wildlife , Science

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Awards & Honors

2019 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Honor
CCBC Choices 2019 Choice: Science, Technology, and the Natural World

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Booklist

School Library Journal

The award-winning nonfiction author brings to light the intriguing story of the beleaguered American chestnut tree. It was a staple of the forests, long-lived and large, with abundant tree nuts for wildlife—some lived up to 600 years and grew up to 100 feet tall. Walker briefly discusses how the Cherokee and the Iroquois used its leaves for m The award-winning nonfiction author brings to light the intriguing story of the beleaguered American chestnut tree. It was a staple of the forests, long-lived and large, with abundant tree nuts for wildlife—some lived up to 600 years and grew up to 100 feet tall. Walker briefly discusses how the Cherokee and the Iroquois used its leaves for medicine and the Lenape crafted its trunks for dugout canoes. Its wood is resistant to rot, and colonists and settlers also saw its enormous value. The author describes how a tiny fungus inadvertently introduced to the United States nearly decimated the entire American chestnut tree population across the nation. She ably integrates the human interest aspect of those involved in first spotting, identifying, and then developing approaches to solve the problem. The book reads much like a mystery, one that emphasizes the dire impact of an invasive species. VERDICT This fascinating and well-sourced tale will appeal to students interested in environmental issues, biology, and ecology. It could easily be integrated into science class units.—Gretchen Crowley, formerly at Alexandria City Public Libraries, VA

Horn Book

The American chestnut tree once dotted the landscape in the eastern United States, but a mysterious blight began to wipe the trees out in the early twentieth century due to a fungus accidentally imported with Japanese and Chinese chestnut trees. The first line of defense was to inoculate the trees with a vaccine developed from the resistant trees, The American chestnut tree once dotted the landscape in the eastern United States, but a mysterious blight began to wipe the trees out in the early twentieth century due to a fungus accidentally imported with Japanese and Chinese chestnut trees. The first line of defense was to inoculate the trees with a vaccine developed from the resistant trees, but more recently, scientists have turned their attention to “backcross breeding” the various chestnut tree strains. With both historical and contemporary black-and-white photographs (which are somewhat muddy; an eight-page color insert is more eye-pleasing), occasional maps, and sidebar digressions into scientific concepts, this book seamlessly incorporates both history and science—as many of Walker’s books do (Their Skeletons Speak, rev. 11/12; Frozen Secrets, rev. 11/10; Blizzard of Glass, rev. 11/11; among many others). Walker reveals her personal connection to this subject in an appended author’s note: for a high school project she was required to use leaves from any number of trees—except for the American chestnut, her father’s favorite, which the teacher mistakenly described as extinct. Other back matter includes source notes, glossary, index, and four appendices. jonathan hunt

Book Details

ISBN

9781250125231

First Release

May 2018

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

583/.65

Trim Size

9" x 7"

Page Count

144

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level 1070L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Henry Holt

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

Chestnut blight, Control of diseases and pests, Trees, Chestnut trees, American chestnuts, Wildlife, Science,

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