Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology, Kathleen V. Kudlinski has created a short biography whose purpose is to introduce younger readers to Carson’s life and career. Kudlinski tells her subject’s story in eight concise chapters that divide Carson’s life into a series of significant episodes. An afterword explains the author’s admiration for Carson and informs readers of the type of research that Kudlinski used to guide her work.

The account opens with the story of the seven-year-old Carson, who early in her life loved nature and learned to explore the creeks and woodlands on her family’s sixty-five-acre farm. Guided by her mother and brother, Carson learned to examine nature with care and to seek her own answers to the questions that she raised. Already as a girl, she wanted to write and looked forward to receiving her copies of St. Nicholas, a popular children’s magazine of the time. It contained a feature, the “St. Nicholas League,” in which the magazine published the best writing that it received from its young subscribers. Carson submitted three articles, based on stories that her brother heard in the Army during World War I. St. Nicholas published all three and an essay in which Carson explained why she enjoyed the magazine. By the time that she finished high school, she was ready to enter college in order to prepare herself for a career as a writer.

The next two chapters take Carson...

(The entire section is 473 words.)