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Fighting for the Forest

How FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps Helped Save America

LIST PRICE $7.99

“Informative, inspiring.” —Kirkus Reviews

In an inspiring middle grade nonfiction work, P. O’Connell Pearson tells the story of the Civilian Conservation Corps—one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal projects that helped save a generation of Americans.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in March 1933, the United States was on the brink of economic collapse and environmental disaster. Thirty-four days later, the first of over three million impoverished young men was building parks and reclaiming the nation’s forests and farmlands. The Civilian Conservation Corps—FDR’s favorite program and “miracle of inter-agency cooperation”—resulted in the building and/or improvement of hundreds of state and national parks, the restoration of nearly 120 million acre of land, and the planting of some three billion trees—more than half of all the trees ever planted in the United States.

Fighting for the Forest tells the story of the Civilian Conservation Corp through a close look at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia (the CCC’s first project) and through the personal stories and work of young men around the nation who came of age and changed their country for the better working in Roosevelt’s Tree Army.

Chapter 1: Waiting for Hope

Outside the US Capitol during FDR’s inauguration in 1933.

P. O’Connell Pearson has always taught history—first in the high school classroom and then as a curriculum writer and editor across grade levels. Ready to share her enthusiasm for stories of the past in a new way, she earned an MFA in writing for young people from Lesley University and now writes narrative nonfiction for ages ten and up. Her books have received recognition from Bank Street, NCSS, the New-York Historical Society, Arizona Library Association, and more. When Pearson is not writing about history, she can often be found talking about history as a volunteer with the National Park Service in Washington, DC.

"A well-researched, informative introduction to a topic seldom discussed in books for young people."

– Booklist, starred review

"An informative, inspiring look at desperate times and how government can achieve great things through cooperation and good leadership."

– Kirkus Reviews

"This thorough, well-rounded portrayal of the CCC brings this piece of U.S. history to life."

– School Library Journal

  • CBC/NCSS Notable Children's Book in Social Studies
  • Jefferson Cup Award Honor Title (VA)
  • TX Triple Crown Nominee
  • Topaz Nonfiction Reading List (TX)
  • Children's History Book Prize Finalist
  • Triple Crown Lamplighter Award Nominee

More books from this author: P. O’Connell Pearson