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Fighting for the Forest: How FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps Helped Save America

S. & S. Oct. 2019. 208p. bibliog. notes. photos. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534429321.
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Gr 5-8–Pearson skillfully tells the story of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a program conceived by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to put impoverished young men to work creating and rehabilitating parks, forests, and farmland during the recovery from the Great Depression. Readers learn about the intricacies of the program’s implementation and its impact on the workers and on the country’s landscape. Many parts of the narrative are told from the points of view of those who worked in the CCC. Pearson mentions the CCC’s positive effects but acknowledges racial inequities and some questionable environmental practices. The book concludes by discussing how the CCC’s legacy connects with today’s conservation issues. Many historical photos and explanatory sidebars appear throughout the book. The bibliography lists dozens of historical and contemporary sources, including films, speeches, and interviews.
VERDICT This thorough, well-rounded portrayal of the CCC brings this piece of U.S. history to life for a middle grade audience.

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