Jennifer O’Connell Wins 2014
Green Earth Book Award

The Eye of the WhaleGreen Earth LogoGuild member Jennifer O’Connell has won the 2014 Green Earth Book Picture Book Award for The Eye of the Whale: A Rescue Story. The award is given annually by The Nature Generation to authors and illustrators whose books inspire young readers to appreciate and care for the environment.

Jennifer’s winning book, The Eye of the Whale: A Rescue Story, tells of divers who risked their lives to save an enormous humpback whale caught in crab-trap lines off the coast of San Francisco. The freed whale swam around the divers in joyous circles, gently nudging and looking directly at each diver.  "This celebrated story,” writes Jennifer, "will make you wonder about animal emotions and the unique connections we can have with animals – even whales.”

The Green Earth awards were presented during the Read Green Festival in September. Jennifer writes, "It was a memorable day where I gave two presentations at Drew Model Elementary School in the morning. Then I participated in creating a time capsule with the students at Patterson Elementary School in SW, DC, along with the other Green Earth Award-winning authors: Melissa Stewart, Kathy Appelt, Suzanne Goldsmith, Tina Ruark Gorrow, Craig Koppie and Eliott Schrefer. When we put our books in the capsule, we shared what our hopes are for 2044. Cleaner oceans, thriving marine life, a healthier planet! We can do it!!!"

Jennifer O'Connell at Drew Model School in Arlington, Virginia

Jennifer O’Connell shared a life size whale painting with students at Drew Model Elementary School in Arlington, VA.

The Eye of the Whale has also won:

  • Moonbeam Gold Award
  • Maryland Blue Crab Award, Honor Book
  • Reading is Fundamental’s 2013-2014 STEAM Multicultural Booklist
  • 2014 Maine Literary Awards Finalist
  • The Society of School Librarians International, Honor

Book trailer, reviews, educator’s guide here.

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