Elizabeth is excited that fourth grade is almost over and she’ll soon be able to hang out for lazy days on her farm with her best friend Rachel. She knows there will also be lots of work to do, but she loves her family’s land and the way her parents care for it. She’s always felt a close connection to the things that grow there.
But Elizabeth’s idyllic summer is not to be, as she discovers Rachel is moving away and a large corporation that runs giant pig farms is buying up nearby land to turn into a factory farm. Her parents refuse to sell, but will they be able to stand living next to the new operation, which will change their own quality of life in many ways?
Even though Elizabeth’s parents fight against the plan, it seems as though they are doomed to lose. But then Elizabeth meets an otter who can talk, and otter who calls herself Gaia. Gaia says she is the living Earth, and she says Elizabeth herself can do something to help save the land she dearly loves.
Gaia Girls, Enter the Earth by Lee Welles, illustrated by Ann Hameister, is the first in a series that focuses on children using special powers to help save what they love. It shows that saving our environment can be very personal, not just a term that’s thrown about. It’s personal when we can equate a small piece of land that we love, and the reasons we love it, as something worth saving. Gaia Girls, Enter the Earth should be good for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 9 to 12 who have in interest in learning more about the environment.