I tried to think of a book I'd read about sustainability, possibly a how-to book or a do-it-yourself read, but I kept drawing a blank. But then this book came to mind. I'm more of a fiction reader and hadn't even thought to put a fiction book down until I remembered reading this book.
My entry in this contest is the book Green Angel by Alice Hoffman.
It's a fictional tale of a girl named Green who describes herself as someone preferring stones and plants to people. She lives in a post-apocalyptic world and loses her family in a great tragedy. The ashes from the fires that killed her family leaves her half-blind and wounded, inside and out. She tries to cover up the memories that hurt her so much by covering herself in tattoos of vines and black roses with ink she makes with materials from her garden. She also learns of all the other healing properties of the plants she finds in her garden, treating wounded animals and the occasional person who will come near enough to her home. Soon she finds that, as she heals, the ink magically turns greener and greener and flowers begin to bloom with color on her skin as the pain within her subsides.
This book isn't just the tale of a depressed teenager. It's a wonderful book showing a magical journey to recovery, aided by nature and a garden. The magic in the book seems subtle and realistic, just like the magical things one can see in nature. You can even get a bit of a lesson in sustainability from this book when you read how Green lives off of all of the plants of her garden and the forest around her. If she can do it when faced with a world filled with destruction and adversity, then so can we who live in so much better circumstances. It's a book I highly recommend to anyone as this is one inspiration for my love of nature and gardening. It shows how, just as nature can heal and grow anew over time after tragedy, the human spirit can do so as well.