Corkscrew Reading Suggestions

Looking for some environmental reading to enjoy while staying at home? Check out our list below.

While the Blair Audubon Center and Nature Store remain closed to visitors, we have assembled some reading recommendations and favorites from Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary’s environmental education staff for children and adults.

Florida region

For Children

Wetland Habitat by Molly Aloian.  Ages 4 – 8

Introduces the plants and animals that live in wetlands and marshes.

Felina's New Home: A Florida Panther Story by Loran Wlodarski. Ages 6 - 9

Felina the Florida panther loved growing up in her forest home, until the forest starts to shrink! Trees begin to disappear, and Felina doesn't understand the new busy highway in the neighborhood. Other animals are in danger, too. Will Felina find a way to survive as humans threaten to ruin her home?

Who Needs a Swamp? by Karen Patkau. Ages 7 - 10

Swamps are often seen as dangerous and useless. They are often drained to create farmland or to reduce diseases. But such measures can be disastrous. Who Needs a Swamp? explores wetlands and their importance in the food chain and in preserving our soil and clean water. Not only is each book informative and beautiful, but it is a call to action for everybody who cares about the world in which we live.

She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!  by Katheryn Lasky. Young adult

After watching women go from having bird feathers in their hats to wearing whole dead birds, the Massachusetts Audubon Society is founded in 1896 in order to take a stand against what they consider an incredibly appalling practice.

Florida Water Story – Wetland of Florida, by Peggy Sias Lantz and Wendy A Hale. Ages 10 – 14

This charmingly illustrated booklet explains the importance of Florida's wetlands in the water cycle and highlights the unique Everglades. It was originally published as part of The Florida Water Story in 1998.


For Adults

The Everglades River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas

"The Everglades" is the story of the only river of its kind in the world...a river of water and grass. Halfway down the Florida peninsula is Lake Okeechobee and south and southwest from it runs for a hundred miles the strange river of fresh water and saw grass, fifty, sixty, seventy miles wide. Geographically in the temperate zone, the laws of the rain and of the seasons in the Everglades are tropic laws and the strange river teems with natural life, with birds, beasts, fish, trees and other plants. Mrs. Douglas writes with the feeling of one who has seen and loved the Everglades in every mood, and who is warmly conscious of its strange beauties. The Everglades have always been resistant to human interlopers. The Indians, forerunners of those known to whites as the Seminoles, came down the peninsula to the Glades and lived apart in the grassy hammocks, on the beaches at the mouth, or on the rocky rims of the stone trough that holds the river of grass. Although the early Spaniards conquered other Floridian Indians by the sword or the Cross, the natives of the Glades, independent, suspicious, self-sufficient, were unconquerable. Eventually, of course, more white men came and set up cities on the edges of the Everglades. But despite the civilization so near at hand, the interior of the saw-grass river region is still wild and natural, much of it as yet uncharted.

The Geology of Florida by Anthony F. Randazzo and Douglas S. Jones

With the longest coastline of any state except Alaska and a geology noted for its rich fossil record and abundance of living coral reefs, mineral deposits, springs, and sinkholes, Florida’s identity--past, present, and future--is linked intrinsically to its landscape. The definitive reference for that landscape, The Geology of Florida illustrates the importance of basic geological research and its application to issues facing a society that places increasing demands upon its physical world.

Priceless Florida: Natural Ecosystems and Native Species by Ellie Whitney, D Bruce Means, and Anne Rudloe 

Priceless Florida presents the incomparable ecological riches of this unique region in a way that will appeal to young and old, laypersons, and scientists. A cornucopia of colorful illustrations and exquisite photos makes you feel you're there. The comprehensive text enlightens with facts and brims with intriguing curiosities while bridging multiple fields in a crisp, readable style that only seasoned science-educators like Drs. Whitney, Means, and Rudloe could offer. The authors enlighten us on every kind of natural area found within the Sunshine State. Imagine yourself trekking into a hammock, slogging through a swamp, floating down a river, strolling along a beach, hovering over a coral reef, or probing the depths of an underwater cave. You'll discover how everything from soils, rocks, water, and landforms shape flora and fauna -- and vice versa. You'll also learn how the survival of some of the world's most endangered species and ecosystems hinges on our actions.

The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise by Michael Grunwald

The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald, a prize-winning national reporter for The Washington Post, takes readers on a riveting journey from the Ice Ages to the present, illuminating the natural, social and political history of one of America's most beguiling but least understood patches of land.

Death in the Everglades by Stuart McIver

Guy Bradley, born in Chicago in 1870, was killed in 1905 only three years into his tenure as game warden in a south Florida that was still very much a frontier. His murderer, never prosecuted, was a one-eyed former Civil War sharpshooter who made his living supplying exotic plumage for women’s hats. At the time, an ounce of feathers was worth more than an ounce of gold. Bradley’s death sent shock waves across America and helped give impetus to the burgeoning environmental movement. 

”Guy Bradley’s colorful life and violent death have always seemed the stuff of myth. . . . Death in the Everglades is both compelling history and a heart-tugging drama.”—Audubon

Everglades Lawmen: True Stories of Game Wardens in the Glades by James T. Huffstodt

From the first game wardens in the Everglades to present-day wildlife officers, law enforcement in the wild, untamed Everglades has kept pace with changing times. Today's game wardens chase escaped convicts, keep surveillance on drug runners, and recover wreckage from plane crashes as well as arrest deer, turkey, and alligator poachers. Meet the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting the wildlife and natural resources in the only Everglades on earth.

Totch – A Life in the Everglades by Loren G. Brown

"Totch Brown's memoirs of vanished days in the Ten Thousand Islands and the Everglades--the last real frontier in Florida, and even today the greatest roadless wilderness in the United States--are invaluable as well as vivid and entertaining, for Totch is a natural-born story-teller, and his accounts of fishing and gator hunting as well as his life beyond the law as gator poacher and drug runner are evocative and colorful, fresh and exciting."
--from the foreword by Peter Matthiessen


Outside Florida

For Children

Don't Let Them Disappear by Chelsea Clinton. Pre-K –Kindergarten (ages 3-5)

Did you know that blue whales are the largest animals in the world? Or that sea otters wash their paws after every meal? The world is filled with millions of animal species, and all of them are unique and special. Many are on the path to extinction.

In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a selection of endangered animals, sharing what makes them special, and also what threatens them. Taking readers through the course of a day, Don't Let Them Disappear talks about rhinos, tigers, whales, pandas and more, and provides helpful tips on what we all can do to help prevent these animals from disappearing from our world entirely.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Age 6 and up

I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
Dr. Seuss’s beloved story teaches kids to speak up and stand up for those who can’t. With a recycling-friendly “Go Green” message, The Lorax allows young readers to experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted, all in a story that is timely, playful and hopeful. The book’s final pages teach us that just one small seed, or one small child, can make a difference.

Baby Animals by Bobbie Kalman. Ages 6 -9

Photographs and brief text describe a variety of baby animals who make their homes in a wetland.

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh. 1st – 3rd grade (ages 6-9)

Do you remember to turn off the tap while you brush your teeth? How about using both sides of the paper when writing and drawing? Bold, child-friendly illustrations and die-cut pages will draw even the youngest listeners to this gentle reminder of the easy, everyday ways we can be kinder to the earth.

Putting Earth First by Megan Kopp. Ages 10 -13

This inspiring book describes how people are becoming more aware of the effect of their daily activities on the planet. Find out how more and more people are eating and living "green" by buying food grown locally, eating food that is organic, and even growing their own food. Many people are also building eco-friendly homes and choosing to live off the grid, which means they are creating their own, sustainable forms of energy instead of getting electricity from a power station. Discover how eating and living green is becoming more and more possible, and why this way of living could help build a sustainable future for the next generation.


Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor. 

A biography of the pioneering scientist and environmentalist, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring. "Once you are aware of the wonder and beauty of earth, you will want to learn about it," wrote Rachel Carson. Determined and curious even as a child, Rachel Carson's fascination with the natural world led her to study biology, and pursue a career in science at a time when very few women worked in the field.

This lyrical, illustrated biography follows Carson's journey—from a girl exploring the woods, to a woman working to help support her family during the Great Depression, to a journalist and pioneering researcher, investigating and exposing the harmful effects of pesticide overuse.  

Best known for writing Silent Spring, Rachel Carson was a major figure in the early environmental movement, and her work brought a greater understanding of the impact humans have on our planet.  Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World offers a glimpse at the early life that shaped her interest in nature, and the way one person's determination can inspire others to fight for real change.   

Keepers of the Earth by Joseph Bruchac. 

Beginning with Native American stories, this invaluable resource provides hands-on activities that inspire children to understand and appreciate Native American cultures and the Earth.

How you can help, right now