We chatted with children’s book author Petra Crofton about her brand new book Science Geek Christy and her Eco-Logbook — out this month!
Science Geek Christy and her Eco-Logbook
Meet Christy a determined young girl, who is passionate about saving the planet.
Along with her boyfriend geeky Sam and best friend Amira and other school mates, they win a science competition and an opportunity to travel to Ecuador to write travel blogs. Excitement and anticipation for the trip is overshadowed by a HUGE dilemma for conscientious Christy. Can they get there in an eco-friendly way? Will she have to miss out on a trip of a lifetime to see the wildlife and experience the culture of Ecuador because of her principles? How best can she do her part to care for God’s creation? After finding a brilliant solution, once in Ecuador, Christy and her fellow adventurers discover the trip is not all that it seems!
A gripping adventure for any child passionate about wildlife of the rainforest, endangered ecosystems and being a responsible eco-warrior.
What inspired you to write Science Geek Christy and her Eco-Logbook?
When I was adapting and translating the Dutch version of Science Geek Sam and his secret Logbook, I read each section to our two sons (then 8 and 10) at bedtime. As soon as we’d finished the book they said they wanted more, and asked if there was a sequel. As it happens, my two passions are ‘science & faith’ and ‘science & creation care’, so I began to write a story about Sam’s best friend Christy embarking on this huge eco-adventure.
What do you hope children will learn and feel after reading the book? Is there a specific message you’d like them to learn or think about?
I hope that it will inspire them to embrace science and explore the outdoors. And I hope that they have learned something about God and the Bible, especially our task to look after the world. I would be most thrilled, in a way, if they feel the book has allowed them to ‘escape’ into a fun and exciting adventure story.
Do you have a favourite character?
Probably Matteo. He’s one of Christy’s best friends: a funny, lively and impulsive boy, with a huge heart. His kindness is revealed at the end of the story, when he not only helps Christy, but also the children of the orphanage in Ecuador. But hopefully all characters are relatable and likeable.
What did you learn when writing the book?
So many things! Both about science and about writing! I had translated and adapted a few books, but writing one from scratch is a different story, so to say. But I loved the writing and jumped out of bed every morning when it was a ‘Christy day’. The drawing was fun too, but I had to work quite hard to get the characters right.
How much research into the rainforest, endangered ecosystems and being an eco-warrior did you do?
I knew quite a bit, as I studied and love biology and go into schools and the church and community to do wildlife workshops. I am a very curious person, a bit of a science geek I guess, so I read about science all the time. But I still learned a lot. I double checked all the facts and went down a rabbit hole each time I explored a new eco-topic. It was fascinating.
What can children do to make a positive impact on the environment?
First of all I would say: don’t lose heart and keep fighting for the planet. Work with others, as a team – at school, at home, at church. Secondly: Go out into nature and be amazed. You will be even more motivated to protect the environment. Learn about the world: biodiversity, the climate, people and also the problems the planet faces. Thirdly: Learn about where your food, clothes, toilet paper etc come from and see if you can make a difference by buying more eco-friendly alternatives. Be inspired by Christy and her family. Reuse and recycle where you can, and save money in the process. Refuse plastic and reduce food waste. Make your (school) garden more wildlife friendly… But: break it down and do it together! It’s a big task.
Fortunately, there are lots of positive things we can do. Switch your search engine to Ecosia, check out Climate Stewards and A Rocha… Ask your teacher if the school can become an Eco-school, ask your church leader if they can sign up for Eco-church. If you are a Christian, you can pray and ask God to help you find ways to protect his creation and bless your actions.
Please tell your teachers that from early 2022 they will be able to download a resource for schools and clubs about Christy’s 16 blog themes (www.wildandwonderful.uk). This fun and free resource will be filled with fabulous science and eco-activities. It ties in with the upper primary school curriculum, but can be used anywhere. The resource follows the book, but all themes/lessons are ‘standalone’ so teachers/leaders can pick and mix.