|Everglades: Buffalo Tiger and the River of Grass
written by Peter Lourie
The Florida Everglades is a huge river of razor-sharp sawgrass that flows one hundred miles from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico. With its stark beauty and abundance of birds and other wildlife, the Everglades is one of the world's ecological treasures.
This bright spot on the planet faces an uncertain future. Peter Lourie takes readers into what the Miccosukee Indians call Pa-hay-okee, or the "Grassy Water." His guide is Buffalo Tiger, former chief of the Miccosukees, who provides the unique perspective of a Native American whose people are historically linked to the Everglades.
Behind the Book
Awards and Recognition
International Eco Award of Excellence, 1996
“Lourie has a speciality—good books about great rivers. He now adds the Everglades, the ‘River of Grass,’ to his list ... his overall mixture of natural and social history is excellent.” (Booklist, starred review)
“In his fourth river book, Lourie tours the ‘slow-moving swamp that is in fact a huge, silent river’ covering a vast area of southern Florida. Written in the first person, this account tells of his encounter with some of the unique people and threatened nature of the Everglades. He is accompanied by Buffalo Tiger, a Miccosukee Indian and former chief of his tribe, who now guides visitors through the labyrinthine expanse of sawgrass. In addition, the man also serves as an interpreter of the spirit and native heritage of the beautiful region. And that, in essence, is the heart of this compelling book: Buffalo Tiger introduces Lourie to the old ways, based upon his tribal beliefs, originating with the god Breathmaker, that have gradually vanished over time. Simultaneously, he demonstrates a modern awareness of the area's environmental decline. This title reads more like a story than exposition as the two men explore some of Buffalo's cherished spots on an airboat. Finally, the author spends a night alone camping on a hammock (island) in the middle of the glades. It is a terrifying, mystical, and enlightening experience, all of which is captured vividly in his description of the creature-filled night. This is an engrossing and moving narrative, clearly presented and liberally supported with full-color photographs.” (School Library Journal)
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