A Weird and Wild Beauty: The Story of Yellowstone, the World’s First National Park

Erin Peabody. Skyhorse/Sky Pony, $14.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-63450-204-7
This thorough and insightful history of Yellowstone chronicles an 1871 scientific expedition to—and the eventual creation of—what would become the first U.S. National Park. Peabody, a former ranger who has worked at several national parks, explores how shifting views of nature—and support from the likes of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and John Muir—contributed to the region’s preservation. Vivid descriptions, numerous sidebars, and color photographs highlight Yellowstone’s dramatic geological features, including hot springs, waterfalls, and canyons; in fact, when explorers wrote about the terrain they encountered, “Yellowstone’s turquoise pools, mud puffs, and jetting geysers” helped earn it the nickname Wonderland, after Lewis Carroll’s recently published book. At its core, Peabody’s narrative explores how wilderness became an integral part of the American identity. Ages 12–up. Agent: Carrie Pestritto, Prospect Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/11/2016
Release date: 02/01/2016
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!