Now Available!

A Junior Library Guild Selection

An International Reading Association Teachers' Choice for 2006

About the story...

Few have heard of Gifford Pinchot. Yet, he's probably one of the more important "forgotten" people America has ever produced.

When I worked as a forest ranger, I knew only that Pinchot had once been the first "Chief" of the U.S. Forest Service. Then, in 1987, after deciding to develop a program to explain something about the history of the Forest Service, I started reading about him.

What an interesting, talented, complex, well connected, controversial man he turned out to be! Perfect for a story. As America's first trained forester and a prominent advocate of conservation, he and his good friend, President Theodore Roosevelt, set aside millions of acres of land for wise forest management and use, rescuing them from unscrupulous robber barons and land speculators.

Pinchot's views were considered far too radical by many, and later, in 1910, after publicly attacking President Taft for weak conservation policies, Taft fired him from the Forest Service. Pinchot then entered politics and eventually served two terms as one of Pennsylvania's most popular governors.

Since I knew a little about theatre (having worked as a sound designer) and more about audio visual, I decided to write a play about Gifford Pinchot, but one that used other media as well. To make a long story short, I've been performing the role of Gifford Pinchot all around the country ever since.

Meanwhile, the collaboration of Pinchot and Roosevelt seemed like a good candidate for a book someday. That day has arrived. Midnight Forests tells about an episode in conservation when Pinchot and Roosevelt gleefully hoodwinked their opponents and saved millions of acres of land for the American public!

About the illustrations...

The illustrations for Midnight Forests were done by Robert Casilla. Robert earned a fine arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He lives with his family in Yonkers. I think he did a wonderful job bringing the visual imagery of the story to life.

A Junior Library Guild Selection
Published by Boyds Mills Press, 2005
ISBN 1-56397-148-8
Available at your favorite local bookstore or online retailer

Return to Top
Return to Books

Link to