Stand as Tall as the Trees: How an Amazonian Community Protected the Rain Forest

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An inspiring true story about how an activist in the Amazon worked with other Indigenous communities to protect and preserve their sacred lands and forests.

Patricia (Paty) Gualinga grew up in her Kichwa village in the Amazon of Ecuador where mystical beings called Amazanga help protect the forest. Paty traveled away from home for school until she was called back--companies that said the government sold them property were destroying her people's lands to look for oil. The Kichwa community worked with other Indigenous groups to bring the Ecuadorian government to the Court of Human Rights.

Lyrically told and beautifully illustrated, this moving story will remind readers of the importance of nature conservation, perseverance, and standing up for your community.

"A gorgeously told true story, full of lyricism, wonder, beautiful artwork, and most importantly, HOPE. Stand as Tall as the Trees makes my heart swell every time I read it. We need more stories like this--in life and in our libraries."
--Todd Mitchell, Green Earth Book Award Honor Winner and Author of The Namer of Spirits

"This moving and inspirational story of Patricia Gualinga's fight for her community's Amazon rainforest is an urgent call to action to protect the wilderness, which, in the poignant words of the authors, keeps us all alive. Stand as Tall as the Trees is an ode to the power of ordinary people to affect change. Lovingly written and illustrated, it is a book that will inspire a new generation of activists."
--Lea Aschkenas, bilingual librarian and author of Arletis, Abuelo, and the Message in a Bottle

"This picture book will capture your heart and imagination alike."
- Alda P. Dobbs, Winner of the Pura Belpré Honor Award and Author of The Other Side of the River

"This gorgeous book will surely delight youngsters, but it will be on my syllabus for graduate students studying Nature Writing as well. After all, books for younger readers influence our cultural conversation about the environment. Who doesn't remember their favorite nature-based picture book? I think we all do, because they were seared into our brains at a powerful moment. This book deserves to be one of those memorable classics, worth studying for its important story, delightful art, inclusion, and environmental ethic."
--Laura Pritchett, PhD, Director of the MFA in Nature Writing at Western Colorado University and PEN USA Award Winning Author

"A true story full of wisdom and hope, this book's stunning beauty ranges from the gorgeous illustrations to the powerful messages of bravery, strength, and perseverance. Stand as Tall as the Trees is a poetic and soulful gem that offers inspiration for readers of all ages."
-- Bailey Cates, NYT bestselling author

Author: Patricia Gualinga, Laura Resau
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing
Published: 07/18/2023
Pages: 40
Weight: 0.97lbs
Size: 11.10h x 8.11w x 0.47d
ISBN: 9781623542368
Audience: Ages 9-12

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 06/01/2023
Publishers Weekly 09/25/2023

About the Author
  • Patricia Gualinga is a human rights and Indigenous rights defender of the Pueblo Kichwa de Sarayaku, an indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Gualinga currently lives in Puyo, Ecuador. (https: //
  • Laura Resau is the award-winning author of nine highly acclaimed young adult and children's books, including The Lightning Queen, Tree of Dreams, What the Moon Saw, Red Glass, and Star in the Forest. Laura draws inspiration from her time abroad as an anthropologist and ESL teacher. Resau lives with her family in Colorado and donates a portion of her royalties to Indigenous rights organizations in Latin America.
  • Vanessa Jaramillo studied graphic design, but her passion for drawing and painting led her to a path that contained what she was looking for: illustration. She focuses on intercultural bilingual education projects and has been a consultant for UNICEF and the Ministry of Education.