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10 Plants That Shook The World

10 Plants That Shook The World

By Gillian Richardson
Illustrated by Kim Rosen
Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–7
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RI.6-7.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10

Reading Level: Lexile 1080L
Hardcover : 9781554514458, 132 pages, February 2013 , 9.5" x 7.25"
Paperback : 9781554514441, 132 pages, February 2013 , 9.5" x 7.25"
Rights sold: Spanish


Dig up the amazing stories of the plants that have transformed our lives.

Plants might start out as leafy things growing in the earth, but they can come into our lives in unexpected ways. And believe it or not, some have even played an exciting role in history.

Discover how:
• Countries went to war over pepper
• A grass called papyrus made it possible to share knowledge through writing
• Cotton improved the livelihoods of a few, but caused unthinkable suffering for many more

The ten plants in this book are the source of profound changes in the world, both good and bad. Through vibrant illustrations and astonishing facts, you’ll discover that without them, our lives today would be vastly different.


  • Short-listed, Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist 2013
  • Short-listed, Cybils Award nomination 2014
  • Short-listed, Best Books for Kids and Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2013
  • Winner, Green Book Festival Award 2014
  • Winner, de Bary Children’s Science Book Award 2014
  • Winner, EUREKA! Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards, California Reading Association 2013


“Readers who took these plants for granted before may well not do so anymore.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 02/27/13

“An intriguing and well-designed study of the ways plants have helped start wars, cure diseases, and advance technology.”

- Publishers Weekly *starred review, 03/13

“A great resource and interesting nonfiction.”

- LiterariTea, 03/27/13

“Loaded with fascinating facts and stories about each plant.” 

- Waterloo Region Record, 04/06/13

“The beautiful balance between straight expository (fact based) text, creative nonfiction, lists and artwork found in this book is rarely accomplished so well.”

- River Runs Through It, 05/09/13

“The author adroitly weaves science with social studies in a format that always encourages readers to learn more.”

- Booklist Online, 05/1013

“Set it out where kids will pick it up and soon they will be regaling you with new and fascinating bits of information.”.

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 05/13/13

“This is education at its best; fun, exciting and a pleasure to read.” 

- Edwards Book Club, 05/27/13

“Incredibly well-researched and beautifully illustrated, 10 Plants that Shook the World is sure to pique everyone’s interest.”

- CM Reviews, 09/06/13

“Will be useful for reports and provide fun browsing and reading as well.”

- School Library Journal, 07/13

“This is the type of nonfiction book that will get students thinking in the right direction.”

- Examiner, 07/18/13

“An in-depth examination of the impact the plants have made on the world.”

- Reading Today, 07/29/13

“Has to intrigue even those most entrenched in the idea that botany equals boring.” 

- Cybils, 10/27/13

“This nonfiction resource is at a reading level appropriate for ages 9-12, but with its surprising facts is a fascinating read for adults too.”

- Green Teacher, Winter/14

“An exceptionally readable book, full of interesting facts that are sure to engage the reader.”

- Resource Links, 12/13

“A great addition to any middle school library or classroom.”

- Canadian Teacher, 04/14

“A fascinating read . . . adults as well as students would surely find the information noteworthy and the back-stories compelling.”

- Christian Library Journal, 06/14