One Plastic Bag

Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

The inspiring true story of how one African woman began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community.
Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred.
The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change.
Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
978-1-46771-608-6
Temporarily out of stock
$19.99 $14.99 OS
978-1-46776-299-1
$30.65 $22.99
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Nonfiction, Picture Books
Subject Diversity, Social Studies
Copyright 2015
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2015-02-01
Reading Counts! Level 1.6
BISACS JNF010000, JNF007120, JNF037020
Dewey 363.72880966
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Lexile 570
ATOS Reading Level 2.9
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 170587
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Maps, Original artwork, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, Teaching Guides, Timeline, and eSource

Awards

  • South Carolina Book Award Nominee, Nominated, 2017
  • NYC Reads 365 Recommended Reading List, Winner, 2017
  • Star Of The North Picture Book Award Nominee, Nominated, 2017
  • Nutmeg Award Nominee, Nominated, 2016
  • Delaware Diamonds Program, Nominated, 2016
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices, Winner, 2016
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2016
  • Nebraska Golden Sower Award Nominee, Nominated, 2016
  • Green Earth Book Award Short List, Short-listed, 2016
  • Children's Africana Book Award Notable Book, Commended, 2016
  • NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books, Winner, 2016
  • Cybils Finalist, Nominated, 2016
  • Black Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee, Nominated, 2015
  • Amelia Bloomer Project List, Winner, 2015
  • New York Public Library Best Books for Kids, Winner, 2015
  • AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books Commended Book, Commended, 2015
  • Eureka! Children’s Book Award Silver Honor, Commended, 2015

Reviews

Booklist

“Colorful textured and patterned collage artwork illustrates this inspiring true story, which concludes with more information about Isatou’s grassroots initiative.”―Booklist

The Horn Book Magazine

“This handsome presentation of grassroots environmental activism is certain to inspire young readers.” —The Horn Book Magazine

Publishers Weekly

“Notes of hope, determination, and empowerment suffuse Paul’s story…. Incorporating real plastic bags into her mixed-media collages, Zunon, who grew up in West Africa, juxtaposes the brown, dusty landscape against splashes of color and vibrant printed dresses and head coverings worn by the village women.” —Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

“Simple but lyrical text conveys this beautiful, thought-provoking tale of ecological awareness and recycling. . . . An inspiring account.”—starred, School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“Though Isatou Ceesay’s country may be unfamiliar to young readers, they’ve probably done some handicraft recycling of their own. The easy connection makes this a welcome addition to the small shelf of examples of ingenuity in developing nations.” —Kirkus Reviews

Author: Miranda Paul

Miranda Paul is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for children, including One Plastic Bag and Boston Globe–Horn Book Honoree Nine Months Before a Baby Is Born. Miranda is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and serves as its mentorship chair. Learn more at mirandapaul.com.

Illustrator: Elizabeth Zunon

Elizabeth Zunon grew up in the Ivory Coast, West Africa, and memories of her childhood can be seen in her artwork. She currently lives in Albany, New York. Find her online at www.lizzunon.com.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

One Plastic Bag

The inspiring true story of how one African woman began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community. Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply… View available downloads →