Title: Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth
Author: Lee Welles
Pub. Date: 2007
This fictional story for ages 9-13 is set in a farming community in upstate New York in the early 2000s. Ten year-old Elizabeth lives on an organic farm that has been in her family for generations. A factory pig farm starts buying up all the town’s farms and threatens to take Elizabeth’s farm through eminent domain. Enter Gaia, a talking otter who embodies the spirit of the earth and gives Elizabeth special earth-based powers that help her take on the factory farm and protect the health of her community’s land and water.
Enter the Earth was supposed to be the first in a series of four Gaia Girls books. Each of the books focuses on a different element (earth, water, fire, and air), but it looks like the third and fourth books have not been written.
Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth was fun to read aloud with my 8 and 10 year old daughters. It has an optimistic message of standing up for your beliefs and it’s a great adventure story. The book contains secret codes and hidden images that make for extra fun interactions. We are currently reading and really enjoying the second book, Gaia Girls: Way of Water. I have overheard my daughters imagining what it would be like to be the second book’s protagonist, Miho,and be able to communicate with dolphins.
I give Gaia Girls 4 out of 5 stars.