The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp - Guest Post and Giveaway (US ends 8/22)

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp Blog Tour

Kathi Appelt shares this guest post about conservation for our stop on this blog tour. Her new book, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, was released on July 23, 2013 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Make sure you stick around for the trailer, enter the giveaway, and check out the other stops on the tour!

I didn’t really set out to write a book with a conservation theme. With all of my books, I work on the story first, and if a theme emerges I’m happy and sometimes surprised. So, when it became clear to me that the swamp that I had created in The True Blue Scouts was under attack from two sides—an introduced species, and a greedy developer—it gave me a lot of room for thought.

When I was in college, I lived in deep East Texas for a short time. I shared a small cabin with my sister, and it sat right on the edge of swampy area. We spent many hours tramping around in there. If you’ve ever spent any time in a swampy area, you know that it has its own feel to it. For one, it feels old, ancient, as if time has forgotten it. With its tall trees that block out the sun, it’s also dark, with shadows at every turn. In other words, it feels both primeval and magical, as if anything could happen in there. And that makes it also both wondrous and creepy. It’s not a place that is easily forgotten. So, even though I don’t live near any swamps anymore, the one I spent so many hours in as a young adult made an impression upon me.

Also, I’m interested in the way we approach conservation. I think it’s relatively easy to want to protect places that are beautiful and animals that appeal to our aesthetic senses. A panda, with its round shape and its stuffed-animal look, seems easy to love. A mountain range, with its lofty peaks and beautiful meadows invokes a sense of awe in us that makes us want to keep it the same forever.

I think it’s harder to go to bat for a swamp and the denizens who naturally live there—poisonous snakes, alligators, carnivorous plants—not to mention the breeding grounds for a billion insects or more. There’s nothing really cute about swamp creatures.

But I believe that there is beauty to be found in all of our natural places. And there are also heroes there, even though they may be in the form of a pair of raccoon brothers and a young boy who is tall for his age.

It makes me feel hopeful about the future somehow. If we can love a swamp and its natural critters, we can love the whole rest of the world too.

Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honor-winning, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award-winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the highly acclaimed novel Keeper, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, and many picture books. She is a member of the faculty at Vermont College’s Master of Fine Arts program. She has two grown children and lives in Texas with her husband. For more information, visit her website at

Watch these two rascally raccoons in the most adorable book trailer ever:

Find this book on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Goodreads

Be sure to visit Kathi’s other stops on her blog tour!

Mon, Aug 12 - GreenBeanTeenQueen -

Tues, Aug 13 - There's a Book -

Wed, Aug 14 - Bigfoot Reads -

Thurs, Aug 15 - Read Now, Sleep Later -

Fri, Aug 16 - I Read Banned Books -

Sat, Aug 17 - Booking Mama -

Mon, Aug 19 - The Compulsive Reader -

Tues, Aug 20 - Mother Daughter Book Club -

Wed, Aug 21 - The Book Monsters -

Thurs, Aug 22 - Sharpread -

Fri, Aug 23 - The Brain Lair -

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