Connected Wisdom by Linda Booth Sweeney

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Connected Wisdom: Living Stories about Living Systems gathers twelve stories from different cultures that each reveal a unique example of a "living system." Through them, author Linda Booth Sweeney shows that what we now call systems thinking has been around for a very long time. A Balinese folktale tells the story of a gecko who cannot sleep because of the sparks from a firefly. He traces the cause of his complaint from one animal to another, and finally to the mosquitoes who he depends on for his survival. Like this gecko, young readers will understand that all life is inter-related, and will be able to grasp the concept of the living system of "interdependence." In a Burmese folktale, a king spills a drop of honey on his windowsill, too little to bother cleaning up. Yet the drop draws a fly, which attracts a lizard, which is followed by a cat, then a dog, and the owners of the cat and the dog, each armed with a stick. When civil war erupts, the king and readers understand the living system of "linearity," in which an effect is disproportionate to its cause. Clear and simple notes accompany these and the other stories in Connected Wisdom. Says Sweeney, "If kids understand living systems, they're more likely to think and act in informed ways and less likely to blame a single cause for the challenges they encounter. As kids appreciate and learn about living systems, they see that connections in nature, people, problems, and events bind us all."

Connected Wisdom is available in a large-format, full-color volume, suitable for gift-giving, classrooms, and libraries. It is also available in an audio format and eBook format. Visit for more information.

Connected Wisdom won honorable mention in its category at the New York Book Festival in 2011. It also won best audio book in the Green Book Festival and the New York Book Festival in 2011.

About Linda Booth Sweeney

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Linda Booth Sweeney wrote this book after nearly floating away in a windstorm while on a walk with her then-toddler son. They both thought it was hilarious and have enjoyed wild and woolly storms ever since. Linda is the author of three nonfiction books: The Systems Thinking Playbook, When a Butterfly Sneezes, and Connected Wisdom. This is her first children’s book. Linda lives near Boston with her husband, three children, Rugby the dog, Boo the parakeet, Cinnamon Bun the rabbit, and a gecko named Gregg. Jana Christy did much of the art for this book during hurricane-force winds on a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia—flags flapped and walls shook in a house that looks remarkably like the house in this story. She loves drawing girls with attitude, boys with pluck, the chickens that wander around her garden, punks, robots, cavemen and zombies, bleak weather, windy days, sea creatures, and more. She loves creating handmade minibooks with her husband, exploring new places with her children, and letting her brain and brushes wander. She lives in North Adams, Massachusetts.
Published July 14, 2011 by SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development). 108 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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