Gail Gauthier   www.gailgauthier.com
Saving the Planet & Stuff


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Now Available as an eBook:

Saving the Planet and Stuff - eBook The story of Michael Racine's summer experience with environmentalists Nora Blake and Walt Marcello is available again, now as an eBook for Kindle.

Bonus Material: An unpublished short story in which early versions of Walt and Nora appear with a young female main character.


For Kindle from

Watch the Trailer below or directly on YouTube.

Publishing History:

Saving the Planet and StuffSaving the Planet & Stuff was originally published in 2003 by G.P. Putnam's Sons as a middle grade book for ages 10 and up. In 2004, it was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award.  Over the next several years it was included on teen reading lists at libraries across the country.  In 2008 it was included in the Book Links article The Text Generation: Fiction That Incorporates Digital Communication, two years after it went out of print. In 2016 Gyldendal Undervisning (Education) purchased the rights to use an excerpt for use in a textbook for Norwegian students studying English. The 2003 cover illustration was done by Robert Shadbolt.  The 2013 eBook edition includes the original text with a new cover illustration by Eric Bloom, and, in the Bonus Material, the short story Three Weeks with Walt and Nora. It was written prior to the book and never published.

Reviews of the Original Hardcover Edition:

bulletBooklist: "A keen observer with a wry wit, Michael is a sympathetic character, always sure his friends are having a better summer than he is…A new slant on ecological fiction."

bulletKirkus Reviews: "Memorable, hilarious, and featuring a likable, unlikely hero."  Read the full review here.

bulletPublishers Weekly: "Taking full advantage of the wildly divergent values and mores of this couple and the teen, Gauthier incorporates spirited dialogue, wry asides from Michael and droll scenarios…"  Read the full review here.

bulletSchool Library Journal: "This is a funny look at what it's like being an intern at a small business where office politics are rife and everyone knows everyone else's business. Michael even has a bit of a romance. The frequent references to pop culture, mass consumerism, and ecological issues will have lots of teen appeal."

bulletThe Horn Book: "Count on Gauthier to poke fun at some of our sacred cows…This dialogue-rich novel is filled with laugh-out-loud sound bites, and it moves at a clip similar to the instant messaging Michael does on the computer with his far-flung friends."

bulletThe Washington Post: "A wry, amusing take on the neglected topic of teenagers in the world of work."

Internet Material on Saving the Planet & Stuff eBook Edition:

bulletAlison Pearce Stevens Marketing Monday Gail Gauthier

bulletCT GreenScene Q&A With Gail Gauthier

bulletGreen Bean Teen Queen Guest Post: Gail Gauthier

bulletFinding Wonderland Turning Pages: Saving the Planet & Stuff by Gail Gauthier 

bulletFinding Wonderland An Author's Take on Self-Publishing: Interview with Gail Gauthier

bulletLittle Hyuts Indie Spotlight Author Interview-Gail Gauthier

bulletReduced Footprints Review: Saving the Planet & Stuff

bulletThe Bibliophilic Book Blog Interview with Gail Gauthier, author of Saving the Planet & Stuff

bulletWord Spelunking Guest Post: Writing About Food-Again And Again

Gail Gauthier and Saving the Planet & Stuff:

My writing definitely comes out of my life experience. I prefer the expression "write who you are" to "write what you know," and my work is shaped by two different sides of who I have been over the years. I was a suburban mother in central Connecticut for a couple of decades, but I grew up in rural Vermont prior to and during the period when it saw an influx of urban immigrants who were interested in living alternative lifestyles. Both my suburban mother-self who raised two boys at the end of the twentieth century and my college-self who was exposed to and influenced by environmentalism and feminism a couple of decades earlier came together in Saving the Planet & Stuff.

Michael Racine was inspired by my tech-savvy teenage son who, as a pre-teen, was offered an opportunity to go to a Maine cabin with a couple of his grandparents' friends so he could set up some computer equipment for them. His mother declined this invitation for him. However, I loved the idea of a boy thrown in with strangers who were not just strangers in the sense that he didn't know them but strangers in the sense that he didn't know their world because they were two generations removed from him. While working with that situation, I turned to my own past to come up with Walt and Nora, two people whose generational difference truly make them a mystery to a suburban twenty-first century child. 

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October 7, 2019