Archive for the 'Longleaf' Category

The Longleaf Alliance: “What do you know about the longleaf pine forest?”

Friday, May 21st, 2010 by Lisa Harrison

Longleaf Forest Fact Sheet

Download a PDF of the Longleaf Forest Fact Sheet

The longleaf pine forest—which inspired NewSouth young adult novelist Roger Reid in the writing of his book Longleaf—is central to the mission of a small but dedicated group of folks at The Longleaf Alliance. Their goal is to educate about the importance of the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Little known to most people, the longleaf pine forest was once very mighty. Prior to European settlement, it dominated the southeastern United States, occupying a vast 93 million acres. Greatly reduced in size today, the forest is still home to 900 plant species. A longleaf ecosystem maintained by prescribed burns is one of the most ecologically diverse in the world (riveling rain forests), and is home to some of the most rare and unique plants and animals on the North American continent.

Roger Reid’s young adult novel Longleaf, which is chock-full of such facts about the forest, has proven an invaluable aid to The Longleaf Alliance’s educational outreach program. Reid brings the forest to life, advertising its wonders and its dangers, through the eyes of two likable teenaged protagonists. Longleaf is both an important learning tool and a guaranteed gripping read for adventure lovers of all ages.

Presentations by Roger and Longleaf Alliance educators to schools in Alabama and Louisiana have been made possible by the donations of generous sponsors. Now, in order to make these programs available to schools in Mississippi and Florida, as well as additional schools in Alabama, The Longleaf Alliance is seeking new sponsors to cover travel costs and the distribution of materials. Invitations for Reid and Longleaf Alliance staff to visit schools in these states have already been issued; sponsor funding is needed to assure that these visits can be made. Mark Hainds, Research Coordinator, says, “We’re really going to educate a whole generation about the longleaf ecosystem if we can find enough support to cover our costs and get into the classrooms.”

Download a Longleaf Forest Fact Sheet.

Anyone who would like to sponsor distribution of Longleaf can contact Mark Hainds of The Longleaf Alliance at 334-427-1029.

Longleaf Novel Gifted by Skelton Foundation to Coffee County Schools

Thursday, May 7th, 2009 by Lisa Harrison

The Edwin L. and Elizabeth L. Skelton Foundation generously donated copies of author Roger Reid’s young adult novel Longleaf to twenty elementary and middle schools in Coffee County, Alabama. The Skelton Foundation is a nonprofit organization created to benefit charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational purposes.

Longleaf combines a fast-paced adventure story blended with scientific fact about the lore, beauty and environmental significance of the longleaf pine ecosystem. A number of reviewers gave Longleaf good marks, including the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books.

Roger Reid is a writer, director, and producer for the award-winning Discovering Alabama series from the Alabama Museum of Natural History in cooperation with Alabama Public Television. His novel has been endorsed by the Longleaf Alliance of Alabama, whose Research Coordinator Mark Hainds continues to appear with Reid at school and library presentations throughout the southeast. NewSouth Books has also published Reid’s sequel to Longleaf, Space, set at Alabama’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

The Skelton Foundation made its donation to the Longleaf Alliance to help with their education outreach program. Foundation representative Donald Pittman wrote that the schools were very happy to receive the books.

Space and Longleaf are available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Roger Reid Talks Space with Montgomery Advertiser, Alabama Live

Thursday, November 6th, 2008 by Lisa Harrison

Author Roger Reid continued a successful tour to launch his new young adult novel Space with appearances in Montgomery, Alabama at Baldwin Arts & Academics Library, Houston Hill Junior High School and with an interview on the WSFA-TV program Alabama Live. According to an article in the Montgomery Advertiser, Reid and colleagues Randy Mecredy, director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, and Mark Hainds of the Longleaf Alliance, spoke to Houston Hill students about the fascinating world of science.

From the article:

Reid said that the fantasy in stories such as Harry Potter and other scince fiction that the students enjoy is actually being created in the real world. Well, some of it.

Reid joked that he was too old to go the moon, but the the seventh-graders had a shot if that was something they wanted to do.

Read the entire article at The Montgomery Advertiser website.

Reid, Mecredy and Hainds were interviewed by Kim Hendrix on Alabama Live in a segment entitled “Discovering Alabama in a new way.” They discussed their school visits in the Montgomery area presenting the science from Space and from Reid’s first young adult novel Longleaf. Hainds showed samples of the longleaf pine needles and pine cone.

The scientists discussed the importance of reaching students through Reid’s innovative approach of combining an exciting adventure story featuring a fourteen-year-old protagonist with real-life scientific facts. Reid also emphasized the importance of encouraging writing, a topic he shares with students.

See the interview at WSFA’s website.

Space and Longleaf are available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

SCBWI Southern Breeze Authors Release New Books From NewSouth

Friday, August 29th, 2008 by Lisa Harrison

NewSouth Books’ Junebug Books imprint recently published two new titles by Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) members: In the Company of Owls by Peter Huggins, and Space by Roger Reid. These books join Reid’s 2005 title Longleaf and A Yellow Watermelon by Ted Dunagan as the latest works by Southern SCBWI chapter Southern Breeze authors to be released from NewSouth.

In the Company of Owls tells an exciting story of courage and the triumph of family loyalty in the face of danger. After Aaron Cash and his father discover their neighbor Morgan Blackburn’s illegal still, Blackburn resorts to increasingly violent acts to force the Cash family to sell their land. Aaron must ultimately use his wits–and his BB gun–to defend his family, an act that leaves both Aaron and the reader to consider its many implications. Of In the Company of Owls, poet Tony Crunk writes, “[Aaron’s] story, and Huggins’s graceful telling of it, sneak up as quietly as a spring shower, but startle as fiercely as a copperhead strike.”

In Space, fourteen-year-old Jason is recruited by his cantankerous friend Stephen to help find which of a group of gathered scientists killed Stephen’s father. Adding to the suspense is a mysterious Man in a Red Flannel Shirt who keeps appearing wherever Jason happens to be. In the climactic scene, Jason uses his scientific knowledge to escape a pursuing gunman in the woods surrounding the real-life Conrad Swanson Observatory. Graham Salisbury says of Space, “Another Roger Reid winner for young mystery lovers. Space is packed with fascinating science, action, compelling story questions, and an ending that rockets off the page. Loved it!”

Southern Breeze named author Ted Dunagan’s A Yellow Watermelon, published earlier this year, a “Soaring Success.” In the best Southern literary tradition, A Yellow Watermelon explores poverty and racial segregation through the eyes of an innocent boy; Ted Dillon wanders through the cotton fields, streams, churches, whiskey stills and his own heart and mind as he struggles with the hypocrisy and wonders of his small world, amid the lingering effects of the Great Depression. Yet with beguiling prose and an ear for the way people speak, the author brings to life a story so engaging and heartfelt that it will resonate with young and old. Kirkus Reviews calls A Yellow Watermelon “a memorable, generous-hearted tale.”

NewSouth Books is a general trade publisher based in Montgomery, Alabama, with a growing list of fine literary fiction–for adults and young adults–and non-fiction.

Roger Reid Continues Longleaf School Group Talks

Monday, December 17th, 2007 by Brian Seidman

Author Roger Reid spoke in December with Andalusia Elementary School students about his book Longleaf and its upcoming sequel Space, as reported in the Andalusia Star-News. Reid answered questions both about the Longleaf novel and about his own life. From the article:

“The amount of knowledge these students possess about the national forest is amazing,” Reid said. “The fact that they live in such a rich environment and know what happens in the outdoors is commendable.”

Holly Krudrop, AES librarian, said day’s events were made possible through several grants.

“That we were able to provide this day for our students was great,” Krudrop said. “I want our students to learn about the environment, understand its role in our world and learn to protect it. Mr. Reid’s book is able to give students something to relate to.”

Reid’s visit to Andalusia Elementary School comes as part of programs he has held with school groups across the South. Read the full article at the Andalusia Star-News website.

Longleaf is available now from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local book retailers. Space is scheduled for release in Summer 2008.

Longleaf Author Tours Lower Alabama Schools

Monday, October 1st, 2007 by Lyndsey

An anonymous donor has made possible the gift of 159 copies of the young adult novel, Longleaf, recently published by NewSouth Books, to middle and elementary schools in lower Alabama. The donation was made in honor of Aaron Van Carpenter. Author Roger Reid spent last week touring South Alabama in an effort to raise awareness about the environmental significance of the longleaf pine forest and to personally deliver copies of his book to a selection of schools.

Reid toured eight middle and elementary schools in Baldwin, Mobile, Escambia and Monroe Counties in areas not too distant from Alabama’s Conecuh Forest. He was accompanied by Randy Mecredy, director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, and Mark Hainds, research coordinator for the Longleaf Alliance, an Alabama-based conservation organization. The school visits were successful enough that a second tour is currently being considered.

In an interview with Josh Bean of the Mobile Press-Register, Reid said he, “just fell in love with the longleaf pine forest in Covington County,” when he made a visit there in the late 1990s.

Bean commented that Reid is now “bringing that love to south Alabama school children.”

Visit the Mobile Press-Register to read the full article.

Roger Reid and Discovering Alabama host Doug Phillips will be participating in a two-part lecture on the longleaf ecosystem at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on September 30. For more information about the event, visit the Botanical Gardens website.

Longleaf is available now from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local book retailers.

Longleaf's Wild Ride Praised by Blogcritics Books

Friday, June 1st, 2007 by Brian Seidman

Longleaf has been reviewed by Blogcritics Books, which called it “a well-plotted thriller.” The article praises Longleaf for its “wild ride that might have the added benefit of opening kids’ eyes to the natural beauty the world holds for them,” and notes that the book “will certainly lead many of its readers to learn more about ecosystems and the environment.”

Set in the real-life Conecuh National Forest, Longleaf follows two teenager as they survive a night alone in the forest, pursued by a trio of villains. Longleaf is a terrific adventure story and an excellent introduction to the plants and animals of the Alabama eco-system.

Read the full article at Blogcritics Books.

Longleaf is available now from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local book retailers.

Radio Interview with Longleaf Author Roger Reid To Air

Monday, March 26th, 2007 by Lyndsey

Longleaf author Roger Reid will be interviewed on Alabama Public Radio as part of Book Week, hosted by Troy University Public Radio in conjunction with the Alabama Public Radio Spring Fundraiser. His segment will air on Tuesday, March 27 at 2:00 p.m.

Reid will discuss the wildlife issues at the heart of his new young adult thriller, Longleaf, and will be selling autographed copies of the book at a special price. Proceeds from all book sales support Alabama Public Radio programming.

Set in the real-life Conecuh National Forest, Longleaf is a terrific adventure story and an excellent introduction to the plants and animals of the Alabama eco-system.

Longleaf is available now from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local book retailers.

Roger Reids Young Adult Thriller Longleaf Praised for Wildlife Recognition

Thursday, February 8th, 2007 by Lyndsey

“Roger Reid said it was natural for him to set the story in the Conecuh National Forest,” wrote today’s Andaulsia Star News regarding Reid’s new young adult thriller, Longleaf.

As producer and director of the Emmy nominated Alabama Public Television program Discovering Alabama, Roger has a deep interest in educating children about the forestry of Alabama he’s offered plenty of that information — as well as a great story — in his first young adult novel, Longleaf. And now Longleaf has begun to receive glowing praise from across the state.

“It’s the addition of facts about the Conecuh National Forest that enhance the book for readers of all ages … perhaps the only bad thing about Longleaf is that is finishes so soon,” writes the Florence Times Daily. They continued, “What fills the pages, however, is not just the plot of the story and the solving of the crime. Learning that the longleaf is largely fire-resistant is fascinating in and of itself, but Reid weaves the story about this bit of information into the story thanks to his precocious teen-aged hero.”

The conservation group, Longleaf Alliance also enjoyed Longleaf, noting that “it was interesting to see familiar ponds, roads, and historical events included in this short, but worthy drama.”

From the Andalusia Star Times:

Roger Reid, author of the recently released novel, Longleaf, should know about the forest’s night sounds. As a writer, director and producer of the Emmy nominated public television program Discovering Alabama, he’s spent plenty of time there.

“A couple of the first shows we did after I joined the show were on the longleaf pine,” Reid said Thursday. “I fell in love with the place.”

It wasn’t long after that that he got the idea for the novel, in which 14-year-old Jason Caldwell, headed for a vacation in the National Forest with his parents, witnesses a crime from the window of the airplane. Before the camping trip begins, he finds his way to Andalusia, where he explains what he saw to a deputy in the Covngton County Sheriff’s Office. Soon, Jason finds himself lost among the very longleaf pines that he and his parents had been flying over only days before.

The idea stayed with him and about two years ago, he wrote the book.

“My son was 13 years old. Everything he and his sister brought home for reading material was all centered around cultural experiences. There was no natural history presented in the sense we do with Discovering Alabama.”
Reid said it was natural for him to set the story in the Conecuh National Forest.

“I used to sneak down here a lot and sleep in the forest,” he said. “Every time I get an opportunity, I’m down here.”

He said it is an age appropriate book for middle school students, and that he attempted to make it “a good adventure” that didn’t sound like a textbook.
“There’s a fifth grade teacher in Washington who’s reading it out loud to her kids,” he said. “She said they’re enjoying it and picking up new vocabulary.”

Longleaf is available now from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local book retailers.

Junebug Books Releases Thrilling Longleaf Mystery

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

Junebug Books is pleased to announce the release of Longleaf by Roger Reid. Longleaf tells the story of fourteen year-old Jason Caldwell and his forest-smart friend Leah as they try to survive a harrowing night in the Conecuh National Forest. Filled with factual information about the Alabama ecosystem, Longleaf is both an important learning tool and an exciting young adult adventure.

And for taking Longleaf on those deep nature hikes, Longleaf has been simultaneously released in Adobe Reader ebook format. The Longleaf ebook contains the full text of the book, as well as coupons and links to dynamic Longleaf web extras.

Longleaf is available now from NewSouth Books, and other online and local book retailers.