John muir, earth, planet, universeA graphic novel about the conservationist John Muir has been distributed to schools all over Scotland to spread the word about his legacy.

The book, with illustrations by William Goldsmith, is entitled John Muir – Earth-Planet, Universe and is aimed at pupils in years S1-S3.

Produced by the Scottish Book Trust to tie in with the centenary of John Muir’s death, and the opening of the 215km John Muir Way between Helensburgh and and his birthplace, Dunbar, the free book looks at how he developed  his love of nature in Scotland before emigrating to the United States, where he pioneered the establishment of national parks.

Its author Julie Bertagna, said:”There’s a lot of appeal in the story of a Scottish boy from Dunbar who grew up to be a world famous global explorer and adventurer, an American hero who ended up on stamps and coins, with all sorts of places and things named after him, from mountains to millipedes.  As a youngster, John was a real wild spirit who escaped every moment he could from school-work and bible studies to roam outdoors, getting in scraps and all sorts of mischief.  Dunbar is where his love of nature began so we’ve included funny, quirky stories from his early life that proved a real hit when we trialled the book in schools across Scotland.

Young people are deeply interested in the future and as the first modern environmentalist John Muir speaks to them about the kind of world they want – and don’t want – to live in.”

With the support of Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Eco-Schools Scotland programme, a class set of 24 copies has been sent to every secondary school in the country.  A pdf version is available to download from, along with teaching support notes and ideas for activities.