When Laura Barber was 11 years old, she met Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Wangari’s passion for environmental stewardship inspired Laura and instilled in her a dedication to helping our planet.
After graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in Chemistry, Laura pursued her calling to make a difference in the world.
She co-founded the ELM Tree Foundation and helped implement the “Ready-to-Learn” program, which focused on combating illiteracy in 24 provincial schools in the Philippines.
It was during this program, as she read to the children at these schools, that Laura first realized that her biggest passion is fighting climate change and protecting the environment.
“While I was living in Manila, I realised that climate change isn’t talked about enough. Most people don’t live their lives with the planet in mind and I would see plastic everywhere and people sitting in parked cars, engines running. This disconnect between how vulnerable the Philippines is to the effects of climate change and how little is done about it (considering many people are still battling poverty), led me to write this book. I realised that educating the children is one of the best places to start because they are the future.”
She decided that the best way to reach children was through her own children’s book. Though she didn’t know exactly how she would get there, she knew that she needed to.Now, Laura is the author of Eddy Saves the World, an empowering children’s book about how we can all be climate superheroes, even in the smallest of ways.
When asked why this message is so important for her children’s book, Laura states that she thinks about climate change daily:
“Truth be told, it terrifies me. I see the news, I see how little other people care and sometimes it makes me feel so helpless. But then I remind myself that all we can all do is our best. The battle against climate change is something our children will inherit, and I don’t want them to feel small and helpless. I want them to know that there is always something they can do, in this case, to fight for their future.”
However, publishing her own children’s book proved to be a journey of its own.
“Honestly, I thought publishing a book would be easy. Once I found out about the Mastermind, I realized how much really goes into it and knew I wouldn’t finish this project without it … Having Miriam and a whole group of people who understand what you’re going through there to support you is priceless.”
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Throughout her journey, Laura learned many valuable lessons, and she offers this advice to any children’s book authors in the making:
“Writing a book is no easy feat. It’s a huge investment ... There were times where I felt stuck and if you’re stubborn like me, it’s easy to feel like since your name is on the front of the book, you need to have been able to do everything alone. But there is nothing wrong with asking others for advice. In fact, they’ll be happy you involved them in your beautiful project!”
Laura hopes Eddy Saves the World will inspire children and adults to live more sustainably, pay attention to their daily actions, and keep the planet in mind.
You can learn more about Laura and follow her efforts to promote environmental stewardship on Facebook (@LauraBarberOffical) and Instagram (@lauraanika), or on her website at www.laurabarber.com. Purchase your copy of Eddy Saves the World on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, or your local Amazon Marketplace.
Laura Anika Barber is a British-Filipino author with a degree in Chemistry. She was raised in Germany and studied at the University of Warwick in England, but it was after moving to the Philippines that she experienced the more devastating effects of climate change first hand. Realizing that the best way forward was to take action, she wrote Eddy Saves the World during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is convinced that children everywhere, no matter how young, can make a difference.