Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
When the struggle to save oil-soaked birds and restore blackened beaches left him feeling frustrated and helpless, John Francis decided to take a more fundamental and personal stand—he stopped using all forms of motorized transportation. Soon after embarking on this quest that would span two decades and two continents, the young man took a vow of silence that endured for 17 years. It began as a silent environmental protest, but as a young African-American man, walking across the country in the early 1970s, his idea of "the environment" expanded beyond concern about pollution and loss of habitat to include how we humans treat each other and how we can better communicate and work together to benefit the earth.

Through his silence and walking, he learned to listen, and along the way, earned college and graduate degrees in science and environmental studies. The United Nations appointed him goodwill ambassador to the world’s grassroots communities and the U.S. government recruited him to help address the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Was he crazy? How did he live and earn all those degrees without talking? An amazing human-interest story, with a vital message, Planetwalker is also a deeply personal and engaging coming-of-age odyssey—the positive experiences, the challenging times, the characters encountered, and the learning gained along the way.

Baker & Taylor
The founder and director of Planetwalk, a nonprofit environmental education organization, describes how, after witnessing the devastating effects of a 1971 oil spill in San Francisco Bay, he stopped using all forms of motorized transportation, embarked on a quest to walk across the country, and undertook a vow of silence that lasted seventeen years. 15,000 first printing.

& Taylor

The author recounts his decision, after witnessing the devastation of an oil spill, to renounce the use of motorized vehicles and take a vow of silence, and his subsequent twenty-two years of walking and formal education.

Publisher: Washington, DC : National Geographic Books, 2008, c2005
ISBN: 9781426202759
Characteristics: 288 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Planet walker


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Serenity77777 Jul 04, 2013

This is such an important book. I don't know why the NYPL hasn't
added at least two or three copies
to its circulation. If the powers that
be should read this, please add a few
copies of this important book, Planet
Walker. Thank you in advance for
your help.

S3707 Feb 04, 2013

I really wish we had at least one
or two copies of this book that
was available to the public
to take out of the library to

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top