June Toher, a journalism graduate of Marquette University, started out as a newspaper reporter and magazine columnist, and later wrote and directed a local television news show. During her career she won several mass communications awards. A native of Massachusetts, she now lives in Virginia.
The title for the author’s magical realism, youth climate-action novel, TYING THE LEAVES, was inspired by the song, “I’m Tying the Leaves So They Won’t Come Down,” which the author’s grandfather sang to her when she was a little girl. The original song was written by Erasmus Huntington in 1907.
After participating in the first Earth Day — its 50th anniversary is April 22, 2020 — the author continued to study the benefits of renewable energy and the consequences of burning fossil fuels. Her recent research revealed the particularly harmful effects of these toxic gases on human lungs, especially in children. Her novel demonstrates this impact through the eyes of a child.
She also explored clean-energy, cutting-edge technologies from around the globe and the forces obstructing the United States from transitioning to a clean-energy economy. She incorporated her findings into her story.
The author has been impressed with the many youth organizations all over the world that have taken on the challenge to address the climate crisis. The child activists in her novel convey the real-life determination and passion of these young people.