In his own time, Henry David Thoreau was well-respected as the town surveyor and an excellent carpenter but most certainly not as a writer. Her lived a somewhat solitary life at Walden Pond, plying his various trades, taking long walks, and making notes in his voluminous journals. Though Thoreau actually had two books published during his lifetime, not many people read them. Yet now, nearly 150 years after his death, he is regarded as one of America's great writers. Milton Meltzer's engaging biography examines this unique author, his beliefs, and his world. Thoreau's loss of a brother, his relationship with Ralph Waldo Emerson, his brief stint in jail, and his affinity with the natural world all worked together to shape an intriguing world view and a powerful body of writing that still influences us today.