Florida Bar Journal, July 2010 Harvey E. Oyer III published his second history book for children and young teens.
“The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Egret” is a true story from the life of a young Florida pioneer and his experiences in one of America’s darkest environmental episodes. Oyer is a fifth-generation Floridian who lives in West Palm Beach and is the great-grand nephew of Charlie Pierce, the subject of the book series.
The book exposes children and young teens to a historical period through the eyes, experiences, and adventures of a peer, while it also explores the emotional tug-of-war between the needs of man and respect for the environment.
During the late 19th century, the fashion rage throughout America and Europe was colorful bird feathers to adorn people’s hats and clothing. To meet the large demand for bird feathers, millions of birds were hunted and killed, primarily in the Everglades. So many birds were killed that some species were left near extinction. Pierce was a young teenager from one of the first pioneer families in South Florida that settled on an island in the Lake Worth Lagoon, near present-day Palm Beach, and learned of the tremendous profit potential from the area’s native birds. “Plumes is the new gold,” a bird hunter passing through told them. He gathered his friends, including a Seminole Indian boy who befriended him, and embarked on the Great Plume Bird Expedition. Eventually, young Charlie had to choose between right and riches — a choice that would influence him and his friends the rest of their lives.
[info_box] “The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Egret,” is available now at select bookstores and Amazon.com. [/info_box]