It’s a whole new, clean green spin on trashy books: on Saturday, August 30, Island author Mathea Levine will sign copies of her new definitely not trashy book I’m Lucy: A Day in the Life of a Young Bonobo at Riley’s Reads in Vineyard Haven — but kids will receive a 20 per cent discount on copies of the book if they bring three or more pieces of beach trash they’ve collected.

There will be prizes for the children who bring in the most beach trash — including, for first prize, the adoption of a wild African bonobo through the Bonobo Conservation Initiative.

I’m Lucy features photos of a family of bonobos — our closest ape relatives — alongside simple text and a thoughtful afterword by Jane Goodall.

Bonobos live in a small area of the Democratic Republic of Congo and are in grave danger of extinction due to civil war and habitat destruction. All profits from the sale of the book go to the Bonobo Conservation Initiative and Jane Goodall’s youth organization, Roots and Shoots.

“By showing kids what they can do to help their immediate environment, we’re hoping to make them more aware of how their actions affect the whole planet,” said Mathea Levine. “There are only about 10,000 bonobos left in the world, which is a dreadful statistic. The book and the photographs really incite an emotional response from all readers since these animals are so amazing and so obviously like us, and readers of all ages walk away from the book wondering what they can do to help. We want to offer them answers.”

A Web site,, features a blog connecting kids to the environment through the bonobos. Also on the site is the: Can Do Meter — Here’s What You Can Do! This interactive tool allows kids, classrooms and families to earn points for green behavior and use those points to adopt a bonobo, win prizes, share books and more.

In the three months since the book launched, I’m Lucy was named the book of the month by Roots & Shoots and was featured in Science News Magazine. It has also been included in New York city’s The After School Program’s literacy program and will reach over 5,000 public school children this school year.

The Riley’s Read event is sponsored by South Mountain Company, Writing Roads, Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm, Randi Baird Photography, Suzanne Lanzone and Daughters, Eco MV, The Table Top Cookbook, DaRosa’s Printing, Allied Waste, Daseco Electric and Elizabeth Whelan Illustrator.