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By Christine Kramer
The books listed here are suggestions for young people, because they build an awareness of our planet and the climate. Many of these books are also available on Kindle and Audible.
For young readers in grades K-3:
Andrew Joyner’s Stand Up! Speak Up! A Story Inspired by the Climate Change Revolution is an introduction to activism seen through the eyes of a young girl.
Patricia MacLachlan’s My Friend Earth is an ode to the natural world from a Newbery Award-winning author.
The Forest Man: The True Story of Jadav Payeng, by Anne Matheson, is about a young boy battling deforestation on the Indian island he loves.
Jeanette Winter’s Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet is a picturebook story of Greta Thunberg to inspire readers who are beginning to learn about the world around them.
For readers in grades 3-6:
Caroline Arnold’s A Warmer World: From Polar Bears to Butterflies, How Climate Change Affects Wildlife is about howchanges in temperature can produce big changes in animals’ chances for survival.
Follow Those Zebras: Solving a Migration Mystery, by Sandra Markle, offers a realistic look at scientists’ problem-solving and conducting field research.
Andrea Minoglio’s Our World Out of Balance: Understanding Climate Change and What We Can Do gives an overview of climate challenges, asks why it matters, and offers ways to help.
Jon Scieszka’s The Plant Planet and his other works, Water Planet and Perfect Planet, are a graphic novel series about four super animal astronauts who tackle climate change. A combination of kid wit and science from an author kids love.
Climate Action: What Happened and What We Can Do, bySeymour Simon, explains the science of climate change and profiles young activists from around the world.
Greta Thunberg’s No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference containsspeeches of hers, including her address to the United Nations.
For readers in grades 5-8:
Naomi Klein’s How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other covers how we got here, and tools needed to fight to reshape the planet. Adults might recognize her book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.
Mark Kurlansky’s Bugs in Danger: Our Vanishing Bees, Butterflies, and Beetles highlights the declining insect population as a resultof human practices of deforestation, large-scale agriculture, and production of greenhouse gases.
Amazon Adventure: How Tiny Fish Are Saving the World’s Largest Rainforest, by Sy Montgomery, is part of the Scientists in the Field series. The author explores tiny fish that can help preserve not only the rainforest, but by extension, our environment.
For readers in grades 9-12:
Melissa Koch’s Forest Talk: How Trees Communicate explains why protecting trees is vital to human health and welfare, as well as the Earth’s ecosystem.
Arjun Marwaha, author of Our Changing Earth: Why Climate Matters to Young People, wrote the book whenhe was in high school to foster awareness of climate change.
Nick Pyenson, curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian, offers lessons in what humans can learn about surviving in a changing world in his book Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures.
Chris Kramer is a longtime resident of San Juan Capistrano and a member of the South Orange County chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby/Education. She and her husband, Larry, have moved 26 times in their married life, including to India (Andhra Pradesh) and Africa (Ghana). She has a MLIS from University of Hawaii and a BA from University of Michigan (Go Blue).