We hope these selections serve to educate and encourage a dialogue on topics of environmental justice, including access to a clean and healthy environment for all people, the disproportionate impact of climate change and pollution on marginalized communities, and collective solutions to environmental issues, from grassroots to global action.


The EARTH Book by Todd Parr

Author Todd Parr explores the important, timely subject of environmental protection and conservation in this eco-friendly picture book. Caring for the Earth makes us and the Earth much happier.  Parr uses a bright, vibrant color palette and thick, black line work to create his signature digital illustrations.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand), Audiobook (Overdrive Media on Demand)


One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul

This picture book tells the inspiring story of Isatou Ceesay who began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community in Gambia, Africa.  Ceesay’s recycling program empowered hundreds of women to start upcycling the plastic bags into re-usable purses, creating stability and wealth for their families.  Collage illustrations capture the leadership and environmentalism of Isatou Ceesay and complement the text.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand)


Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal

Zonia’s home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning, she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice.  A gentle call to care for the Earth and our rainforests.

Available formats: Book


You are Home: An Ode to the National Parks by Evan Turk

Author and illustrator Evan Turk showcases the beauty and importance of the National Parks in this beautiful picture book that takes readers on an amazing tour across the United States. In simple, soaring language the author has created a stirring ode to nature and nation. From the rugged coast of Maine to the fiery volcanoes of Hawaii, readers reminded that every animal, plant, and person helps make this land a brilliant, beautiful sanctuary of life.

Available formats: Book


Where’s Rodney by Carmen Bogan 

Rodney is that kid who just can’t sit still.  Outside is where Rodney always wants to be. Between school and home, there is a park. He knows all about that park. It’s that triangle-shaped place with the yellow grass and two benches where grown-ups sit around all day. When Rodney finally gets a chance to go to a real park, with plenty of room to run and climb and shout, and to just be himself, he will never be the same. This picture book celebrates the transformative power of nature.

Available formats: Book


The Keeper of the Wild Words by Brooke Smith

A touching tale of a grandmother and her granddaughter exploring and cherishing the natural world. When Mimi finds out her favorite word, simple words, like apricot, blackberry, and buttercup are disappearing from the English language, she elects her granddaughter Brook as their Keeper.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Hoopla)


Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton Johnson

This picture book shares the empowering story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman, and environmentalist, to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Engaging narrative and vibrant images paint a robust portrait of this inspiring champion of the land and of women’s rights.  As a young girl in Kenya, Wangari was taught to respect nature. She grew up loving the land, plants, and animals that surrounded her. Although most Kenyan girls were not educated, Wangari, curious and hardworking, was allowed to go to school. There, her mind sprouted like a seed. She excelled at science and went on to study in the United States. After returning home, Wangari blazed a trail across Kenya, using her knowledge and compassion to promote the rights of her countrywomen and to help save the land, one tree at a time.

Available formats: Book


Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Alice Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Alice longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, which she did.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla)


Puma Dreams by Tony Johnston

A girl visiting her grandmother longs for a glimpse of the solitary and rarely seen puma. Her grandmother tells her that if she’s patient, one day her wish will come true. The girl and her grandmother stand watch each day, and then finally, without warning, she sees the beautiful animal from afar. Knowing she may never see a puma again, she now knows it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect these increasingly threatened animals.

Available formats: Book


The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry

The many different animals and a child from an Amazon tribe that live in a great kapok tree in the Brazilian rainforest try to convince a man with an ax of the importance of not cutting down their home. The beautifully penciled illustrations compliment the message of conservation creatively told on this picture book. 

Available formats: Book


The Lonely Giant by Sophie Ambrose

In the middle of a vast forest lives a giant who spends his days hurling and heaving, smashing and bashing. Over time, the animals flee as their homes vanish, the birdsong dwindles away to silence, and, finally, the forest itself disappears. Now the lonely giant misses the crackling warmth of a fire and the sweet songs of the yellow bird, but will he realize it’s up to him to restore what he loves.

Available formats: Book


The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter

In this picture book biography captures the life and mission of Dr. Jane Goodall, who dedicated herself to the research and preservation of chimpanzees and other large primates. Follow Jane from her childhood in London watching a robin on her windowsill, to her years in the African forests of Gombe, Tanzania, invited by brilliant scientist Louis Leakey to observe chimps, to her worldwide crusade to save these primates who are now in danger of extinction, and their habitat.

Available formats: Book


The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-loving Woman Changed a City Forever by Joseph Hopkins

This picture book tells the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens. Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. After becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. This trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city.

Available formats: Book


What Is Climate Change? by Gail Herma

This book is part of the What is series from WhoHQ. Learn more about what climate change means and how it’s affecting our planet. The earth is definitely getting warmer. Author Gail Herman presents both sides of the debate in this fact-based, fair-minded, and well-researched book that looks at the subject from many perspectives, including scientific, social, and political.

Available formats: Book


What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet by Jess French

This educational book will teach young budding ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth and the big impact we can make by the little things we do. Almost everything we do creates waste, from litter and leftovers to factory gases and old gadgets. Find out where our garbage goes, how it affects our planet and what we can do to reduce the problem.

Available formats: eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand)


Elsie Mae Has Something to Say by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Elsie Mae is pretty sure this’ll be the best summer ever. She gets to explore the cool, quiet waters of the Okefenokee Swamp around her grandparents’ house with her new dog, Huck, and she’s written a letter to President Roosevelt that she’s confident will save the swamp from a shipping company and make her a major hometown hero. Then, news reaches Elsie Mae of some hog bandits stealing from swamper families, and she sees another opportunity to make her family proud while waiting to hear back from the White House. This middle grade novel is an uplifting coming of age tale about friendship, sensitivity, and the importance of protecting our planet.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Hoopla), eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand), Audiobook (Hoopla)


The Last Wild by Piers Torday

In a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he’s told there’s something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he’s finally gone crazy. The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester’s help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an overenthusiastic wolf cub, a military-trained cockroach, a mouse with a ritual for everything, and a stubborn girl named Polly.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla)


Wild Wings by Gill Lewis

Callum becomes friends with Iona, a practically feral classmate who has discovered an osprey, thought to be gone from Scotland, on Callum’s family farm, and they eventually share the secret with others, including Jeneba who encounters the same bird at her home in Gambia. This middle grade novel is set against the dramatic landscapes of Scotland and West Africa, this is a story of unlikely friendships and the wonders of the wild.

Available formats: Book


Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Roy is the new kid in school, and is already being picked on by the school bully, Dana. But one day, while having his face mashed against the bus window, he sees a mysterious barefoot boy running away from the bus and school. Roy tracks him down and discovers, among other things that the boy, who calls himself Mullet Fingers, is committing acts of vandalism against a construction site where they plan to build a pancake restaurant on land where rare and endangered burrowing owls are nesting. This middle grade novel explores  friendship and conservation.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand), Audiobook (Overdrive Media on Demand)


The Line Tender by Kate Allen

Following a tragedy that further alters the course of her life, twelve-year-old Lucy Everhart decides to continue the shark research her marine biologist mother left unfinished when she died years earlier.  This coming of age middle grade novel explores grief and hope, and finding connections.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand), Audiobook (Overdrive Media on Demand)


 

 

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