Books, Environmental Education

Environmental Conservation

Environmental Conservation

Originally published in TEACH Magazine, March/April 2022 Issue

With World Water Day celebrated annually on March 22 and Earth Day a month later on April 22, there’s no better time to start introducing your students to books that focus on protecting the natural world and this planet we call home. Inspire students to take action against climate change, plastic pollution, and Earth’s water crisis with these 10 new and upcoming environmental-themed books.

Be the Change: Rob Greenfield’s Call to Kids—Making a Difference in a Messed-Up World
By Rob Greenfield and Antonia Banyard
Greystone Books (April 2022)
Grade Level: 3–6

In this guide to sustainable living, YouTube star and zero-waste activist Rob Greenfield shows kids that they’re never too young to start making a difference.

An Earth-Bot’s Solution to Plastic Pollution
By Russell Ayto
Kids Can Press (September 2021)
Grade Level: K–2

This picture book explores the issue of plastic pollution through the eyes of a video game-loving boy named Neo, who is fighting to save his sea creature friends from the plastic invasion happening right outside his home.

Forest Fighter: The Story of Chico Mendes
By Anita Ganeri
Illustrated by Margaux Carpentier
Crocodile Books (March 2022)
Grade Level: 2–6

Forest Fighter tells the true story of Chico Mendes, a Brazilian rubber tapper who took a stand to protect the Amazon rainforest from logging, and to demand fair treatment for Indigenous peoples and the people in his community whose livelihoods depended on the forest.

Girls Who Green the World: Thirty-Four Rebel Women Out to Save Our Planet
By Diana Kapp
Illustrated by Ana Jarén
Delacorte Press (April 2022)
Grade Level: 7–12

This collection of stories highlights 34 inspiring environmental changemakers and revolutionaries who are fighting the save the planet.

I Am Today
By Matt Forrest Esenwine
Illustrated by Patricia Pessoa
POW! Kids Books (February 2022)
Grade Level: K–2

I Am Today is a story about a young girl who inspires the people in her town to address the pollution caused by a factory where many of them work.


One Million Trees: A True Story
By Kristen Balouch
Margaret Ferguson Books (March 2022)
Grade Level: K–2

This book reflects on the real-life story of Kristen and her family who planted one million trees at a logging site in British Columbia in an effort to combat deforestation.

Saving Earth: Climate Change and the Fight for Our Future
By Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Illustrated by Tim Foley
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (April 2022)
Grade Level: 5–8

Saving Earth teaches middle-grade readers about the history of climate change, while also presenting them with stories of how young people today are taking action.

School Strike for Climate
By Nel Yomtov
Illustrated by Fern Cano
Capstone Press (January 2022)
Grade Level: 3–5

This graphic novel recounts the history of how Greta Thunberg’s School Strike for Climate protest grew into the global movement known as Fridays for Future.

Urgent Message from a Hot Planet: Navigating the Climate Crisis
By Ann Eriksson
Illustrated by Belle Wuthrich
Orca Book Publishers (January 2022)
Grade Level: 7–12

The science behind climate change, its causes, and what young people can do to start taking action now are all topics that are powerfully presented in this teen non-fiction book.

When the World Runs Dry: Earth’s Water in Crisis
By Nancy F. Castaldo
Algonquin Young Readers (January 2022)
Grade Level: 5–12

Award-winning science writer Nancy Castaldo takes readers on a journey around the world to investigate Earth’s water crisis and the things we can do to help solve it.