10 Great Books on the Environment and Climate Change for Young Readers
It’s Earth Day on April 22, so to celebrate, I wanted to share some of my favorite books on the environment and climate change for young readers. These books cover topics from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan to the falling populations of giraffes or butterflies. Some explore the damage to the environment (and to us!) caused by pollution. Others tell stories about activists who’ve dedicated their time and energy to problem-solving and speaking out to protect the planet.
Trashing the Planet by Stuart K. Allen
What you need to know: What happens if trash isn’t properly handled? How are we going to fix environmental crises caused by trash? This book started my interest in environmental reading, and I still sometimes refer back to it for information. A fabulous read.
Ages: 10 up | Published August 1, 2017 | My Review
Giraffe Extinction by Tanya Anderson
What you need to know: Great balance of interesting facts, history and context for why giraffes are threatened and what happens to their environment if they become extinct. I learned so much from this book.
Ages: 12 up | Published October 1, 2019 | My Review
When the World Runs Dry by Nancy F. Castaldo
What you need to know: Explores LOTS of causes of water crises from environmental to border issues to contamination. Each chapter features case studies exploring real communities facing these problems. Really well done.
Ages: 10 up | Published January 18, 2022 | My Review
Poisoned Water by Candy J. Cooper with Mark Aronson
What you need to know: An informative, heartbreaking look at what citizens in Michigan endured (and are still enduring) in their fight for clean water. A must-read book.
Ages: 14 up | Published May 19, 2020 | My Review
The Story of More by Hope Jahren
What you need to know: Gives a great overview of how we got to where we are with climate change from changes in human population, farming and other industries, etc. Looks at how individual changes can impact communities.
Ages: 14 up | Published November 2, 2021 | My Review
The Environment: Explore, Create and Investigate by Jonathon Litton
What you need to know: I really liked the broad reach of the information it offers and pairs with experiments and activities. Perfect for use with a science unit or to inspire summer crafts.
Ages: 6-12 | Published September 22, 2020 | My Review
The Magic and Mystery of Trees by Jen Green and Claire McElfatrick
What you need to know: Packed with fascinating information and gorgeous diagrams explaining processes from growth to reproduction to communication and protection. I bought the ebook version of this book on sale and ended up ordering a hard copy as well.
Ages: 8 up | Published March 5, 2019 | My Review
Girl Warriors by Rachel Sarah
What you need to know: 25 profiles of young climate activists under 25 years old, how they got started making changes and how their work impacts communities across the globe. I found these stories incredibly inspiring and hopeful.
Ages: 8 up | Published April 6, 2021 | My Review
What are your favorite books on the environment or climate change?
What are some of your favorite books on the environment and climate change for young readers? Let me know if you’ve read any of these books or have other favorites I should check out! I’d love to expand my library and add more books for review. Happy Earth Day!