Top 10 Books on the Environment for Youth: 2008.

Engberg, Gillian (author).

FEATURE. First published February 15, 2008 (Booklist).

Our first roundup of youth books on the environment, all reviewed in Booklist during the past 12 months, includes strong nonfiction titles as well as two novels that base exciting stories around vital messages of ecological preservation. All of the selections below will give readers critical insight into some of the most pressing issues facing their generation.

The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming. By Laurie David and Cambria Gordon. illus. Scholastic/Orchard, paper, $15.99 (0-439-02494-3). Gr. 4–7.

In this amply illustrated volume, David and Gordon present the basic facts of climate change with lucid explanations and kid-friendly humor. A glimpse at developments in alternative-energy technologies and youth initiatives round out the wide-ranging text.

Emi and the Rhino Scientist. By Mary Kay Carson. illus. Houghton, $18 (9780618646395). Gr. 5–8.

This captivating Scientists in the Field series title follows the gestation and birth of an endangered Sumatran rhino at the Cincinnati Zoo. Crisp photos support the well-defined science concepts.

Garbage and Recycling. Ed. by Mitchell Young. illus. Gale/Greenhaven, $34.95 (9780737736519). Gr. 10–12.

Using balanced excerpts from a variety of sources, this timely volume in the Opposing Viewpoints series zeroes in on urgent issues of waste disposal and weighs possible solutions.

An Inconvenient Truth. By Al Gore and Jane O’Connor. illus. Viking, $23 (9780670062713). Gr. 6–12.

In this youth-focused adaptation of Gore’s 2006 adult book and Oscar-winning documentary, the documentation isn’t always clearly presented, but few books for youth offer such a persuasive, dynamic look at the climate issues threatening our planet.

The Light-Bearer’s Daughter. By O. R. Melling. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (0-8109-0781-X). Gr. 7–11.

In this third title in the Chronicles of Faerie series, strident calls for environmental protection run through the richly integrated story set in both contemporary and faerie worlds.

Oceans: How We Use the Seas . By Dana Desonie. illus. Chelsea House, $35 (0-8160-6216-1). Gr. 8–12.

Desonie offers a comprehensive, detailed introduction to ocean science and conservation in this amply illustrated volume for older students.

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth. By Rochelle Strauss. Illus. by Rosemary Woods. Kids Can, $17.95 (9781553379546). Gr. 3–5.

The strong conservation message in this handsome, oversize picture book is rooted in the idea that all water on the earth is connected. The mostly upbeat text includes a warning about pollution and offers ways for kids to help combat water-shortage issues in their daily lives.

Rachel Carson. By Ellen Levine. illus. Viking, $15.99 (0-670-06220-0). Gr. 7–10.

This biography in the Up Close series offers an intimate portrait of environmental pioneer Carson. Relevant quotes and black-and-white photos complete the telling.

Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things. By Wendelin Van Draanen. Knopf, $18.99 (9780375935251). Gr. 6–9.

Without preachiness, Van Draanen weaves specifics of animal extinction into the well-crafted story, the eleventh in the Sammy Keyes mystery series.

Weird Weather: Everything You Didn’t Want to Know about Climate Change but Probably Should Find Out. By Kate Evans. Illus. by the author. Groundwood, $15.95 (0-88899-838-4). Gr. 8–12.

This densely packed volume, produced in graphic-novel format, includes a wealth of information about global warming and suggests ways that teens can take action.



American Library Association
Top Ten Youth Books for the Environment
Booklist, February 15, 2008
Volume 104, Number 12