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May 15, 2013 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Books on the Environment for Youth
Two topics jump out from this list of the best environmental books reviewed in Booklist over the past year—the life of Jane Goodall and the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. All of the titles below, though, explore ecological themes in fascinating ways. —Ian Chipman
The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks. By Barb Rosenstock. Illus. by Mordicai Gerstein. 2012. Dial, $16.99 (9780803737105). Gr. 1–3.
This colorful, humanizing account details how a trip through the Yosemite wilderness with prominent naturalist John Muir convinced President Roosevelt to push for the formation of national parks and forests.
The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery. By Sandra Markle. 2011. illus. Millbrook, lib. ed., $29.27 (9780761351085). Gr. 4–6.
With clarity and directness, this volume introduces Project Golden Frog, a conservation effort dedicated to creating a safe natural environment for the threatened Panamanian golden frog.
Chomp. By Carl Hiaasen. 2012. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375868429). Gr. 5–8.
Hiaasen’s latest Everglades romp pits a father-son team of animal wranglers against a phony survivalist and other wildlife-hating forces exploiting their beloved swampland.
Energy Island. By Allan Drummond. Illus. by the author. 2011. Farrar/Frances Foster, $16.99 (9780374321840). Gr. 1–3.
An inspiring look at how we may produce and use energy in the future, this book profiles the energy-independent Danish island Samsø, which shifted completely from fossil fuels to renewable resources.
How Hybrid Cars Work. By Jennifer Swanson. Illus. by Glen Mullaly. 2011. Child’s World, lib. ed., $18.95 (9781609732172). Gr. 4–6.
A robot and a caveman lead readers through a bouncy exploration of complex topics, such as the mechanics of hybrid engines and why dependence on foreign oil is bad.
Me . . . Jane. By Patrick McDonnell. Illus. by the author. 2011. Little, Brown, $15.99 (9780316045469). PreS–Gr. 3.
Showing how a child’s love of animals can inspire budding naturalism and lead to great things, this picture book follows a young Jane Goodall and her stuffed chimp named Jubilee.
Oil Spill! Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. By Elaine Landau. 2011. illus. Millbrook, $25.26 (9780761374855). Gr. 3–5.
Landau chronicles the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico with an urgent, edge-of-your seat narrative and looks at the one-step-forward, two-steps-back cleanup efforts.
Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf. By Olivia Bouler. Illus. by the author. 2011. Sterling, $14.95 (9781402786655). Gr. 3–6.
This book features artwork and snippets of information crafted by an 11-year-old girl who, determined to help after the 2010 oil spill, offered her drawings of gulf birds to anyone who donated to the cleanup campaign.
The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps. By Jeanette Winter. Illus. by the author. 2011. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (9780375867743). Gr. 2–4.
This elegant distillation of the life of one of the world’s most influential animal advocates is brought into vivid relief by paintings of Goodall living and working in the dense forest.
A strong ecological theme runs through this novel set in contemporary Scotland, where two children become friends after they discover and try to keep secret a rare osprey aerie.