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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Books on Sustainability for Youth
Whether through a fairy tale, a biography, or an sf novel, this year’s list of the best sustainability-themed youth books reviewed in Booklist over the past year all encourage meaningful thought about life on our planet.
The Cloud Spinner. By Michael Catchpool. Illus. by Alison Jay. 2012. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375870118). K–Gr. 3.
In this original fairy tale with an anti-wastefulness message, a boy spins clouds into thread to make scarves, never using more than he needs until a greedy king comes along.
Food: The New Gold. By Kathlyn Gay. 2012. Lerner/Twenty-First Century, lib. ed., $31.93 (9780761346074). Gr. 8–12.
This well-researched presentation of worldwide issues related to food includes the effects of climate change on agriculture.
House Held Up by Trees. By Ted Kooser. Illus. by Jon Klassen. 2012. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763651077). K–Gr. 3.
Kooser’s modern parable unfolds with uncommon grace, as an abandoned house falls apart, only to find itself, over time, held aloft by innumerable tree branches.
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle. By Claire A. Nivola. Illus. by the author. 2012. Farrar/Frances Foster, $17.99 (9780374380687). K–Gr. 3.
This dazzling picture-book biography invites young explorers to connect Sylvia Earle’s early life to her career as a world-renowned marine scientist and activist. An author’s note issues a call-to-action to preserve our endangered oceans.
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95. By Phillip Hoose. 2012. Farrar, $21.99 (9780374304683). Gr. 7–12.
Hoose offers a beautifully written and meticulously researched account of the endangered red-knot birds’ physiology, flight patterns, habitats, and more while focusing on 20-year-old B95 (or “Moonbird”), who “has flown more than 325,000 miles in his lifetime.”
Mrs. Harkness and the Panda. By Alicia Potter. Illus. by Melissa Sweet. 2012. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375844485). Gr. 1–4.
This engaging, graceful picture book touches upon issues related to animal captivity while telling the little-known true story of how Ruth Harkness set off for China in the 1930s to find a panda and bring it back to the U.S.
Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas. By Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. Illus. by Molly Bang. 2012. Scholastic/Blue Sky, $18.99 (9780545273220). K–Gr. 3.
A richly illustrated, densely informative picture book, which introduces children to the ocean’s microscopic phytoplankton, “the great invisible pasture of the sea,” which supply half the oxygen created on the earth and form an essential part of the sea’s food chains.
Orleans. By Sherri L. Smith. Mar. 2013. Putnam, $17.99 (9780399252945). Gr. 8–12.
Smith explores the relevant theme of global warming in her compelling novel about a deadly plague that emerges from the horrific conditions that follow years of increasingly destructive hurricanes.
Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World. By Sy Montgomery. 2012. Houghton, $17.99 (9780547443157). Gr. 4–8.
Montgomery reveals the extraordinary work of Temple Grandin, an autistic animal activist who advocates for the humane treatment of livestock.
Wild Horse Scientists. By Kay Frydenborg. 2012. Houghton, $18.99 (9780547518312). Gr. 7–9.
This engaging volume from the Scientists in the Field series looks at the wild horses living in Maryland’s Assateague Island National Seashore and introduces two scientists whose work has made a significant impact in managing their population.
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