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February 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Books on Sustainability for Youth
This year’s top 10 books on sustainability, reviewed in Booklist between February 15, 2014, and February 1, 2015, offer a range of perspectives on conserving our planet, from the fossil fuels buried deep underground to the rain forests speckling its surface.
Beetle Busters. By Loree Griffin Burns. illus. Harcourt, $18.99 (9780547792675). Gr. 5–8.
This absorbing entry in the Scientists in the Field series discusses the Asian long-horned beetle’s invasive presence in New England and the efforts of scientists to stop the destruction of trees and forests.
Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth. By Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. Illus. by Molly Bang. Scholastic/Blue Sky, $17.99 (9780545577854). K–Gr. 3.
Detailed illustrations show buried fossil fuels as glowing bits of “buried sunlight” and reveal how burning that buried sunlight has affected the earth’s atmosphere. A subtle presentation with an unusual breadth of vision.
Digging a Hole to Heaven: Coal Miner Boys. By S. D. Nelson. Illus. by the author. Abrams, $19.95 (9781419707308). Gr. 3–6.
Interspersed with information about coal mining is the story of a 12-year-old worker who hauls coal cars with his favorite mule. A lengthy author’s note discusses, among other things, the history and future of coal.
Eyes Wide Open: Going behind the Environmental Headlines. By Paul Fleischman. illus. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763671020). Gr. 8–12.
Opening with a tale of Fleischman finding dead bees in his driveway, this book applies critical thinking skills to environmental issues and offers young people tools to become informed, responsible global citizens.
In the Rainforest. By Kate Duke. Illus. by the author. Harper, $17.99 (9780060282592). K–Gr. 3.
In this uncommonly readable introduction to the habitat, two children tour a rain forest, learning about many of its components and the causes and effects of deforestation.
The Last Forever. By Deb Caletti. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, $16.99 (9781442450004). Gr. 8–12.
Tess inherited her late mother’s extremely rare pixiebell plant, and she’s struggling to keep it alive. Inspired by the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, this moving story reflects on love, loss, and growth.
Nuts to You. By Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow, $16.99 (9780060092757). Gr. 3–5.
An intrepid squirrel expresses this central theme of this tale: “I just wish . . . humans understood how important trees are.” The squirrel friends embark on a journey full of humor, adventure, and environmentalism.
The Promise. By Nicola Davies. Illus. by Laura Carlin. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763666330). Gr. 3–6.
A girl lives by stealing, and one day, she grabs an old woman’s bag. The lady lets go with one condition: “If you promise to plant them.” The bag holds acorns, and the girl keeps her promise, planting trees everywhere.
Skink—No Surrender. By Carl Hiaasen. Knopf, $18.99 (9780375870514). Gr. 7–10.
With inimitable style, Hiaasen veers this ecological mystery into the territory of online predators. When Richard’s cousin drops a clue about spotting the possibly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, Richard knows she really needs help.
Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees. By Frank Prévot. Illus. by Aurelia Fronty. Charlesbridge, $19.95 (9781580896269). Gr. 3–5.
Wangari Maathai is very much alive in Prévot’s excellent biography, which highlights what led Maathai to form the Green Belt Movement. Evocative, lush, and sometimes surprising images illustrate.
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