With a collage bunny illustration style, Recycle Every Day by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace (Two Lions, 2003) shows how bunnies Minna and Pip learn about recycling and making earth-conscious decisions. This includes donating old clothing, starting compost collection, using reusable bags, and choosing recyclable materials, as well as traditional recycling ideas. The story frame of Minna

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The nonfiction picture book, Old Enough to Save the Planet by Loll Kirby (illustrated by Adelina Lirius; Harry Abrams, 2021) shows how kids can help our environment. Each two-page spread highlights a real child that made a difference in his or her community by noticing an issue and starting an initiative for change. The top

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, 2011) details the ecological and human impact of the Columbian exchange. As a dense book full of research carefully explained and expanded, 1493 was certainly not a book I “galloped” through, as one of the historian commentators exclaims on the back cover. But

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Dear Earth: From Your Friends In Room 5 by Erin Dealy (illustrated Luisa Uribe; Harper Collins, 2020) is an inspiring environmental activism picture book told through a series of letters between the students in room five of a school and the earth (who receives the letters through the wind). The students tell how they have

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With the silly concept of rating things in life according to a five-star scale, The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (Dutton, 2021) combines the author’s thoughts about humankind, our influence on the world, and the world’s changing influence on each of us in a collection essays. The essays range from somewhat silly to insightful. As

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In the true picture book Green City: How One City Survived a Tornado and Rebuilt for a Sustainable Future by Allan Drummond (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016), the small town of Greensburg, Kansas that had been destroyed by a tornado was able to rebuild with environmentally friendly methods. In fact, all the buildings (schools, banks, residences)

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Jason Chin’s illustrations in Coral Reefs: A Journey Through an Aquatic World Full of Wonder (Square Fish, 2016) create an imaginative story of a girl reading this same book and being swept away in an actual coral reef ecosystem. I love the creative illustrations and the details shown in the text. It is a gorgeous

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In middle grade graphic novel Saving Sunshine by Saadia Faruqi (First Second, September 2023), twin teenagers must face the ultimate punishment this vacation: no cell phones. It’s not a permanent punishment, but it sure feels like it. They can only get them back when they can get along without fighting. While their parents attend a

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