Earth Science and Sustainability Booklist for Teens

Non-Fiction Books

A selection of non-fiction books about earth science and sustainability for teens.

Amstutz, Lisa J.

Discover why freshwater lakes are at risk. Amstutz shows how people are combating overfishing and cleaning up polluted waters in order to preserve our freshwater lakes for future generations. Readers will also explore the science behind watersheds and the water cycle. Features include a cause-and-effect flow chart, a glossary, references, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.

Gilio-Whitaker, Dina

Interrogating the concept of environmental justice in the U.S. as it relates to Indigenous peoples, this book argues that a different framework must apply compared to other marginalized communities, while it also attends to the colonial history and structure of the U.S. and ways Indigenous peoples continue to resist, and ways the mainstream environmental movement has been an impediment to effective organizing and allyship.

Hand, Carol

Bringing Back Our Oceans explains why oceans are at risk and how people are combating plastics pollution, restoring marine biodiversity, and preserving our oceans for future generations. This title also explores the science behind ocean ecosystems and ocean currents. Features include a cause-and-effect flow chart, a glossary, references, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.

Hand, Carol

Bringing Back Our Tropical Forests explains why tropical forests are at risk and how people are combating deforestation, encouraging sustainable agricultural practices, and preserving tropical forests. This title also explores the science behind tropical peatland forests and the layers of a rain forest. Features include a cause-and-effect flow chart, a glossary, references, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.

Jahren, Hope

This young adult adaptation of acclaimed geochemist and geobiologist Hope Jahren's highly respected nonfiction work is the perfect book for those interested in learning about climate change and how they can contribute to creating a more sustainable future.

Klein, Naomi

An empowering, engaging young readers guide to understanding and battling climate change from the expert and bestselling author of This Changes Everything and On Fire, Naomi Klein. Warmer temperatures. Fires in the Amazon. Superstorms. These are just some of the effects of climate change that we are already experiencing. The good news is that we can all do something about it. A movement is already underway to combat not only the environmental effects of climate change but also to fight for climate justice and make a fair and livable future possible for everyone. And young people are not just part of that movement, they are leading the way. They are showing us that this moment of danger is also a moment of great opportunity-an opportunity to change everything. Full of empowering stories of young leaders all over the world, this information-packed book from award-winning journalist and one of the foremost voices for climate justice, Naomi Klein, offers young readers a comprehensive look at the state of the climate today and how we got here, while also providing the tools they need to join this fight to protect and reshape the planet they will inherit.

MacCarald, Clara

Bringing Back Our Deserts explains why deserts are at risk and how people are combating invasive species, restoring damaged areas, and preserving deserts for future generations. This title also explores the science behind nitrogen pollution and the life in desert soil. Features include a cause-and-effect flow chart, a glossary, references, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.

Martinez, Xiuhtezcatl

In this personal, moving essay, environmental activist and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez uses his art and his activism to show that climate change is a human issue that can't be ignored.

Nakate, Vanessa

A founder of the Rise Up Climate Movement discusses ways we can all build a livable future, with a focus on the role of African voices, while revealing the rampant inequalities within the climate-justice movement.

Perdew, Laura

Bringing Back Our Wetlands explains why wetlands are at risk and how people are combating wetland destruction due to development and agriculture. This title also explores the science behind how wetlands are formed, store carbon, and clean wastewater. Features include a cause-and-effect flow chart, a glossary, references, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. 

Read, Nicholas

A colourful, engaging, and educational profile of a well-established wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre, highlighting the heartwarming stories of animals and the people who care for them. Critter Care is a cute name for a life-saving organization. For over three decades, the wildlife rehabilitation centre in Langley, BC, has rescued and cared for more than 50,000 sick, injured, and orphaned animals--from bears to beavers, coyotes to cougars, rabbits to river otters, and skunks to squirrels. Author and journalist Nicholas Read spent one year volunteering at Critter Care, helping to take care of the animals and recording the stories of every furry friend who walked, hopped, or crept through their doors. Full of information, compassion, and a strong dose of social awareness, Caring for Critters is a month-by-month account of Read's experience. Through adorable photos and true stories--some uplifting, others sad--the book teaches children and young adults about the dangers that animals face as humans destroy the environment and invade natural habitats, and encourages kids to get involved in animal welfare and conservation.

Regan, Michael

Bringing Back Our Tundra explains why the tundra is at risk and how people are combating tundra destruction due to oil and mining industries. This title also explores the science behind carbon sinks and tundra food webs. Features include a cause-and-effect flow chart, a glossary, references, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.

Testa, Hannah

In this personal, moving essay, youth activist Hannah Testa shares with readers how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced global businesses to adopt more sustainable practices.

Thunberg, Greta

The groundbreaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist who has become the voice of a generation, including her historic address to the United Nations.

Fiction Books

A selection of fiction books that emphasize the importance of Earth science and sustainability.

Bacigalupi, Paolo

In a future hammered by climate change and drought, mountain snows have turned to rain, and rain evaporates before it hits the ground. In a fragmenting United States, the cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas skirmish for a dwindling share of the Colorado River. But it is the Las Vegas water knives - assassins, terrorists and spies - who are legendary for protecting Las Vegas' water supplies, and for ensuring Phoenix's ruin.

Brrémaud, Frédéric

A collection of short comic stories told from the perspective of different animals whose lives are impacted by human society. Includes informational sections with suggestions for how you can help protect your animal neighbors.

Chupeco, Rin

Generations of twin goddesses ruled Aeon-- until one sister's betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun. While one sister rules Aranth, a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea, her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister's betrayal. Now shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking. The two-- along with a healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger-- set out on separate journeys, desperate to heal their broken world.

Dimaline, Cherie

In a future world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America's indigenous population -- and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow -- and dreams -- means death for the unwilling donors. Driven to flight, a 15-year-old and his companions struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones, and take refuge from the 'recruiters' who seek them out to bring them to the marrow-stealing 'factories.

Graceffa, Joey

Rowan is a second child in a world where population control measures make her an outlaw, marked for death. She can never go to school, make friends, or get the eye implants that will mark her as a true member of Eden. Indeed, her kaleidoscopic eyes may very well give her away to the ruthless Center government. Outside of Eden, Earth is poisoned and dead. All animals and most plants have been destroyed by a man-made catastrophe. Long ago, the brilliant scientist Aaron Al-Baz saved a pocket of civilization by designing the EcoPanopticon, a massive computer program that hijacked all global technology and put it to use preserving the last vestiges of mankind. Humans will wait for thousands of years in Eden until the EcoPan heals the world.

Ireland, Justina

When families go missing in Baltimore County, Jane McKeene, who is studying to become an Attendant, finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy that has her fighting for her life against powerful enemies.

Johnson, Alaya Dawn

In a Brazil of the distant future, June Costa falls in love with Enki, a fellow artist and rebel against the strict limits of the legendary pyramid city of Palmares Três' matriarchal government, knowing that, like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Miyazaki, Hayao

In a long-ago war, humankind set off a devastating ecological disaster. Thriving industrial societies disappeared. The earth is slowly submerging beneath the expanding Sea of Corruption, an enormous toxic forest that creates mutant insects and releases a miasma of poisonous spores into the air... Nausicaä, a gentle but strong-willed young princess, has an empathic bond with the giant Ohmu insects, who open their hearts to her. She fights to create peace among empires that are fighting over the world's remaining precious natural resources.

Onyebuchi, Tochi

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky. In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life. Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together. And they're willing to fight an entire war to get there.

Shusterman, Neal

A lengthy California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, turning Alyssa's quiet suburban street into a warzone, and she is forced to make impossible choices if she and her brother are to survive.

Simmons, Kristen.

After surviving overcrowding, disease, and unemployment, five hundred lottery winners are promised a new start on Pacifica, but Marin Carey, corsario royalty, knows no island paradise exists.

Smith, Sherri L.

Set in a futuristic, hostile Orleans landscape, Fen de la Guerre must deliver her tribe leader's baby over the Wall into the Outer States before her blood becomes tainted with Delta Fever.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.