According to the Library of Congress website, “Earth Day was first observed on April 22, 1970, when an estimated 20 million people nationwide attended the inaugural event. Senator Gaylord Nelson promoted Earth Day, calling upon students to fight for environmental causes and oppose environmental degradation with the same energy that they displayed in opposing the Vietnam War.”
It seems like every day there are more and more stories (and debates) in the news about climate change or the need for environmental regulations. It was a huge issue in the recent presidential election. At heart, Earth Day is about celebrating the future of the planet and trying to make sure that you, whoever you are, will have a healthy place to live.
So it makes sense that there are a bunch of good, recent books for teens about this subject: fiction and non-fiction and even science fiction. They look at what’s happening now on the Earth, what could happen to the Earth, and what teens are doing, have been doing, or might do to make the Earth a better place.
Something Rotten by Alan Gratz
Hamilton Prince’s father owns the huge paper mill that dominates the town of Denmark, Tennessee. Hamilton Prince’s father has also just been murdered, and he has to find out who did it. He relies on his friend Horatio and an environmental protester named Olivia to help him put the clues together.
They Came from Below by Blake Nelson
Emily and Reese have the whole summer to hang out together on the beach at Cape Cod–and to chase the two new boys in town, Steve and Dave. Sometimes trying to talk to a boy makes you feel like boys are a whole different species–but what if they actually are? And what if they’re really angry about how your species is treating the Earth?
My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald
Lucy’s interest in her family’s pharmacy and her knowledge of all things makeup come together in eco-friendly ways as she battles a corporate store looking to put the pharmacy out of work–and shows her family that she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Exodus by Julie Bertagna
It’s 99 years in the future. The world has been flooded because of climate change. Mara’s island is being destroyed by the ever-creeping flood and she has to use antique technology from the beginning of the 21st century to lead her family and friends across the ocean.
The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill
In 1997, Julia Butterfly Hill climbed one of California’s giant redwood trees. She didn’t come down for 2 years. Her struggle to defend the redwoods from logging is chronicled in this memoir. (She is still an activist and has a blog.)
Weird Weather: Everything you didn’t want to know about climate change but probably should find out. by Kate Evans
Environmental facts are anything but boring in this book, presented in comic form.
Second-Time Cool: The art of chopping up a sweater. by Anna-Stina Lindén Ivarsson, Katarina Brieditis, and Katarina Evans
You know there are clothes in your closet that you kind of never want to wear again. They don’t fit right, or they had something spilled on them, or whatever. Luckily, you can use scissors, buttons, thread and more to make them wearable again–all for less of a cost than buying something new.
The Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog has an amazing set of photographs relating to Earth Day: interactive pictures of cities that celebrated Earth Hour 2009, an hour on March 28th when people in each city signed up to turn off their lights and save energy. You can click on each picture in the blog to watch the city dim.
Filed under: Book Reviews, Books and Reading | Tagged: alan gratz, blake nelson, climate change, comic books, crafts, earth day, earth hour, ecology, environment, julia butterfly hill, julie bertagna, kate evans, lisa greenwald, recycling, reviews, science fiction | 1 Comment »