Rocksey’s Favorite Reads About Being a Friend to the Environment

Check your local library for these books about litter, recycling, reusing, and environmental stewardship!
The following titles are listed by grade level.


Recycling, Step by Step by Jean Lundquist

Have you ever wondered where all that stuff in the recycling bin goes? See that plastic bottle, glass jar, and cardboard box? You’re about to see how each item is recycled, step by step.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: Preschool to 2nd Grade)


Kenya’s Art by Linda Trice

Kenya’s class is on spring vacation and their teacher asked them to write a report about how they spent their time. But vacation is almost over and Kenya hasn’t done anything worth noting. A late visit to a museum’s recycling exhibit and a walk through her neighborhood with her daddy inspire Kenya to use her old, broken toys and other items to make art with her family. Now she’s prepared to teach her whole class how to Recycle! Reuse! Make Art!

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended Grade: Preschool – 3rd Grade)


Curious George’s Big Book of Discovery by H.A. Rey

There’s so much to discover with Curious George! Eight science-themed stories based on the Emmy Award-winning PBS TV show are collected in one book with activities, experiments, real photographs, fun facts and more. Learning about science is always an adventure with a curious monkey as your guide. Follow along with George as he learns all about the brain and body, nature, the environment, the sky, and outer space! This collection includes: Curious George Discovers Germs; Curious George Discovers the Senses; Curious George Discovers the Oceans; Curious George Discovers Plants; Curious George Discovers Seasons; Curious George Discovers Recycling; Curious George Discovers Space; and Curious George Discovers the Stars.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 7 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 3rd Grade)


Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, Oscar! by Mary Lindeen

Oscar the Grouch knows a lot about trash, including how to reuse it! Read along as Oscar and friends show young readers that reducing, reusing, and recycling lessens their impact on the planet. Learn how to turn trash into treasure, like making old bottle caps into artwork. We can help Earth!

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended Grade: Preschool to 2nd Grade)


Save Energy, Bert and Ernie! By Jennifer Boothroyd

How can you be kind to Earth? Bert and Ernie along with their Sesame Street friends teach young readers about energy and how everybody can conserve energy to protect the planet. Simple, practical advice tackles the big issue in a kid-friendly way.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended Grade: Preschool – 2nd Grade)


One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole

An evocative wordless picture book that is a loving tribute to mindful living on our precious planet. From a tall tree growing in the forest – to the checkout counter at the grocery store – one little bag finds its way into the hands of a young boy on the eve of his first day of school. And so begins an incredible journey of one little bag that is used and reused and reused again. In a three-generation family, the bag is transporter of objects and keeper of memories. And when Grandfather comes to the end of his life, the family finds a meaningful new way for the battered, but much-loved little bag to continue its journey in the circle of life.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 3rd Grade)


Trash that Trash, Elmo and Abby! By Mary Lindeen

Elmo and Abby take on trash in this friendly guide that teaches young readers about how litter impacts Earth. Practical tips and a friendly Sesame Street approach encourage readers to take action against litter. How can you be kind to Earth? Interior paper made with 30% recycled post-consumer waste fibers.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 2nd grade)


Recycle! A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons

Explains the process of recycling from start to finish and discusses what happens to paper, glass, aluminum cans, and plastic when they are recycled into new products.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 3rd Grade)


We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers by Lauren Child

After Charlie convinces Lola to recycle her old toys instead of throwing them away, Lola discovers a recycling competition. If she can recycle one hundred plastic, metal, and paper items, she can get her very own real live tree to plant. But she only has two weeks, so Lola decides to ask her classmates to help. They turn out to be extremely very good recyclers indeed. This adventure is printed on FSC-approved paper and includes recycling tips as well as a tree poster just like Lola’s, so kids can keep track of their recycling projects and help to save the planet all on their own.

(Recommended Age: 3 Years – 5 Years; Recommended Grade: Preschool – K)


It’s Only One! By Tracey Corderoy

A story about how good citizenship and a litter consideration can make our world a joyful place for all. Sunnyville is the perfect place to live, until one day Rhino tosses a candy wrapper on the ground. “What?” he says. “It’s only one.” But soon, others start throwing their trash on the ground, too, and it begins to pile up. Giraffe doesn’t want to look at the garbage, so he picks a flower from the park to brighten his home – but then everybody picks the flowers, and now there aren’t any left. Soon things become messier, noisier, and grumpier. Can anyone save the day?

(Recommended Age: 3 years – 7 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 2nd grade)


Garbage Galore by Ellen Lawrence

What happens to our trash once the garbage truck hauls it away? What is a landfill, and why is it bad for Earth’s future?
What happens to trash made from plastic, paper, and aluminum if we recycle it? And what can we do to follow the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) more? Garbage Galore introduces young readers to the issue of how much garbage we produce and how it poses a problem.

(Recommended grade: Preschool – 3rd Grade)


I Can Reuse and Recycle by Mary Boone

Young readers will discover what it means to recycle waste and be more eco-friendly. Introduces readers to the fact that not everything we throw away is garbage. Some things can be reused or made into something different.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 2nd grade)


Emeraldalicious by Victoria Kahn

Everyone’s favorite pink-loving gal returns in Emeraldalicious, the imaginative, glitterlicious sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling Pinkalicious! Pinkalicious combines magic, love, and imagination to turn an ordinary place into an Emeraldalicious world. Pinkalicious and Peter visit their favorite park, but on the way Pinkalicious’s wand breaks. She isn’t worried at all, because she knows just what to do. She takes a stick, some vines, and a very special flower to make a magical wand. When Pinkalicious and Peter finally arrive at the park it’s covered in stinky trash! But never fear, Pinkalicioius is here with her magical wand, lots of love, and pinktastic rhymes to turn the trash into an Emeradalicious paradise.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 3rd Grade)


Awesome Dawson! By Chris Gail

Everything can be used again! That’s Dawson’s motto. He collects junk that people throw away and turns it into something STUPENDOUS. But when Dawson uses his skills to create a machine to do his chores for him, he discovers he might have invented something a little too… AWESOME. Can he stop the rampaging robot before it destroys the entire town? Chris Gail inspires kids to reuse, repurpose, and recycle in this inventive adventure about a boy superhero who turns trash into treasures – and saves the world while he’s at it!

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 3rd Grade)


Don’t Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book About Recycling and Reusing by Lara Bergen

You can keep that trash and reuse it in all kinds of wonderful ways! Do you see that old jar? Don’t throw that away! You can turn it into… a new vase! Follow an eco-conscious super hero as he teaches kids how to recycle and reuse common household items! The six large flaps throughout show that ordinary trash is really a treasure. From turning old clothes into fun costumes or an old box into a brand new car, kids will learn that saving the environment is super cool!

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 6 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 1st Grade)


I Can Save the Earth! By Alison Inches

Meet Max the Little Monster. He is a cute, furry green monster who is an environmental nightmare. Among other things, he leaves on all the lights, keeps his computer plugged in, blasts the TV, hoards his old toys and uses so much toilet paper it clogs the toilet until finally, his excessive ways cause a power outage. With no TV to watch, computer to play on, video games to play with, Max finds there is a whole big world outside that he can make a difference in the environment. Kids can follow Max the Little Green Monster’s journey to environmental awareness and learn tips on how they can become little green monsters themselves. A kid-friendly glossary of terms is included in the back of the book.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: Preschool to 1st Grade)


How Garbage Gets from Trash Cans to Landfills by Erika Shores

Where does the trash from last night’s pizza party go after you take it to the curb? Easy-to-understand text explains how trash gets from homes to landfills or recycling centers and describes the role of the community workers who make it all possible.

(Recommended Age: 4 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: Preschool – 2nd Grade)


Your Planet Needs You! A Kids’ Guide to Reducing Waste and Recycling by Philip Bunting

For Earth Day and all year round, an inspiring guide that teaches young activists how to combat waste. Each year, a single person can create up to a ton of garbage. That’s the weight of a small hippo! Where does all that waste come from? Where does it end up? How does composting work? And what else can we do to help our planet? Your Planet Needs You! Is packed with simple explanations of how kids and their families can reduce, re-use, and recycle to help clean up our planet. With easy-to-read infographics and a light, accessible tone, Your Planet Needs You! shows that taking care of our environment can be both fun and rewarding.

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 8 years; Recommended Grade: K – 3rd Grade)


Junk: A Spectacular Tale of Trash by Nick Day

2019 Green Earth Book Awards – Short List. Sylvia Samantha White is very good at finding – she just doesn’t know exactly what all her “junk” is good for, not yet at least. But when completely ridiculous disaster strikes, she springs into action and uses her junk to create solutions to the town’s troubles. A charming ode to collecting, creating, and following your bliss – even when you’re not entirely sure where it will lead you.

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: K – 3rd Grade)


Conserving Resources by Marne Ventura

Conserving Resources introduces readers to the ideas behind recycling, conservation, and sharing resources. Vivid photographs and easy-to-read text aid comprehension for early readers. Features include a table of contents, an infographic, fun facts, Making Connections questions, a glossary, and an index. QR Codes in the book give readers access to book-specific resources to further their learning. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: K – 3rd Grade)


Fly Guy Presents: Garbage & Recycling by Tedd Arnold

Fly Guy is buzzing over to a landfill to learn more about garbage and recycling! Fly Guy and Buzz visit a landfill to discover where their garbage goes. They learn all about garbage trucks, trash sorting, bacteria, and how landfills can be more environmentally friendly. They also visit a recycling plant to learn about how recycling programs get started, the recycling cycles, and what happens when trash isn’t properly disposed of. There are even tips for how readers can help keep our planet healthy!

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 7 years; Recommended Grade: K – 2nd Grade)


The Smash! Smash! Truck by Professor Potts

What self-respecting glass bottle would want to be trapped in a trash dump for hundreds of thousands of years, when it could be transformed over and over again into new and exciting containers? Luckily, the Smash! Smash! Truck is on hand to speed up the recycling process, making things go round faster. Professor Potts takes us all the way back to the Big Bang to look at how the earth naturally recycles its resources and ends with a series of glorious smashes as a modern recycling truck is loaded and unloaded. As he did in Uneversaurus, Professor Potts makes science engaging and informative with lighthearted, accessible text and clever, fun illustrations.

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: K – 3rd Grade)


Every Day is Earth Day by Jordan Brown

Join Jet Propulsion and his friends as they celebrate Earth in this Level 2 Ready-to-Read based on a popular episode of PBS’s hit show Ready Jet Go! When Jet learns that humans celebrate Earth Day, he can’t help but wonder, why can’t every day be Earth Day? After he  takes his friends for an amazing ride around the world in his flying saucer, they feel the same way! This Level 2 Ready-to-Read includes bonus back matter content with lots of fun facts about the Earth and Earth Day.

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 7 years; Recommended Grade: K – 2nd Grade)


Rainbow Weaver by Linda Elovitz Marshall

A young Mayan girl isn’t allowed to use her mother’s thread to weave, so with a little ingenuity she discovers how to repurpose plastic bags to create colorful weavings. Based on an actual recycling movement in Guatemala.

(Recommended Age: 6 years – 9 years; Recommended Grade: K – 4th Grade)


One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul

The inspiring true story of how one African woman began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community. Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then a hundred. The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change. Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 9 years; Recommended grade: K – 3rd Grade)


Earth Day by Rachel A. Koestler-Grack

Earth Day is a call to be “green.” This means thinking like a conservationist about everything from what grocery bag to use to what type of transportation to take. Elementary students just might be inspired to clean up a park or plant a tree after this read.

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 8 years; Recommended Grade: K – 3rd Grade)


Garbage and Recycling by Rosie Harlow

Explaining the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage, Young Discoverers: Garbage and Recycling by Rosie Harlow and Sally Morgan shows how glass, metal, and wool can be easily recycled. How Can I Help? boxes give suggestions for the young environmentalist who wants to recycle at home.

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: K – 3rd Grade)


Earth Day Every Day by Lisa Bullard

On Earth Day, we find ways to help the Earth. Trina plants trees with her class. She forms an Earth Day club with her friends. What can you do to make every day Earth Day? Do your part to be a planet protector! Discover how to reduce, reuse, recycle, and more with Tyler and Trina in the Planet Protectors series, part of the Cloverleaf Books™ collection. These nonfiction picture books feature kid-friendly text and illustrations to make learning fun!

(Recommended Age: 5 years – 8 years; Recommended Grade: K – 2nd Grade)


Earth Smart: How to Take Care of the Environment by Leslie Garrett

Young readers will discover all about the environment by joining Sophie and Spencer on their walk around the neighborhood. They’ll learn how we can all make our world a cleaner, healthier place to live in. What happens when we waste electricity? How does pollution affect our beautiful planet? Stunning photographs combine with lively illustrations and engaging, age-appropriate stories in DK Readers, a multilevel reading program guaranteed to capture children’s interest while developing their reading skills and general knowledge. With DK Readers, children will learn to read-then read to learn!

(Recommended Age: 6 years – 8 years; Recommended grade: 1st Grade – 3rd Grade)


Amelia Bedelia & Friends Paint the Town by Herman Parish

Amelia Bedelia and her friends learn about recycling, upcycling, and making art in this funny story about community and friendship. With Amelia Bedelia involved, there are guaranteed to be a few funny mix-ups! Amelia Bedelia and her friends are rallying their town into recycling action. But what happens when they end up with more junk than they know what to do with? Plus, there is a mysterious graffiti artist on the loose, spray-painting buildings and mailboxes. Can Amelia Bedelia figure out how to help a new friend and turn total garbage into works of art?

(Recommended Age: 6 years – 10 years; Recommended Grade: 1st Grade – 5th Grade)


Sydney and Simon: Go Green! by Paul A. Reynolds

Once Sydney learns how garbage can get into the ocean and harm sea life, she won’t rest until she and her twin brother, Simon, reduce waste at home and at school. Together the creative duo gets friends and family recycling, reusing, and even singing and playing instruments made from repurposed trash. Short, engaging chapters help readers understand the consequences of pollution and provide opportunities to rethink one’s environmental footprint.

(Recommended Age: 6 years – 9 years; Recommended grade: 1st Grade – 4th Grade)


A Plastic Bottle’s Journey by Suzanne Slade

Where did that plastic bottle in your hand come from? And where is it going next? A plastic bottle’s journey is filled with bounces, bumps, and blasts. Pack your bags, and get ready to follow it!

(Recommended Age: 6 yeas – 8 years; Recommended grade: 1st Grade – 3rd Grade)


What a Waste by Jess French

In this informative book on recycling for children, you will find everything you need to know about our environment. The good, the bad and the incredibly innovative. From pollution and litter to renewable energy and plastic recycling. This educational book will teach young budding ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth and the big impact we can make by the little things we do. Almost everything we do creates waste, from litter and leftovers to factory gases and old gadgets. Find out where it goes, how it affects our planet and what we can do to reduce the problem. From how to make your home more energy and waste efficient, to which items can be recycled and tips for grocery shopping, this book is packed full of ideas on how you can get involved to make our planet a better place to live. This environmental book for children has a wealth of ideas for becoming a planet-defending hero.

(Recommended Age: 6 years – 9 years; Recommended grade: 1st Grade – 4th Grade)


Just Grace Goes Green by Charise Mericle Harper

Grace can do a lot of things… but can she save the planet??? Or at the very least, can she help her best friend Mimi get her favorite stuffed animal back? Lots of exciting things are happening to Grace and her friends. Most exciting of all, Mimi’s older cousin Gwen is coming to stay with Mimi, and Miss Lois’s class is GOING GREEN! For their “green” project, Grace and Mimi aim to inspire their friends and classmates to conserve plastic bottles. But a far more important issue is that Gwen has taken a strong liking to Mimi’s favorite stuffed toy, Willoughby. Just Grace uses her empathy superpower to figure out ways to make her best friend feel better, and she makes a difference for the environment too. Yard sales, toy owls, decorated plastic water bottles, flaming onion rings, and a very entrepreneurial Sammy Stringer make this another winning entry in the JUST GRACE series.

(Recommended Age: 6 years – 9 years; Recommended grade: 1st Grade – 4th Grade)


Curious George: Trash into Treasure by H.A. Rey

In this Green Light Reader based on Curious George, the Emmy Award-winning PBS TV show, Curious George is part of a team challenge to clean up the city streets – until he finds hidden treasures along the way! George is part of a team challenge to help clean up the city on Pretty City Day. But when he finds hidden and forgotten treasures along the way, he realizes he’s collecting more treasures than he is trash! If he wants to help his team win the challenge, he’ll need to sort out his growing stash of treasures and see which ones he really wants to keep. But how? This Green Light Reader based on Curious George, the Emmy Award-winning PBS TV show, also includes bonus activities to help reinforce the concepts presented in the story.

(Recommended Age: 6 years – 9 years; Recommended grade: 1st Grade – 4th Grade)


What Milly Did: The Remarkable Pioneer of Plastics Recycling by Elise Moser

Looks at the life of the woman who create the global recycling standard, a tale of how she rallied her community through creativity, hard work, and determination and wound up changing the world. Milly Zantow wanted to solve the problem of her town’s full landfill and ended up creating a global recycling standard – the system of numbers you see inside the little triangle on plastics. This is the inspiring story of how she mobilized her community, creating sweeping change to help the environment. Includes an introduction, black-and-white illustrations, sidebars, sources for further information and an index.

(Recommended Age: 8 years – 11 years; Recommended grade: 2nd Grade – 6th Grade)


Earth Day Extravaganza by Ali Bovis

Sylvie’s excitement for the upcoming Earth Day Extravaganza fizzles when her cousin, the non-recycler, visits, and she worries about not only saving the entire world, but the extravaganza itself.

(Recommended Age: 7 years – 10 years; Recommended Grade: 2nd Grade – 5th Grade)


Dr. Seuss’s Thank You For Being Green: And Speaking for the Trees by Dr. Seuss

This tiny book packs a BIG message of thanks, spoken directly by the Lorax! Featuring unrhymed messages of gratitude, it’s the perfect gift for people of all ages – children, parents, teachers, friends – anyone who makes it a point to reduce, recycle and reuse! Illustrated with classic illustrations from The Lorax and other Dr. Seuss books, and printed on recycled paper, it’s the perfect small gift to say thanks for helping the Lorax to speak for the trees – and all the other living things – with whom we share the planet!

(Recommended Age: 7+; Recommended grade: 2nd Grade – 12th Grade)


Earth-Friendly Crafts: Clever Ways to Reuse Everyday Items by Kathy Ross

What do you do with old toys, clothes, and other stuff? Instead of throwing them away, get creative and see what crafts you can make! This books shows you how to make crafts out of old playing cards, marker caps, toy cars, neckties, hairbrushes, and more. Color photos of the finished crafts and step-by-step illustrations make these crafts a snap. Along with 21 crafts, you’ll find information about recycling and tips for what you can do to help the planet.

(Recommended grade: 2nd Grade – 5th Grade)


Leaf Litter Critters by Leslie Bulion

Have fun on this poetic tour through the leaf litter layer and dig into the fascinating facts about the tiny critters who live there. Nineteen poems in a variety of verse forms with accompanying science notes take readers on a decomposer safari through the “brown food web,” from bacteria through tardigrades and on to rove beetle predators with other busy recyclers in-between. Glossary, hands-on investigations, and resources are included in the back matter.

(Recommended Age: 8 years – 12 years; Recommended grade: 3rd Grade – 7th Grade)


Engineering an Awesome Recycling Center with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Nikole Brooks Bethea

In graphic novel format, follows Max Axiom as he uses the engineering process to design and build a recycling center. Max Axiom has a mission. The city mayor needs a recycling center to decrease pressure on its bulging landfill. Join Max as he uses the engineering process to design and build an awesome recycling center.

(Recommended Age: 8 years – 14 years; Recommended grade: 3rd Grade – 9th Grade)


Recycled Crafts Box: Sock Puppets, Cardboard Castles, Bottle Bugs & 37 More Earth-Friendly Projects & Activities You Can Create by Laura C. Martin

Don’t toss those old sneakers into the garbage! Fill them with potting soil and transform them into clever, eye-catching planters. This fun activity book features 40 inspiring projects that will have you turning faded blue jeans, worn-out sweaters, and grocery bags into beautiful and functional objects. From mobiles made from scraps of tinfoil to paint-can stilts, Laura C. Martin’s engaging projects will not only get you crafting, but help develop a heightened awareness of the importance of minimizing waste.

(Recommended Age: 8 years – 12 years; Recommended grade: 3rd Grade – 8th Grade)


Make a Splash! A Kid’s Guide to Protecting Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers & Wetlands by Cathryn Berger Kaye

This elementary-level counterpart to the award-winning Going Blue: A Teen Guide to Saving Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands teaches elementary kids about the earth’s water crisis and empowers them to do something about it. Filled with facts about our waters, their inhabitants, and the threats they face, Make a Splash! presents inspiring stories of kids in action and practical tips for making a difference. In fun and age-appropriate language, kids are introduced to the ideas behind service learning – a rapidly growing teaching strategy that combines academic learning and community service. Kids interested in nature and the environment will enjoy Make a Splash! Service learning groups, youth groups, science teachers, and teachers of conservation and environmentalism units will find it a valuable resource. The back matter includes book and Web resources as well as an afterword for adults, and a teacher’s guide is available online.

(Recommended Age: 8 years – 12 years; Recommended Grade: 3rd Grade – 7th Grade)


Greta’s Story: The Schoolgirl Who Went on Strike to Save the Planet by Valentina Camerini

The inspiring true story of Greta Thunberg, a young eco-activist whose persistence sparked a global movement. You are never too young to make a difference. Ever since she learned about climate change, Greta Thunberg couldn’t understand why politicians weren’t treating it as an emergency. In August 2018, temperatures in Sweden reached record highs, fires raged across the country, and fifteen-year-old Greta decided to stop waiting for political leaders to take action. Instead of going to school on Friday, she made a sign and went on strike in front of Stockholm’s parliament building. Greta’s solo protest grew into the global Fridays for Future – or School Strike 4 Climate – movement, which millions have now joined. She has spoken at COP24 (the UN summit on climate change) and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This timely, unofficial biography is her story, but also that of many others around the world willing to fight against the indifference of the powerful for a better future.

(Recommended Age: 8 years – 12 years; Recommended Grade: 3rd Grade – 7th Grade)


Project Go Green by Alyssa Milano

Hope Roberts saves the planet! In the fourth book in Alyssa Milano’s funny and relatable middle-grade series, Hope Roberts is determined to save the world literally. Hope has already gotten her school to add more recycling bins and coordinate a carpooling program. But it’s not enough. Hope wants to do more to protect the environment before it’s too late. But will Hope’s plans to help the planet backfire? Hope’s relatability, kindness, empathy, and can-do attitude will inspire a generation of do-gooders. This series is a response to the very palpable feeling that not only can young people save the world, they will! This story will include Hope’s tips about recycling and protecting the environment in the back of the book.

(Recommended Age: 8 years – 12 years; Recommended Grade: 3rd Grade – 7th Grade)


Go Green! By Liz Gogerly

A kid-friendly story packed with practical ideas for “going green” and protecting the planet. In Go Green!, three friends set out to learn about how to protect the environment. After a birthday party sparks their awareness of environmental issues such as wasted food, discarded paper and plastic, and the trash that ends up in landfills, they begin seeking ways to better care for the planet. As they talk to adults about these ideas, the children ask questions such as, “What is climate change?” “How can we conserve natural resources?” “What are renewable energy sources?” and “How can we help wildlife?” Together they take action at school, at home, and beyond to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and to educate others about the importance of going green. Colorful art featuring a diverse group of children illustrates the book and brings to life a wide range of ideas for protecting the earth. The book concludes with an index, a glossary of terms, and a list of resources for further information.

(Recommended Age: 8 years – 12 years; Recommended Grade: 3rd Grade – 6th Grade)


Common Ground: The Water, Earth and Air We Share by Molly Bang

How do our individual actions affect the world? From the Caldecott Honor author Molly Bang, author-illustrator of the critically acclaimed Sunlight Series, this is a simple story of our planet’s natural resources. Through the example of a shared village green and the growing needs of the townspeople who share it, Molly Bang presents the challenge of handling our planet’s natural resources. With jewel-like paintings and simple text, Bang impresses upon us the urgency of conserving and preserving our earth’s limited bounty.

(Recommended Age: 9 years – 12 years; Recommended Grade: 4th Grade – 7th Grade)


Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect Our Planet by Harriet Rohmer

This inspiring book presents the true stories of 12 people from across North America who have done great things for the environment. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.

(Recommended Age: 9 years – 14 years; Recommended Grade: 4th Grade – 9th Grade)


Trash Talk: What You Throw Away by Amy Tilmont

This book looks at the waste products humans create and how they affect the environment. Young readers learn why what you don’t see can hurt you… and also understand the innovative steps they can take now and in the future to make a difference in meeting the challenges posed by the planet’s garbage crisis.

(Recommended Age: 10 years – 12 years; Recommended grade: 5th Grade – 8th Grade)


Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing Up for Earth by Christy Peterson

On April 22, 1970, an estimated twenty million people held in a teach-in to show their support for environmental protections. This new celebration, Earth Day, brought together previously fragmented issues under the same banner. It was the largest nationwide event ever, and lawmakers took notice. But one day didn’t change everything. Fifty years after the first Earth Day, climate change remains a dire concern. The divide between political parties continue to widen, and environmental policy has become an increasingly partisan issue. The spread of disinformation has also made climate change a debatable idea, rather than scientific fact. A new generation of advocates continue the fight to make environmental policy a top priority for the United States and for nations around the globe.

(Recommended Age: 11 years – 18 years; Recommended Grade: 6th Grade – 12th Grade)