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Books About Nature & the Environment for Young Readers

a bee on a pink echinacea flower

For much of the last two decades, I was a high school English teacher. But I have also worked as and am certified as an environmental educator. Today’s young people are facing enormous challenges, with climate change being only one of the many ahead. Many of the books that I’ve blogged about in other parts of this site have young reader versions. Something I’ve learned over my time as a teacher is to give young people books about subjects they are interested in and you will develop lifelong readers. I see this list of books about nature and the environment for young readers as a good starter list for kids interested in the outdoors. Just a quick reminder that if you click on one of the links, I may make a commission at no additional charge to you. The links below will take you to Amazon. If you prefer to support independent bookstores, check out my curated lists on

Nature’s Best Hope: How You Can Save the World in Your Own Yard by Douglas Tallamy

natures best hope

In Nature’s Best Hope: How You Can Save the World in Your Own Yard, author Doug Tallamy explains to young readers how to “save the world” right in the backyard. The idea he presents is that if everyone treated their backyard as a wild place, nature would be happier and healthier. This book can help your budding reader understand how to start caring for the natural world. The grade level/reading level of the book is between 3rd and 7th grade. Younger readers might need more adult help with vocabulary than older readers.

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plant by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Monique Gray Smith, and Nicole Neidhardt 

Wolves, Whales, & Being Wild by Carl Safina

The Story of More (Adapted for Young Adults): How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here by  Hope Jahren

Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, & Secrets Behind Systems we Use Every Day by  Dan Nott 

Plants & Food by Michael Pollan

How to Change Everything: The Young Human's Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other by Naomi Klein with Rebecca Stefoff

The Uninhabitable Earth (Adapted for Young Adults): Life After Warming by  David Wallace-Wells 

Cast Away: Poems for Our Time by Naomi Shihab Nye

The Twenty-One: The True Story of the Youth Who Sued the U.S. Government Over Climate Change by Elizabeth Rusch 

All of the above links will take you to Amazon. If you prefer to browse or shop at Barnes & Noble, click on one of the book cover images below. Reminder, if you click on a link and purchase an item within 24 hours, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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