Earth day blue poster with happy earth, stars and teen book selections

Earth Day Book Selections for Teens

Each year on April 22, more than a billion people celebrate Earth Day to protect the planet from things like pollution and deforestation. By taking part in activities like picking up litter and planting trees, we’re making our world a happier, healthier place to live. When it comes to learning about our planet, we have compiled some environment-themed Teen books that celebrate Earth day by discussing the potential disasters the planet can face.

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Silent spring / Rachel Carson
Rarely does a single book alter the course of history, but Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ did exactly that. The outcry that followed its publication in 1962 forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.  (Also available as an ebook and eaudiobook on Hoopla.)

Earth girl : Earth Girl Series, Book 1 & Earth star : Earth Girl Series, Book 2 / Janet Edwards
This book shows the awareness of planet fatality with a girl who needs the Earth to survive.

The year is 2788 and only the handicapped live on Earth. Other planets exist for exploration, but for eighteen year old Jarra, she can only survive on planet Earth. When she was born, she was sent to Earth due to her weak immune system. In order to survive and blend in, she must hide, and soon joins a class on Earth with students who dig into the ruins of the cities. When a skyscraper collapses on a research team, she is thrust into the limelight. But Jarra must deceive them all to survive, even the classmate she has developed feelings for. However, when a solar storm is found to be heading towards earth, they must evacuate, but with Jarra’s vulnerable immune system, can she hide and find a way to leave? (Available as an ebook on Libby/Overdrive.)

Zen and gone / Emily France

City boy Oliver meets nature-loving Essa when he leaves Chicago to stay with his aunt in Boulder. He experiences culture shock in this laid-back, outdoorsy setting, but the two teens develop a relationship that is mutually supportive and healing, thanks in part to the mountains, the wilderness survival games Essa plays with her friends, and the peaceful gardens at the zendo where she introduces him to meditation. Family crises and mental health struggles work out against this majestic backdrop.

Notes from my captivity / Kathy Parks

Perfectly captures the mystical, spiritual, healing qualities of nature. When, following the death of her stepfather and the rest of their party, a white American teen is held captive by an eccentric Siberian family living off the land, it seems like a recipe for tragedy. However, the story is a surprisingly gentle one that leaves an indelible mark on readers who follow suburban Adrienne’s adjustment to a life based on the rhythms of the seasons and her growing appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds her.

Life as we knew it / Susan Beth Pfeffer (Series)
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.  (Also available as an ebook and eaudiobook on Libby/Overdrive.)

All the days past, all the days to come / by Mildred D. Taylor

The final volume in Mildred Taylor’s multigenerational Logan family saga beautifully expresses the clear sense of being grounded in the land that is a hallmark of her work. The African American family whose forefather struggled in post–Civil War Mississippi to purchase land where he could put down roots has, several generations later, succeeded in doing just that. Even though by the 1960s many younger Logans have moved north, their land in Mississippi—every inch of it familiar and comforting—remains their anchor.  (Also available as an ebook and eaudiobook on Libby/Overdrive.)

When we were lost 
/ Kevin Wignall

Tom Calloway didn’t want to go on the Costa Rica field trip. However, it ends before it even starts when the plane crashes in a South African rainforest. With several classmates and all adults dead, those who survive must brave through the remote jungle and face dangers from wildlife, insects and horrible heat. They find that earth can be a dangerous place for those who aren’t prepared. The panic, desperation and trauma are hard to cope with, and the fight for leadership turns many of the group against one another, leaving Tom wondering if the survivors can overcome the forest as well as each other.

JJ: April 22, 2022