Students will be the first to say that Earth Day is every day! So here is a list of books to inspire ways to protect this beautiful planet Earth and celebrate budding environmentalism.
The Green Girls
- Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8
Emma, Lily, and Fadila want to save the planet . . . but no one around them seems to care.
Frustrated, they name themselves the Green Girls, take to social media, and launch a series of bold protests. Alongside their classmate and aspiring Green Girl Silas, the crew risks getting in trouble (and stirs some up) to raise awareness about container ship pollution, palm oil overproduction, and more environmental hazards. With a mix of livestreams, spray paint, and bungee cords, they’re out to make a difference—and get their followers to do the same.
Earth Day and the Environmental Movement
Standing Up for Earth
- Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12
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 continues 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.
“The book, used across science classes or in social justice circles, has a place in public and school libraries—not just as a part of an Earth Day display but as a relevant resource about a dire issue facing the global population.”—School Library Journal
It’s Earth Day, Cookie Monster!
From the Series Go Green with Sesame Street ®
- Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 2
On Earth Day, people celebrate what makes Earth special. Follow Cookie Monster and his friends from Sesame Street as they learn to be kind to Earth, on Earth Day and every day! Learn who started Earth Day, why it’s important, and the different ways people celebrate it, from having a parade to cleaning up a park.
Interior paper made with 30 percent recycled post-consumer waste fibers.
Earth-Friendly Earth Day Crafts
From the Series Green STEAM
- Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 5
Crafty readers will delight in celebrating Earth Day by making age-appropriate, Earth-themed projects from odds and ends they already have! Turn recycled paper into a beautiful bloom barrette, give old shoes new life with painted shark portraits, and build a beehive out of used straws. Easy to follow steps and color photographs provide inspiration and guidance as you create all kinds of activities. Step-by-step instructions pair with photos of in-progress and finished crafts. Extend learning with additional photos of how to make each activity, accessible online via QR code.
Go Green for Earth Day
From the Series Go Green (Early Bird Stories ™)
- Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 2
Readers will learn about Earth Day through a charming narrative full of delightful illustrations and a diverse cast of characters. Comprehension questions, fun facts, and critical thinking questions keep readers engaged and thinking while they read.
Making Food Earth-Friendly
It’s Time to Take Eco Action!
From the Series Eco Action
- Interest Level: Grade 5 – Grade 8
Earth is under threat.
Today, our planet faces huge challenges as a result of human actions. The time has come to replace those negative actions with positive ones—it’s time to take eco action! Readers will discover how green science is making our food farming and manufacturing more Earth-friendly and how organizations everywhere are taking action to help protect our planet. Readers will also learn how they too can take eco action and help save planet Earth.
This call-to-action series explains the effect negative
Una Bolsa de Plástico (One Plastic Bag): Isatou Ceesay y las mujeres recicladoras de Gambia (Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia)
- Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
The inspiring true story of how one African woman began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community.
This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.
“Simple but lyrical text conveys this beautiful, thought-provoking tale of ecological awareness and recycling. . . . An inspiring account.”—starred, School Library Journal
Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
- Interest Level: Grade 7 – Grade 12
Drawing from her experiences as an Indigenous scientist, botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer demonstrated how all living things—from strawberries and witch hazel to water lilies and lichen—provide us with gifts and lessons every day in her best-selling book Braiding Sweetgrass. Adapted for young adults by Monique Gray Smith, this new edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us. With informative sidebars, reflection questions, and art from illustrator Nicole Neidhardt, Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults brings Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the lessons of plant life to a new generation.
“A book that is entirely in a class of its own, this belongs in every collection for teens.”—starred, School Library Journal
Buildings That Breathe
Greening the World’s Cities
- Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12
Imagine looking out from your 18th floor apartment in the middle of the city and seeing trees right in front of you. In an effort to stem climate change, reduce pollution, combat heat, and protect biodiversity, architects are teaming up with botanists, urban wildlife ecologists, and other scientists to design high-rise forests, living walls, and vertical farms in some of the world’s most populated places. These projects are happening all around the world, and they will not only change the urban landscape, but they will provide urban dwellers with a healthier place to live and work.
Making Art from Ocean Plastic
- Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade
When artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi found plastic trash polluting the beach near her home, she took action. She formed an organization called Washed Ashore and started gathering trash from beaches and using it to create incredible sculptures of wildlife. These sculptures travel the country to teach people about the importance of these animals—and the problems caused by plastic pollution.
“An excellent work on an unusual topic and a must for school and library shelves.”—starred, Booklist
Looking for even more Earth Day book recommendations? Check out our previous post “Earth Day Books to Read and Discuss.”