The best books to inspire kids to protect our world

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been privileged to see a penguin chick running to its parent for a meal, a blue-footed booby couple doing a mating dance, a cheetah racing across the savannah, and a whale spouting out at sea. I am committed to do what I can to preserve natural habitats and limit the effect humans have on the environment. As a teacher, librarian, and author, I encourage and laud kids who want to protect our world. It is a joy to be involved with books that are models for enthusiastic youngsters. 


I wrote...

Reef Raiders: An Environmental Mystery

By Andrea Stryer,

Book cover of Reef Raiders: An Environmental Mystery

What is my book about?

Reef Raiders, an environmental mystery for 8 - 11-year-olds, takes place on the Big Island of Hawaii with the natural wonders of its reefs. In the story, Carlos Machado loves snorkeling in the coral canyons with their flaming angelfish, golden tang, and rapacious eels. Coming upon broken pieces of coral, he and his friend, Pete, discover that some of the protected underwater forests are being damaged. Curious, clever, and concerned, they discover a pattern to the ravages. They try to tell authorities. At first, they're brushed off. Determined to learn what they can and bring in more evidence, they find themselves in compromising circumstances.

Their involvement prevented further destruction and showed what people in the community can do to preserve the marine treasures. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Over and Under the Canyon

Andrea Stryer Why did I love this book?

How better to get kids involved with our world than a sensitive picture book for the younger set?

A young boy goes hiking with his mom across a desert area and down into a canyon. He notices all sorts of wonderful sights and sounds from the crunching of his boots on the stones to the horned lizard tracks, the road runner snatching a rattlesnake, and the riot of wildflowers of a desert in bloom. 

The illustrations, in their soft desert tones, are evocative and have just the pertinent detail that allows the reader to identify each new discovery.

By Kate Messner, Christopher Silas Neal (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Over and Under the Canyon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

In this latest book in the acclaimed Over and Under series, a spectacular hike reveals the hidden wonders, rich colors, and layers of wildlife living within a thriving desert slot-canyon.

Over and Under the Canyon takes young readers on a thrilling tour of a desert canyon ecosystem. Over the canyon, the sun scalds the air, baking desert mud to stone. But under the shade of the cliffs hides another world, where bighorn sheep bound from rock to rock on the hillside, roadrunners make their nests in sturdy cacti, and banded geckos tuck themselves into the shelter of the sand. Discover…


Book cover of Dolphin Rescue: Book #1

Andrea Stryer Why did I love this book?

Dolphin Rescue is a story for 7-9-year-olds about siblings, Maddie & Atticus, who live in a coastal town in Maine.

They love nature and are very ecologically aware. While trying to solve the mystery of household trash scattered on lawns in their neighborhood, they help a pod of dolphins in trouble because of a tangle of fishing line. 

I enjoyed the interesting facts and lovely photos about the area and the nearby waters.

By Catherine Nichols,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dolphin Rescue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Siblings Maddie and Atticus love living by the sea. Their dad traps lobsters off the coast of Maine. They love helping with the family business and volunteering at the local aquarium. The summer is shaping up to be a super one, for sure. Then one day they spy a pod of dolphins in the cove looking distressed. How will the kids use their knowledge of animals and their awesome problem-solving skills to help the dolphin family get safely back to sea?

Perfect for reluctant, challenged, and newly fluent readers, the Animal Planet Adventures chapter book series combines fun animal mysteries…


Book cover of The Lost Whale

Andrea Stryer Why did I love this book?

With my fascination for whales, I was taken by Gold's book.

Rio, who lives in London, is sent to California to be with his grandmother, while his violinist mother recovers from a breakdown. Everything is alien to Rio. Gradually, he begins to notice the migrating gray whales.

With his new friend, Marina, and her father, who runs a tourist boat, Rio becomes intrigued with one whale in particular, White Beak. They track White Beak, until suddenly, there's no trace of her. Rio and Marina, concerned that she has gotten entangled in fishing nets, are determined to locate her.

Their strong resolve leads them further out to sea and into a deep involvement with White Beak. 

By Hannah Gold,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lost Whale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

The Lost Whale is the enchanting second novel from the author of The Last Bear: the bestselling debut hardback of 2021 and The Times Children's Book of the Week, winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Blue Peter Award and shortlisted for the British Book Awards and the Indie Book Awards 2022

'Unforgettable highly accomplished animal adventure about the connection between a boy and a whale, with strong ecological themes' The Bookseller, Editor's Choice

What if you could communicate with a whale?

Rio has been sent to live with a grandmother he barely knows in California, while his…


Book cover of Operation Redwood

Andrea Stryer Why did I love this book?

Each of us who has felt the awe of being in a redwood forest will identify with the kids in this book.

Julian is less than happy about having to spend the summer with his Uncle Sibley, CEO of a big company, while his mother is doing research in China. Though he knew it is wrong, he reads his uncle's email and discovers that the company is about to cut down first-growth California redwoods. Irate about both his situation and the prospect of losing the redwoods, he and friends devise a convoluted plan to solve both. 

This story shows the persistence and resolve of the kids in their concern for the environment.

By S. Terrell French,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Operation Redwood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Clandestine e-mail exchanges, secret trips, fake press releases, and a tree house standoff are among the clever stunts and pranks the kid heroes pull in this exciting ecological adventure. Smiley Carter is a moron and a world-class jerkA"-when Julian Carter-Li intercepts an angry e-mail message meant for his greedy, high-powered uncle, it sets him on the course to stop an environmental crime! His uncle's company plans to cut down some of the oldest and last California redwood trees, and it's up to Julian, and a ragtag group of friends, to figure out a way to stop them. This fantastic debut…


Book cover of Hoot

Andrea Stryer Why did I love this book?

Hiassen is a fine author with a deep conscience about the environment.

I love his books. In Hoot, Roy has just moved to Florida from Montana and is being bullied. While being harassed, Roy spots a barefoot boy about his age running alongside the bus and is curious. He tracks the boy and gradually learns why the kid wants to be left alone.

In the process, with new friends, he discovers that a large company is about to build on an area with nesting burrowing owls. Roy and his friends do what they can to address this wrong.

The story of concern and caring for animals is told with humor and concern.

By Carl Hiaasen,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Hoot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

This Newbery Honor winner and #1 New York Times bestseller is a beloved modern classic. Hoot features a new kid and his new bully, alligators, some burrowing owls, a renegade eco-avenger, and several extremely poisonous snakes.

Everybody loves Mother Paula's pancakes. Everybody, that is, except the colony of cute but endangered owls that live on the building site of the new restaurant. Can the awkward new kid and his feral friend prank the pancake people out of town? Or is the owls' fate cemented in pancake batter?

Welcome to Carl Hiaasen's Florida—where the creatures are wild and the people are…


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Magical Disinformation

By Lachlan Page,

Book cover of Magical Disinformation

Lachlan Page Author Of Magical Disinformation

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived in Latin America for six years, working as a red cross volunteer, a volcano hiking guide, a teacher, and an extra in a Russian TV series (in Panama). Having travelled throughout the region and returning regularly, I’m endlessly fascinated by the culture, history, politics, languages, and geography. Parallel to this, I enjoy reading and writing about the world of international espionage. Combining the two, and based on my own experience, I wrote my novel, Magical Disinformation, a spy novel set in Colombia. While there is not a huge depth of spy novels set in Latin America, I’ve chosen five of my favourites spy books set in the region.

Lachlan's book list on spy books set in Latin America

What is my book about?

This book is a spy novel with a satirical edge which will take you on a heart-pumping journey through the streets, mountains, jungles, and beaches of Colombia. Our Man in Havana meets A Clear and Present Danger.

Magical Disinformation

By Lachlan Page,

What is this book about?

In the era of ‘fake news’ in the land of magical realism, fiction can be just as dangerous as the truth... Discover Lachlan Page’s Magical Disinformation: a spy novel with a satirical edge set amongst the Colombian peace process. Described by one reviewer as “Our Man in Havana meets A Clear and Present Danger.”

Oliver Jardine is a spy in Colombia, enamoured with local woman Veronica Velasco.

As the Colombian government signs a peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas, Her Majesty’s Government decides a transfer is in order to focus on more pertinent theatres of operation.

In a desperate attempt…


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