The best uplifting climate fiction books

Who am I?

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels. She is also a Creative Writing lecturer, freelance editor, screenwriter, and the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League. She was born in 1992 and has a Master's degree from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. 

I wrote...

Green Rising

By Lauren James,

Book cover of Green Rising

What is my book about?

My new novel Green Rising is about a group of climate activists rewilding the planet after they develop the ability to grow plants from their skin. I had to do a lot of research into climate change while writing, but I found it really hard to find other climate fiction books. There’s not really a resource of titles online beyond random news article lists or Goodreads collections.

Green Rising is positive and uplifting and will inspire readers to take action. The future isn’t hopeless, and this fiction represents that.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

The Summer We Turned Green

By William Sutcliffe,

Book cover of The Summer We Turned Green

Why this book?

It's the summer holidays, and thirteen-year-old Luke's life has been turned upside down. First his older sister Rose moved 'across the road', where a community of climate rebels is protesting the planned airport expansion. Then his dad followed her. Dad only went to get Rose back, but now he's out there building totem poles, wearing sandals, and drinking mead (whatever that is) with the best of them.

Can Luke save his family when all they want to do is save the planet?

The Nature of Witches

By Rachel Griffin,

Book cover of The Nature of Witches

Why this book?

In a world where witches control the climate and are losing control as the weather grows more erratic, a once-in-a-generation witch with the magic of all seasons is the only one who can save earth from destruction. But as her power grows, it targets and kills those closest to her, and when she falls in love with her training partner, she's forced to choose between her power, her love, and saving the earth.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

By Becky Chambers,

Book cover of A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Why this book?

It's been centuries since the robots of Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools. Centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again. Centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They're going to need to ask it a lot.

Wolf Light

By Yaba Badoe,

Book cover of Wolf Light

Why this book?

When copper miners plunder Zula's desert home in Gobi Altai, and Adoma's forest and river are polluted by gold prospectors, it is only a matter of time before the lake Linet guards with her life is also in jeopardy. How far will Zula, Adoma, and Linet go to defend the well-being of their homes? And when all else fails, will they have the courage to summon the ancient power of their order, to make the landscape speak in a way that everyone will hear?

The Ones We're Meant to Find

By Joan He,

Book cover of The Ones We're Meant to Find

Why this book?

Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it’s up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in robots, wolves, and artificial intelligence?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about robots, wolves, and artificial intelligence.

Robots Explore 60 books about robots
Wolves Explore 69 books about wolves
Artificial Intelligence Explore 112 books about artificial intelligence

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Rape of Nanking, The Mountains Sing, and Iron Widow if you like this list.