Great Reads for Earth Day

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Need some great nonfiction titles for Earth Day? Check out these recommended Nature & Environment titles from the April issue of School Library Connection.

Amazing Biomes: GrasslandsAmazing Biomes
Deserts.  9781781212417
Grasslands. 9781781212424
Oceans.  9781781212431
Polar Lands.  9781781212455
Rivers and Lakes.  9781781212448
Tropical Rain Forests.  9781781212462
2015. 32pp. ea. $31.95 ea. hc. Black Rabbit Books. Grades 3-5

Each title in this series contains a brief overview of its specified biome. All follow the same format including a world map, Climate and Zones, Animals, People, Future, a Quiz, and a Fact File. Attractive stock photos span most pages, and backgrounds complement each book’s theme. Text features include captions, headings, bold print, and books for further research. Some discrepancies regarding Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion were found in identical information across volumes. An enjoyable series for casual research or browsing despite a few flaws. Glossary. Table of Contents. Websites. Index.— Leticia Kalweit, School Library Media Specialist, Cobbles Elementary School, Penfield, New York

Brown, Carron
Secrets of Winter
Illustrated by Georgina Tee. 2015. 36pp. $12.99 hc. Kane Miller Books. 9781610673693. Grades K-2

This is a great concept for a book. When the pages are illuminated with a flashlight or other source of light, the page seems to come alive. The author provides information about winter and where the animals live during these very cold times. This is an excellent book to add to the classroom library for teaching about the winter season, as the teacher can show the page un-illuminated and have students guess what they might see. — Lourdes Cervantes, Media Specialist, Hemphill Elementary School, Kyle, Texas

Drummond, Allan
Green City
2016. 40pp. $17.99 hc. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. 9780374379995. Grades K-5

When a tornado struck Greensburg, Kansas, in 2007, nearly everything was destroyed. Once everyone was accounted for, the citizens had a decision to make. Should they move on or rebuild? Some people saw an opportunity to rebuild in a better way, not only safer but greener. Allan Drummond writes and illustrates the story of a small town that came back from the brink of extinction and became even better and stronger. Told from the point of view of a school age boy, the book takes the reader through the steps that Greensburg and its citizens took while working together to rebuild their town. Watercolor illustrations help tell the story of the town, including how the students became leaders in “going green” and in environmental science as they helped design and build their new school. This book is very educational and highly entertaining. It would be an excellent addition to the environmental science section of any library. — Chris Dexter, 7th Grade English Teacher, East Valley Middle School, East Helena, Montana

Research on the Edge: OceansResearch on the Edge
Oceans. 9781625881571
Polar Regions. 9781625881595
Rain Forests. 9781625881564
Space. 9781625881588
2015. 32pp. $31.35 hc. Smart Apple Media. Grades 5-8

This series explores cutting-edge work scientists do under extreme conditions in mobile labs. Designed to address middle grade Environmental Science standards on space, rain forests, oceans, and polar regions, each title reveals the dangers involved in collecting data from areas with limited exploration, and the role corporations play in funding and sharing results with global interests. Titles include further reading, marginal notes, and full color illustrations. Teachers and librarians will love the Common Core critical thinking elements and links to further research. Even reluctant readers will love the danger warnings, protective gear, equipment, machinery, and inside looks at the mobile labs. Table of Contents. Glossary. Index. — Peggy Creighton, School Library Consultant, Clayton, Georgia
Highly Recommended

Sill, Cathryn
Polar Regions
Illustrated by John Sill. 2015. 32pp. $16.95 hc. Peachtree Publishers, Ltd. 9781561458325. Grades K-2

Part of the About Habitats series, this book can be used by emerging readers or as a read-aloud to give an introduction to Polar Regions. Each two-page spread consists of a carefully constructed sentence on one side and a beautiful watercolor illustration on the facing pace. An afterword gives more explanation about the picture and concept introduced in each spread. A world map highlighting the regions is included at the beginning of the book. Very simple, yet informative, this book is an excellent choice for anyone introducing habitats or for a curious, budding biologist. Bibliography. Glossary. — Jolene C. DeFranco, Librarian, Briargate Elementary, Missouri City, Texas

Ultimate Explorer Guide for KidsUltimate Guide for Kids
Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids. 9781770856189
Ultimate Survival Guide for Kids. 9781770856196
2015. 96pp. ea. $9.95 ea. pbk. Firefly Books Ltd. Grades 5-8

Outdoor adventurers will love these edgy guides to survival and exploration. Each title explains the clothing, tools, and gear needed for adventures in the wild and cautions readers about wildlife, flora, fauna, temperature, altitude, and extreme conditions. The Ultimate Survival Guide for Kids features natural dangers, human hazards, and basic survival skills enhanced with fast facts and marginal tips for survival. The Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids features preparation, polar extremes, high altitudes, wet/wild rainforests, deadly deserts, and key survival skills along with famous quotes, warnings, top tips, checklists, and alerts. Both titles contain full-color illustrations and charts. These titles would make excellent additions to any intermediate or middle school library collection. Librarians as well as the most reluctant readers will be hooked. Glossary. Index. Table of Contents. — Peggy Creighton, School Library Consultant, Clayton, Georgia
Highly Recommended

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