Tag Archive for: environmentalism

The Lump World - Bill Peet

Wump World is about to be destroyed. When the Pollutians invade and turn the planet’s lush, green meadows into concrete jungles, the Wumps are left to salvage their lives from what is left over. This picture book was originally published in 1970 and remains a thoughtful kid-friendly introduction to environmentalism.


Read our Librarian’s top climate choices for children here.

This charming book by beloved French illustrator Barroux is beautiful enough to be treasured just for its illustrations, which invite children to spot the animals that are threatened by a growing city. The picture book is an engaging introduction to environmentalism for young kids (and their parents!).


Read our Librarian’s top climate choices for children here.

Think sci-fi Roald Dahl. Kester Jaynes has just found out that he’s one of the few people who can communicate with animals. When their entire existence is threatened, it’s time for Kester to step up into a wild adventure. This imaginative adventure book, the first in a series, combines action, humour, and environmentalism for a hugely satisfying reading.


Read our Librarian’s top climate choices for Young Adults here

The Joyful Environmentalist is very much an XR book, with two chapters describing the April Rebellion from the position of the XR Samba band. The rest is about all the ways in which we can change our lives to support our planet.

Dr Rowan Williams writes of it: “Perhaps the most important message any environmentalist can give at the moment is that green options are neither just a last desperate hope for saving the planet, nor misery maximisers that will make life less worth living.  They are ways of affirming that worthwhileness and enhancing it. This book, practical and realistic as well as visionary, will keep that positive message before the reader’s eyes.  Joy is after all one of the best motivations we can have for change.”

The Arctic treeline is the frontline of climate change, where the trees have been creeping towards the pole for fifty years. These vast swathes of forests, which encircle the north of the globe in an almost unbroken green ring, comprise the world’s second largest biome.

Scientists are only just beginning to understand the astonishing significance of these northern forests for all life on Earth. Six tree species – Scots pine, birch, larch, spruce, poplar and rowan – form the central protagonists of Ben Rawlence’s story. In Scotland, northern Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland, he discovers what these trees and the people who live and work alongside them have to tell us about the past, present and future of our planet.

At the treeline, Rawlence witnesses the accelerating impact of climate change and the devastating legacies of colonialism and capitalism. But he also finds reasons for hope. Humans are creatures of the forest; we have always evolved with trees. The Treeline asks us where our co-evolution might take us next. Deeply researched and beautifully written, The Treeline is a blend of nature, travel and science writing, underpinned by an urgent environmental message.

Every Leaf a Hallelujah - Ben Okra

Mangoshi lives with her mum and dad in a village near the forest. When her mum becomes ill, Mangoshi knows only one thing can help her – a special flower that grows deep in the forest. The little girl needs all her courage when she sets out alone to find and bring back the flower, and all her kindness to overpower the dangers she encounters on the quest. Ben Okri brings the power of his mystic vision to a timely story that weaves together wonder, adventure and environmentalism.


Read our Librarian’s top climate choices for children here.

It’s 2025, and 75-year-old environmentalist and retired eco-terrorist Ty Tierwater is eking out a bleak living managing a pop star’s private zoo. It is the last one in southern California, and vital for the cloning of its captive species.

Once, Ty was so serious about environmental causes that as a radical activist committed to Earth Forever! he endangered the lives of both his daughter, Sierra, and his wife, Andrea. Now, when he’s just trying to survive in a world cursed by storm and drought, Andrea re-enters his life. Frightening, funny, surreal and gripping, T.C. Boyle’s story is both a modern morality tale, and a provocative vision of the future.

“Fiction about ecological disaster tends to be written in a tragic key. Boyle, by contrast, favours the darkly comic.”–Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction


Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

In 1992, a group of young people began to protest against the extension of the M3 motorway through Twyford Down outside Winchester – a new road that would, by the hands of the Conservative government, cut seven minutes off the journey time between London and Southampton, whilst carving through the chalk hill in one of England’s ‘protected’ Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Dongas Tribe, as they would later be known, named after the Matabele word for ‘gully’, radically altered the UK environmental movement, lauded by the Guardian as having ‘kickstarted a major shift in green attitudes in both government and the public.’

Twyford Down became a symbol for a further 1,000 protected heritage sites across the UK which were planned to undergo the same process, removing idiosyncrasy from the landscape and presenting an ideal for a country based on mobility and so-called ‘progress’.

Emma Must’s searing collection, published 30 years after the Twyford protests, considers the role that language plays as witness to our impact on the Earth. These powerful, moving and honest depictions of the campaign explore the ways in which language reaches us, saves us, or fails to convince us. Here, the land reveals its histories to the reader, whilst protest actions are juxtaposed with judicial statements, teetering between the active and passive voice, the human and non-human.


Purchase The Ballad of Yellow Wednesday at Hive online bookshop