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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

Science and Nature Writing

Environmental Literature Illuminates Our Connection to Nature

The storm winds of climate change are calling. They’re calling to scientists, and writers, and artists to weave stories that will inspire the children of tomorrow to dream up a brighter future. Happily, they are responding to that call with a spate of new nature and environmental stories that use science as a springboard to create powerful children’s literature.
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Science and Nature Build a Bridge to Tomorrow (Boris Datnow)
This is why, now more than ever, I’m committed to keep on writing science-based environmental fiction, which will ignite the imagination and show kids (and the young at heart) that their actions matter. For over a decade I’ve been writing an Eco mystery series for young readers,
The Adventures of The Sizzling Six. Recently, I completed Red Flag Warning, my first Eco Adventure on Climate Change.

I want to encourage other writers and scientists to communicate their narratives because: In the not-too-distant future young people in our neighborhoods and schools will have joined the workforce. Some will find themselves working as scientists discovering and studying creatures and plants on our planet’s highest mountains, deepest oceans, driest deserts, wettest rainforest, and in the concrete jungles of cities. Others will find themselves working for corporations, sitting behind desks, standing on podiums, in classrooms teaching students, or running for political office. All of them will be making decisions, voting for leaders, and for actions that will, for better or worse, affect the health of our planet and the survival of life on this planet. That’s a huge responsibility for the older generation to place on their shoulders. So what can we do to help them?
I am certain that young people studying the natural sciences from kindergarten to college will bloom into the next generation of environmental leaders. They will understand the science and the issues underpinning society’s challenging ecological problems. They will apply their knowledge to create a stronger connection between
what must be done and how to get things done.

Nature and Science Connections Boris Datnow
Nature Writing and Science Connections (Boris Datnow)
Using the building blocks of powerful writing, science and storytellers can cross-fertilize one another to communicate the discoveries of science in a dramatic and compelling way. Science and storytelling share the WOW, or the wonder, which drives the vision, curiosity, and perseverance at the heart of both science and storytelling. Science asks: how can we
explain this Wow? Storytelling asks: how can we tell compelling narratives about this Wow?
As storytellers we hold the power to touch the hearts of young people, to ignite their imagination to build a bridge to tomorrow, and to empower them to take action for the greater good of humanity and the wellbeing of the Earth.

Storytelling and sceince bridge

Nature and Science Writing Connections (Claire Datnow)
This is why I strive to create Eco Adventures that will entertain, inform, and inspire young people to preserve nature’s rich biodiversity. We need stories that illuminate the truth of our connections to each other and to this precious blue planet. We need to reject narratives of division. We need storytellers who merge the boundaries, expand empathy, and stretch our capacity for caring. The winds of change are calling loud and clear for narratives that will illuminate our vital connection to one another and to this precious blue planet on which all life depends.

Additional Resources:
Environmental Fiction Middle Grades YA