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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

Environmental Childrens' Fiction

Children’s Environmental Climate Fiction

The Winds of Change: Children’s Environmental Climate Fiction


The gale force winds of climate change are calling. They’re calling to scientists, writers, and artists to weave stories that will inspire the children of tomorrow to dream up a brighter future. Happily, many are responding to that call with a spate of new nature and environmental narratives which use science as a springboard to create powerful children’s literature. After decades of misinformation, denial, and inadequate attempts to reduce the dire impact of climate change young people around the world are troubled, angry, and frustrated. They are searching for ways to understand and to take action.
Compelling narratives interwoven with science can entertain, educate, inspire, and empower 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. And they will apply their knowledge to create a stronger connection between what must be done and how to get things done. Still, we need something more to close that chasm between cognition and action. We need something to electrify us, move us, spur us on, to stop us in our tracks.

Crane Environmental Mysteries

Science and literature can cross-fertilize one another. Storytellers need to understand the powerful methods of science that provide solutions to pressing problems, and scientists need to apply the building blocks of powerful writing to become better communicators. For me, the books I will write will always be grounded in science. Telling a moving story about climate change does not mean making up facts—we have enough of that already—the basis of the narrative has to be the truth and reality of climate change. As storytellers we hold the keys to touching our readers' hearts, to ignite their imagination to build a bridge to tomorrow, and empower them to take action for the greater good of humanity and the wellbeing of the Earth. We need to reject narratives of division. We need storytellers from all disciplines to blur 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.
Butterflies Monarch Mysteries


Author Biography: Claire Datnow was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, which ignited her love for the natural world and for indigenous cultures. Her published works include a middle grade Eco mystery series. She taught gifted and talented students creative writing and ecology. Together with her students she founded a nature trail, now named in her honor, the Alabama Audubon-Datnow Forest Preserve.
Teaching Resources For Environmental Education:
National Environmental Education ResourcesTool Kit:
https://www.neefusa.org/education/resources
Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides and Online Environmental Resources for Educators: https://www.epa.gov/students/lesson-plans-teacher-guides-and-online-environmental-resources-educators
How to Write Environmental Stories:
How to Become an Eco Detective: An Interdisciplinary Unit for Writing Across the Curriculum. The lessons can easily be correlated with the Common Core State Standards for Language Arts & Literacy, History/Social Studies, and Science:
https://www.mediamint.net/styled-11/index.html#.X8KPBC2cZBw (free download and print.
How to Write Eco Mysteries:
https://alina_stefanescu.typepad.com/_patrick_and_alina_weddin/2016/08/claire-datnows-wonderful-alabama-based-eco-mysteries-for-middle-schoolers.html
Books on Environmental Literature:
The books range from mysteries to thrillers, yet they all share strong environmental themes: https://dragonfly.eco/links-and-resources/
The Adventures of the Sizzling Six Eco mystery series by Claire Datnow : https://mediamint.net/page3/page3.html
Blogs on Environmental Fiction and a list of books (upper elementary and middle grades): https://www.mediamint.net/
Environmental Novels: Juvenile and Young Adult Fiction: https://guides.library.illinois.edu/c.php?g=347864&p=2345360
Chapter Books to Inspire Young Environmental Advocates:
https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/bhf-book-lists/chapter-books-for-environmental-advocates