Back to top

Naturalist-in-Residence Inspired Book List for Kids and Teens

Nature is for everyone! Join Madison Public Library's first Naturalist-in-Residence for a series of nature experiences this Fall aimed at inspiring wonder and stewardship of the world around us, as well as recognizing our place within it.

Picture Books

Cover of Our Green City
Lloyd Kyi
Colleen Larmour

A charming, child-friendly tour of an environmentally sustainable city. Can we do the same where we live? Seeing how essential - and awesome - it is to be green will inspire kids to imagine it into being!

Cover of We Are Better Together
Stevie Lewis

A hopeful, inspiring picture book celebrating the power of human cooperation and the beauty of life on Earth.

Cover of A New Green Day

Riddles and bold imagery take readers on a tour of the sites and sounds of nature.

Cover of We Are Water Protectors
Michaela Goade

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption.

Cover of Butterflies Belong Here: A
Meilo So

An immigrant girl explains how she learned English by reading about monarch butterflies, and how, troubled by their decline, she got her classmates and neighbors together to build a butterfly garden.

Cover of What’s In Your Pocket?:
Heather L.
Maribel Lechuga

Meet nine scientists who, as kids, explored the great outdoors and collected treasures: seedpods, fossils, worms, and more. Observing, sorting, and classifying their finds taught these kids scientific skills--and sometimes led to groundbreaking discoveries. 

Cover of If Bees Disappeared

Artist Lily Williams explores how such a loss would effect not just bees' environment, but the world as a whole in this poignant, beautiful book about the importance of our most important bees.


Cover of The Evolution of Calpurnia

A charming young naturalist is determined to prove that girls can be more than homemakers in the year 1899.

Cover of Strange Birds: A Field Gui
Celia C.

Four very different kids form an alternative Scout troop that shakes up their sleepy Florida town.

Cover of Spineless
San Miguel

When his asthma lands him at a health resort in the wilds of Gilded Age South Florida, twelve-year-old Algie Emsworth is over the moon. The scientific treasure trove of unexplored swamps may launch his dream career as a naturalist.

Cover of Paradise on Fire
Jewell Parker

Bronx middle-grader Addy joins other city youngsters on a wilderness adventure in California that turns deadly when wildfires erupt.

Cover of Music For Tigers

A young violinist discovers her mother's family secretly harbor a sanctuary for extinct Tasmanian tigers in the remote Australian rainforest.

Cover of Shelby & Watts: Tide Pool

With Shelby's deductive skills and Watts's scientific knowledge, there's no case the two of them can't solve--one environmental mystery at a time.


Cover of The Kid's Guide to Explori
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Educators
László Veres

This illustrated guide will inspire kids to look closely at the world around them by teaching them how to observe environments as a naturalist does. 

Cover of The Secret Signs of Nature
Carrie Shryock

Learn how to navigate through any landscape--forests, deserts, even your own backyard--through observation of the world around you.

Cover of The Outdoor Scientist: The

Dr. Temple Grandin, an inventor and world-renowned scientist, introduces readers to geologists, astrophysicists, oceanographers, and many other scientists who unlock the wonders of the natural world.

Cover of Fresh Air, Clean Water: Ou
Julie McLaughlin

This book explores our right to a healthy environment and introduces the stories of people fighting for change.

Cover of The Wild World Handbook: H
Asia Orlando

Packed with real-life tales of adventure, breathtaking illustrations, and practical tools, this handbook is an inspiring guide for the next generation of climate activists, conservationists, and nature lovers.

Cover of Rebel Girls Climate Warrio
Rebel Girls

This spotlights the world-changing work of women on the frontlines of the fight for climate justice.

Teen Fiction

Cover of Don't Call Me a Hurricane

Told in verse, seventeen-year-old Eliza, an environmental activist, is navigating the after-effects of a hurricane that devastated her coastal town while falling for Milo, a rich tourist who is at the center of a redevelopment that could put her community in danger-again.

Cover of Running

Cuban American Marianna has always given her father her vote but now that he's running for president, she starts to view him with new eyes, and isn't sure she likes what she sees. An authentic, humorous novel about waking up and speaking up.

Cover of Dry
Neal Shusterman and
Jarrod Shusterman

A lengthy California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, turning Alyssa's quiet suburban street into a war zone, and she is forced to make impossible choices if she and her brother are to survive.

Teen Non-Fiction

Cover of How To Change Everything:
Naomi Klein and adapted by
Rebecca Stefoff

Full of empowering stories of young leaders all over the world, this information-packed book from award-winning journalist and one of the foremost voices for climate justice, Naomi Klein, offers young readers a comprehensive look at the state of the climate today and how we got here, while also providing the tools they need to join this fight to protect and reshape the planet they will inherit.

Cover of Youth to Power: Your Voice

The essential guide to changemaking, with advice on writing and pitching op-eds, organizing successful events and peaceful protests, time management as a student activist, utilizing social and traditional media to spread a message, and sustaining long-term action. 

Cover of Where Have All the Birds G
Rebecca E.

Discover the impacts of the decline of birds on our ecosystems, food systems, and mental health, and what we can do to save them.

Cover of Taking On the Plastics Cri
Ashley Lukashevsky

In this personal, moving essay, youth activist Hannah Testa shares with readers how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced global businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. 

Cover of No Planet B: A Teen Vogue
Diavolo (editor)

A collection of some of the most popular articles from Teen Vogue over the last couple years of climate justice coverage. The book is organized by theme, from explainers to activism, and adds thoughtful introductions from leading climate justice voices to add clarity to each section.