From dystopian cli-fi dramas to enchanting magical adventures, these climate fiction books are perfect for informing young readers about climate change and the environment through inspiring and powerful stories.
Hannah Gold The Last Bear
When April arrives with her father, there are no bears left on Bear Island. Or so she thinks. As the summer unfolds, April begins to understand first-hand the impact of climate change on one island in the far north of Norway. This is a touching story of adventure and grief, exploring climate change and its impact on endangered species in an accessible way.
Nicola Skinner Bloom
Sorrell's town is grey. Concrete has taken over and nature has been squashed. But when she finds seeds in her backyard and begins to hear a voice whispering, things begin to change dramatically. A unique story unlike any other you will read, Bloom reminds us of the value of letting nature in.
Piers Torday The Wild Before
The prequel to the popular The Last Wild series, this is a gripping read set in a not-too-distant future. The animals in the wild are at risk from the impact of humans on their homes. When the moon-calf is born and an unknown virus is released into the world, Little Hare feels compelled to help. This is an emotional read told from the perspective of the animals most impacted by our changing climate. It touches on climate change themes such as extreme weather events and the loss of habitat.
Ele Fountain Melt
An engaging and enjoyable read about climate change, corporate greed and two children from very different backgrounds working together. Yutu lives in a remote Arctic village with his grandmother. After a fishing trip goes wrong, his path crosses unexpectedly with Bea. Together, they are caught in a race for survival in a shifting, frozen world that is melting around them – fast!
Tim Tilley Harklights
A wonderful mix of magic, history, deforestation and climate change. This book draws on the past to share a modern message, with steampunk-esque descriptions of machinery and dilapidated Victorian buildings. Wick is an orphan working in the Harklights Match Factory. Everything changes when he escapes to start a new life in the forest with the Hobs (small creatures who protect nature and the forest). A monster is stalking the woods, and it's gobbling up the woodland and threatening their home. Can Wick help, or is it too late?
Nicola Penfold Between Sea and Sky
Set in a future world ravaged by climate and environmental changes explicitly caused by humans, Pearl lives on a floating oyster farm with her father and younger sister, Clover. They live cut off from other humans until Nat and his mother arrive, bringing a dangerous secret that challenges everything they think they know about their world. An immersive and thought-provoking read, this is a book about destruction but also the hope of recovery.
Patience Agbabi The Infinite
Elle is a Leapling – she can time travel. She leaps to the Time Squad Centre in 2048 and is immersed in a world where everyone is actively working to combat climate change. Or are they? Leaplings keep going missing and everything is not as it seems… The Infinite is a fun and entertaining read, jam-packed with adventure. It will give readers pause for thought on environmental and climate issues and what the future could look like.
Abi Elphinstone The Crackledawn Dragon
The third in the Unmapped Chronicles series, this book explores magic, adventure and environmental issues. Zebedee Bolt has been let down by everyone in his life. When he unwittingly finds himself in the clutches of an evil harpy called Morg, he tumbles into the magical kingdom of Crackledawn. Zebedee realises that, where magic is concerned, you've got to pick a side. On a voyage complete with silver whales, fire krakens and underwater palaces, can he muster up enough trust in others and in magic? This magical series will empower young people to battle climate change!
Oriol Vidal Steve Cole Tin Boy
This novel is told through the eyes of Tono, a child who takes extraordinary risks every day while trying to retrieve tin from the mining pits in which he works. This eye-opening story is made all the more chilling by the realisation that Tono is mining tin to go into mobile phone production. This book will give ample food for thought and can start conversations on the importance of buying only what we need, repairing, reusing and recycling so that we do not create waste that requires the constant mining that puts children like Tono in danger.
Nicola Davies The Song That Sings Us
Perfect for teen readers, this is the story of a family who are very much in tune with the beauty and richness of nature. But they are hunted down in a world where there is no respect for the natural environment. When the family is separated, they are compelled to rely on their own resources and on the animal and human friends they meet on their journey. Connecting with the Green Thorn rebel movement, each family member contributes to the desperate attempt to stop the Automators from coming to power. With beautiful illustrations by Jackie Morris, this is a timely and emotive read.
Lauren James Green Rising
Set in a world where nothing can be done to reverse the uninhabitable conditions on Earth, young people suddenly discover they have a strange power. They are able to grow plants from their skin and fingertips. Soon, large corporate organisations begin to try to exploit their talents. A thrilling and unsettling book, this story sadly does not require a huge leap of the imagination to envision a world depleted of all its natural resources and exploited by corporations. Best summed up by the author herself, 'while magic is fantastical the ability of humans to fix the climate emergency is not. It will take money, sacrifice and time but we can create a better world.'
Jarrod Shusterman Neal Shusterman Dry
This is a thrilling survival horror, set in a world where people are desperate after climate change has led to extreme water shortages in California. When a neighbouring state decides to shut off their final water source, the whole of California is left dry. 16-year-old Alyssa and her little brother soon find out that their friendly community balances on a fine line between cooperative help and absolute chaos. When their parents fail to return from a visit to a desalination centre, things go from bad to worse. Gripping, dark, and all a little too close to home. It is perfect for teen readers, looking to immerse themselves in a gripping climate thriller.
Leyla Suzan Giften
Standing out thanks to its beautiful writing and intricate world-building, this book is set in a dystopian world devastated by climate change. The story follows Ruthie, a teenage girl with the power to make plants grow from dead soil. Known as Giften, people with this power are hunted by a brutal army and kidnapped from their communities. Suzan cleverly weaves the plot together and builds tension by starting each chapter with oral histories from characters with varying allegiances. This is an absolutely thrilling story with a unique and memorable voice.