From temper tantrums to the Paris Accord, books about climate change for you and your kids

A mom reading a book to her child


Climate change is a big topic, and moms often feel helpless when faced with it. It turns out there are simple things we can do individually to make a difference, for starters we can ask our elected leaders to tackle climate change.

To be clear, the science is settled. There is a greater than 99% consensus on the basic facts about climate change.

The group Science Moms helps mothers better understand common sense climate solutions. The Science Moms have a short, handpicked list of books to help grownups — and kids — get into the conversation about how to tackle climate change. Because we all want our children to grow up in the safe world they deserve, enjoying the things we did when we were kids. Check out our list below and let us know what you think!

For kids: tantrum power?

How often have you wished you could bundle up some anger and use it for good? Communicator Megan Herbert and climatologist Michael E. Mann tell the story of Sophia, who channels her “tantrum power into positive energy” in “The Tantrum that Saved the World.” Kids care about their world too, and they want their own part in tackling climate change.

The Tantrum that Saved the World by Megan Herbert and Michael E. Mann

For moms: a place to start

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change “is rooted in fact, balanced, and easy to follow,” and the Science Moms call it “the perfect starting point on your climate change journey.” Comprehensive but accessible, author Robert Henson has recently updated the book with the latest research.

The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change by Robert Henson

For moms: the amazing world ahead

Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac were leaders in the United Nations negotiations for the historic Paris Agreement of 2015. In their book, The Future We Choose, they offer more than warnings about the results of carbon pollution. They also show us a bright future that we and our children can enjoy if we embrace climate change solutions like clean energy innovation.

The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac.

For kids: The Magic School Bus rolls again!

Joanna Cole adds to her classic Magic School Bus series with a kids book climate change: The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge. Fun, informative, and packed with bright illustrations by Bruce Degen that make the science clear and easy to understand.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge book by Janna Cole illustrated by Bruce Degen.

For moms: turning angst into action

Harriet Shugarman does not sugarcoat climate change in her book, How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change. But she does offer ways to discuss it with kids of any age, strategies for keeping your hope alive, and suggestions on how to support your kids so they can “follow their passions in pursuit of a livable, just, and sustainable world.”

How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change book by Harriet Shugarman

For kids: how do climate scientists know about climate change?

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate shows the evidence that have led over 99% of climate scientists to agree on the basic facts about climate change; it’s real, it’s human-caused, it’s harming people now, but there are solutions. Authors Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch break down proof gathered from around the world, including some by “young citizen-scientists,” and show the reader why we have reason to hope.

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate book by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch

For moms: truth, courage, and solutions

All We Can Save is a book of essays, poetry, and artwork collected by two climate leaders. Marine biologist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine K. Wilkinson, who Time magazine named one of the “women who will save the world.” The book features work to celebrate women who “who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward,” and to motivate those who want to join the movement.

the cover of All We Can Save, Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, edited by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine K. Wilkinson.

For older kids: getting into the details

For those kids who want to learn more about climate change and climate solutions — maybe even so they can help their parents understand — Analyzing Climate Change takes the details to the next level. This books explores the consequences of carbon pollution, and how governments and big businesses can work to tackle climate change.

Analyzing Climate Change book

For moms: the nitty gritty

The Science Moms recommend best selling author Elizabeth Kolbert, who “cuts through competing narratives and political agendas to teach us what’s really happening to our planet and what can be done to save it.” Kolbert’s book, Field Notes From a Catastrophe, began as an award-winning series in The New Yorker magazine; she has recently updated it for this new edition.

Field Notes from a Catastrophe book by Elizabeth Kolbert.

While educating our children about climate change is extremely important, it isn’t going to be the thing that turns the tide. That’s because it’s not the job of individuals to fix climate change, that responsibility falls on the shoulders of our elected leaders.

It’s true that every little bit helps, but the real work needs to be done at the government level.

⇒ Click here to send a letter to your Senators and Representative RIGHT NOW!⇐

Science Moms wants to arm you with the tools you need to hold your elected officials accountable. It starts with conversations with your kids, your family, and your friends — but it also takes action. Tell your leaders that you are doing your part by educating yourself and your children. Now, it is time they do theirs.

This article was produced and distributed in partnership with Potential Energy Coalition in support of the Science Moms.

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