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Ecological Books for Young Teens

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Ecological Books for Young Teens

Books about nature, the environment and social issues for young teens

The Boat Who Wouldn't Float, by Mowat, Farley
Starfire, 1984, Mass Market Paperbound, $5.50
Happy Adventure was a schooner with one fatal flaw. It leaked like a sieve. So why would anyone repeatedly expose himself and his friends to the elements of the North Atlantic in a treacherous, stubborn, uncomfortable, unfloatable boat which at last count, has sunk eight times? Any explanation of this appalling narative seems outrageously unlikely. But the story is true. All too true. And it's decidedly the funniest story yet from Farley Mowat, whose books have sold over a million and a half copies in this country alone.
 
The Box of Stars: A Practical Guide to the Mythology of the Night Sky, by Tennant, Catherine
Bulfinch Press, 1993, Paperback, $25.95
For everyone who has gazed at the heavens and tried to pick out the constellations, each image on these colorful, oversized cards is pierced with tiny holes along the pattern of the constellation as it appears in the night sky in a magical interactive approach to mapping the cosmos.
 
Building an Igloo, by Steltzer, Ulli
Henry Holt & Company, 1999, Paperback, $7.95
A photo-essay picture book showing the traditional Inuit way of building a snow igloo.
 
Charlotte's Web, by White, E B
HarperTrophy, 1974, Paperback, $6.99
Wilbur, a lovable pig, is rescued from a cruel fate by a beautiful and intelligent spider named Charlotte. "Told with delicacy, humor, and wisdom . . . a perfect blending of fantasy and complete realism".—"Booklist". Newberry Honor Book; ALA Notable Children's Books of 1940-1970.
 
The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, by Mowat, Farley
Starfire, 1984, Mass Market Paperbound, $5.50
Farely Mowat's best loved book tells the splendidly entertaining story of his boyhood on the Canadian prairies. Mutt's pedigree was uncertain, but his madness was indisputable. He climbed tress and ladders, rode passenger in an open car wearing goggles and displaying hunting skills that bordered on sheer genius. He was a marvelous dog, worthy of an unusual boy growing up a raw, untamed wilderness.
 
Entomology, by Doris, Ellen
Thames & Hudson, 1993, Hardcover, $16.95
A book about studying insects that teaches children to raise caterpillars and watch their metamorphosis into butterflies or moths, search for insects in fields, keep crickets at home and observe their territoriality, and more. Part of the Children's School of Science series. Almost 200 photos.
 
Faraway Home, by Kurtz, Jane , Lewis, E B, Illustrator
Gulliver Books, 2000, Hardcover, $16.00
Desta's father, who needs to return briefly to his Ethiopian homeland, describes what it was like for him to grow up there.
 
The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood, by Huxley, Elspeth
Penguin Books, 2000, Paperback, $15.00
In an open cart Elspeth Huxley set off with her parents to travel to Thika in Kenya. As pioneering settlers, they built a house of grass, ate off a damask doth spread over packing cases, and discovered — the hard way — the world of the African. With an extraordinary gift for detail and a keen sense of humor, Huxley recalls her childhood on the smart farm at a time when Europeans waged their fortunes on a land that was as harsh as it was beautiful. For a young girl it was a time of adventure and freedom, and Huxley paints an unforgettable portrait of growing up among the Masai and Kikuyu people, discovering both the beauty and the terrors of the jungle, and enduring the rugged realities of the pioneer life.
  
Frightful's Mountain, by George, Jean Craighead , Kennedy, Robert F, Jr., Foreword
Puffin Books, 2001, Paperback, $5.99
The award-winning sequel to My Side of the Mountain and On the Far Side of the Mountain is now available in paperback. When Frightful the falcon returns to Sam, the boy who raised her, he knows he has to chase her away. Illustrations.
  
Geodesic Domes, by Van Loon, Borin
Tarquin, 1994, Paperback, $17.00
Each of the models in this book is both beautiful and interesting and plays its part as a hands-on introduction to the study of geodesic domes. It was the American architect Buckminster Fuller who pioneered this type of building and who also helped to establish a sound basis for designing them. With the aid of its models, this book explains the underlying theory and shows how a sphere can be divided and subdivided symmetrically to create dramtic buildings which are light and strong and have no need of internal support.
  
Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women, by Thimmesh, Catherine , Sweet, Melissa, Illustrator, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000, Hardcover, $16.00
Tells the story of how women throughout the ages have responded to situations confronting them in daily life by inventing such items as correction fluid, helmets, the windshield wiper, baby carriers, and disposable diapers. Full-color illustrations.
  
Grey Seas Under, by Mowat, Farley
Seal Press, 1981, Mass Market Paperbound, $5.99
One of the great storytellers of our century writes passionately of the courage of men and of a small, ocean-going salvage tug, Foundation Franklin. The captain and the crew were mostly Newfounders; the sea was in their blood. Battered by towering waves, dwarfed by the ships she towed, blasted by gale-force winds and frozen by squalls of snow and rain, the stout ship and her brave crew saved hundreds of vessels and thousands of lives as they battled their ancient enemy, the North Atlantic.
  
Handbook of Nature Study, Revised , by Comstock, Anna Botsford
Comstock Publishing, 1986, Paperback, $26.00
  
Into the Forest, by Hegland, Jean
Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1998, Paperback, $15.00
This deeply felt story of two sisters struggling to survive amid the collapse of technology and society is at once a classic tale of mythic proportions—and a modern myth with a timely message. "Beautifully written and often profoundly moving".—San Francisco Chronicle.
  
Invertebrate Zoology, by Doris, Ellen
Thames & Hudson, 1993, Hardcover, $16.95
An introduction to a vast and diverse group of animals, this book focuses on seven families of organisms, all of which can be easily collected or ordered by mail. Children rear crayfish and spiders, watch flatworms distinguish between light and dark, and more. Part of the Children's School of Science series. Almost 200 color photos.
  
The Julie Trilogy, by George, Jean Craighead
HarperCollins Children's Books, 1999, Boxed Set, $17.97
Now available in this special boxed set: George's epic saga of Arctic adventure: Julie of the Wolves—winner of the 1973 Newbery Medal—and its sequels, Julie and Julie's Wolf Pack.
  
Ka-Ha-Si and the Loon: An Eskimo Legend, by Cohlene, Terri , Reasoner, Charles, Illustrator
Rebound by Sagebrush, 1997, Prebound, $13.10
Magnificent illustrations and captivating texts tell the legends of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Americas, and Native America.
  
The Kid's Guide to Social Action: How to Solve the Social Problems You Choose—And Turn Creative Thinking Into Positive Action, by Lewis, Barbara A
Free Spirit Publishing, 1998, Paperback, $18.95
Newly revised, expanded, and updated, this award-winning guide includes everything kids need to make a difference in the world, from inspiring true stories to fill-out forms and up-to-date resources. The book includes step-by-step instructions for writing letters, doing interviews, making speeches, taking surveys, and more. B&W photos and illustrations.
  
The Little Prince, by Saint-Exupery, Antoine de , Howard, Richard, Translator
Harvest/HBJ Book, 2000, Paperback, $9.00
An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life. Howard's new translation of this beloved classic beautifully reflects Saint-Exupery's unique, gifted style. Color and b&w illustrations.
  
The Man Who Grew Young, by Quinn, Daniel , Eldred, Tim, Illustrator
Context Books, 2001, Paperback, $19.95
A masterful tale of a future world where life runs backward, and the trials of one man who cannot find a mother to return to.
  
Meet the Arthropods, by Doris, Ellen , Rubenstein, Len, Photographer
Thames & Hudson, 1996, Hardcover, $16.95
  
My Life with the Chimpanzees, by Goodall, Jane
Aladdin Paperbacks, 1996, Paperback, $4.99
This autobiography written for younger readers is illustrated throughout with many photos of the author's childhood and years in Africa.
  
My Life with the Chimpanzees, by Goodall, Jane
Rebound by Sagebrush, 2000, Prebound, $13.15
Renowned for her stunning National Geographic films, Jane Goodall travels tirelessly promoting her important work. The only autobiography written for younger readers, this book is illustrated throughout with many photos of the author's childhood and years in Africa. "An engrossing tale of adventure and commitment".—Defenders of Wildlife.
   
My Side of the Mountain, by George, Jean Craighead
Puffin Books, 1991, Paperback, $5.99
In this enthralling story, a boy builds a treehouse in the mountains and learns to live entirely by his wits.
  
Never Cry Wolf, by Mowat, Farley
Back Bay Books, 2001, Paperback, $12.95
The classic of nature writing—the spellbinding story of adventures among arctic wolves—is now available in a new paperback edition.
     
On the Far Side of the Mountain, by George, Jean Craighead
Puffin Books, 2001, Paperback, $6.99
Sam is joined in the Catskill Mountains by his younger sister, Alice, who is quietly living in a tree house of her own. Their peaceful life is shattered when a conservation officer confiscates Sam's falcon, Frightful, and Alice suddenly vanishes.
   
Ornithology, by Doris, Ellen , Rubenstein, Len, Photographer
Thames & Hudson, 1994, Hardcover, $16.95
   
Pond and Brook, by Caduto, Michael J , Thomson, Joan, Illustrator
University Press of New England, 1990, Paperback, $23.95
    
Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution, by Jiang, Ji-Li
HarperTrophy, 1998, Paperback, $6.99
When China's Communist Party detains Ji-Li's father, the 12-year-old is faced with a difficult choice. This is her story.
  
Reptiles and Amphibians, by Conant, Roger
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999, Paperback, $5.95
From mudpuppies to rattlesnakes, this fascinating guide for young nature lovers describes the habits and habitats of these secretive and sometimes bizarre animals, and includes tips on how to catch and care for frogs, snakes, turtles, lizards, salamanders, and toads. 188 color illustrations.
  
Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Song Book, by Blood, Peter
Sing Out Publications, 1992, Spiral, $17.95
The ultimate sing-along songbook with words, guitar chords, and sources for nearly 1,200 songs.
   
Shelters, Shacks & Shanties: And How to Build Them, by Beard, Daniel Carter ,
Foreword by Perrin, Noel, Lyons Press, 1999, Paperback, $12.95
Practical, lively instruction on building temporary structures is offered by one of the founding fathers of the Boy Scouts of America. Line drawings throughout.
    
Shelters, Shacks and Shanties, by Beard, Daniel Carter
Breakout Productions, 1999, Paperback, $9.95
   
Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties, by Beard, Daniel Carter , Foreword by Kahn, Lloyd
Shelter Publications, 2003, Paperback, $10.95
Written and illustrated in 1914 by one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America, this primer contains detailed directions for constructing a wide range of shelters--including a complete log cabin. 338 illustrations.
   
Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: The Classic Guide to Building Wilderness Shelters, by Beard,
Daniel Carter, Dover Publications, 2004, Paperback, $9.95
  
The Story of My Life, by Keller, Helen
Dover Publications, 2002, Paperback, $7.95
Left blind, deaf, and mute after an illness in infancy, Helen Keller overcame her disabilities with the help of Anne Sullivan, her inspired teacher. Her classic autobiography, first published in 1903, covers her first 22 years, including the memorable moment at a water pump when she first made the connection between the word "water" and the cold liquid flowing over her hand. She also discusses her friendships with Oliver Wendell Holmes and other notables, her education at Radcliffe, her joy at learning to speak, and above all, her extraordinary relationship with her teacher. This deeply moving memoir, full of love and compassion for others, offers an unforgettable portrait of one of the twentieth century's most remarkable women. 
  
The Story of My Life: The Restored Edition, by Keller, Helen , Berger, James, Editor
Modern Library, 2003, Hardcover, $19.95
This edition of Keller's autobiography is the first major version available in more than 50 years that nearly replicates Keller's work with letters and commentary as it was first published in 1903.
  
Vertebrates, by Doris, Ellen
Thames & Hudson, 1920, Hardcover, $16.00 
  
West with the Night, by Markham, Beryl
HarperCollins Publishers, 1974, Hardcover, $17.99
West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham—aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty—and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and '30s.
  
Winter Camping, by Gorman, Stephen
Appalachian Mountain Club, 1999, Paperback, $14.95
This guide is a must have for hikers, skiers and snowboarders, it includes useful information on gear selection, from tent, clothes, stoves and sleds; updated sections on skiing, winter safety, and making camp.
  
Woods, Ponds, & Fields, by Doris, Ellen , Rubenstein, Len, Photographer
Thames & Hudson, 1994, Hardcover, $16.95

First Nature Guides

Fandex Family Field Guides: Butterflies
Workman Publishing, 2002, Other, $9.95
A favorite subject of kids, nature lovers, scientists, and collectors, Butterflies takes full advantage of Fandex's unique full-color die-cut format to celebrate 50 butterfly species, from the enormous Queen Alexandra Birdwing, with its 11-inch wingspan, to the Blue Morpho, whose stunning metallic-blue color is caused by tiny prisms in its wings. Each entry includes the Latin name, range, plants used for laying eggs and drinking nectar, migration and mating habits, and how to recognize the species in its caterpillar, pupa, and adult stages. Includes 50 die-cut cards.
  
Fandex Family Field Guides: Birds, by Michael Robbins
Workman Publishing, 1998, Other, $9.95
The Fandex Family publishing series continues with this bird field guide, with bright colors and realistic, die-cut profiles identifying 47 wild birds in North America.
 
Fandex Family Field Guides: Cats, by Kathryn Petras
Workman Publishing, 1998, Other, $9.95
Combining illustrated, individually die-cut cards with hundreds of intriguing facts, statistics, and trivia, each Fandex Field Guide offers a hand-held deck of information. 50 cards per deck. Color photos & illustrations.
  
Fandex Family Field Guides: Dogs, by Steve Aronson
Workman Publishing, 1998, Other, $9.95
Combining 50 individually die-cut cards with full-color illustrations, plus hundreds of intriguing facts, stories, statistics, and trivia, Fandex is the newest breakthrough in information-packed, family publishing. Here are 47 favorite breeds, from best family pets to noble hunting companions to classic dogs for show. Discover the exemplary character of the Airedale, the working-class background of the aristocratic Yorkshire Terrier, the spiritual aura surrounding the Lhasa Apso, and the brave Rottweiler's ancient origins in the Romans' march across the Alps. Includes a complete guide to each breed's appearance and temperament.
  
Fandex Family Field Guides: Trees, by Steve Aronson
Workman Publishing, 1998, Other, $9.95
The first Fandex field guide. Illustrated, individually die-cut cards features hundreds of intriguing facts, statistics, and trivia, plus a tree identification guide and a cultural history of trees. Each card in the Trees guide offers four distinct visual keys—die-cut leaf, bark pattern, flower, nut or seed, and a photo of the full tree. In addition, the guide describes each tree's habitat and the cultural history of each tree, such as the White Ash, which was as important for the bows of early Native Americans as it is for the baseball bats of today. This combination helps gives a complete picture of North America's forest and backyard trees. 4" x 10¾". 50 full color die cut cards hinged together with a plastic bolt.
   
Fandex Family Field Guides: Wildflowers with Cards, by Ruth Rogers Clausen
Workman Publishing, 1999, Other, $9.95
Large, bright die-cuts--often as big as the flower or even bigger—and true-to-life colors make this a foolproof way to identify 47 of North America's wildflowers.
  
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Clouds and Storms, by Holle, Ron
Alfred A. Knopf, 1995, Paperback, $9.00
  
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Constellations of the Northern Skies, by Mechler, Gary, Alfred A. Knopf, 1995, Paperback, $9.00
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Earth from Space, by Leventer, Amy
Alfred A. Knopf, 1995, Paperback, $7.99
  
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Familiar Animal Tracks, by Farrand, John, Jr.
Alfred A. Knopf, 1993, Paperback, $9.00
Designed to help readers more fully understand how animals live and survive in the wilds, this guide is a must for every nature explorer. Detailed line drawings and text reveal clues found in an animal's tracks that help identify it.
   
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Familiar Birds of Sea and Shore, by Perkins, Simon
Alfred A. Knopf, 1994, Paperback, $9.00
   
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to North American Birds of Prey, by Walton, Richard K , and Sutton, Clay, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994, Paperback, $9.00
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Songbirds and Familiar Backyard Birds: Eastern Region, by Petersen, Wayne R , and Walton, Richard K, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994, Paperback, $9.00
  
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Waterfowl, by Walton, Richard K
Alfred A. Knopf, 1994, Paperback, $9.00
  
Peterson First Guide to Astronomy, by Pasachoff, Jay M
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
A basic field guide for beginning observers of the night sky, introducing information on the locations, names, and characteristics of stars, constellations, and other bodies in outer space.
  
Peterson First Guide to Butterflies and Moths, by Opler, Paul A
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
Peterson First Guides are the first books the beginning naturalist needs. Condensed versions of the famous Peterson Field Guides, the First Guides focus on the animals, plants, and other natural things you are most likely to see. They make it fun to get into the field and easy to progress to the full-fledged Peterson Guides.
  
Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars of North America, by Wright, Amy Bartlett
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
Here is the first and only guide to a subject of great interest to gardeners, small children, and lepidopterists: caterpillars, the immature form of butterflies and moths. This guide describes 120 common species of these fuzzy creatures. All the caterpillars, their adult forms and many of their host plants are illustrated.
   
Peterson First Guide to Clouds and Weather, by Day, John A , and Schaefer, Vincent J,
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
This Peterson First guide contains easy-to-understand answers to questions about the weather, such as why the sky is blue, what makes it rain, and what causes rainbows. The book also features 116 color photographs that show how to identify clouds, with explanations of what each cloud type tells about the weather to come.
  
Peterson First Guide to Fishes of North America, by Filisky, Michael
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
Features 220 common and conspicuous fishes of North America, with full-color illustrations and a clear, precise description of each. The Peterson Identification System uses arrows on the illustrations and italics in the descriptions to make identifying the fish easy.
   
Peterson First Guide to Forests, by Kricher, John C
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999, Paperback, $5.95
This guide describes and illustrates the 50 different kinds of forest and related habitats found throughout the United States and Canada, from the boreal forests and tundra of the north to the mangrove swamps, desert scrub, and giant saguaro forests of the south. 55 color plates.
   
Peterson First Guide to Insects of North America, by Leahy, Christopher
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
Peterson First Guides are the first books the beginning naturalist needs. Condensed versions of the famous Peterson Field Guides, the First Guides focus on the animals, plants, and other natural things you are most likely to see. They make it fun to get into the field and easy to progress to the full-fledged Peterson Guides.
  
Peterson First Guide to Mammals of North America, by Alden, Peter
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
Peterson First Guides are the first books the beginning naturalist needs. Condensed versions of the famous Peterson Field Guides, the First Guides focus on the animals, plants, and other natural things you are most likely to see. They make it fun to get into the field and easy to progress to the full-fledged Peterson Guides.
   
Peterson First Guide to Rocks and Minerals, by Pough, Frederick H
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
Written and designed for the beginner, this book describes and illustrates the most common and interesting rocks and minerals, from simple sandstone to exotic gems. Illustrated with dozens of beautiful color photographs, it tells how these rocks and minerals formed and how to identify them—and includes tips on collecting. 175 color photographs, 12 line drawings.
  
Peterson First Guide to Seashores, by Kricher, John C
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
This complete guide covers 317 of the most common and conspicuous plants and animals of the seashores, from jellyfish and kelp to clams, gulls, and whales. Species are grouped by habitat so readers know what they can expect to see along sandy beaches, in rocky tide pools, or in mud flats.
   
Peterson First Guide to the Solar System, by Pasachoff, Jay M
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999, Paperback, $5.95
Budding astronomers—backyard or armchair—will learn not only where to look for the planets in the nighttime sky but also how space missions to the planets and their moons have increased our understanding of Earth, its atmosphere, and the moon. 100 color photographs.
  
Peterson First Guide to Trees, by Petrides, George A
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
Now there is a guidebook to trees—one of the most popular subjects in the Peterson Field Guide series—for the beginning naturalist. The 243 trees are grouped into six categories by leaf type and arrangement, making it easier for the beginner to identify unknown species. 200 color illustrations.
   
Peterson First Guide to Urban Wildlife, by Landry, Sarah
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
Peterson First Guides are the first books the beginning naturalist needs. Condensed versions of the famous Peterson Field Guides, the First Guides focus on the animals, plants, and other natural things you are most likely to see. They make it fun to get into the field and easy to progress to the full-fledged Peterson Guides.
  
Peterson First Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-Central North America, by Leahy, Christopher, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998, Paperback, $5.95
Peterson First Guides are the first books the beginning naturalist needs. Condensed versions of the famous Peterson Field Guides, the First Guides focus on the animals, plants, and other natural things you are most likely to see. They make it fun to get into the field and easy to progress to the full-fledged Peterson Guides.
   
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Bats, by Williams, Ken , Mies, Rob
Little Brown and Company, 2002, Paperback, $8.95
With an easy-to-use format and popular color-tab system, this beginner's guide offers a wealth of information on bats. 150 color photos. 75 maps.
  
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds: Eastern Region, by Stokes, Donald
Little Brown and Company, 1996, Paperback, $8.95
   
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds: Western Region, by Stokes, Donald
Little Brown and Company, 1996, Paperback, $8.95
  
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Butterflies, by Stokes, Donald
Little Brown and Company, 2001, Paperback, $8.95
Information on identification and the behavior of a variety of butterflies is offered in this pocket-sized guide for the beginning butterfly enthusiast. 150 full-color photos. 75 maps.
  
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies, by Nikula, Blair
Little Brown and Company, 2002, Paperback, $8.95
This pocket-sized information guide offers a wealth of identification and behavior information on dragonflies in an easy-to-use format with a color-tab system. 150 full-color photos. 75 maps.
   
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Hummingbirds, by Stokes, Donald
Little Brown and Company, 2002, Paperback, $8.95
From the most trusted names in bird and nature writing, comes a book for beginning nature lovers of all ages dedicated to the most delicate of fliers—hummingbirds. 116 photos. 16 maps.
   
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Shorebirds, by Stokes, Donald
Little Brown and Company, 2001, Paperback, $8.95
This nature guides provides a wealth of information on birds that live near shores of water in this pocket-sized guidebook written by the hosts of the public television show, "Stokes Birds at Home". 150 full-color photos. 75 maps.
  
Stokes Beginner's Guides to Bird Feeding, by Stokes, Donald
Little Brown and Company, 2002, Paperback, $8.95
The Stokes Beginner's Guides, intended for beginning nature lovers of all ages, offer a wealth of identification and behavior information in a portable pocket-sized format. Illustrated throughout with full-color photographs and range maps, each Beginner's Guide is organized according to the Stokes' easy-to-use and popular color-tab system.
 

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