Reading About Recycling

Award-winning children’s author Dan Gutman tapped 100 other children’s book authors and asked them to give their advice for reducing our waste, saving energy, conserving water, and improving our environment. The results are compiled in Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children’s Book Authors Tell You How To Go Green (Random House, 2009). Written for students in upper elementary and junior high school, the essays are grouped into four categories, focusing on what you can do at home, at school, in the community, and for the world.

With titles ranging from “The Ugly Truth About Spit” by Gennifer Choldenko to “Since We Can’t Stop Moose From Belching” by Todd Strasser, Recycle This Book will have young people giggling. But they’ll also want to learn more about their favorite authors, how they live, and what they suggest to improve our environment. They’ll laugh with Rick Riordan, who writes, “Saving the environment would be so much easier if I were a Greek mythological character,” in his essay, “Zeus Says: Zap This!” And they’ll wonder about Megan McDonald, author of the Judy Moody series, who discovers vampires in her house and must get rid of them. (It turns out they are the kind that suck electricity, not blood.)

For younger students who are in grades Kindergarten through second grade, look for Recycle Every Day! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace (Two Lions, 2003). In this picture book, a bunny named Minna wants to enter a Community Recycling Calendar Contest. Her family makes suggestions, but Minna is waiting for a “just right” idea. Finally, she creates her poster and waits to find out whether it will be selected for the calendar. We won’t give away the ending! Author and illustrator Nancy Elizabeth Wallace also offers instructions for children who want to make their own “cut paper art.” Learn more at her website:

Look for Recycle This Book or Recycle Every Day! at your local library, a favorite bookstore, or online. Remember to look for used books first!

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