Books for Independent Reading

VERY EASY

newPrairie Dogs
by Emery and Durga Bernhard
Harcourt 1997 (40p)
The well-known author-illustrator team examine the life cycle of the prairie dog, a fascinating and vital member of the ecosystem.
Here Is the Wetland
by Madeleine Dunphy
(Science)
Hyperion 1996 (32p)
The inter-relatedness of the lives of various wetland creatures, including birds, snakes, fish, muskrats, and minks, is detailed.
Flashy Fantastic Rain Forest Frogs
by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
(Science)
Walker 1997 (32p)
The author offers fascinating facts about rain forest frogs that are rapidly becoming extinct: some are no larger than a person's thumb, some are as large as kittens, some can fly, many are poisonous.
She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!
by Kathryn Lasky
(Social studies)
Hyperion 1995 (40p)
Bostonians Harriet Hemenway and her cousin Minna Hall, appalled at the fashion trend of women wearing dead birds on their hats, instigate a vigorous protest that eventually leads to the formation of the Audubon Society and the passage of legislation protecting birds.
Amazon ABC
by Kathy Darling
(Science)
Lothrop 1996 (32p)
The stunning photographs in this ABC book introduce readers to exotic animals of the Amazon Rain Forest.
Be a Friend to Trees
by Patricia Lauber
(Science)
Harper 1994 (32p) also paper
Simple but informative text explains the importance of trees to humans and animals.
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
by Chief Jake Swamp
(Multicultural)
Lee & Low 1995 (24p)
Mohawk parents teach their children to start each day thanking Mother Earth by saying the Thanksgiving Address, here adapted by Chief Jake Swamp.

EASY

newDestination: Rain Forest
by Jonathan Grupper
Nat'l Geo. 1997 (32p)
Simple text and extraordinary photographs depict the animal and plant life of the world's rain forests.
Toad Overload: A True Tale of Nature Knocked Off Balance in Australia
by Patricia Seibert
(Science)
Millbrook 1996 (32p)
In 1920, sugarcane farmers in northeast Australia imported one hundred and one large toads to destroy crop pests, but over the years the dinner-plate-sized toads multiplied rapidly, creating a toad overpopulation.
Blanca and Arusha: Tales of Two Big Cats
by Georgeanne Irvine
Simon 1995 (48p)
The true story of two endangered cats at the San Diego Zoo, Blanca, a rare white tiger, and Arusha, a cheetah, whose best friend is a golden retriever. See others in the Zoo World series.
The Empty Lot
by Dale H. Fife
Little 1991 (32p) also paper
When Harry Hale visits the empty lot he has owned for years, he discovers it is not empty, but bursting with life.
Nights of the Pufflings
by Bruce McMillan
(Science)
Houghton 1995 (32p)
On an island off the coast of Iceland, Halla and her friends rescue pufflings that become stranded on the night they attempt their first flight.
Jaguar in the Rain Forest
by Joanne Ryder
(Science)
Morrow 1996 (32p)
Scientific fact, poetry, and art combine to help the reader imagine what it must be like to be a jaguar for a day. See others in the “Just for a Day” series.

AVERAGE

newThe Most Beautiful Roof in the World: Exploring the Rainforest Canopy
by Kathryn Lasky
Harcourt 1997 (48p)
Scientist Dr. Meg Lowman uses mountain-climbing equipment to help her explore the almost-inaccessible rainforest canopy and its fascinating wildlife.
newFlute's Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush
by Lynne Cherry
Harcourt 1997 (40p)
The author tracks the first year in a wood thrush's life, from its nesting ground in Maryland to its winter home in Costa Rica and back again and points out the perils it faces, including loss of its habitat.
newThere's Still Time: The Success of the Endangered Species Act
by Mark Galan
Nat'l Geo. 1997 (32p)
This photo essay features plant and animal life that has been saved from near-extinction primarily because of the Endangered Species Act.
Back to the Wild
by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
(Science)
Harcourt 1997 (80p)
Zoologists around the world are working to save the lives and habitats of the golden lion tamarins of Brazil, the red wolves of the American Southwest, the black-footed ferrets of the American West, and the lemurs of Madagascar.
Hawk Highway in the Sky: Watching Raptor Migration
by Caroline Arnold
(Science)
Harcourt 1997 (48p)
Members of HawkWatch International study the migration patterns of hawks, eagles, and falcons passing through the Goshute Mountains in Nevada.
Can We Save Them? Endangered Species of North America
by David Dobson
(Science)
Charlesbridge 1997 (32p)
The author focuses on twelve endangered animals and plants whose habitats have been threatened by the advance of civilization.
Children Can Save the Rain Forest
by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
(Science)
Cobblehill 1996 (48p)
Children around the world gave their time, money, and energy to save the International Children's Rain Forest, or the Bosque Eterno de Los Niños, in Costa Rica.
The Great Antler Auction
by Susan F. Goodman
Atheneum 1996 (40p)
Each spring the Boy Scouts of Jackson, Wyoming, collect the antlers shed by elk from a nearby refuge and auction the antlers to pay for food to sustain the elk during the winter.
The Fragile Frog
by William P. Mara
(Science)
Whitman 1996 (48p)
The author discusses the Pine Barrens treefrog, one of many endangered frog species.
Taking Care of the Earth: Kids in Action
by Laurence Pringle
(Social Studies)
Boyds Mills 1996 (64p)
Highlights efforts of kids around the world to take better care of the earth, including students in Wyoming who “adopt a creek,” Nebraska students who recycle tin and plastic, and New Jersey students who founded KAP (Kids Against Pollution).
The Threatened Florida Black Bear
by Margaret Goff Clark
(Science)
Cobblehill 1995 (64p)
Chronicled here are the work and experiences of the wildlife biologists with the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission who are trying to preserve the remaining black bears of Florida.
Sawgrass Poems: A View of the Everglades
by Frank Asch
Harcourt 1996 (52p)
Asch's insightful and often humorous poems reflect the biodiversity of the Florida Everglades.

CHALLENGING

newWolf Stalker
by Gloria Skurzynski and Alane Ferguson
Nat'l Geo 1997 (128p)
In this first book in the National Parks Mystery series, twelve-year-old Jack, his sister and foster brother, use scientific reasoning and their knowledge of wolves to find out who shot Silver, one of the wolves reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park.
The Case of the Missing Cutthroats: An Ecological Mystery
by Jean Craighead George
Harper 1996 (144p)
After Spinner catches an enormous cutthroat trout, she and her cousin set out to discover how a species of fish thought long-extinct actually survived.

Now Available in Paperback

newNights of the Pufflings
by Bruce McMillan
Houghton
newShe's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!
by Kathryn Lasky
Hyperion
Taking Care of the Earth: Kids in Action
by Laurence Pringle
Boyds Mills
Dinosaurs to the Rescue! A Guide to Protecting Our Planet
by Laurie Krasny Brown and Mark Brown
Little
Letting Swift River Go
by Jane Yolen
Little
Prince William
by Gloria Rand
Holt
Someday a Tree
by Eve Bunting
Clarion
One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest
by Jean Craighead George
HarperTrophy

Now Available in Spanish

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message (Gracias te damos: una ofrenda de los nativos americanos al amanecer de cada día)
by Chief Jake Swamp
Lee & Low
Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species (¿Les echaremos de menos? Especies in peligro de extinción)
by Alexandra Wright
Charlesbridge
My First Green Book (Mi primer libro de ecología)
by Angela Wilkes

Now Out of Print

It's My Earth Too: How I Can Help the Earth Stay Alive
by Kathleen Krull
Our Vanishing Farm Animals: Saving America's Rare Breeds
by Catherine Paladino
The Great Squirrel Uprising
by Dan Elish