Inspiring Environmental Stewards

The Green Earth Book Award

The Green Earth Book Award is the nation’s first environmental stewardship book award for children and young adult books. Over 128 winning and honor books have been honored since 2005. The award continues to garner attention from the literary world as an esteemed award, bringing recognition to authors, but more importantly, providing the award-winning books to children.

Each year, an expert jury selects books that best convey the message of environmental stewardship in these categories:

    • Picture Book:  books for young readers in which the visual and verbal narratives tell the story
    • Children’s Fiction: novels for young readers up to age 12
    • Young Adult Fiction: books for readers from age 13 to 21
    • Children’s Nonfiction: nonfiction books for readers from infancy to age 12
    • Young Adult Nonfiction: nonfiction books for readers from 12 to age 21


Click here to download a list of Green Earth Book Award Winners .


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Here what kids have to say about Green Earth Book Award-winning books!

2017 Award

Nominations for the 2017 Green Earth Book Award were due by January 5, 2017, and submissions are now under review by our esteemed panel of judges.

Darby Bade, CSRA International; Shanetia Clarke, Salisbury University, Faculty in Teacher Education; Patty Dean, Salisbury University, Associate Professor in Teacher Education; Tony Diecidue, Blue Canopy, Senior Manager, Next Generation Solutions Business Unit; Josh Falk, National Wildlife Federation, Manager for Kids and Nature; Tricia Fisher, Broadneck Elementary School, Fourth Grade Teacher; Doris Gebel, Children’s Literature Consultant; Nick Glass,, Founder & Executive Director; Lydia Kline, National Institutes of Health, Science Policy Analyst; Ian Kline, The Cadmus Group, President and CEO; Laura Marasco, Salisbury University, Professor Emerita, Education Specialties; Cynthia McDermott, Antioch University, Director of the Education Department; Margy Meeks, Retired Librarian; Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Early Literacy/Outreach Librarian; Robin Richardson, Federal Government; Sharon Sheridan, GFWC West Virginia President-Elect 2014-2016; Retired Librarian; Erin Stutleburg, Salisbury University, Assistant Professor; Ed Sullivan, Author, Editor, and Educator; Tamara Teaff, Retired Librarian, Virginia Reader’s Choice Committee; Peter Trick, The Cadmus Group, Executive Vice President; Heather Vance-Chalcraft, East Carolina University, Professor of Biology; and Emily White, South Dakota State University, South Dakota Geographic Alliance, Alliance Coordinator

The long list will be announced in February 2017, and the short list will be announced at the end of March 2017. Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.

2017 Long List

The long list will be announced on February 22, 2017.

2016 Winner – Picture Book

The Stranded Whale, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Melanie Cataldo (Candlewick Press)

A tale of a child’s effort to rescue a beached whale evokes a fierce love of wildlife and a universal sense of loss. Sally and her brothers are walking home from school along the dunes in their Maine town when they come upon an   enormous whale stranded on the beach. They recruit  people to help, but the tide is going out quickly and the whale is just too big for them to save.  This authentic portrait of vulnerability is at once spare, moving, and honest, tender and heartrending. For readers ages 5-9.

Honor Winners:

Crane Boy, written by Diana Cohn and  illustrated by Youme  (Cinco Puntos Press)

The Seeds of Friendship,  written and illustrated by Michael Foreman (Candlewick Press)

final-cover-crane-boy-8-20-15 seeds-of-friendship


2016 Winner – Children’s Fiction

The Thing About Jellyfish, written by Ali Benjamin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting. As she travels the globe in search of answers, she gets a closer look at nature and science, and discovers the astonishing wonders of the universe.  Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death…and the potential for love and hope right next door.  Jellyfish was selected as a 2015 National Book Award finalist. For readers 10-13.

Honor Winners:

Sydney & Simon Go Green!, written by Paul A. Reynolds and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Charlesbridge)

The Order of the Trees, written by Katy Farber (Green Writers Press)

orderofthetreesfinalcovermkt ss-go-green-300dpi

2016 Winner – Young Adult Fiction

The Beast of Cretacea, written by Todd Strasser (Candlewick Press)

The Beast of Cretacea is an environmental cautionary tale about a dying Earth.  In this futuristic retelling of Moby Dick, 17 year old Ishmael travels to a pristine planet called Cretacea and risks his life on a fishing crew that hunts down ocean-dwelling beasts to harvest and send back to the resource-depleted Earth. His journey with Captain Ahab becomes a quest to capture the elusive Great Terrafin and takes him on encounters with pirates and reveals mysteries about his past.  For readers ages 12 and up.

2016 Winner – Children’s Nonfiction

Children’s Nonfiction

Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue, written by Karen Romano Young and Daniel Raven-Ellison (National Geographic Society)

Kids can connect their love of animals with their passion to help save them, discovering amazing true adventure stories, gorgeous photography, hands-on activities, fascinating information, and more. Provides in-depth information about their habitats, challenges, and successes, so that kids can take action to help save these amazing endangered creatures.  For readers ages 10 and up.

Honor Winners:

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon (Millbrook Press)

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, written by Anita Silvey (National Geographic Society)

1 untamed

Green Earth Book Award Winners in the News

“One of the beauties of the Earth Book Award is that it recognizes an author who’s writing about a topic that is of vital importance to our Earth, yet it’s an area that, until recently, received little attention.”

~ Pam Spencer Holley, author of the American Library Association’s Quick and Popular Reads for Teens ~

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