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 80 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

List of Winners since 2005:

GEBA Winners Booklist 2015GEBA Winners Booklist 2015

2015 Winners:

Read Green Book Award Ceremony and Green Tie Reception Invitation 2015

See book descriptions below.

Read Green Festival

The Green Earth Book Award Ceremony and Green Tie Reception is held in Washington, DC each year.  The festivities are a culmination of 3-days of eco-author visits and book donations to local area schools — all in honor of the new Green Earth Book Award winners and their efforts to bring the message of environmental stewardship to children and young adults, our next generation of environmental stewards.  The 2016 ceremony will once again be emceed by NBC 4 News Anchor Wendy Rieger.


Logos as of September 29

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact:

Jenny Schmidt

Sponsor list as of Septemebr 17,2015.

2016 Green Earth Book Award Qualifying List Announced

We announced the shortlist for our 2016 National Green Earth Book Award, which honors authors whose books best convey the environmental stewardship message to children and young adults and inspire them to respect their natural world.

The list includes titles published in 2015 in five categories: Picture Book, Children’s Fiction, Children’s Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Young Adult Nonfiction. Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, and awards will be bestowed at the annual Read Green Festival in the nation’s capital this fall.

“The Nature Generation offers its sincere congratulations to these authors,” said President Amy Marasco Newton. “It is gratifying to see the dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm they have toward bringing the beauty of nature and the message of stewardship to our next generation of stewards.”

The Green Earth Book Award Committee is comprised of 25 volunteers representing authors, librarians, environmental professionals, and educators. Panel members considered 120 nominated titles published during 2015 for a 2016 award and chose these 78 titles, from which the winners will be selected:


  • A Snowy Owl Story, by Melissa Kim, and illustrated by Jada Fitch
  • Crane Boy, by Diana Cohn, and illustrated by Youme
  • Do you know…, by Jill Hsieh
  • Glamorous Garbage, by Barbara Johansen Newman
  • In, by Nikki McClure
  • In Mary’s Garden, by Tina & Carson Kugler
  • Little Loon, by Fran Hodgkins, and illustrated by Karel Hayes
  • Nanuk the Ice Bear, by Jeanette Winter
  • Out of the Woods, by Rebecca Bond
  • Save Queen Green! Mother Nature’s Eco-Rhymes, by Angela Vincent and Marisa Vincent and Serene Temple
  • Tallulah: Mermaid of the Great Lakes, by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Susan Kathleen Hartung
  • The Bear Report, by Thyra Heder
  • The Hornless Rhinoceros, Robin W. Radcliffe
  • The Secret Bay, by Kimberly Ridley and Rebekah Raye
  • The Seeds of Friendship, by Michael Foreman
  • The Stranded Whale, by Jane Yolen and Melanie Cataldo
  • The Thing About Spring, by Daniel Kirk
  • Toad Weather, by Sandra Markle and Thomas Gonzalez
  • Tree Matters, by Gita Wolf and V. Geetha from Gangu Bai’s
  • When the Wind Blows, by Stacy Clark and Brad Sneed
  • Wild Ideas, by Elin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim


  • All the Wild Wonders Poems of the Earth by Wendy Cooling, Illustrated by Piet Grobler
  • Dark Tide, Jennifer Donnelly
  • Firefly Hollow, by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Christopher Denise
  • Firstborn, by Tor Seidler, illustrated by Chris Sheban
  • Groundhogs, by Jared Lillis
  • Kah-Lan the Adventurous Sea Otter, by Karen Autio, illustrated by Sheena Lott
  • Mouse Mission, by Prudence Breitrose, illustrated by Stephanie Yue
  • National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry, by J. Patrick Lewis
  • Old Wolf, by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca
  • Rogue Wave, by Jennifer Donnelly
  • Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue, by Paige Braddock
  • Sydney & Simon Go Green!, by Paul A. Reynolds and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
  • The Neptune Challenge, by Polly Holyoke
  • The Order of the Trees by Katy Farber
  • The Shark Rider, by Ellen Prager and illustrated Antonio Javier Caparo
  • The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin


  • Bug Detective, by Maggie Li
  • Call of the Osprey, by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, and illustrated by William Munoz
  • Can We Help?, by George Ancona
  • Esther the Eaglet, by Christie Gove-Berg and The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota
  • Fire Birds—Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests, by Sneed B. Collard III
  • Koala Hospital, by Suzi Eszterhas
  • Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest, by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
  • Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue, by Karen Romano Young and Daniel Raven-Ellison
  • Moon Bears, by Mark Newman
  • Mrs. Carter’s Butterfly Garden, by Steve Rich, Brian Becnel, Tom Uhlman, Conni Crittenden, The Carter Center, ThinkStock, Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum and Library, Stephen Cord, and Ward Pix
  • My School Yard Garden, by Steve Rich, Steven David Johnson, Judd Patterson, Brian Becnel, ThinkStock
  • Octopus Scientists, by Sy Montgomery and Keith Ellenbogen
  • One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, by Miranda Paul and Elizabeth Zunon
  • Raindrops Roll, by April Pulley Sayre
  • Sharing Nature: Nature Awareness Activities for All Ages, by Joseph Cornell
  • The Beach Book: loads to do at lakes, rivers and the seaside, by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield
  • The Great Big Green Book, by Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith
  • The Nitty-Gritty Gardening Book: Fun Projects for All Seasons, by Kari Cornell and Jennifer S. Larson
  • The Secret Lives of Animals, by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer and Rachel Riordan
  • Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation, by Peggy Thomas and Stacy Innerst
  • Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue, by Robert Burleigh and Wendell Minor
  • Trash Talk: Moving Towards a Zero-Waste World, by Michelle Mulder
  • Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, by Anita Silvey
  • Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle, by Karel Hayes and Miranda Paul, and illustrated by Jason Chin
  • Water Runs Through This Book, by Nancy Bo Flood, and illustrated by Jan Sonnenmair
  • What’s the Buzz: Keeping Bees in Flight, by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox


  • A 52-Hertz Whale, by Bill Sommer and Natalie Haney Tilghman
  • Alice in Wonderland High, by Rachel Shane
  • Big Game, by Stuart Gibbs
  • Nature’s Confession, by J.L. Morin
  • No Worse Sin, by Kyla Bennett
  • The Beast of Cretacea, by Todd Strasser
  • The Ecowarriors: Book One- The Bluffs of Baraboo, by Sandra Dreis
  • Who is Mackie Spence?, by Lin Kaymer


  • I Am Coyote, by Geri Vistein
  • Inside Biosphere 2, by Mary Kay Carson and Tom Uhlman
  • The Miracle of Life at LA Jolla Cove, by David N. Sattler

Thank You to Our 2016 Judges

Special Thanks to the members of the Green Earth Book Award Judging Committee:  Darby Bade, CSRA International; Sheila Barnett, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Office of Environmental Education; Ernie Bond, Salisbury University, Chair of Teacher Education; Shanetia Clarke, Salisbury University, Faculty in Teacher Education; Patty Dean, Salisbury University, Associate Professor in Teacher Education; Tony Diecidue, Innovate, Director, Business Management Consulting; Josh Falk, National Environmental Education Foundation, Education Program Officer; Tricia Fisher, Broadneck Elementary School, Fourth Grade Teacher; Doris Gebel, Children’s Literature Consultant; Nick Glass,, Founder & Executive Director; Pam Holley, Young Adult Library Services Association, Past President; 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; 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.

2015 Winner – Picture Book

The Promise, written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Laura Carlin

(published by Candlewick Press)

Book Synopsis:  On a mean street in a mean, broken city, a young girl tries to snatch an old woman’s bag. But the frail old woman, holding with the strength of heroes, says the thief can’t have it without giving something in return:  the promise. It is the beginning of a journey that will change the thieving girl’s life – and a chance to change the world for good. A picture book that at first seems dystopic but is ultimately about the healing power of nature. Recommended Age:  Age 5 to 8

2015 Winner – Children’s Fiction

Deep Blue, written by Jennifer Donnelly

(published by Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group)

Book Synopsis:  Best-selling Donnelly (Revolution, 2010) builds an alluring mermaid civilization and history, filled with painterly descriptions of Sera’s underwater palace and its unearthly architecture, her sumptuous wardrobe, and the menagerie of half-human, half-marine animal denizens. A richly imagined novel. Themes of conquering fear and believing in oneself are woven throughout, along with an acknowledgment of humans’ environmental impact on the sea and its inhabitants. Recommended Age:  Age 10 to 14

2015 Winner – Young Adult Fiction

Threatened, written by Eliot Schrefer

(published by Scholastic/Scholastic Press)

Book Synopsis:  After the death of his mother and sister, Luc is left in the hands of a moneylender, Monsieur Tatagani. One of many orphans forced to do Tatagani’s bidding, Luc has found a way to be useful and earn a few coins wiping glasses in a bar in Gabon. One night a man shows up with a monkey and a silver attaché case, claiming to be a researcher sent by the National Geographic Society to study the chimpanzees in the interior. The mysterious man, called “the Prof,” offers Luc a job as his helper. From this modest beginning comes a tale of survival and discovery for both humans and chimps. There are no easy answers here, but deep themes are explored. The plight of the endangered chimps is brought to the attention of readers, as are the challenges of socioeconomic status and geographic realities of Gabon. Recommended Age:  Ages 12 and up

2015 Winner – Children’s Nonfiction

Plastic, Ahoy!:  Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, written by Patricia Newman and illustrated by Annie Crawley

(published by Millbrook Press)

Book Synopsis:  This photojournalistic book follows three young female scientists living and working aboard a small research ship and details the researchers’ process of developing a hypothesis, collecting evidence, and designing experiments to learn more about the impact of the Garbage Patch on marine life. The book is replete with Crawley’s dynamic photos of both the scientists at work and the challenges of life aboard a tiny research boat. Newman successfully summarizes all of their complex research findings into straightforward and doable tips for minimizing environmental impact. An engaging and worthwhile read, this will surely make young readers think twice about their trash. Recommended Age:  Age 8 to 12

2015 Winner – Young Adult Nonfiction

Eyes Wide Open:  Going Behind the Environmental Headlines

written by Paul Fleischman (published by Candlewick Press)

Book Synopsis:  This volume is a call to action that informs students about how they can evaluate environmental issues by using politics, psychology, history, and an understanding of economics and the media. This remarkable book offers young people the tools they need to become informed, responsible global citizens. Thoughtful readers will appreciate this insightful, refreshing title’s broad scope, use of specific examples, and the many references to related books, documentaries, and online articles, lectures, and interviews. The appended “How to Weigh Information” section is particularly excellent. Recommended Age:  Ages 14 and up

2015 Honor Winners

A Bird On Water Street, written by Elizabeth O. Dulemba (published by Little Pickle Press)

A Boy and a Jaguar, written by Alan Rabinowitz and illustrated by Catia Chien (published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Josie and the Fourth Grade Bike Brigade, written by Beth Handman, Kenny Bruno, and Antonia Bruno (published by Green Writers Press)

Pills and Starships, written by Lydia Millet (published by Akashic Books)

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, written by Margarita Engle (published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees:  A Scientific Mystery, written by Sandra Markle (published by Millbrook Press)

The Kid’s Guide to Exploring Nature, written by the Education Staff of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, edited by Sarah Schmidt, and illustrated by Laszlo Veres (published by Brooklyn Botanic Garden)

The Next Wave: The Quest to Harness the Power of the Oceans, written by Elizabeth Rusch (published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Please use this link to do your Amazon shopping and NatGen will earn a percentage of your sale.

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 ~

Eco Tips

The average person uses how many gallons of water each day?

  1. 10 gallons
  2. 50 gallons
  3. 100 gallons
  4. 500 Gallons
Get The Answer

Keep In Touch With US!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter

Keep In Touch With US!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.