Read Wild in 2020: Books to Have on Your Radar that Feature Nature
As we look forward to 2020, it’s time to start making those “to be read” lists. I’m thrilled to see more nature stories and cli-fi coming each year and 2020 is no exception. Below are some of the books I’m most looking forward to “reading wild”. (All summaries courtesy of publishers).
Hatchet meets Wild in this harrowing survival story from Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis.
The world is not tame.
Ashley knows this truth deep in her bones, more at home with trees overhead than a roof. So when she goes hiking in the Smokies with her friends for a night of partying, the falling dark and creaking trees are second nature to her. But people are not tame either. And when Ashley catches her boyfriend with another girl, drunken rage sends her running into the night, stopped only by a nasty fall into a ravine. Morning brings the realization that she’s alone – and far off trail. Lost in undisturbed forest and with nothing but the clothes on her back, Ashley must figure out how to survive despite the red streak of infection creeping up her leg.
When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president, Mari starts to see him with new eyes. A novel about waking up and standing up, and what happens when you stop seeing your dad as your hero—while the whole country is watching.
In this thoughtful, authentic, humorous, and gorgeously written novel about privacy, waking up, and speaking up, Senator Anthony Ruiz is running for president. Throughout his successful political career he has always had his daughter’s vote, but a presidential campaign brings a whole new level of scrutiny to sheltered fifteen-year-old Mariana and the rest of her Cuban American family, from a 60 Minutes–style tour of their house to tabloids doctoring photos and inventing scandals. As tensions rise within the Ruiz family, Mari begins to learn about the details of her father’s political positions, and she realizes that her father is not the man she thought he was.
But how do you find your voice when everyone’s watching? When it means disagreeing with your father—publicly? What do you do when your dad stops being your hero? Will Mari get a chance to confront her father? If she does, will she have the courage to seize it?
From acclaimed author Kate Messner comes the powerful story of a young girl with the courage to make her voice heard, set against the backdrop of a summertime mystery.
When Mia moves to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, she’s recovering from the broken arm she got falling off a balance beam. And packed away in the moving boxes under her clothes and gymnastics trophies is a secret she’d rather forget.
Mia’s change in scenery brings day camp, new friends, and time with her beloved grandmother. But Gram is convinced someone is trying to destroy her cricket farm. Is it sabotage or is Gram’s thinking impaired from the stroke she suffered months ago? Mia and her friends set out to investigate, but can they uncover the truth in time to save Gram’s farm? And will that discovery empower Mia to confront the secret she’s been hiding–and find the courage she never knew she had?
In a compelling story rich with friendship, science, and summer fun, a girl finds her voice while navigating the joys and challenges of growing up.
Annalise Oliver, abandoned as a baby in a small Wisconsin town, has always had a special, almost mystical connection to Renn Lake. Annalise’s happiest times are working alongside her adoptive parents at the cabins along the lake their family has owned and run for generations. But the summer Annalise turns 12, a small patch of algae quickly becomes a harmful bloom and Renn Lake is closed. Even worse, Annalise’s connection with Renn is gone. Frustrated with the authorities’ inaction, she teams up with her friends and vows to find a way to save her beloved lake. Hello From Renn Lake is a heartfelt story about community, activism, and fighting for the things you love.
Len is a loner teen photographer haunted by a past that’s stagnated her work and left her terrified she’s losing her mind. Sage is a high school volleyball star desperate to find a way around her sudden medical disqualification. Both girls need college scholarships. After a chance encounter, the two develop an unlikely friendship that enables them to begin facing their inner demons.
But both Len and Sage are keeping secrets that, left hidden, could cost them everything, maybe even their lives.
Set in the North Carolina mountains, this dynamic #ownvoices novel explores grief, mental health, and the transformative power of friendship.
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, Carole Lindstrom’s bold and lyrical picture book We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguarding the Earth’s water from harm and corruption.
Water is the first medicine.
It affects and connects us all . . .
When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.
Featuring illustrations by Michaela Goade.
Where does our food come from? What role do farms play? What’s it like to be a farmer? In this charmingly illustrated book, follow a farm throughout the year to discover how the farmer grows fresh and tasty food for us to eat in a sustainable and natural way.
Explore the workings of a small-scale, organic family farm and experience the rhythm of farm life. In the spring, visit the chicken coop, till the fields, and tour the farm machinery. When summer comes, plant corn, meet the pollinators, and head to the county fair. In the fall, make pies and preserves, harvest pumpkins, and put the fields to sleep. Winter activities include trimming and pruning the orchard, seed shopping, and baking bread.
To conclude your year on the farm, learn what you can do to support the farmers who pick our carrots and raise the cows for our milk. A glossary defines key sustainable farming terms.
Through this colorful and intimate look at life on a small-scale farm, children will learn not only how the farm feeds us, but how the farmer must feed and care for the farm.
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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