Why Reading Books on Climate Change Is Important for Children

Book cover with title, "God’s Earth is Something to Fight For" with a circle of images from nature.

It’s important to read books on climate change to children. Why? Climate change is already happening and impacting children. Children can see it in their everyday lives. Weather extremes —heat, floods, and drought—cause school closings, food shortages, and health issues.

Sure, climate change is an overwhelming, complicated, and frightening subject. That’s why reading age-appropriate children’s books on climate change is so important, not only for your child, but for you. Children’s books explain complicated issues using developmentally appropriate text and illustrations to make it easier to gain understanding and knowledge about the world. Books support better understanding which makes the subject easier to think about and maybe a little less overwhelming. It is important that children’s books provide climate solutions with ideas for taking action in addition to climate facts and impacts. Being part of collective action makes climate change less frightening and supports children’s mental health. Read Children & Youth Mental Health In Our Changing Climate: A Guide for Faith Leaders for more on children’s mental health.

Headshot of Amy Houts, middle aged woman with shoulder length gray hair

At what age should you start reading climate books? Some people think it’s never too early to start. There are even board books on climate change for babies. Maybe you think that’s too young. Maybe not. Scholastic Parents encourages reading nonfiction to children and provides a simple guide to support caregivers in choosing the right books at the right time. Climate change books are available in every age range (14 good climate change books for children). It is particularly important to connect our faith to climate for children, and books are a great avenue to achieve that (here are some suggestions).  My book, God’s Earth is Something to Fight For is described as “a groundbreaking, Christian picture book about God’s call to take care of the Earth and fight climate change.” Seeing climate change through a faith lens helps children connect the dots of climate impacts on the earth and the people. Reading climate and faith books also helps children understand that people of faith care about this issue, and we are called to take action. As children grow and continue to read and learn, they build on their knowledge and understanding. Reading books can foster conversations, a safe space for you to discuss this important issue with the children in your life, and more importantly listen to their worries and concerns. You can dispel myths, give encouragement, point out ways people of faith are leading, and find opportunities to take action together. Reading, learning, and discussing climate change will strengthen the bond between you and children in your life. What could be better than that?

Learn more by watching Nurturing Young Hearts for a Restored Creation: Author Talk hosted by Creation Justice Ministries, by visiting Amy’s website and Facebook.

About the Author:
Amy Houts, Children’s Book Author and United Methodist Church Member

Additional Resources:

Watch the American Climate Leadership Awards 2024

Watch the 2024 American Climate Leadership Awards for High School Students

Join the Campaign: One Home One Future

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Children and Youth Report 2023

Blessed Tomorrow Resources

Blessed Tomorrow – Ambassador Training

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