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Reading for climate impact

Caring for Our Planet: A Gift Guide of Climate Books for Kids and Adults

Kelsey Bourgeois
/
December 4, 2023

At OhmConnect, we're not just a team of energy-efficient enthusiasts and dedicated environmentalists; we're also a group of avid readers with boundless imaginations who find joy and inspiration in the pages of a good book. We believe that understanding our planet and the importance of sustainability starts with education and awareness, which can often be sparked through the power of storytelling and insightful writing.

Whether you have a curious child who’s eager to learn about the world or an adult seeking deeper knowledge about environmentalism on your list this year, books can be magical portals to understanding and action. In this spirit, we've put together a special gift guide for everyone on your list.

While many of the books in our guide offer uplifting and inspiring stories, we understand the importance of exploring the full spectrum of narratives around environmentalism and climate change. That's why our selection also includes thought-provoking reads and speculative fiction that delve into the potential consequences of climate change. These books serve as a powerful reminder of what could be at stake and the urgency with which we must act, with the mind-expanding power of fiction. They challenge us to think deeply and critically about our impact on the planet, presenting scenarios that may be sobering, but are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand.

Without further ado, here are our top book recommendations for this holiday season, carefully selected by the OhmConnect book club.

Our Top Picks

Kids picks from OhmConnect

1. Climate Change for Babies by Chris Ferrie & Katherina Petrou

Age: Infant-3 years old

It’s hard to find age-appropriate books to teach our children about topics that can feel overwhelming. That’s why we recommend this author, specifically this book on Climate Change. It’s approachable, age-appropriate (for toddlers), and empowers kids to help keep the planet healthy!

2. This Pretty Planet by Tom Chapin & John Forster

Age: 4-8 years old

This is a hopeful and beautifully illustrated book for young kids. We love this one for teaching kiddos about the incredible earth we live on!

3. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

Age: 3-6

A lovely book about a man who uses his coat for a million different things. Gorgeous illustrations (by the author) and a great way to teach kids how to think about resources. Clever examples of repurposing, upcycling, and making art for kids!

Fiction picks from OhmConnect

4. The Deluge by Stephen Markley

This one has been called a “modern day classic” by Stephen King. It’s very long, but we loved it. Some of the best climate fiction we’ve ever read. We’d recommend this for the reader on your list who loves to get lost in a good book.

5. Veil by Eliot Peper

This short fiction book had us captivated. It’s an easy read and would make a great gift for the book lover on your list.

6. The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

We read this one in the OhmConnect book club and found it really interesting. It’s speculative fiction that begins in 2025 and details what feels like a potentially plausible outcome of the climate crisis looks like and how we deal with it economically and on a geopolitical scale.

Nonfiction picks from OhmConnect

7. Safe and Sound: A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair by Mercury Stardust

This is the how-to book you’re looking for for any smaller home project. This would be a perfect gift for someone trying to gain more confidence in their fix-it skills; the advice is solid and laid out in an approachable way. While this one isn’t directly about climate change, we feel that knowing how to fix what you already own is a bit part of creating a sustainable society and that’s why it’s included here!

8. A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet by Raj Patel & Jason W. Moore

A nonfiction, easy read that will make you think about the resources we have access to and the way we got them.

9. The Grid by Gretchen Bakke

Have you ever wondered what is meant by “the grid” exactly and why it’s so complicated? We highly recommend this primer to explain what has been called “the largest machine in the world”, our energy infrastructure. It was published in 2016, so parts may be out of date as the energy industry is changing rapidly, but we can still recommend it.

10. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

This is a lovely read about reciprocity in nature. This would be a perfect gift for the botany lover in your life.

11. California Burning: The Fall of Pacific Gas and Electric--and What It Means for America's Power Grid by Katherine Blunt

Most of us have very little idea what happened with the recent wildfires in California beyond a vague “the infrastructure wasn’t maintained.” This is the explainer you’re looking for for the policy wonk in your life. We think every California resident should read it. It’s also a National Bestseller, and the author is a Pulitzer finalist. This is another recommendation that we did in our internal book club!

Editor’s note: If you make a purchase through our affiliate partner links, we may receive a commission. This does not impact the recommendations we make.

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