5 brilliant books about eco-warriors: 'You're never too young to make a difference'

Published on: 11 April 2018 Author: Jaco Jacobs

We're thrilled that our In Other Words 2017 title A Good Day for Climbing Trees has now been published in English - it's a fantastic read about some young people determined to save a tree from being chopped down.

Jaco Jacobs and A Good Day for Climbing Trees

Author Jaco Jacobs has now picked out some other brilliant stories about young eco-warriors, so read on and get inspired...

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (Yearling Books)


This funny, action-packed story is a wonderful read (plus, it features a bunch of alligators hidden in portable toilets, which is always a bonus).

Roy moves to a new town and makes friends with a boy called Mullet Fingers. Together, the two try to save a colony of burrowing owls whose habitat is being threatened by the opening of a new pancake restaurant franchise.

Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French (Amulet)

Operation Redwood

One day, Julian snoops around on his rich business tycoon uncle's computer and discovers that his company is planning to cut down some of the oldest redwood trees in California to make way for a new housing development.

Julian makes new friends and they team up to try to stop the greedy developers from killing the trees. An inspiring story that shows you're never too young to make a difference.

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Charles Santoso (Feiwel and Friends)


This charming, unusual story is told by Red, the old neighbourhood 'wishtree' who also plays host to some interesting animal characters. When a girl called Samar and her Muslim family move into the neigbourhood, they're not welcomed by everyone.

Red and his animal friends come up with a clever plan to help Samar make friends - but who will save Red when his own survival is at stake?

Erica's Elephant by Sylvia Bishop, illustrated by Ashley King (Scholastic)

Erica's Elephant

One morning, Erica wakes up to find an elephant on her doorstep. There's also a postcard from her uncle, explaining that the elephant is her birthday present. Erica soon finds out that having an elephant living in your house presents some rather BIG problems.

But to make matters worse, an evil zookeeper is determined to get his hands on the elephant – and Erica and an unexpected ally have to come to the rescue. This charming story is full of weird characters and wacky fun, but also contains an important message about animals in captivity.

The White Giraffe by Lauren St John, illustrated by David Dean (Orion Children's Books)

The White Giraffe

After Martine's parents die in a fire, she has to leave London to go and stay with her grandmother on a game reserve in South Africa.

Upon her arrival, she learns about a mysterious white giraffe that is rumoured to live on the reserve, and a strange legend surrounding it. Soon Martine discovers that the giraffe is real – and she has to fight to save the animal from poachers.

Who is your favourite eco-warrior in children's books? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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A Good Day For Climbing Trees

Author: Jaco Jacobs Illustrator: Jim Tierney Translator: Kobus Geldenhuys from Afrikaans

Thirteen-year-old Marnus finds himself at the centre of a protest when he and a girl named Leila camp out in a tree to prevent it from being cut down by developers. This is the perfect feel-good book from one of South Africa’s top children’s authors.

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