5 books that will make you want to save the world
Published on: 05 May 2019 Author: Bren MacDibble
The Dog Runner is a wonderful new novel from author Bren MacDibble, set in an Australia where all the grass (and so lots of the food) has been wiped out by a devastating fungus. Can Ella and her brother Emery survive and get to safety?
The book's ecological themes have never felt more timely, so we asked Bren to choose five other titles that will make you passionate about protecting our world...
Illustration: Jo Hunt
1. The Lorax by Dr Seuss
The Lorax follows what happens when the sawmill moves in on the beautiful tufty Truffula trees and takes them without a thought for the poor ecosystem, all to make some ridiculous consumer product that doesn't seem important at all compared to that beautiful lost habitat.
If you're familiar with the war on plastic, this simple story once again resonates with all the ridiculous products that end up polluting our world.
2. Window by Jeannie Baker
This is a completely gorgeous wordless picture book with a circular and continuous storyline of wilderness turned into housing and cities. Initially, it seems like a lovely family story about the growth of a boy - and to a large extent it is. But as the world changes outside the window, it becomes a much bigger story about urban spread into the surrounding wilderness.
3. Under the Weather: Stories about Climate Change edited by Tony Bradman
This is a collection of short stories showing the lives of people in many different countries dealing with different elements of climate change. It will get young people thinking and talking, and the short story form makes it easy to digest.
4. 10 Futures by Michael Pryor
This is again a book of short stories, but this one features the same two best friend characters in ten different future scenarios. Some take place after environmental changes, some feature societal overhauls... all are interesting and thought-provoking.
5. Divergent by Veronica Roth
This wonderful science fiction thriller for older readers is essentially set in a ruined and walled-off future city. How did it get that way? What lies beyond those walls? And why so many rules?
I think young people take some comfort in seeing other young people surviving in ruined futures, even if environmental lessons take a back seat to the action. I think by the time young people reach their teens these days, they don't need writers to explain exactly how a future landscape got so ruined. Sadly, they can guess quite well.
The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble is published on 2 May by Old Barn Books for readers age 9+.