Green YAL
April 22, 2010 12:17 PM   Subscribe

YAL with an environmentalist twist.

A student of mine is looking for novels and short stories that have environmentalist themes suitable for 7-8th graders. Pieces can include but do not need to be limited to environmentalist protagonists, protagonists who live in polluted areas (and the effect this as on characters, etc), characters demonstrating the benefits of working in coordination with the natural world and environment...she had plans to use another piece which was not YA, but this has fallen through. She wants to use segments of Wall-E and the whole of the Lorax as supporting pieces (multimodal text juxtaposition; ELL and struggling readers), but she is a bit stuck at this point. We have some ideas but they aren't really hitting the mark.
All help is appreciated! Thanks!
posted by oflinkey to Education (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

You might consider Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. It's super-fun and age-appropriate, and it's about the new society that develops after humans destroy the world the first time around by using up all the oil.
posted by brina at 1:01 PM on April 22, 2010

As a YA, I really enjoyed The Maze by Will Hobbs.

"...Hobbs tells the story of Rick Walker, an angry young runaway escaping foster homes and detention centers. Rick takes refuge in the wilderness camp of an eccentric naturalist, Lon Peregrino, who teaches the teen rebel how to care for the California condors under his care. Rick's daring and initiative grow under Lon's guidance as he masters driving a truck over hair-raising mountain roads and hovering over the maze of canyons on the wings of a hang-glider. But is his newfound manhood enough to confront the forces that want the condors dead? ..."

Though, years later, just about the only thing I remember about it is thinking that condors are so awesome.
posted by Silly Ashles at 1:05 PM on April 22, 2010

Ecotopia? Not really YAL, and perhaps a little salacious for this age group, depending on the school and community, but definitely a landmark book in its day.
posted by mdonley at 1:11 PM on April 22, 2010

Gypsyworld. I was obsessed with that book at exactly that age. Also the Green Sky trilogy.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:01 PM on April 22, 2010

Best answer: Flush, by Carl Hiaasen. Short, funny, characters are, if I recall correctly, about the right age.
posted by eleanna at 4:29 PM on April 22, 2010

Best answer: Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.
posted by BundleOfHers at 5:46 PM on April 22, 2010

Seconding Hoot and Flush. The level should be perfect for 7th-8th grade, and they even made a movie out of Hoot, so your friend could use snippets of that too.

If I remember right, The City of Ember is a bit of a stretch, but has some of that "the world is ending, save the environment" attitude to it, and would probably be in the 6th-7th grade range.
posted by JannaK at 8:32 PM on April 22, 2010

Zodiac by Neal Stephenson.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:46 AM on April 26, 2010

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