by E. B. White
Ages: 8 – 11
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.
Issues Covered: Farm Animals, Human/Animal Bond, Respect for All
Do Animals Have Feelings Too?
by David L. Rice
Ages: 8 – 12
This collection of true stories of animal behavior is not only captivating and thought-provoking, but also a terrific way for teachers and parents to have children to consider feelings–whether animal or human. A young antelope was being dragged into a river by a crocodile. A nearby hippopotamus saw what was happening and charged the croc, which released the antelope. The hippo gently pulled the antelope up the riverbank, comforting and protecting it until it died. Was this compassion? A zoo monkey routinely used a banana to bribe a moose to carry him across a moat designed to keep him confined to a small island. Was this cleverness?
Issues Covered: Animal Emotions
by Marshall Saunders
Ages: 8 – 12
The fictionalized story, which the author relocates to a small town in Maine, recounts numerous adventures of Joe and the other animals and people in and around the “Morris” household and the little barn and barnyard that serves as a playground for children and a home for a variety of animals. Above all, “Beautiful Joe” is a call for an end to cruelty to animals, a message which it delivers effectively in the course of a story enjoyed and loved by generations of readers young and old.
Issues Covered: Animal Cruelty, Activism
Claude and Medea: The Hellburn Dogs
by Zoe Weil
Ages 9 – 13
Claude and Medea aren’t expecting an odd substitute teacher to change their lives. Nor are they anticipating the dangerous adventure in store for them. They seem like normal kids. But are they? Claude has famous parents and sticks to the rules. Medea’s got a scholarship to a fancy private school and can’t get in trouble. How is it that they are thrown together, trying to outsmart Manhattan criminals? And why do they care so much about the weird Ms. Rattlebee? Find out what makes this unlikely pair begin to view the world differently, and to risk everything.
Issues Covered: Activism, Animal Testing, Respect for All
by Lynne Kelly
Ages: 10 – 14
After ten-year-old Hastin’s family borrows money to pay for his sister’s hospital bill, he leaves his village in northern India to take a job as an elephant keeper and work off the debt. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and hurt with a hook until she learns tricks perfectly. Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can, knowing that the only way they will both survive is if he can find a way for them to escape.
Issues Covered: Child Labor, Slavery, Captive Animals, Animal Abuse, Endangered Species
by Anne Sewall, Retold by Quinn Currie
Ages 10 – 14
Perhaps the most celebrated animal story of the nineteenth century, Black Beauty is the suspenseful and deeply moving account of a horse’s experiences at the hands of many owners―some, sensitive riders who treated him gently; others, cruel drivers who thoughtlessly inflicted lasting damage. Written as the animal’s autobiography, and as an appeal for the humane treatment of horses, Anna Sewell’s beloved classic reveals as much about human conduct and the social ills of the time as it does about the treatment of animals.
Issues Covered: Animal Abuse, Animal Emotions, Human/Animal Bond
Chew On This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food
by Charles Wilson and Eric Schlosser
Ages: 12 and up
In the New York Times bestseller Chew on This, Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson unwrap the fast-food industry to bring you a behind-the-scenes look at a business that both feeds and feeds off the young. Find out what really goes on at your favorite restaurants—and what lurks between those sesame seed buns. Praised for being accessible, honest, humorous, fascinating, and alarming, Chew On This was also repeatedly referred to as a must-read for kids who regularly eat fast food. Having all the facts about fast food helps young people make healthy decisions about what they eat. Chew On This shows them that they can change the world by changing what they eat.
Issues Covered: Public Health, Farm Animals
by Elliot Schrefer
Ages: 12 and up
When Sophie has to visit her mother at her sanctuary for bonobos, she’s not thrilled to be there. Then Otto, an infant bonobo, comes into her life, and for the first time she feels responsible for another creature. But peace does not last long for Sophie and Otto. When an armed revolution breaks out in the country, the sanctuary is attacked, and the two of them must escape unprepared into the jungle. Caught in the crosshairs of a lethal conflict, they must struggle to keep safe, to eat, and to live.
Issues Covered: War, Genocide, Endangered Species
Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals
by Sharon Lee Hart
Ages: 12 and up
A book of dignified black-and-white portraits of rescued farm animals, accompanied by handwritten stories by sanctuary workers.
Issues Covered: Farm Animals
Earth Heroes: Champions of Wildlife
by Carol L. Mainor and Bruce Mainor
Ages: 12 and up
This third and final volume of the Earth Heroes books features the youth and careers of eight of the world s greatest environmentalists who championed the protection of wildlife. It includes the historic and contemporary figures of William Hornaday (saved the bison from extinction), Ding Darling (A Duck s Best Friend), Rachel Carson (author of Silent Spring), Roger Tory Peterson (Inventor of the Modern Field Guide), R.D. Lawrence (Storyteller for Wolves), E.O. Wilson (Lord of the Ants), Jane Goodall (Champion for Chimps), and Ian and Saba Douglas-Hamilton (Saving the Elephants). This highly readable volume with illustrations and photographs calls attention to the waves of influence that spread from the ideas and actions of these heroes for the Earth.
Issues Covered: Wildlife, Endangered Species