A sampling of recent New York Times headlines turns up articles on nail salons and toxic chemicals, melting glaciers, South Korea's "green growth" plans, the cost of renewable energy, and even questions about whether reusable grocery bags are environmentally sound. It's no wonder green topics are ubiquitous in publishing, says Rodale editorial director Karen Rinaldi. "The big issues of our time are environmental degradation and how we can reverse it. People are looking for guidance." And publishers are proving more than willing to provide it, with offerings that range from green cookbooks and interior design manuals to scientific treatises and children's titles. We spoke with four industry players and compiled an annotated listing of new books, from now through May 2011, for grownups and youngsters.

Rodale: Taking a Holistic Approach

Visitors to Rodale's Web site will notice a sprouting plant logo paired with the words "Where Health Meets Green"—a sentiment that's a natural fit with the company behind a host of wellness titles and such magazines as Prevention and Men's (and Women's) Health. Publishing director Karen Rinaldi says that the sentiment is more than just a slogan: "The health of the planet and the health of the self are connected. Our books—the lens to look at the Rodale list—are all about this."

Rinaldi explains that environmental issues are so overarching they touch every part of what the publisher does. "We kept putting the green category up on our board, and kept taking it down," says Rinaldi. "Because there are elements of it in everything—diet, farming, health, politics. Everything. It's not a category." She points to books like Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet, which performed very well for the publisher, as an example of a title that could have been marketed as "green." Instead, the publisher chose to let the author's "passionate, relevant point of view" be the focus.

New Society: Providing Tools for Troubled Times

For more than 20 years New Society Publishers has focused on giving activists the books they need to pursue social and environmental change. Copublisher Judith Plant says that the past decade has only seen that activist community grow. "We provide tools to activists and to engage activists in solutions," says Plant. "There is a growing audience for radical books."

New Society relies on its connections to decide what to publish, attending many activist events and soliciting proposals to identify emerging topics. "We tend to be on the cutting edge. Our backlist sells well because a book is often ahead of its time," says Plant. The publisher takes its values seriously. It has used 100% postconsumer recycled paper and printed with vegetable-based, low VOC inks since 2001, and in 2005 made a commitment to become carbon neutral through annual offset investments.

Candlewick: Recognizing Kids Care

At children's publisher Candlewick the number of green submissions has noticeably increased. Editor Andrea Tompa says, "Definitely, we've seen more books in this category coming across our desks. We're all really aware of environmental issues and are eager to publish books that tackle them." She sees books on subjects like climate change and endangered species as a perfect fit for the children's market: "Kids really care about animals, the earth, and nature."

And the response to Candlewick's previously published green titles demonstrates a strong demand, says Tompa. Melanie Walsh's 2008 picture book, 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World, has 45,000 copies in print in the U.S. and Canada, and 2002's Judy Moody Saves the World from Megan McDonald's popular series now has two million copies in print. While the category will always have plenty of nonfiction, Tompa believes fiction—like Judy Moody, or Abby McDonald's 2010 YA novel Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots—that deals with related topics will become more common. Says Tompa, "The earlier you can start thinking about the environment and not taking it for granted, the better. Kids can get into the habit of doing simple things that help."

HarperCollins Children's Books: Helping Kids Learn

Titles that tackle environmental and sustainability issues have become increasingly common at HarperCollins Children's Books, and editorial director Phoebe Yeh says that trend will only continue. "This is here to stay, because the problem is not going away," says Yeh. "You're going to see more of these books and in different ways."

Yeh notes that several different editors acquired the green offerings on Harper's list, showing a high level of interest within the house. And whole families share that interest, she says. "Parents and kids are really supporting books on these topics. Kids are learning from a young age to think about their world and how they have to take care of our planet. They want to know what they can do."

Yeh believes there will be more novels aimed at older readers in the future, but emphasizes that books must be targeted to the appropriate audience. "If you're four, what you can understand about science is different than what a nine-year-old can understand," says Yeh. "The kids deserve the books they need."

Green Books—Adult


Green Interior Design (Nov., $24.95 trade paper) by Lori Dennis. A manual for homeowners, interior designers, architects and contractors to achieve "glamorously green interiors" in a cost-effective way.


Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet (Nov., $16.95) by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin. A spiritual case for environmentalism drawing from the teachings of the Qur'an, written by an environmental policy adviser in the New York City mayor's office.

Nicholas Brealey

The Green Scorecard: Measuring the Return on Investment in Sustainability Initiatives (Oct., $29.95) by Patricia Pulliam Phillips and Jack J. Phillips. Return-on-investment experts provide companies with a method for deciding when and how to undertake green initiatives (or not).

Broadway Books

The Earth's Last Wilderness: A Quest to Save Antarctica (Dec., $14.95) by Robert Swan with Gil Reavill offers many steps to avoid environmental calamity. (The book was originally published as Antarctica 2041—the year when the international treaty protecting Antarctica is up for review.)


Your New Green Home and How to Take Care of It (Jan., $39.95) and Green Models for Site Development (Jan., $19.95). More resources from the publishing arm of the National Association of Home Builders, which has previously published the National Green Building Standard and Build Green and Save.


Farm Together Now: A Portrait of People, Places, and Ideas for a New Food Movement (Dec., $27.50) by Amy Franceschini and Daniel Tucker examines the state of grassroots farming. The publisher says the mix of oral history, political treatise, and travelogue is designed to "inspire and cultivate a new wave of modern agriculture."

A Force for Nature (Aug., $24.95) by John H. Adams and Patricia Adams, with George Black. An "inspiring memoir" about the founding and development of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

City Lights

Green Is the New Red: The Journey from Activist to "Eco-Terrorist" (Apr., $16.95) by Will Potter. The author takes a look at whether a "Green Scare" has emerged, and details political and legal strategies used to target environmental and animal rights activists.

Conari Press

Like a Tree: How Trees, Women, and Tree People Can Save the Planet (Apr., $23.95) by Jean Shinoda Bolen. A call to action for "tree people" everywhere, on saving forests and valuing trees. The publisher will donate a tree for every copy sold.

The Next Eco Warriors: 22 Young Women and Men Who Are Saving the Planet (Apr., $19.95), edited by Emily Hunter. The daughter of Greenpeace cofounders Robert and Bobbi Hunter profiles workers in today's green revolution.


Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North (Jan., $26) by Nancy Lord profiles the amplified effects of global warming on communities in the North, and how their inhabitants are responding to immediate threats due to changes in climate.

Da Capo

Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology (Apr., $27.50) by Alexis Madrigal explores the quest for clean energy in America, providing a historical perspective and hope for the future.

Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis (Apr., $26) by Sandra Steingraber blends science and memoir in considering the task of raising children in a "toxic, climate-threatened world."

Thomas Dunne Books

The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century (Oct., $25.99) by Dickson Despommier explains the revolutionary concept of vertical farming, which could help address such issues as water scarcity, pollution, and carbon emission.

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Aerotropolis: The Way We'll Live Next (Mar., $28) by John D. Kasarda and Greg Lindsay examines the development of a new urban form, the "aerotropolis," made up of businesses and transportation corridors around airports.

Free Press

The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health—and a Vision for Change (Feb., $26) by Annie Leonard. The creator of the eponymous film that became an Internet sensation, Leonard argues that the "accumulation of stuff" has negative impacts on our lives.


Force of Nature: How Wal-Mart Started a Green Business Revolution and Why It Might Save the World (May, $27.99) by Edward Humes. From the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author comes an analysis of how Wal-Mart may hold the solutions to the environmental crisis.

Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World (Nov., $29.99) by Charles, HRH the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles describes his views on climate change for the first time, proposing that the solution lies in our ability to regain balance with nature.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth (Jan., $25) by Mark Hertsgaard. After covering global warming for publications including the New Yorker, Time, and Vanity Fair for 20 years, the author scrutinizes the coming decades. Promotion will include a 10-city author tour.

The Great White Bear: A Natural and Unnatural History of the Polar Bear (Jan., $26) by Kieran Mulvaney. This history of the polar bear includes the impact of climate change.


The Nature of College: How a New Understanding of Campus Life Can Change the World (Dec., $16 ) by James J. Farrell considers the ecological fallout of action and inaction on American college campuses.

New World Library

Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream (May, $14.95) by William Powers. Called by the publisher "Walden for the global warming era," Powers's book details how he took up residence in a 144-square-foot cabin.

New Society Publishers

Choosing a Sustainable Future (Nov., $19.95) by Liz Walker provides ideas and inspiration from Ithaca, N.Y., on creating more sustainable communities.

Eco-yards: Simple Steps to Earth-Friendly Landscapes (Mar., $19.95) by Laureen Rama offers practical advice for developing urban yards that help restore the natural ecosystem.

Clarkson Potter

Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning and Greening the World You Care About Most (Dec., $19.99) by Jeffrey Hollender with Alexandra Zissu provides "an indispensable reference" for maintaining a home that's healthier for the planet.


Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them (Apr., $29.99) by Ted Danson. The actor and longtime environmentalist details the need for action.

Tomorrow's Garden: Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening (Feb., $24.99) by Stephen Orr looks at responsible gardens in 14 American cities.

Satya House

Peak of the Devil: 100 Questions (and Answers) About Peak Oil (Oct., $14.95) by Chip Haynes breaks down a complex topic and provides readers with guidance on what they can do.

Skyhorse Publishing

Growing a Garden City (Oct., $24.95) by Jeremy N. Smith. Using his Missoula, Mont., hometown as a case study, Smith explains how such problems as poverty and obesity can be solved with a community-based agriculture program.


Homemade Living: Home Dairy and Homemade Living: Keeping Bees (Mar., $19.95 each) by Ashley English teaches how to make cheese, yogurt, butter, etc., and how to undertake beekeeping.

St. Martin's

Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist (Mar., $15.99) by Ray C. Anderson. The personal story of how CEO Anderson made his business more profitable through environmental sustainability.

The New Normal: An Agenda for Responsible Living (Jan., $14.99) by David Wann. The author of Simple Prosperity challenges readers to change their lifestyles.


Trash-to-Treasure Papermaking: Make Your Own Recycled Paper from Newspapers & Magazines, Can & Bottle Labels, Discarded Gift Wrap, Old Phone Books, Junk Mail, Comic Books, and More (Mar., $16.95) by Arnold E. Grummer.

Thames & Hudson

New Natural Home (Apr., $35) by Dominic Bradbury and Richard Powers provides design inspiration for building homes and inhabiting them in a sustainable way.


Trash Origami (Nov., $19.95) by Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander illustrates how to turn trash into usable, unique gifts.

Green Books—Children's


Can We Save the Tiger? (Feb., $16.99) by Martin Jenkins, illus. by Vicky White. The team behind the award-winning Ape highlights the ways human behavior can threaten—or help save—"the amazing animals that share our planet."

How the Weather Works (Feb., $17.99) by Christiane Dorion, illus. by Beverley Young. This interactive book helps children understand how humans can influence the Earth's climate.


The Secret World of Whales (May, $16.99) by Charles Siebert. Siebert takes readers "deep into the history of human encounters with whales."

FSG Books for Young Readers

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World (Mar., $16.99) by Allan Drummond. This nonfiction picture book brings kids on a journey to the Danish island of Samso, where the environmentally savvy inhabitants have become nearly energy independent.

HarperCollins Children's Books

Ants in Your Pants, Worms in Your Plants! (Feb., $16.99) by Diane deGroat. Gilbert the opossum goes green in a picture book that celebrates Earth Day.

Harmony Children's Edition (Nov., $16.99) by Charles, HRH the Prince of Wales, adapts Prince Charles's book about the environment into a picture book.

Sid the Science Kid: Earth Day Fun (Feb., $3.99) by Jennifer Frantz. The popular children's TV character learns about soil in observance of Earth Day.

Holiday House

Roscoe and the Pelican Rescue (Mar., $14.95) by Lynn Rowe Reed. Tony must save an oil-covered pelican while vacationing on the Louisiana coast.

Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Arthur Turns Green (Apr., $16.99) by Marc Brown. The first new Arthur Adventure in nearly a decade finds Arthur so devoted to the environment he might be turning green. Printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks, the story offers tips for kids on how they can follow suit.


Not Your Typical Book About the Environment (Mar., $10.95) by Elin Kelsey, illus. by Clayton Hanmer, aims to allay the fears and "eco-anxiety" of middle-grade readers by focusing on positive developments in technology.

Random House

Eco People on the Go! and The Little Composter (Mar., $6.99 each) by Jan Gerardi. These new board books help toddlers learn about green issues and nature.


Good Growing: A Kid's Guide to Gardening Green (Mar., $16.95 paper) by the editors of Klutz. With two "Super Sprouter" kid-friendly hydroponic growing systems included, children will be gardening—and gardening green—in no time.

Oil Spill Disaster (Sept., $5.99). Published several months after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this book helps readers understand not just the event but where oil comes from, energy use, and relief efforts.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge (Mar., $16.99) by Joanna Cole, illus. by Bruce Degen. The latest installment tackles today's hottest topic in its trademark style, helping kids understand that they "can help solve the crisis of global warming."

Sourcebooks Fire

The Water Wars (Jan., $16.99) by Cameron Stracher. This debut YA novel is set in a dystopian world plagued by water shortages.


Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun (Apr., $16.95 paper; $26.95 hardcover) by Michael Caduto. Offers 22 easy science projects that teach children about renewable resources.


World Without Fish (Apr., $16.95) by Mark Kurlansky, illus. by Frank Stockton. The author of Salt turns his attention to a younger audience, detailing the threat posed by overfishing.