SDG 13: Climate Action

Did you know that the last decade was the warmest on record? Hot temperatures can cause wildfires that put animals and people in danger. Extreme weather phenomena, like hurricanes and droughts can damage people’s homes and force them to move. In 2018, more than 39 million people all over the world were in danger of losing their homes. That’s a really big number!

The rising temperature of the Earth is called “global warming.” If the Earth’s temperature keeps getting hotter, we will feel the effects of it. For example, global warming will melt the Arctic’s sea ice and cause the sea level to rise. If the sea level continues to rise, many islands and countries will struggle to stay above water and people and animals will lose their homes. To avoid this from happening, all of us must do something to help the Earth.

SDG 13: Climate Action aims to help solve these problems. Since millions of people are in danger of losing their homes, we must take climate action seriously and do what we can to save the environment.

Browse through our new reading list to learn more about the consequences of climate change. Read the books together with your friends or family (or over video chat or physically distanced outdoors) and find fun ways to help save the Earth, one community at a time!

Our new reading list covers many of these topics and we hope the stories will inspire you to think about ways that you can help improve the community that you live in.

The SDG Book Club makes content available in the six official languages of the United Nations – please see our other pages for more recommendations in ArabicChineseFrenchRussian and Spanish.

On the importance of reading

Reading list

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference book cover

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference

There will be many books written about Greta Thunberg, but this one is important as it allows the reader to encounter Greta in her own words. The book collects some of her important speeches, including those given at the UN, the World Economic Forum and climate rallies around the world, and in the process provides the opportunity for young people to read and feel the power of her thinking.

Author: Greta Thunberg | ISBN: 9780141991740| Publisher: Penguin

Big Rain book cover

Big Rain

This book immediately captures young readers’ minds as it tells a story filled with peaks and valleys. The reader will see the implications created when our forests and rivers are not adequately cared for while also gaining imperative knowledge about climate action. Children will learn about the importance of climate action and how they can promote a sustainable environment.

Author and Illustrator: Gayathri Bashi | ISBN: 9789386667632 | Publisher: Tulika Publishers

Animal Village book cover

Animal Village

This book tells a unique story that is authentic to the Zarma culture of West Africa. After reading this book, the reader will have a greater understanding of droughts and the devastation they are responsible for worldwide. This story also provides the reader with an abundance of wisdom that will benefit all those concerned with climate action. Lastly, this book will teach children the importance of hard work, determination, and never giving up when trying to achieve goals.

Author: Nelda LaTeef | ISBN: 9789988647469 | Publisher: Sub-Saharan Publishers, Ghana

Reading is a great way to better understand what people from across the globe struggle with in their everyday lives, and it helps us reflect on our own situation. But reading is just the first step: now it’s time to share your book club experiences and how you plan to take action. Each month, we will feature a couple of book clubs on our blog, so get ready to share your story through social media, by using #SDGBookClub and tagging @UNPublications.

Resources

We know it can be difficult to stay at home to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19. This is why we created a new guide on how to organize your own SDG Book Club online to connect with your friends and family while sharing the joy of reading. We look forward to hearing about your experience on social media using #SDGBookClub.

How to organize your own SDG Book Club ONLINE

Help us spread the word by downloading our promotional materials. You will find a horizontal banner, bookmark, placard and easy-to-print sign-up sheet for your friends, family and community to join the SDG Book Club!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The SDG Book Club aims to use books as a tool to encourage children ages 6-12 to interact with the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a curated reading list ofbooks from around the world related to each of the 17 SDGs in all six official UN languages—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

A selection committee works together to make the final selection for each of the 17 SDGs, in all six official UN languages —Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. The selection committee consists of members from the United Nations, International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Federation of Librarian Associations (IFLA), European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBA), International Authors Forum (IAF), and International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

Fiction, non-fiction, and other genres that our panel thinks will help educate children about SDGs will be considered.

The reading list is meant for children ages 6-12. However, we encourage parents, educators, and everyone who is interested to read the selected books and help children understand the importance of the SDGs.

The reading list will be published during the first week of every month for 17 months, starting with Goal 1: No Poverty in April 2019 and culminating with Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals in September 2020 for the 5th anniversary of the SDGs.

Yes. Sign up on our homepage to get a monthly email on news and updates. Your privacy is important to us so we would never share your information with third parties or spam your inbox.

No. We do not intend to sell or promote the sale of the books featured in the reading list. If you chose to, you can buy the books online, wherever books are sold, or get a copy at your local bookstore or library.

You can post your thoughts and images on social media using the hashtag #SDGBookClub. Please tag/follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, there are book club meetings taking place all over the world. Check back for a link to the list! (Coming soon)

People can host book club meetings around the world and share their photos via #SDGBookClub. If you would like to organize a public book club meeting, we recommend contacting your local book store, library or school and set it up with them. Please share the planned event on social media using #SDGBookClub and we will add it to the list of events.

You can post feedback on our Facebook page or write an email to: publications@un.org.

We sincerely appreciate your interest. However, we are not currently accepting recommendations.

There are actions that you can take beyond just reading the books.

A/ Help your kids to create a poster with a photo or drawing and interesting facts about their favourite character(s) of the book.

B/ Design a reading scavenger hunt for kids using drawings and pictures instead of questions and help them search for things mentioned in the book.

C/ Help your kids write a letter to the local government representative and tell them what you learned in the book and ask them what action(s) they are taking toward a specific Goal.

D/ Organize a parent-child facilitated book discussion for younger kids. Invite your child’s friends and their parents to discuss a book from the reading list at your local library or children’s book store.

E/ Spread the word on social media, using the hashtag #SDGBookClub. We’d love to feature your pictures/videos on our social media.

You can find plenty of Student Resources here. You will find other books aimed at children, as well as the SDG board game. The game aims to help teach children around the world about the Sustainable Development Goals in a child-friendly and straightforward way.

Read to a Child campaign: A global campaign on reading to children to encourage literacy and global citizenship, incorporating the priorities youth and quality education. It is planned to take place in September 2020. More information to come. Please sign up to stay informed.

Organizers

The International Publishers Association (IPA) is a federation of publishing associations from around the world. The main mandate of the IPA is to promote and defend copyright, support the freedom to publish, promote literacy and reading. IPA is an accredited NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN. IPA supports the SDGs and works particularly closely with WIPO and UNESCO.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Founded in 1927 in Edinburgh, Scotland at an international conference, we celebrated our 90th birthday in 2017. We now have more than 1,300 Members in nearly 150 countries around the world. IFLA was registered in the Netherlands in 1971.

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization that represents an international network of people from all over the  world who are committed to bringing books and children together. Today IBBY comprises 79 National Sections worldwide.

The European & International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) represents national booksellers associations in the European Union and beyond. EIBF Members in turn have in membership booksellers of all kinds: brick and mortar bookshops, online bookshops, independents, chains.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) is the most important international trade fair of the children’s publishing industry. With over 50 years of experience, BCBF has succeeded in bringing together a unique and diverse global audience: the result is the world’s premium copyright business hub when it comes to publishing with an extra core that extends to all multi-media content for children.

SDG Book Club Chapters Around the World

Our SDG Book Club is expanding and we are excited to see SDG reading lists for children from around the world. In addition to the SDG Book Club in the UN’s six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) there are now chapters in other languages. Visit the SDG Book Club Chapters listed below.

Africa
Brazil
Indonesia
Norway
Portugal

Coming soon