Environmental Awareness

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Aliens Among Us
Alex Van Tol
Mike Deas
Format: Paperback

Would you be surprised if you came face to face with a Drumming Katydid, Red-eared Slider or Brown Bullhead? Would you know what to do if Dalmatian Toadflax or Giant Hogweed landed in your neighbourhood? Alex Van Tol can help. In Aliens Among Us, she identifies more than 50 species of animals and plants that have invaded British Columbia. With the help of colour photographs and illustrations, she exposes the invaders, explains how they got here and what they’re doing to the environment.

In this first-ever children’s book published by the Royal BC Museum, Van Tol has harvested the knowledge of museum biologists to alert the next generation of responsible environmentalists. Her list of serious invaders includes the colourfully named Purple Loosestrife, Violet Tunicate, Eastern Grey Squirrel and Yellow Perch, species that tend to take over an area and crowd out or destroy native species. She names the creatures that can eat their way through an ecosystem, like Smallmouth Bass, Gypsy Moths and American Bullfrogs, as well as vandals like Norway Rats and European Starlings that cause damage to property. And she points out the species that might do serious harm to humans and other animals, such Rockpool Mosquitoes, Giant Hogweed and Poison Hemlock. Some aliens, like European Wall Lizards and Giant Garden Slugs, haven’t yet posed problems in BC, at least not that we’re aware of – but they still need to be watched. And finally, Van Tol raises the alert on species that haven’t yet arrived but may be coming soon, like Northern Snakeheads, Fence Lizards and Zebra Mussels. This readable and alarmingly informative book will help young people prepare for the invasion, and arm them with the tools to stop the spread of unwanted aliens in British Columbia.

"Chapters include examples within every class of animal and a selection of herbaceous and woody plants found in BC. One chapter discusses three animals (e.g. zebra mussel) not yet in the province, but likely to appear soon. Another chapter looks at native species (e.g. northern raccoon) that can dominate enough to upset ecology. Finally, the author offers a few examples of aliens that have become so familiar (e.g. cattle) that we forget they are not native here. An important feature is the section “You Can Help” which outlines ways to stop the spread of aliens and urges the reporting of sightings. There’s a Glossary of terms, several pages of scientific names and a useful list of sources, both print and web. The book is packed with concise, intriguing details gathered by the BC author, a former teacher who loves to research. It is published by the Royal BC Museum which attests to its relevancy and accuracy." - CM Magazine, 2016

Additional Information
128 pages | 7.50" x 9.00"


Authentic Canadian Content

Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada's Last Great Trees
Harley Rustad
Format: Paperback

How a single tree, and the logger who saved it, have changed the way we see British Columbia’s old-growth forests

On a cool morning in the winter of 2011, a logger named Dennis Cronin was walking through a stand of old-growth forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. His job was to survey the land and flag the boundaries for clear-cutting. As he made his way through the forest, Cronin came across a massive Douglas fir the height of a twenty-storey building. It was one of the largest trees in Canada that if felled and milled could easily fetch more than fifty thousand dollars. Instead of moving on, he reached into his vest pocket for a flagging he rarely used, tore off a strip, and wrapped it around the base of the trunk. Along the length of the ribbon were the words “Leave Tree.”

When the fallers arrived, every wiry cedar, every droopy-topped hemlock, every great fir was cut down and hauled away — all except one. The solitary tree stood quietly in the clear cut until activist and photographer T. J. Watt stumbled upon the Douglas fir while searching for big trees for the Ancient Forest Alliance, an environmental organization fighting to protect British Columbia's dwindling old-growth forests. The single Douglas fir exemplified their cause: the grandeur of these trees juxtaposed with their plight. They gave it a name: Big Lonely Doug. The tree would also eventually, and controversially, be turned into the poster child of the Tall Tree Capital of Canada, attracting thousands of tourists every year and garnering the attention of artists, businesses, and organizations who saw new values encased within its bark.

Originally featured as a long-form article in The Walrus that garnered a National Magazine Award (Silver), Big Lonely Doug weaves the ecology of old-growth forests, the legend of the West Coast’s big trees, the turbulence of the logging industry, the fight for preservation, the contention surrounding ecotourism, First Nations land and resource rights, and the fraught future of these ancient forests around the story of a logger who saved one of Canada's last great trees.

“Having spent time, personally, with Big Lonely Doug, and wandering through the last of our ancient forests in British Columbia, it's never been more clear to me how imperative it is for us as humans to recognize the magnificence of these ancient trees and forests and do everything that we can to preserve them. With less than 1 percent of the original old-growth Douglas-fir stands left on B.C.’s coast, it’s time for Canadians to embrace Big Lonely Doug and his fellow survivors, and keep them standing tall. Harley Rustad’s story brings both the majesty and adversity of Big Lonely Doug a little closer to home.” — Edward Burtynsky 

“You can see the forest for the trees, at least when the trees in question are singular giants like Big Lonely Doug, and the writer deftly directing your gaze is Harley Rustad. This sweeping yet meticulous narrative reveals the complex human longings tangled up in B.C.’s vanishing old-growth forests — cathedrals or commodities, depending on who you ask, and the future hinges on our answer.” — Kate Harris, author of Lands of Lost Borders

“An affecting story of one magnificent survivor tree set against a much larger narrative — the old conflict between logging and the environmental movement, global economics, and the fight to preserve the planet’s most endangered ecosystems. If you love trees and forests, this book is for you.” — Charlotte Gill, author of Eating Dirt

Additional Information
384 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content

Buzz About Bees
Kari-Lynn Winters
Format: Hardcover

Imagine a world without bees. Not only would it be less colorful - with fewer wildflowers and flowering plants - it would be less fruitful as well. A world without bees would mean a world where the food supply would be significantly diminished. Global bee researcher Laurence Packer estimates that bees are responsible for 1/3 of our food supply.

Buzz About Bees offers an in-depth look at an endangered and vital part of the natural world. Accompanying information about the history, social structure and science behind the world of bees and honey are conservation activities to make the world a place where hives of bees can thrive.

"Buzz About Bees is a great overview of all things apiarian. Pick up this book and it engages you with a true/false quiz about what you and your students may or may not know about bees. […] If you can navigate the BEE-wildering array of apiarian puns, this is a great introduction to all things bees." — NSTA

"With punny titles such as 'UnBEE-lievable Body Parts' and 'Let Me BEE: I'm BUZZ-y Working', Buzz About Bees takes an upbeat, yet serious, approach to its topic... Absorbing, cheerful, and easy to read." Recommended. — CM Magazine

Educator Information
Recommended ages: 10-13.

- BEE-ing Worthy of Royal Status
- Take Your Medicine: Drink Your Honey
- Recipe for Soothing a STING-ing Throat

- UnBEE-lievable Body Parts
- Classifying Bee Bodies
- To BEE or Not to BEE

- Social Bees
- Nests or Hives
- BEE-ing the Queen
- Honeybees
- Honey: Liquid Gold
- Keeping BUZZ-y

Chapter 4: BEE-ING ALONE
- BEE-autiful Homes
- Living BEE-side Each Other
- BEE-fore I Leave You
- Getting BEE-gger: Life Cycle of a Bee

- Bee Mobility
- Invasive Pests
- Killer Bees
- Leave Me BEE Game
- The BEE’s Knees
- BEE a Researcher
- Let Me BEE: I’m BUZZ-y Working
- BEE-ing a Beekeeper
- A SWEET Life

- BEE-hind the Eight Ball
- BEE-coming Extinct
- What’s the BUZZ?
- BEE the Change the World Needs

Further Reading
Photo Credits

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 10.00" | colour photographs, colour illustrations, index, glossary, further reading

Authentic Canadian Content

Environmentalists from our First Nations
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Like the other books in the First Nations Series for Young Readers, this books offers ten short and engaging biographies of First Nations/Native activists who advocate not only for the environment but for Native rights. Their stories are full of highs and lows, triumphs and setbacks. Environmental trailblazers, these men and women are role models for children everywhere.

The men and women profiled here are united by their work to protect the environment and to support indigenous rights. Their stories take us from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to the Black Mesa in Arizona.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo uses her passion to stop oil extraction in Alberta’s tar sands.
Winona LaDuke is a voice for reclaiming Native lands, advocating renewable energy resources, and protecting Native cultures.
Clayton Thomas-Muller is a dynamic advocate for indigenous self-determination and campaigner against tar sands extraction.
Ben Powless brings his youthful energy and skills to addressing climate change issues.
Tom Goldtooth protects sacred sites and organizes global direct-action campaigns for the environment.
Grace Thorpe is a grandmother who dedicated her retirement years to keeping Native reservations from becoming nuclear waste dumps.
Sarah James is a voice from northern Alaska defending the Porcupine caribou herd and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Enei Begaye & Evon Peter are married activists who work as a team on environmental issues and sustainable strategies for Native people.
Klee Benally uses the media to empower Native communities in their fight for environmental justice.
Teague Allston works to ensure a tribal voice is heard in Washington DC.

"These short biographies of environmentalists are sure to engage a whole classroom of readers. From the focus on a particular environmental crisis, to a description of each person's native heritage, to the writing style and level, the stories are accessible to readers young and old."— Canadian Teacher Magazine, March 2012

Series Information
This book is part of the First Nations Series for Young Readers. Each book is a collection of ten biographies of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women and men who are leaders in their fields of work, in their art, and in their communities. For ages 9-13.

Additional Information
128 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Indigenous Text

Everyday Exposure: Indigenous Mobilization and Environmental Justice in Canada's Chemical Valley
Sarah Marie Wiebe
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

Surrounded by Canada’s densest concentration of chemical manufacturing plants, members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation express concern about a declining male birth rate and high incidences of miscarriage, asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular illness. Everyday Exposure uncovers the systemic injustices they face as they fight for environmental justice. Exploring the problems that conflicting levels of jurisdiction pose for the creation of effective policy, analyzing clashes between Indigenous and scientific knowledge, and documenting the experiences of Aamjiwnaang residents as they navigate their toxic environment, this book argues that social and political change requires a transformative “sensing policy” approach, one that takes the voices of Indigenous citizens seriously.

Educator Information
This book would be useful for courses in Environmental Studies, Science, Social Justice, and Social Studies.

Additional Information
280 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" 


Authentic Canadian Content

Falcons in the City: The Story of a Peregrine Family
Chris Earley
Luke Massey
Format: Paperback

What happens when a peregrine falcon chooses to lay its eggs high atop a Chicago condominium balcony? Here is the story of a family of wild birds that moves into a cramped urban home and decides to settle in among towers filled with people and noise. The birds' new human neighbours are quick to try and evict, but it turns out that the falcons have rights too and the law is on their side.

This amusing true-life story looks at the issues related to urban wildlife and how urban dwellers co-exist with an ever-increasing wildlife population that finds ingenious -- and sometimes devious -- ways to move into our homes and cities, often without notice.

Illustrated with photographs documenting the early life of a peregrine falcon family that grows from eggs to full-fledged birds in the flower box of a curious apartment-dweller, this book also explores the natural history of this majestic bird species.

"This is the story of a peregrine falcon family that moves into a cramped urban home amongst towers teeming with people. This photographic study explores urban wildlife and how city dwellers co-exist with an ever-increasing wildlife population that finds ingenious--and devious--ways to move into our homes and cities."  — The Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books f, March 2017

"Well designed spreads provide details on identification, courtship, nest defense, hunting, feeding, banding, fledging, and scientific research. This is a highly recommended title that would make an excellent addition to any school library. Many students will read the book for the pure pleasure of the interesting tale and evocative pictures. The information will inspire some to learn more about this fascinating species. Others will use it as a handy research source." — Helen Mason, Resource Links, December 2016

Additional Information
48 pages | 9.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content

Strong Hearts, Native Lands
Anna J. Willow
Format: Paperback
In December 2002 members of the Grassy Narrows First Nation blocked a logging road to impede the movement of timber industry trucks and equipment within their traditional territory. The Grassy Narrows blockade went on to become the longest-standing protest of its type in Canadian history. The story of the blockade is a story of convergences. It takes place where cultural, political, and environmental dimensions of Indigenous activism intersect; where history combines with current challenges and future aspirations to inspire direct action. In Strong Hearts, Native Lands, Anna J. Willow demonstrates that Indigenous people? decisions to take environmentally protective action cannot be understood apart from political or cultural concerns. By recounting how and why one Anishinaabe community was able to take a stand against the industrial logging that threatens their land-based subsistence and way of life, Willow offers a more complex ?nd more constructive?understanding of human-environment relationships. Grassy Narrows activists have long been part of a network of supporters that extends across North America and beyond. This book shows how the blockade realized those connections, making this community? efforts a model and inspiration for other Indigenous groups, environmentalists, and social justice advocates.

The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway
Arno Kopecky
Format: Paperback
Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Banff Mountain Book Award and winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction.

With Enbridge Inc.'s Northern Gateway proposal nearing approval, supertankers loaded with two million barrels of bitumen each may soon join herring, humpbacks and salmon on their annual migration through the tumultuous waters off British Columbia's Central Coast -- a place no oil tanker has been before. The contentious project has aroused intense opposition, pitting local First Nations, a majority of British Columbia's urban population, and environmental groups across the country against an international consortium led by Enbridge and backed by a federal government determined to make Canada an "energy superpower."

Arno Kopecky sails into the controversy aboard a forty-one-foot cutter for a closer look at a legendary region with a knife at its throat. Without any prior sailing experience, Kopecky and his sailing companion -- photographer Ilja Herb -- struggle to keep afloat as they make their way through a volatile labyrinth of fjords, inlets, and evergreen islands known as the Great Bear Rainforest. This amphibious ecosystem is among the last great wildernesses on earth, housing a quarter of the world's temperate rainforest and a thriving ocean environment that together host forty per cent more biomass per hectare than the Amazon. But as Kopecky soon discovers, the politics of Big Oil and First Nations can be every bit as treacherous to navigate as the shifting currents and hidden reefs for which the Northern Gateway tanker route is known.

In this rich evocation of ecology, culture, and history, Kopecky meditates on the line between impartial reportage and environmental activism, ultimately arguing that there are some places oil tankers should never go.

Caution: Includes some profanity and use of marijuana.

The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest
Format: Paperback

Fashioned by the violent volcanism of the Pacific Rim of Fire, plate tectonics, and the sculptural magic wrought by Ice Age glaciers, the Salish Sea straddles the western border between Canada and the United States and is connected to the Pacific Ocean primarily through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This fascinating visual journey through the Salish Sea combines a scientist’s inquiring mind, beautiful photographs, and a lively narrative of fascinating stories, all of which impart a sense of connection with this intricate marine ecosystem and the life that it sustains.

"Finally, a book that captures and celebrates the Northwest's inland sea! For those of us who've been trying to explain these American and Canadian waters for years, we can now simply hand people a book about the entire wonderland without all the clutter and confusion over borders and names. Instead of bemoaning what's been lost, these dazzling photos and earnest words showcase what remains." — Jim Lynch, author of The Highest Tide

"Writer-scientists Audrey Benedict and Joseph Gaydos blend education with art and persuasion, describing the Sea’s geology, ecology and history and documenting its extraordinary biodiversity. Dozens of gorgeous color photographs reveal its intricate beauty, and the book ends with a ringing call to action and a vision for protecting the region." —High Country News

"Through maps, charts, satellite imagery, nature photography and writing, Benedict and Gaydos concoct an engaging presentation of the natural history of our 'jewel of the Pacific Northwest.' Their mantra of 'know, connect, protect and restore' is a hopeful way forward in to a challenging future." —Cascadia Weekly

"The Salish Sea is a feast for the eyes, a high-quality publishing effort rich in glossy colour photos and fascinating biological information that is likely to surprise even someone well-versed in our marine waters... The Salish Sea does a remarkable job of showcasing the ecological depth and diversity of our marine environment, providing not just knowledge but fueling a collective impetus to preserve it." —The Vancouver Sun

"...the book’s inclusion of nearly 200 color images from more than four dozen photographers... enhance and inform the text more eloquently than I can describe – they are stunning illustrations of the magical place we call home." —The Bellingham Herald

"A new nature book, The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest, includes ample photography of killer whales, ravens, and salmon—the region’s totem species. But it also reveals many of the other, less-well-known animals that are lucky enough to call this beautiful part of the world home." —TakePart

Additional Information
160 pages | 10.90" x 8.50"


The Winona LaDuke Chronicles: Stories from the Front Lines in the Battle for Environmental Justice
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Chronicles is a major work, a collection of current, pressing and inspirational stories of Indigenous communities from the Canadian subarctic to the heart of Dine Bii Kaya, Navajo Nation. Chronicles is a book literally risen from the ashes—beginning in 2008 after her home burned to the ground—and collectively is an accounting of Winona’s personal path of recovery, finding strength and resilience in the writing itself as well as in her work. Long awaited, Chronicles is a labour of love, a tribute to those who have passed on and those yet to arrive.

“Winona LaDuke’s latest book reads like a prayer. These are holy words— inspirational stories taken straight from the heart of indigenous communities throughout the world…(Chronicles) is lyrical, instructional, and infused with wry humor when the weight of the message becomes unbearable…LaDuke provides a roadmap through tribal nations’ belief systems; offering a spiritual compass and invaluable insight into the relationship of prophesy to the realities of climate change, economic collapse, food scarcity and basic human rights.” — Huffington Post

Educator Information
Recommended for students in grades 9 - 12, as well as those at a college/university level, for courses in science, environmental science, and social justice.

Additional Information
310 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"


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