Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Natural Wonders

A North American Rain Forest Scrapbook - (ISBN: 978-0802776518)

by Virginia Wright-Frierson

A rainforest in the United States? That’s right. The state of Washington has such a temperate climate that a naturalist does a walking tour of one of its parks, Olympic National. Come along for the beautifully illustrated views of its flora and fauna and the explanation of how rainforests are formed.

Back Water - (ISBN: 978-0142404348)

by Joan Bauer

Teen Ivy Breedlove sets out to find an aunt who disappeared years before. She wants her aunt to be included in an upcoming genealogical publication of Ivy’s tenuous and dysfunctional family. Ivy’s travels into a mountain wilderness teach her both about the challenges of nature and about how to secure her own identity within the family. Have you ever attempted a physical challenge only to find its results were more than physical?

Black Star, Bright Dawn - (ISBN: 978-0547053196)

by Scott O’Dell

A famous Iditarod driver’s daughter takes over the sled when her father is injured. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery and cold weather challenges of this 1200-mile Alaskan dog sled race. The natural hardships and triumphs are balanced by the girl’s relationship with the dogs and her admiration for her father. Are you an armchair adventurer, or could you see yourself participating in this race someday?

How to Survive in Antarctica - (ISBN: 978-0823418909)

by Lucy Jane Bledsoe

The author’s quirky and enthusiastic account of the days she spent building her own igloo home, talking to other scientists, viewing the Antarctic animals, and scouting out the land by helicopter make for fascinating, scientific reading. Which of her survival tips did you find the most helpful?

Maiden Voyage - (ISBN: 978-0345410122)

by Tania Aebi

Teens will enjoy this true tale of an 18-year-old woman who sails alone around the world. Despite her lack of sailing experience, her adventures and survival make a great tale which she tells with the help of another writer. How does she succeed with many odds against her? Is it her luck, her personality, or her flexibility? Picture yourself on a similar journey.

Seedfolks - (ISBN: 978-0064472074)

by Paul Fleischman

What happens when one young girl plants one bean seed in an ugly city neighborhood? Beautiful things change the environment: the plant grows and interest in the garden multiples. Residents from many ethnic groups join in and cultivate their little part of the ground. The transformation of a dirty lot to a beautiful and productive garden is truly a “natural wonder.” Plant a few seeds in a paper cup, and place it on your kitchen windowsill to see what miracles happen.

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature - (ISBN: 978-0375843495)

by Robin Brande

The Talking Earth - (ISBN: 978-0064402125)

by Jean Craighead George

The Whale Rider - (ISBN: 978-0152050160)

by Witi Ihimaera

Voyage of the Frog - (ISBN: 978-0440403647)

by Gary Paulsen

Activities for this Theme

Dry some flowers for arrangements for your own bedroom.


Make your own terrarium.


Enjoy the DVD Whale Rider .


Take a camping trip, and record your thoughts about what you see in a journal.


Make a Kissing Ball out of pinecones you collect outside.