Surviving Nature | Natural Science Series Nonfiction

This season’s natural science series offer a closer look at the interconnected systems that make up the natural world.


The world is a complex place, and discovering how everything fits together is what makes studying science so fun. That can take the form of critical thinking about a problem and working your way to a solution or appling survival skills to discern cause and effect in life and death scenarios. Natural disasters are trending this year for all ages, and these extreme stories ask for deeper consideration of the interconnected ecosystems we inhabit. Readers can ponder the human cost of climate change and look at the resilience of those on its front lines. Whichever way that best calls readers to explore new things in this great big world, readers can find it in this season’s selections.



AN, Priscilla. Brachiosaurus. ISBN 9781098292669.
GIEDD, Steph. Stegosaurus. ISBN 9781098292690.
––––. Triceratops. ISBN 9781098292706.
HUDAK, Heather C. Tyrannosaurus Rex. ISBN 9781098292713.
WILLIAMS, Haley. Spinosaurus. ISBN 9781098292683.
XIE, Chelsea. Dilophosaurus. ISBN 9781098292676.
ea vol: 32p. (Dinosaurs). ABDO/Kids Core. Jan. 2024. Tr. $34.22.
Gr 3-5–Dinosaurs are always a fun way to get acquainted with scientific concepts like etymology of names, source work, and scientific literacy. Deftly addressing the impact of popular media depiction of dinosaurs on the discourse, the conversation here is centered around ongoing scientific work and how ideas about dinosaurs continue to change over time as we learn more. Activities built into the text encourage readers to question what they have read and consider the perspectives and biases of their sources. This updated take on the longitudinal study of ancient creatures and whose voices have been in that conversation is one that is not often seen in this subject area. VERDICT While dinosaurs will always be popular additions to library collections, these titles bring something new in their critical thinking and dialogic aspects for educators and students.

CRANE, Cody. Respiratory System. ISBN 9781339020969.
GREEN, Alicia. Circulatory System. ISBN 9781339020938.
LAMICHHANE, Priyanka. Digestive System. ISBN 9781339021027.
MASON, Jenny. Nervous System. ISBN 9781339021058.
VIZCARRA, Natasha. Muscular System. ISBN 9781339020990.
ea vol: 48p. (A True Book: Your Amazing Body). Scholastic/Children’s Pr. Feb. 2024. Tr. $31.
Gr 3-5–Have you ever wondered if you need gravity to digest food? The human body is full of fascinating parts that work together in a symphony of motion to make all of our processes work. Those systems are broken down across this series in delightful detail from the saliva on our teeth to the nerves in our toes. Each book follows a snappy fact box style with some interconnected narrative to move through the specified system. Myths are dispelled along the way, but there is a generally positive vibe as the focus is truly on what makes the body amazing. VERDICT Fans of “True Books” will love this new addition to the collection.

FOXE, Steve. Deadly Natural Disasters. illus. by Dante Ginevra. ISBN 9781669058687.
––––. Lost in the Jungle. illus. by Daniele Dickmann. ISBN 9781669058700.
LUJÁN, Jarred. Animal Attacks. illus. by Rudy Faber. ISBN 9781669058694.
––––. Stranded at Sea. illus. by Eduardo Gutiérrez García. ISBN 9781669058717.
ea vol: 48p. (True Survival Graphics). Capstone. Jan. 2024. Tr. $37.99.
Gr 4-6–High-interest comics that pull readers into a realm where they must rely on their wits after experiencing something extreme. Subjects range from animal attacks to being lost at sea. Each title has readers consider what they might do in the situation, before they are given real suggestions from survivors of similar incidents. This series reads like adventure stories with more factual substance to them. The stories are captivating and serious without delving into the more gruesome and morose aspects of surviving. VERDICT Graphic nonfiction is continuing to grow, and these titles would make an interesting addition to any comic or graphic novel collection for public and school libraries.

MATHER, Charis. Arctic Food Webs. ISBN 9781534545977.
––––. Desert Food Webs. ISBN 9781534546004.
––––. Forest Food Webs. ISBN 9781534546066.
––––. Grassland Food Webs. ISBN 9781534546035.
ea vol: 24p. (Fun with Food Webs). Greenhaven/KidHaven. Dec. 2023. Tr. $26.23.
Gr 2-4–Critical thinking is one of the key skills that these titles outlining food webs in different habitats bring to the forefront. Readers are set to the task of unraveling these food webs one chain at a time, with careful detail given to each link in that chain. Real photographs of animals, visual clues (such as grass illustrations attached to a herbivore) and an illustrated web that new information is added to as it is introduced make this a highly visual text. Context is built into the page layouts with the text being used to expound upon the work of those visual cues. VERDICT A welcome addition to school libraries looking to expand their offerings on food webs and chains.

MCDOUGAL, Anna. Erosion. ISBN 9781978537866.
––––. Igneous Rocks. ISBN 9781978537897.
––––. Metamorphic Rocks. ISBN 9781978537927.
––––. Minerals. ISBN 9781978537958.
––––. The Rock Cycle. ISBN 9781978538016.
––––. Sedimentary Rocks. ISBN 9781978537989.
ea vol: 32p. (Earth’s Rocks in Review). Enslow. Dec. 2023. Tr. $26.93.
Gr 3-5–Rocks are one of the areas of scientific study that have a low entry barrier for young learners. They almost immediately beckon to young scientists to touch them and learn about them. The real photographs of rock formations and scientific graphics show in detail how rocks are made and speak to readers’ desire for tactile learning. Exemplary science literacy is on display here, in a format that both readers and educators can enjoy. The rock enthusiast will love these titles as they take a more detailed approach to concepts like the rock cycle while still covering more basic topics such as types of rocks. VERDICT These rocking titles are a must-have for science classrooms and school libraries.

OGDEN, Charlie & Sam Thompson. Battling the Blackout. ISBN 9798889165910.
––––. Evading the Eruption. ISBN 9798889165927.
TYLER, Madeline & Sam Thompson. Braving the Big Freeze. ISBN 9798889165941.
––––. Surviving the Megatsunami. ISBN 9798889165934.
ea vol: 32p. (Disaster Zone). Bearport/Roar! Jan. 2024. Tr. $29.95.
Gr 1-3–People often think about the root causes of natural disasters after one occurs, but these titles ask readers to consider those causes right now. Looking at what one might do in the situation of a disaster alongside what should be done makes for an entertaining series. The situations presented lean into the extreme and apocalyptic rather than typical disasters. There is a focus on asking the reader what they would do rather than exploring situations narratively and giving them an answer. Young readers can get in on the survival trend without too many scary situations looming over the stories. VERDICT A fun option for public libraries looking to diversify reading levels in their survival nonfiction.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

FORD, Jeanne Marie. Earthquake Survival Stories. ISBN 9781503854574.
––––. Tsunami Survival Stories. ISBN 9781503854550.
HAVEMEYER, Janie. Tornado Survival Stories. ISBN 9781503854536.
––––. Wildfire Survival Stories. ISBN 9781503854529.
KREKELBERG, Alyssa. Hurricane Survival Stories. ISBN 9781503854543.
REA, Amy C. Volcano Survival Stories. ISBN 9781503854567.
ea vol: 32p. (Survival Stories). Child’s World/Momentum. Jan. 2024. Tr. $35.64.
Gr 4-6–With a focus on the human elements of real natural disasters, the authors incorporate scientific aspects of these events into the stories of people who experienced them. There are photographs of the events and an explanation of how they came to occur. The severity of each event is described through its respective measurement—from the Richter scale to categories of storms. Readers are given multiple stories within each title to explore diverse perspectives of events across time and place. This variety of experience allows for more understanding on that human cost of disasters and the impacts on survivors. VERDICT Fans of fiction series like “I Survived” will love this nonfiction take on survival stories.

Survival stories, like “Disaster Zone” (Bearport) and “Survial Stories” (Child’s World), can encourage readers to learn about themselves in the process of learning about others. In the spirit of learning about themselves, “Your Amazing Body” (Scholastic/Children’s Pr.) is a collection that brings readers face-to-face with what the body can and cannot do. There are myths busted, stories of truly amazing things, and intricate detail paid to the way our systems work together. The “True Book” (Scholastic) series, an enduring classic, whets the curiosity of readers and inspires further research on a range of topics, and these new additions do not disappoint.


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