In September each year, Children’s Books Ireland launches our reading guide. Through this guide, we recommend the best books in all genres and age groups, enabling children and young people – with the help of a parent, guardian, grandparent, teacher or librarian – to find the right book for them. Within this guide you’ll discover over 340 of the best books out this year, recommended for young readers by our expert reviewers. Each title has a ‘read also’ attached, so if you find a book you like, you will hopefully like the other recommended title too. In total, that’s almost 700 brilliant books to read. The guide is arranged in sections, firstly by age, starting with the babies section, moving all the way up to young adult, followed by the poetry, non-fiction and our themed section, which flows from young to older. Books from an Irish author, illustrator or publisher or in the Irish language are highlighted with a shamrock.

This year in the reading guide we’ve included a specially curated section on the theme of the environment – protecting it, celebrating it and embracing it. Students, teens and primary school children taking to the streets and demanding the end of climate inaction is not something you see every day. In Sweden’s capital Stockholm, however, you might actually come across it every Friday afternoon. The movement initiated by sixteen-year-old activist Greta Thunberg has spread across the world and reached Ireland’s shores. Many young people are very tuned in to the acuteness of the climate emergency, a crisis they haven’t caused but are left to deal with. It’s unfair, it’s global and it’s scary.

To help children of all ages (and their grown-ups) on their journey to environmental awareness and, maybe, activism, we have gathered a collection of 48 brilliant books published in the last five years. Within their pages, young readers (from babies to older teens) can marvel at the beauty and magic of nature, find tips on how to reduce their carbon footprint and get inspiration from fictional and real-life young heroes who tackle climate change head on. Stories, fact books, poetry, activity books, search-and-find books, how-to books and more: writers, photographers and illustrators use all the tricks of their trades to bring home both the vastness of the problem and the great array of possible solutions, all the while getting readers excited about and wowed by the wonders of our fragile planet.

The world around us is vitally important to us, and we must learn to strike a balance between progress and sustainability in order to survive. From understanding the interconnectedness of the Earth’s ecosystems to planting bee-friendly wild flowers, from imagining the worst-case scenario of flooded territories, unbreathable air and hand-pollinated plants to rescuing turtles, repopulating coral reefs and having a polar bear sleepover, readers of all tastes and sensibilities will find something to think about, react to and act on.

They will be informed, they will be moved, they may be alarmed, but they will be equipped with the most important tools in the fight to make a difference: knowledge and hope.

Packs of these Children’s Books Ireland Recommended reads, posters, bookmarks and stickers are available here or by contacting the office of Children’s Books Ireland on 01-8727475.

Children’s Books Ireland is committed to making books central to every child’s life: we want every child on the island of Ireland to know the joy of reading and to have access to excellent books that appeal to them. Our Book Clinics travel the island to meet young readers and ‘prescribe’ the best books for them, and we hope that this guide will go some way to recommending great books for children and young people to read, enjoy and love, #GrowAReader .