2009 Winner: Middle Grades Science Book

How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate: Scientists & Kids Explore Global Warming, by Lynne Cherry & Gary Braasch. Dawn, 2008.

The title is accurate. The authors survey a wide range of evidence that Earth's climate is changing. In his earlier Earth Under Fire, photojournalist Braasch visited climate researchers in the field to document their discoveries. Here he and Cherry (a seasoned author of environmental books for children) also spotlight citizen science and (especially) data that can be, and is, collected by children. They explain why data and computer models indicate that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are making our world warmer. Along the way, Cherry and Braasch remind readers of the importance of using data to test hypotheses. Reflecting the book's hopeful perspective, the authors suggest numerous things that kids and families can do to reduce their climatic footprint.

About the Authors

Lynne Cherry

Lynne Cherry is the author and/or illustrator of over 30 award-winning books for children that teach respect for the earth and inspire conservation. Three of her books — The Great Kapok Tree, How Groundhog's Garden Grew and The Shaman's Apprentice — were selected as the Best Classic Garden Books of the Century by the American Horticultural Society and Junior Master Gardeners.

Lynne earned a Masters in History at Yale in order to research A River Ran Wild which has inspired kids to study and clean up their local watersheds. She has been artist-in-residence at the Smithsonian, Princeton University, the Marine Biological Lab, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Her books have been inspired by her love of the natural world and they are used widely by educators involved with No Child Left Inside who are using nature to integrate curriculum and make children's learning relevant. For more information visit

Gary Braasch

Gary Braasch is an American environmental photojournalist and writer who has documented natural history and environmental issues since 1975. He has produced photographic assignments for major magazines, including National Geographic, Life, Time, Smithsonian, Scientific American and United Nations publications. Gary has won the Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography from the Sierra Club, has been named Outstanding Nature Photographer by the North American Nature Photography Association, is honored by the Nikon Corporation as a "Legend Behind the Lens," and is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. He is a leading documentarian and educator on climate change with a popular website and book, Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World (2007).