With the increasing prevalence of extreme climate events like wildfires, National Fire Prevention Week is more important than ever. Commemorate it this year by checking out one of the following books that feature characters enduring wildfires and information on how to prevent, survive, and recover from natural disasters. Even though climate events like enormous fires can be daunting and alarming, these books will empower readers of all ages to remain hopeful and discover ways to protect the environment for generations to come.
Illustrated by Charles Santoso
Up on the hill, Wallaby licks a puddle’s last drop. Skink slips into the shade. Echidna hides in grass as dry as tinder. Under the hill, Wombat carves out a cave that’s all his own. Then—KABOOM!—lightning strikes.
Nearly 3 billion animals were affected by the Australian wildfires of 2019-2020, and wombats played a crucial part in allowing their homes to transform as safe havens for other animals whose homes were destroyed in the fires. Wombat Underground teaches us that the time of greatest danger is also the time to open our door to those in the greatest need.
Addy is haunted by the tragic fire that killed her parents, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Now, years later, Addy’s grandmother has enrolled her in a summer wilderness program. There, Addy joins five other Black city kids—each with their own troubles—to spend a summer out west.
Deep in the forest, the kids learn new (and to them) strange skills: camping, hiking, rock climbing, and how to start and safely put out campfires. Most important, they learn to depend upon each other for companionship and survival.
But then comes a devastating forest fire…
Addy is face-to-face with her destiny and haunting past. Developing her courage and resiliency against the raging fire, it’s up to Addy to lead her friends to safety. Not all are saved. But remembering her origins and grandmother’s teachings, she’s able to use street smarts, wilderness skills, and her spiritual intuition to survive.
by Ana Crespo
Illustrated by Dow Phumiruk
It was a swallow who called it first. “Fire’s coming!” And the animals ran away. Even the insects tried to flee. The girl and her family left, too.
All I could do…was wait.
When a wildfire comes roaring into the forest, all the animals and humans flee. But all the tree can do is wait. Wait until many days and nights pass. Wait until the fire loses the battle. And wait until the forest is still before the forest can be reborn and the animals and the girl can come back.
Flames race toward Sam Castine's summer camp as evacuation buses are loading, but Sam runs back to get his phone. Suddenly, a flash of heat blasts him as pine trees explode. Now a wall of fire separates Sam from his bus, and there's only one thing to do: Run for his life. Run or die. Lungs burning, Sam's only goal is to keep moving. Drought has made the forest a tinderbox, and Sam struggles to remember survival tricks he learned from his late father. Then, when he least expects it, he encounters Delphy, an older girl who is also lost. Their unlikely friendship grows as they join forces to find civilization. The pace never slows, and eventually flames surround Sam and Delphy on all sides. A powerful bond is forged that can only grow out of true hardship—as two true friends beat all odds and outwit one of the deadliest fires ever.
Jane Yolen; Heidi E. Y. Stemple; Kristen Howdeshell (Illustrator); Kevin Howdeshell (Illustrator)
In the face of our shifting climate, young children everywhere are finding themselves subject to unfamiliar and often frightening extreme weather. Beloved author Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi Stemple address four distinct weather emergencies (a tornado, a blizzard, a forest fire, and a hurricane) with warm family stories of finding the joy in preparedness and resilience. Their honest reassurance leaves readers with the message: nature is powerful, but you are powerful, too. Illustrated in rich environmental tones and featuring additional information about storms in the back, this book educates, comforts, and empowers young readers in stormy or sunny weather, and all the weather in between.
by J. C. Geiger
With natural disasters and nuclear war threatening their small town, two twin brothers find themselves enraptured by mysterious music that could change the course of their lives.
Everyone in Clade City knows their days are numbered. The Great Cascadia Earthquake will destroy their hometown and reshape the entire West Coast—if they survive long enough to see it. Nuclear war is increasingly likely. Wildfires. Or another pandemic. To Griff, the daily forecast feels partly cloudy with a chance of apocalyptic horsemen.
Griff’s brother, Leo, and the Lost Coast Preppers claim to be ready. They’ve got a radio station. Luminous underwater monitors. A sweet bunker, and an unsettling plan for “disaster-ready rodents.” But Griff’s more concerned about what he can do before the end times. He’d like to play in a band, for one. Hopefully with Charity Simms. Her singing could make the whole world stop.
Ashley Wolff (Illustrator)
There is a flash. Then a crack. Bluejay spreads the news: “Firefirefire in the forest!”
There’s a wildfire on Spruce Mountain! High up in the Evergreen Tower, dispatcher Maria sees it, too. She calls on expert teams of pilots, smokejumpers, and firefighters to battle the blaze. Meanwhile, the animals of the forest, from bears to deer to turtles, take shelter from the smoke and flames.
Featuring detailed end matter about forest fires and firefighting techniques and tools, this picture book is perfect for anyone interested in firefighting and protecting our natural spaces.