By sparking our imagination, books can reshape our understanding of the relationship between the built environment and the natural world. Building Stories shows us that books can help us reimagine our communities and get inspiration to take concrete steps to reshape our environments. These stories remind us that no matter our age, it remains for us to care for our planet and build something better for generations to come. Celebrate Earth Month with us through this month’s featured book and activity.

Building something takes a lot of people’s creativity and hard work – read a book about someone who designs and builds, like an architect or construction worker and then build a structure as tall as you can – out of blocks, books, newspaper, or any item that interests you! What material is easiest to build with? What shapes helped your structure stay up?

House Held Up by Trees

In House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser and Jon Klassen, the forest is cleared to make room for a house where a family lives. The father keeps the lawn clear of trees for as long as he lives there with his children. When they move away, leaving the house to fall apart, the trees can grow freely and they end up protecting the house and transforming it.

Be sure to check out this month’s featured book, House Held Up by Trees, in the “Wider World” gallery in Building Stories.

Suggested Books

Grades K-2
• Beneath by Cori Doerrfeld
• Runs with the Stars by Darcy Whitecrow and Heather O’Connor
• Home for a Penguin, Home for Whale by Brenda Williams and Annalisa Beghelli
• Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
• The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Grades 3-8
• The Earth is My Mother by Bev Doolittle
• Scat by Carl Hiaasen
• Red Flag Warning: An Eco Adventure by Claire Datnow
• Lostman’s River by Cynthia De Felice
• A Chameleon, A Boy, and a Quest by J. A. Myhre

Adults
• The Overstory by Richard Powers
• Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson
• The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn
• Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
• The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
• Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Building Readers Club is supported by the DC Public Library Foundation and The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.