Rectangular photo of sea otter in the ocean. Photo credit: Jeff Stevens

Alison Pearce Stevens—Animal Climate Heroes!

Cover of the book Animal Climate Heroes! by Alison Pearce Stevens showing the title in yellow lettering over a red background with a cartoon-style drawing of a whale, elephant, echidna, and sea otter

Animal Climate Heroes!

Alison Pearce Stevens (NASW Member), Jason Ford, Illustrator
Henry Holt/Macmillan, March 5, 2024
Hardback, $17.99, eBook, $9.99
ISBN-13: 9781250847348
For readers aged 8 and up

Stevens reports:

In early 2020, when we were stuck at home, it was easy to feel consumed by fear and negativity. As spring brought life to the garden outside my window, I realized how important it was to focus on the good: What we can do, and how we can inspire others to make the world a better place. And—in light of climate change—how we can remind people that it’s not just carbon at issue. Our natural systems are in peril but often feel like an afterthought. I realized the interconnections between climate and functional ecosystems made a great angle for a book.

Portrait photo of Alison Pearce Stevens  in an outdoor setting

Alison Pearce Stevens
Photo by Images for a Lifetime LLC

My initial proposal set up a showdown between climate change and a group of animal climate heroes as a boxing match. There’s still a hint of that text on the jacket flap. It wasn’t long before the idea morphed into something bigger. These animals are helping us fight climate change—the biggest threat humanity has ever faced—and that makes them superheroes. Animal Climate Heroes! was born.

Since we were in lock-down, I didn’t get to travel for my research, but I was able to reach out to scientists around the world. They were in lock-down, too, and they were happy to talk and excited to raise awareness of these animals and their roles in their ecosystems.

My agent loved the idea, as did two publishers. The book went to auction. I ended up choosing Laura Godwin at Henry Holt, who published my previous book, Rhinos in Nebraska.

Just as they did for that book, Laura and her team found a stellar artist, Jason Ford, to bring Animal Climate Heroes! to life.

I write specifically for young readers, and I always strive to give them hope. We may feel helpless, but our actions can be powerful and bring about real change. Animal Climate Heroes! is a guide to becoming climate heroes ourselves. I don’t talk down to kids. They’re smart and savvy and they know there are problems. We need to make sure they also know they’re part of the solution.

Contact info:

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Banner image adapted from original photo by Alison Pearce Stevens.

March 23, 2024

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Visit for information on submitting your report.

Publication of NASW author reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of any publication or the ideas, values, or material contained within or espoused by authors or their books. We hope this column stimulates productive discussions on important topics now and in the future as both science and societies progress. We welcome your discussion in the comments section below.

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