Books have been a primary method of educating for centuries, with more and more progressive steps towards better relating to kids developing each year (yay!). One way teachers are utilizing more relatable material is through teaching and assigning curriculum with fiction novels with commentary on social responsibility,, humanity, community, etc. Many schools are utilizing Harry Potter and The Hunger Games in classrooms now, and we could not be happier.
Fictional storytelling is a fantastic way to instill lessons without being dry as sandpaper or completely irrelevant, and we believe it should be used for all sorts of teaching aspects, including environmental knowledge and awareness. We were so excited about this prospect when publishing Amy Bearce’ Fairy Keeper, an upper MG coming of age novel that discusses responsibility, family, and how humans affect the environment around us, and it in turns affects us. The fairies in her debut are actually based on bees, which is why when Fairy Queens start disappearing left and right, the entire world is sent into flux, with large scale environmental changes. Says Bearce, “Book 1 [Fairy Keeper] was largely inspired by the bee culture and teaching their importance and effect in the environment. I’m seeing a lot of articles in my news feed relating to efforts to keep them protected again, and discussing other related topics such as climate change, so I think using novels like this as a jumping off point to further awareness and discussion on human responsibility toward our environment and the politics of resource management. In book 3, people are tired of doing without to save their world and there’s backlash, just as I think there would be in our world if people ever go the point of really changing behavior to protect our planet.”
While bringing children to an Apiary may not be a feasible option due to locality and the severity of bee allergies, teaching through a novel that address their importance has an extremely low barrier to entry, and could build lasting presence of mind in the decision makers of tomorrow. Moreso, even if a novel doesn’t relate to the environment in a linear way, enforcing consequences and realistic affects to plots in relation to the planet, such as in a dystopian environment, is still a step in the right direction.
About Fairy Keeper:
Forget cute fairies in pretty dresses. In the world of Aluvia, most fairies are more like irritable, moody insects. Almost everyone in the world of Aluvia views the fairy keeper mark as a gift, but not fourteen-year-old Sierra. She hates being a fairy keeper, but the birthmark is right there on the back of her neck. It shows everyone she was born with the natural ability to communicate, attract, and even control the tiny fairies whose nectar is amazingly powerful. Fairy nectar can heal people, but it is also a key ingredient in synthesizing Flight, an illegal elixir that produces dreaminess, apathy and hallucinations. She’s forced to care for a whole hive of the bee-like beasties by her Flight-dealing, dark alchemist father.
Then one day, Sierra discovers the fairies of her hatch are mysteriously dead. The fairy queen is missing. Her father’s Flight operation is halted, and he plans to make up for the lost income by trading her little sister to be an elixir runner for another dark alchemist, a dangerous thug. Desperate to protect her sister, Sierra convinces her father she can retrieve the lost queen and get his operation up and running.
The problem? Sierra’s queen wasn’t the only queen to disappear. They’re all gone, every single one, and getting them back will be deadly dangerous.
Sierra journeys with her best friend and her worst enemy — assigned by her father to dog her every step — to find the missing queens. Along the way, they learn that more than just her sister’s life is at stake if they fail. There are secrets in the Skyclad Mountains where the last wild fairies were seen. The magic Sierra finds there has the power to transform their world, but only if she can first embrace her calling as a fairy keeper
Teachers and Librarians, please feel free to reach out to CQ to discuss how we can help faciltate teaching through fiction! Know a great fiction novel that has environmental lessons ingrained in it? Comment it below!