Books - Top Picks

There are some great books to use as resources in teaching your students about the water issues that challenge people around the world.  Here are some of our favorite books that address this critical issue, several of them based on true stories.

The Water Princess

The Water Princess - Susan Verde

Based on a true story, this beautifully crafted picture book for older kids uses a positive story to highlight what we take for granted – water – and how hard kids work for water every da in other countries.  The endnote adds real-life context and information about organizations working for change.

A Thirst for Home

A Thirst for Home - Christine Leronimo

Alemitu lives with her mother in a poor village in Ethiopia, where she must walk for miles for water and hunger roars in her belly.  Even though life is difficult, she dreams of someday knowing more about the world.  When her mother has no choice but to leave her at an orphanage to give her a chance at a better life, an American family adopts her.  This story will get readers thinking about a world beyond their own.

The Water Walker

The Water Walker - Joanne Robertson


Nokomis Josephine Mandamin, an Ojibwe grandmother, walk to raise awareness of our need to protect Nibi for future generations, and for all life on the planet.  Nokomis, along with other women, men and young people, has walked around all of the Great Lakes for the four salt waters – or oceans – all the way to Lake Superior.  During one walk along, Josephine put almost 4,5000,000 footsteps on her sneakers.

Bouba and Zaza Respect Water

Bouba & Zaza Respect Water


Part of the Bouba & Zaza Childhood Cultures series, this book illustrates the seriousness of unsafe drinking water, while also highlighting the many ways in which water is used every day.  A simple story with important lessons.

Without Clean Water

You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Clean Water - Roger Canavan

What would it be like to live without modern inventions?   How would you cope without a toilet or live without electricity?  A colourfully illustrated book about all things water.

Our World of Water

Our World of Water, Children and Water Around the World - Beatrice Hollyer

J363.61 HOL

Wherever we live in the world – whether our country is rich or poor – water is vital to our survival on this planet.  This book follows the daily lives of children in Peru, Mauritania, THE USA, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Tajikistan, and explores what water means to them. Where does it come from?  How do they use it?

One Well The Story of Water on Earth

One Well - the Story of Water on Earth - Rochelle Strauss

J 553.7 STR

Earth has only one well of water, and life could not exist without it.  Putting the statistics of world water into the context of just one village, learn about the properties of water, the water cycle, and the increasing scarcity of clean, fresh water.

Every Drop Counts - Scholastic

A great Canadian resource to encourage critical thinking and inquiry on this very important topic of drinking water, hygiene, and sanitation.


Parched - Melanie Crowder


This novel is told from three perspectives, Sarel, who just witnessed the brutal murder of her parents, Nandi, the leader of a pack of dogs who looks out for her pups and Sarel, and Musa, an escaped prisoner with the water song inside him, struggle to survive in a land without water.

A Long Water to Water

A Long Walk to Water - Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985.  The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home; she makes two trips to the pond every day.  The boy, Salva, becomes one of the lost boys of sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as the search for their families and for a safe place to stay.  A true story.


Sejal: The Walk for Water - Brad Pauquette

Based on actual events, Sejal the Walk for Water tells the story of a teenage girl on the day after her village receives a well, and the reflection on the change it will bring.  Content: Jr High, Christian