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Evolution Under Pressure

How We Change Nature and How Nature Changes Us

By Yolanda Ridge
Illustrated by Dane Thibeault
Interest Age: 10–14
Grade: 5–8
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RI.4.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Reading Level: Lexile 1120L
Paperback : 9781773217529, 124 pages, May 2023 , 10.0" x 8.0"
Hardcover : 9781773217512, 124 pages, May 2023 , 10.0" x 8.0"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773217536, May 2023


Immersive non-fiction with STEM and social justice themes that proves that the future of the environment is in our hands—and helps pave the way forward.

Evolution isn’t just a thing of the past. It is happening right now, in every species across the world—and our influence on the future of the plants and animals around us is much bigger than we might think. A closer look at the science behind evolution shows how human behaviors like hunting, farming, and urban development have contributed to major physical changes in everything from rhinos to pigs to lizards. And these changes impact us in turn—triggering environmental shifts and contributing to climate change. The good news is there’s hope: by learning to see how everything is connected, we can weigh the consequences of our choices and help shape a world that works for plants, animals, and humans alike.

Making connections across anthropology, biology, and ecology, award-winning author Yolanda Ridge takes an intersectional approach to a challenging topic—examining the factors that influence human behavior while looking forward to explain the changes we can make and the ethics of those choices. Profiles of young activists and innovators highlight the ways readers can contribute to restoring ecological balance, while vibrant illustrations by Dane Thibeault evoke the energy and beauty of the natural world we are working to preserve.

*A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection


  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2023
  • Nominated, Science Writers and Communicators of Canada Book Award 2024


“The sample situations will resonate with kids, the tone is informative but not overly alarmist, and the messages about ecological stewardship go down nice and easy.”

- Booklist, 05/01/23

“Informing her adolescent readers but not leaving them feeling helpless is a delicate balance that Ridge achieves by taking a logically organized, straightforward approach and employing a direct yet careful tone. Treating her readers with respect by crediting them with curiosity and intelligence also plays a significant role.”

- British Columbia Review,12/04/23