top of page
August 2023
Young Adult nonfiction

The Twenty-One

The True Story of the Youth who Sued
the U.S. Government over Clima
te Change

People magazine "Must-Read!"
"Nail-biting…A moving and absorbing account 
of an urgent case.” – Kirkus, starred review
Booklist, starred review
Golden Kite Award winner
Green Earth Book Award winner
NYPL Best Book of Year
CCBC Best Book of the Year
Nonfiction Detectives Best Book of the Year
Russell Freedman Award for Nonfiction finalist
Missouri Dogwood Readers Award finalist

From severe flooding in Louisiana to wildfires in the Pacific Northwest to melting permafrost in Alaska, catastrophic climate events are occurring more frequently—and severely—than ever. And these events are having a direct impact on the lives (and futures) of young people and their families.

In the ongoing landmark case Juliana v. United States, twenty-one young plaintiffs claim that the government’s support of the fossil-fuel industry is actively contributing to climate change, and that all citizens have a constitutional right to a stable climate—especially children and young adults, because they cannot vote and will inherit the problems of the future.

Elizabeth Rusch’s The Twenty-One is a gripping legal and environmental thriller that tells the story of twenty-one young people and their ongoing case against the U.S. government for denying their constitutional right to life and liberty. A rich, informative, and multifaceted read,

The Twenty-One stars the young plaintiffs and their attorneys; illuminates the workings of the United States’s judicial system and the relationship between government, citizens’ rights, and the environment; and asks readers to think deeply about the future of our planet.

Features extensive backmatter, including a timeline, glossary, call to action, additional resources, and photographs.

bottom of page