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Children's Nonfiction Environmental Conservation & Protection

Saving the Night

How Light Pollution Is Harming Life on Earth

by (author) Stephen Aitken

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
Environmental Conservation & Protection, Nocturnal, Animal Welfare
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Light pollution threatens the survival of every living species on our planet, including people.

It started when Thomas Edison invented the first light bulb more than 150 years ago. Then, as electric light became more common, light pollution began to take over cities and towns. Today, in urban centers all over the world, the stars in the sky aren't visible. Millions of people have never seen the Milky Way. In Saving the Night, we discover how plants and animals have adapted over millions of years to survive and thrive in the dark, and how artificial light can upset the balance of entire ecosystems. But there are ways we can take back the night for animals, plants and us. It starts with the flick of a switch.

About the author

Stephen Aitken is a biologist, artist and author. Despite an early brush with nyctophobia (fear of the dark), he became fascinated with bioluminescence while researching a book he wrote on the dangers of light pollution. He has written and illustrated many picture books, chapter books and close to a dozen nonfiction books for middle-grade readers, and he is the author of Saving the Night and Listen Up! in the Orca Footprints series. Stephen is the cofounder and executive secretary of Biodiversity Conservancy International and is the editorial director of the science journal Biodiversity.

Stephen Aitken's profile page


  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Long-listed, The Nature Generation Green Earth Book Award - Children’s Nonfiction
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Commended, Junior Library Guild (JLG) Gold Standard Selection
  • Long-listed, Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) Book Awards - Youth Category

Editorial Reviews

“Readers will be inspired to take notice and take actions…A wonderful new volume in the Footprints series.”

Erica Sommer, Baker & Taylor

“Flashes on a too often unconsidered sort of environmental pollution.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Both personal and poetic…A very comprehensive look at the role of light in the natural world and the effect of light pollution on all living organisms. This book deserves to be available and promoted in schools and libraries. Saving the night for all of us is worth it. Highly Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“[An] informative addition to the Footprints series…This organized, involving book will fill a gap in many library collections.”


“Richly described and alluring…Aitken urges his readers to be unafraid of the dark and after reading this excellent book, tweens will want to venture forth into the night without a flashlight.”

School Library Journal

“Invites middle graders interested in learning more about how light pollution is a threat to every living thing on the planet.”

Sal's Fiction Addiction

“This book gives us ways to love the night, and be part of the movement to keep darkness with us. The author shows how to be a part of a darker movement, for the betterment of all…A beautiful eye opener.”

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

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