Climate industry veteran’s debut novel is “Captain Planet” for the next generation

Inspire kids to protect the planet with “climate-fighters” superhero series  

Ontario, Canada – After working in the climate-tech industry for the past fifteen years, debut author Aaron Arsenault is excited to inspire readers ages 9-12 to combat climate change. His climate fiction novel, “The Climate Diaries, Book One: The Academy” (FriesenPress, April 22, 2024) takes readers on an eco-adventure with troublemaker Jax Wilkinson, who is recruited by a top secret organization dedicated to preparing the next generation of climate-fighters. 

As global temperatures skyrocket, a two-degree rise becomes unavoidable. Is the next generation up to the challenge? The Climate Action Taskforce (CAT) is dedicated to solving the climate crisis, and about more than just predicting the next superstorm- they are safeguarding the future of humanity. When the CAT Founder mysteriously disappears, it is a race against time to recruit ‘future Elon’s’ – now!

For 11-year-old genius Jax, fighting back against bullies has cost him big time. Having pulled his last prank, he’s given an impossible choice when the authorities get involved. With no screens, no contact with the outside world–and no second chances, can Jax make the cut? Joining forces with teammates Grace, August, and Kylie, Team 19 must learn to work together to hack it at the Academy–and to survive a climate disaster beyond their wildest fears.

“The Climate Diaries: Book One: The Academy”

 Aaron Arsenault | April 22, 2024 | Borrowed Planet Press | Middle Grade

Aaron Arsenault is a citizen of Mother Earth, a climate-tech industry veteran, and a concerned dad. His passion for the environment coupled with a lack of inspirational material for young readers on the topic influenced him to become a writer of middle grade climate fiction. When he’s not writing, Aaron enjoys the outdoors, playing guitar, painting, and planning his next adventure. Aaron studied children’s writing and illustration as a postgraduate at the University of Toronto. He lives with his family and a goofy goldendoodle in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Find out more about him at his website:

Follow Aaron Arsenault on social media:

Instagram: @aaron_arsenault_


In an interview, Aaron Arsenault can discuss:

  • His 15 years in climate technologies, including working for some of the leading organizations in the industry
  • The reality of climate change and how it affects us daily, and the importance of climate fiction as a genre
  • His passion for preparing future generations for the climate crisis, including his own children
  • Why he wrote for middle grade, and how he made the topic inspiring and entertaining 
  • Specific steps young people can take right now to influence the climate crisis

An Interview with

Aaron Arsenault

1. How has your previous career in climate-tech inspired your writing?

After spending 15 years in climate-tech working with several leading organizations I learned the movement toward sustainable technologies isn’t just to influence emissions, carbon footprints and bottom lines- it’s to influence values, beliefs and ultimately, human behavior. 

We’re now at a time when we can choose- choose to continue doing things the way they’ve always been, or, choose to embrace a little discomfort, and do them a bit differently, knowing that the end that new habits will form and that results will make it all worthwhile. 

That’s essentially what we’re selling with the sustainability movement- but experience has taught me- for many adults without muscle memory, it can be a tough sell… For kids however, not so much!  

In our information-centric world, I think kids today are looking for meaning and answers more than ever before. So it’s vital that those of us who are in a position to do so do all we can to inspire kids. The next generation must be convinced that life will only continue to get better, not worse. If we fail at that, I think we fail as parents.

Even ten years ago, ‘eco-anxiety’ or ‘climate-doom’ were not household terms like they are today. Our kids are more distracted and disconnected from nature than ever before. They’re desperately seeking positive messages to anchor them and provide a sense of purpose as they embark on their journeys. My hope is that this series, in whatever way possible, will help instill the courage they need to take those first steps.

2. How do you hope this inspires the future generation to act, including your own children?

Current and future generations will be presented with choices that my generation never was. Learning to be ‘good citizens’ when I was a kid meant not being a litterbug. Today, it’s about so much more than that- far more than recycling or buying an electric family car. 

I really think the best thing we can do is teach our kids about the big picture. Too much happens ‘somewhere else’.  In the west, many municipalities ship waste products to the far side of the world. We buy things that were not made in sustainable ways, because they’re inexpensive and convenient. Other countries bear the brunt of those choices and are locked in a cycle of poverty in service of the west.  When that happens our blinders stay on.  

The beauty of the internet and social media is that they are insanely powerful tools for creating awareness… and kids are aware! They see the man behind the curtain- and they want answers.  

The aim of the Climate Diaries series is to dig into big picture thinking so kids gain an appreciation of the impacts of human behavior outside of their town, city or national borders. Our Climate Diaries crew will be quite well traveled by the end of this series- I can assure readers of that! 

I think once Kids fully understand the broader perspective and how it shapes society, government and business that they will ask more meaningful questions and eventually apply that knowledge to make more thoughtful and inclusive decisions as the future leaders of our world. 

Every choice counts, in one way or another. We’ll either pivot forward, or stay stuck. One day our kids will inherit the Earth, until its time to turn it over to their kids. 

3. How did you work to make this middle grade book not only educational, but also entertaining and inspiring to kids?

As a kid with ADHD who struggled as a young reader, I gravitated to books with pictures. My all time favorites were (and still are!) Roald Dahl books. Not just because the stories were so entertaining, but especially because of Quentin Blake’s incredible illustrations! The hilarity of Roald Dahl’s writing and the absurd situations he constructed kept me reading and laughing until I got to the next illustration. Before I knew it I was reading whole books. It set me on a journey as a young reader that I never forgot. I swore that if I ever wrote a novel for kids that it would be super approachable- especially to those  young readers who might be struggling to keep up. 

That said, I also set out to educate kids- not just to give them some perspective on the climate crisis, but as you’ll see in the book to provide many teachable ‘vignettes’ that teachers can expand on, should they choose, related to climate science, agriculture, technology, sustainable energy, and just about any other relevant bits I could cram in! The teacher’s guide on my website should help tease those out even more. 

While the book and the series will definitely have its fair share of humor and even an absurd scene now and then, I strongly believe that it’s time to start putting more meaningful content in front of our kids. We have an entire generation now growing up on fantasy and fart books. I set out to weave in a bit more substance. Hopefully it works for young readers.

4. What are some specific steps that young people can take right now to influence the climate crisis?

As I say in the Author’s Note at the back of the book, I think we need kids to start asking a lot more questions of their world. It starts with the way we buy stuff. Understanding the basics of a carbon footprint. Considering what we buy at the grocery store and how it got there. Digging deeper and using the internet as a tool – to look up people, companies and governments and hold them to account on their promises. I also think kids have forgotten how to dream because their imaginations are being overridden by social media reels, gaming and chat platforms. Unplugging and spending time brainstorming to engage their imaginations is probably the most important thing a kid can do these days. We are losing touch with some basic human competencies that are troubling. Dreaming big dreams is what makes a kid a kid! 

Of course, there are plenty of things kids can do to get their hands dirty. They can start their own ‘Climate Action Task Forces’ – in their homes, their schools and their communities. Community clean ups, upcycling drives, walk-a-thons to and from school, are just a few ideas on ways kids can get involved for little to no cost. 

5. What are your future plans for this climate fiction series? Can we expect more from Jax and friends?

Absolutely! Since I am currently an indie author my hope is that we sell enough books to at least cover the publishing costs. Like most authors, it’s my dream to leave the 9-5 world and do this full-time. To the extent I can do that, I’ll write more books, faster.  Ideally, I hope to publish a new volume at least every 12-18 months- maybe a bit quicker if a few stars align! 

Since there is an arc emerging that will require some degree of specificity on the number of books, I’ll have to figure that part out sooner than later- but as of right now, I’m not sure yet exactly how many volumes there will be in total, but definitely quite a few more!  

One thing is for certain- there will DEFINITELY be Book Two; I’ve already written the first draft- I can’t wait to deliver the conclusion to Book One! 🙂

Download press kit and photos