Kids Book Lists

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Spring is just around the corner, so get yourself ready by checking out some of these great picture books all about the season!

And then it's spring by Julie Fogliano

Simple text reveals the anticipation of a boy who, having planted seeds while everything around is brown, fears that something has gone wrong until, at last, the world turns green.

Bunny bunny catkin by Cathy MacLennan

Celebrates the joys of spring with illustrations, rhythmic text, and fun-to-imitate sounds.

Finding spring by Carin Berger

Too excited to hibernate through his first winter, a bear cub tries to find spring.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: Super Bookworm and Keep It Real: Super Bookworm badges.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

There are a number of books that deal with similar stories or events in history that have been adapted for younger audiences. Several other topics are covered by multiple ages for multiple age ranges. Pick one of these for yourself and one for your child, and discuss aspects of history as a family.

 

 

Extraordinary Zoo Stories During WWII

When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw-- and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants and refusing to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, even as Europe crumbled around her.

An elephant in the garden by Michael Morpurgo

Lizzie and Karl's mother, Mutti, working at a local zoo in Dresden, Germany, during World War II while their father is away fighting in France, brings home Marlene, a baby elephant that is slated to be destroyed as the Allied bombing grows closer, and when they are forced to flee, Mutti feels they must take Marlene with them, adding even more danger to their journey.

Interested in reading a story that takes place in a different time period? Try checking out one of these historic tales. Books are suggested for Sixth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Call it courage by Armstrong Sperry

Relates how Mafatu, a young Polynesian boy whose name means Stout Heart, overcomes his terrible fear of the sea and proves his courage to himself and his people.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica--and decades later three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the twentieth century, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.

Interested in reading a story that takes place in a different time period? Try checking out one of these historic tales. Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

The boy who dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

In October, 1942, seventeen-year-old Helmuth Hübener, imprisoned for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, recalls his past life and how he came to dedicate himself to bring the truth about Hitler and the war to the German people.

Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

Cleopatra, daughter of the Nile by Kristiana Gregory

While her father is in hiding after attempts on his life, twelve-year-old Cleopatra records in her diary how she fears for her own safety and hopes to survive to become Queen of Egypt some day.

Interested in reading a story that takes place in a different time period? Try checking out one of these historic tales. Books are suggested for Fourth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Anna's blizzard by Alison Hart

Having never excelled at schoolwork, twelve-year-old Anna discovers that she may know a few things about survival when the 1888 Children's Blizzard traps her and her classmates in their Nebraska schoolhouse.

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

The adventures of an eleven-year-old tomboy growing up on the Wisconsin frontier in the mid-nineteenth century.

Determined to find his nineteen-year-old uncle and best friend, Jesse, who left for Colorado to find enough gold to pay the mortgage and save the family's Iowa farm, twelve-year-old Early Whittcomb joins up with a barber, his wife, and his daughter on a wagon train heading for the gold fields near Pike's Peak in 1858.

Interested in reading a story that takes place in a different time period? Try checking out one of these historic tales. Books are suggested for Third Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Abe Lincoln at last! by Mary Pope Osborne

The magic tree house whisks Jack and Annie to Washington D.C. in the 1860s where they meet Abraham Lincoln and collect a feather that will help break a magic spell.

All-of-a-kind family by Sydney Taylor

The adventures of five sisters growing up in a Jewish family in New York in the early twentieth century.

Eight-year-old Henry and nine-year-old Chin love to read about heroes in popular "penny dreadful" novels, until they both witness real courage while trying to survive the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Interested in reading a story that takes place in a different time period? Try checking out one of these historic tales. Books are suggested for Second Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Reconstructs a possible mission of the fourteen-year-old spy who carried messages to George Washington's camp in the buttons of his coat during the Revolutionary War.

Chang's Paper Pony by Eleanor Coerr

In San Francisco during the 1850s gold rush, Chang, the son of Chinese immigrants, wants a pony but cannot afford one until his friend Big Pete finds a solution. (I Can Read).

The gardener by Sarah Stewart

A series of letters relating what happens when, after her father loses his job, Lydia Grace goes to live with her Uncle Jim in the city but takes her love for gardening with her.

Interested in reading a story that takes place in a different time period? Try checking out one of these historic tales. Books are suggested for First Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Back of the bus by Aaron Reynolds

From the back of the bus, an African American child watches the arrest of Rosa Parks.

Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming

After a young Dutch girl writes to her new American friend in thanks for the care package sent after World War II, she begins to receive increasingly larger boxes.

The 18 penny goose by Sally M Walker

Eight-year-old Letty attempts to save her pet goose from marauding British soldiers in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War.

Interested in reading a story that takes place in a different time period? Try checking out one of these historic tales. Books are suggested for Kindergarten, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson

Bused across town to a school in a white neigborhood of Boston in 1974, a young African American boy named Brewster describes his first day in first grade. Includes historical notes on the court-ordered busing.

Dancing with Katya by Dori Chaconas

In the late 1920s, Anna tries to help her younger sister Katya regain her strength and joy in life after she becomes crippled by polio.

In Venice, Italy, in the 1890s, a stray cat draws attention to a coffee shop in which he inspired composer Guiseppi Verdi, and as the feline's fame grows, the shop's owner entertains royalty, the Pope, and many others. Includes historical notes about the real Nini and his visitors.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Hit the Road: Super Bookworm badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

The books below are set in many different places. Use them to take a trip, somewhere new and exotic, or somewhere familiar. 

When a man brings to a remote village two burros, Alfa and Beto, loaded with books the children can borrow, Ana's excitement leads her to write a book of her own as she waits for the BibliBurro to return. Includes a note on the true story of Columbia's BiblioBurro and mobile libraries in other countries.

The sky of Afghanistan by Ana A. de Eulate

A little Afghan girl dreams of peace spreading throughout her country.

Gauchada by C. Drew Lamm

A necklace is lovingly passed from one person to another, traveling much farther than the Argentine gaucho who made it will ever go.

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