Travel/Cultures

Drive, fly, or sail your way into these novels about teens traveling the world. 

Anna and the French kiss by Stephanie Perkins

When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.

Are we there yet? by David Levithan

Sixteen-year-old Elijah is completely mellow and his 23-year-old brother Danny is completely not, so it’s no wonder they can barely tolerate one another. So what better way to repair their broken relationship than to trick them into taking a trip to Italy together? Soon, though, their parents’ perfect solution has become Danny and Elijah’s nightmare as they’re forced to spend countless hours together. But then Elijah meets Julia, and soon the brothers aren’t together nearly as much. And then Julia meets Danny and soon all three of them are in a mixed-up, turned-around, never-what-you-expect world of brothers, Italy, and love.

Earn your Hit the Road badge while you travel the world with these real-life stories by women travelers. 

Alone in Antarctica by Felicity Aston

"In the whirling noise of our advancing technological age, we are seemingly never alone, never out-of-touch with the barrage of electronic data and information. Felicity Aston, physicist and meteorologist, took two months off from all human contact as she became the first woman -- and only the third person in history - to ski across the entire continent of Antarctica alone. She did it, too, with the simple apparatus of cross-country, without the aids used by her prededecessors - two Norwegian men - each of whom employed either parasails or kites. Aston's journey across the ice at the bottom of the world asked of her the extremes in terms of mental and physical bravery, as she faced the risks of unseen cracks buried in the snow so large they might engulf her and hypothermia due to brutalizing weather. She had to deal, too, with her emotional vulnerability in face of the constant bombardment of hallucinations brought on by the vast sea of whiteness, the lack of stimulation to her senses as she faced what is tantamount to a form of solitary confinement. Like Cheryl Strayed's Wild, Felicity Aston's Alone in Antarctica becomes an inspirational saga of one woman's battle through fear and loneliness as she honestly confronts both the physical challenges of her adventure, as well as her own human vulnerabilities. "--.

In Around the Bloc, Griest relates her experiences as a volunteer at a children’s shelter in Moscow, a propaganda polisher at the office of the Chinese Communist Party’s English-language mouthpiece in Beijing, and a belly dancer among the rumba queens of Havana. She falls in love with an ex-soldier who narrowly avoided radiation cleanup duties at Chernobyl, hangs out with Cuban hip-hop artists, and comes to difficult realizations about the meaning of democracy. 

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.

Michigan Adventure Pass (MAP)

Michigan Activity Pass hot air balloon logoCheck out a park pass using the Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) program and enjoy Michigan Trails Week from September 19 – 26. This week-long celebration features a variety of events in honor of Michigan's extensive trail network. Grab your friends and family, find a trail and let the adventure begin!

Library card holders can use their card online to print a free or discounted admission pass to almost 400 area museums, cultural organizations, state recreation areas, camp grounds and more.

What We're Reading: August 2015

Road Trip Reads for Teens

Amy & Roger's epic detour by Morgan Matson

Paper towns by John Green

An abundance of Katherines by John Green

13 little blue envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Going bovine by Libba Bray

Just one wish by Janette Rallison

Discover Your Mitten State

Under the Radar Michigan: the first 50 by written by Tom Daldin ; photographs and stories about the episode names by Jim Eldelman ; contributing prose by Eric Tremonti

Michigan: an explorer's guide by Jeff Counts, with photographs by the author

Backroads & byways of Michigan: drives, daytrips & weekend excursions by Matt Forster

Michigan state and national parks: a complete guide by Tom Powers

50 hikes in Michigan: sixty walks, day trips & backpacks in the lower peninsula by Jim DuFresne

Discover Camping

Camping Michigan: a comprehensive guide to public tent and RV campgrounds by Kevin Revolinski

The down and dirty guide to camping with kids: how to plan memorable family adventures & connect kids to nature by Helen Olsson ; illustrations by Scotty Reifsnyder

Winter hiking and camping by Molly Absolon

Field & stream camping guide: camping skills you need by T. Edward Nickens and the editors of Field & stream

Camping by Ed and Kate Douglas ; recipes from Sue Hughes

Foreign Travel

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