The United States is a young country but diverse and fascinating nonetheless. Much of its landscape is ancient and its history is rich in stories. National Parks are one way to preserve and protect the country’s wonders, both natural and man-made. Read about how the Everglades were formed, meet a young woman who survived the Alamo, and visit with a mail carrier who takes mail and more to his village in the Grand Canyon. These and other treasures await you in the pages of these books.

Everglades
By: Jean Craighead George
Illustrated by: Wendell Minor
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

As an Indian storyteller guides a boat of children down the sea of grass, he reveals the story of the landscape’s formation of what was to become a subtropical national park home to many unique animals. This carefully crafted and handsomely illustrated cautionary tale urges conservation, as the future of the Everglades depends on it.

High Tide in Hawaii
By: Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca
Illustrated by: Sal Murdocca
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Hawaii is home to no less than 8 national parks where magic abounds in natural wonders such as the Volcanoes National Park. In this Magic Tree House installment, Jack and Annie are instructed to find a “special magic” in old Hawaii. They find it in Hawaii’s beauty and the drama of natural disasters!

Mule Train Mail
By: Craig Brown
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The Grand Canyon is a national park established in the early 20th century. At the bottom of the canyon is the remote village of Supai, accessible only by helicopter, horse, or mule. Join Anthony the Postman as he delivers the mail to his hometown on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, leading a mule train down the steep, striking canyon.

Redwoods
By: Jason Chin
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Giant redwoods are usually found in the Northwest United States, so how does a boy on a New York subway get to the redwoods canopy? That’s just what happens in this informative, illustrated journey from underground to atop the world’s tallest trees. The redwoods can be found in national parks in northern California and southern Oregon.

Shhh! We’re Writing the Constitution
By: Jean Fritz
Illustrated by: Tomie dePaola
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Long ago in 1787, a group of men known as the Founding Fathers of the United States met in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. (It’s now a national park.) There they discussed, argued, and finally agreed upon a document that still in use today — the U.S. Constitution. Their story is told with verve and humor in this playful book.

Susanna of the Alamo: A True Story
By: John Jakes
Illustrated by: Paul Bacon
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Many people have heard of Davy Crockett and the Alamo. But this story is based on a real but little known woman named Susanna Dickinson who survived the battle at the Alamo in San Antonio. This dramatic, illustrated story is told to engage young listeners (or readers) and bring history to life.

The Camping Trip That Changed America
By: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by: Mordicai Gerstein
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein captures the majestic redwoods of Yosemite in this little-known but important story from our nation’s history. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of our National Parks. [Good Reads]

When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone
By: Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Illustrated by: Cassie & Dan Hartman
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stunning photographs combine with a clear text to show how early use of Yellowstone, changed it completely. The elimination of a predator altered wildlife and vegetation and had other unforeseen consequences until the process started to be reversed in the 20th century. “Returning the wolf is helping to make Yellowstone whole again.”

Yellowstone Moran: Painting the American West
By: Lita Judge
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Tom Moran dreamed of seeing the western United States, painting places that were unknown to most. He was allowed to join a team of geologists heading to “the Yellowstone,” the year before it became a national park. Read about what early explorers saw and how they recorded it in picture book biography.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Amazon.com help support PBS Parents. Thank you!

More Adventures in Learning

About Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is a national literacy initiative that gives parents and teachers the resources they need to help young children become strong readers and writers. Our website offers lots of video (including our PBS Launching Young Readers series), hundreds of articles about helping young readers, parent tips in 11 languages, a bilingual parent e-newsletter, video interviews with well-known children’s authors, a big library of themed booklists – and much more!

You Might Also Like