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Using Children's Literature for US Geography - Looking for Suggestions

Guest zealth

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Guest zealth

I will be leading a US Geography "class" for our homeschool coop in the fall and have spent hours looking for appropriate texts. This idea was originally born out of Holling C. Hollings books, but these books skip some massive regions of the country, priomarily the west coast, the southeast/deep south and the non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii. I would love to at least incorporate the west and south in this class though suggestions for Alaska and Hawaii are also welcome.


For those of you not familiar with Holling's books (and I recommend you GET familiar), they are travelogues of a sort with a character moving through various regions of the country, the plotline intimately tied to the location. These books ride the line between picture books and chapter books, which is really ideal for the crew I anticipate this fall. I would love suggestions of other texts that would have a similar feel and would address the regions I am currently lacking. If you or someone you know have supplemented the Holling books or the Beautiful Feet Geography curriculum in a useful way, I would love to know that too!





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I got this from one or another forum years ago, so not sure who to thank. Anyway, here's a list of books to go with various states for the grammar stage.




A Picture Book of Rosa Parks - Adler

From Plant to Blue Jeans - Hommedieu (re: cotton)

Life on a Plantation - Kalman

Plantations - Stone

Eli Whitney - Alter



Mama Do You Love Me?

A Child's Alaska


Circle of Thanks




Tuesday in Arizona

Cottonwood Trees - Prevost

Squirrel's Song - Wolkstein

Is My Friend at Home? Bierhorst



Come Go With Me: Old Time Stories From the Southern

Mountains - Thomas (re: Oachita Mountains)



How Far Felipe?

Smoky Night

Condor's Egg

Striking it Rich

Nine for California



Fat Chance Claude

Stones, Bones and Petroglyphs - Goodman

Native Americans and Mesa Verde - Martell



Solomon Grundy

Warm as Wool (or Ohio?)



The Legend of the Cranberry

The Light in the Forest (books on tape)

Standing in the Light (video)



Elizabeth and Larry and Ed

A Visit to Grandma's

St. Augustine (video)

A Kid's Guide to Florida

The Great Pig Search

Freddy Goes to Florida

All Dressed up and Nowhere to Go

My Family Vacation

The Worst Goes South




Georgia Music

Peach and Blue - Kilborne

A Confederate Girl - Steele

Mama and Me and the Model T



The Last Princess: Ka'Iulani - Guzzetti

Haleakalala National Park - Radlander

Hawaii in Words and Pictures - Fradin

The Last Hawaiian Queen - Stanley

The Island Below the Star

Dear Katie, the Volcano is a Girl - George

Punia and the King of Sharks

Luka's Quilt



Mailing May

Wolf: Return of a Legend (video re: Sawtooth Mountains)

One Potato - Porter

Sunday Potatoes, Monday Potatoes - Shiefman

More Potatoes - Belsam

Potato - Watts

The Enormous Potato - Davis

Potato: A Tale From the Great Depression - Leid



The Journey

Joshua's Westward Journal



The Floating House

Story of Johnny Appleseed - Aliki

True Tale of Johnny Appleseed - Hodges

Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale - Steven Kellogg

Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend - Will Moses

A Place Called Freedom



Eve and Smithy

Story of Paul Bunyan - Emberly



Wagon Wheels

The Loudest, Fastest, Best Drummer in Kansas

Climbing Kansas Mountains

The Van Gogh Cafe



Your Best Friend, Kate

Daniel Boone

Just in Time for Christmas

Kentucky Troll: Mysteries Underground (nat. geo.

video on Mammoth Cave, et al)

'B' is for Bluegrass

Kentucky in Words and Pictures



Why Lapin's Ears are Long

All the "Clovis Crawfish" books

Mimi and Jean Paul's Cajun Mardi Gras

Cajun Through and Through

Feydra Leroux: A Cajun Tall-Tale



Blueberries for Sal

One Morning in Maine

Miss Rumphius


Grandmother Bryant's Pocket

Time of Wonder



Molly Bannaky



Make Way for Ducklings

Cranberry Thanksgiving

She's Wearing a Dead Bird on her Head

A Picture Book of Paul Revere

Plimoth Plantation (video)

Across the Wide, Dark Sea

Paul Revere's Midnight Ride

Which Way to the Revolution

Letting Swift River Go



Paul Bunyan: How a Terrible Timber Fellar Became a Legend - Rogers

Paul Bunyan Fights the Monster Plants - Blassingame

The Christmas Tree Ship

The Log Cabin Church

Mrs. Mack



Follow the Stars: A Native American Woodlands Tale - Rodanas

Legend of the Lady Slipper - Lunge-Larsen

Sacred Harvest: Wild Rice - Reggiunti



Freedom School, Yes!

Oh Lord, I Wish I was a Buzzard

Grandaddy's Gift

Little Toot on the Mississippi



Mark Twain and Huck Finn - Ross

River Boy: The Story of Mark Twain - Anderson

Mark Twain and the Queens of the Mississippi - Harness

Mark Twain? What Kind of Name is That? Quackenbush

(what kind of name is *that*?)

Tom Sawyer, Danger in the Graveyard - Richardson

Tom Sawyer Gives up the Brush (video - 30 minutes)

Wagons West!

Fiddlin' Sam Dengler

There Goes Lowell's Party - Hershenhorn



Once We Had a Horse




The Huckabuck Family



Tulip Sees America (covers several states)

Any books on desert life, particularly the Mojave,

would work for studying this state. Books on red

rock canyonlands would also work.


New Hampshire:

Ox Cart Man (or is this Vermont?)

Lucy's Summer

Sara Whitcher's Story


New Jersey:

The Colony of New Jersey

The 18 Penny Goose


New Mexico:

Josephina books

Spanish and Colonial Santa Fe (video)

Carlos and the Cornfield

Cowboy's Roundup on an American Ranch

Los Posadas: An Hispanic Christmas Celebration

Grandmother's Adobe House


New York:

My New York

How Pizza Came to Queens

Anna, Grandpa and the Big Storm

The Inside-Outside Book of New York City


The Story of the Statue of Liberty

Joe and the Skyscraper

Under New York


North Carolina:

Back Home

My Great Aunt Arizona

Mountain Boy

The Colony of North Carolina

The Jack Tales

Grandfather's Land: We are Mountain People - Fitch


North Dakota:

River Friendly, River Wild – Kurtz

Thrashin' Time: Harvest Days in the Dakotas



Aurora Means Dawn


(Warm as Wool may fit better here than previously stated state)

Flatboats on the Ohio: Westward Bound



I Have Heard of a Land

Angels in the Dust

They Came From the Bronx: How the Buffalo Were Saved



Oregon's Journey

Long Ago in Oregon

Roughing it on the Oregon Trail



Just Plain Fancy

A Humble Life: Plain Poems

The Folks in the Valley

The Egg Tree

The Colony of Pennsylvania

Pioneer Church

Bewildered for Three Days

Punxatawney Phil


Rhode Island:

Finding Providence: The Story of Roger Williams

The Colony of Rhode Island

Loud and Crowing (Rhode Island Red roosters)

Roger Williams and Rhode Island (video)


South Carolina:

Carolina Shout!

The Colony of South Carolina


South Dakota:

Mount Rushmore (two titles)

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox - Bleeter



Swamp Angel

Davy Crockett (Rabbit Ears, w/ tape)

Lucky with Potatoes (do they grow these in Tennessee?)



Legend of the Bluebonnet

Beats Me, Claude

Armadillo Rodeo

Bluebonnet at Dinosaur Valley State Park

Bubba the Cowboy Prince

Susanna of the Alamo

The Inside-Outside Book of Texas

Armadillo from Amarillo

The West Texas Chili Monster

Jalepeno Hal

The Cowboy and the Black-eyed Pea

Fish Fry

Freedom's Gifts: A Juneteenth Story

Ganzy Remembers

Prairie Christmas

A Cowboy Named Ernestine



Salt Lake City - Doubleday

Grandfather's Gold Watch



Least of All

The Wonderful Hay Tumble

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Snowflake Bentley



The Relatives Came

When the Whipoorwill Calls

One Christmas Dawn

Appalachia: Voices of Sleeping Birds

The Blue Hill Meadows

Night in the Country

This Year's Garden



Island Time

A Horse's Tale


West Virginia:

When I was Young in the Mountains

In November

But I'll be Back Again


Silver Packages

Waiting to Waltz



Giant Ball of String

Dance at Grandpa's

Christmas in the Big Woods

Winter Days in the Big Woods

The Deer in the Wood

Going to Town

Summertime in the Big Woods



Tonweya and the Eagles - YellowRobe

Lakota Hoop Dancer - LeftHandBull

Iktomi and the Buzzard - Goble

Jack Creek Cowboy

Washington, D.C.:

Capitol: Washington, D.C. From A to Z

The White House

The Wall

Inside-Outside Book of Washington, D.C.


Puerto Rico:

The Outside Dog

Take a Trip to Puerto Rico

Sergio and the Hurricane

Abuelita's Paradise


Virgin Islands:

The Day the Hurricane Happened



Pacific Territories:

U.S. Territories and Possessions

Pacific Islands

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Guest zealth

There are a lot of great resources here! I will definitely tap into these sometime in the future. For this particular class, I was hoping for more that integrated the place or region into the text, travelogue-style.


Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who has chimed in so far with all these great suggestions!:thumbup:



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The Moon by Night - Madeleine L'Engle


Just a caution about this one. It is about a 14yo girl and a major part of the plot is about an older boy (at least driving age) chasing after her across the country. Minor teenage angst, a first kiss, and another man are also featured.


Anyway, you might want to preread.

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