In celebration of the publication, The Explorers: The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress, I thought why not share good children’s books for geography and exploration enthusiasts — some fiction, some historical fiction, and some nonfiction — for ages 6 to 12.
The Explorers: The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress releases April 25, 2017. It’s an adventure and mystery story about a hidden treasure and long lost explorers.
Books with Geography and Travel for Ages 6 – 9
A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse by Frank Viva
Mouse’s explorer friend sails to the Arctic where he shows mouse all that there is to see – whales, penguins, and more all the while mouse interrupts with “Can we go home yet?” every few pages. A great early reader cartoon book!
Race to the South Pole by Kate Messner
Journey along as the amazing hero dog, Ranger travels once again to the past where he helps Jack and the Captain Scott’s South Pole expedition.
Smithsonian Endless Explorations Level 4 Readers: World Wonders, Predators, Space Exploration, Natural Disasters, Ocean Habitats, Flight by Brenda Scott-Royce, Stephen Binns, Emily Rose Oachs, and Kaitlyn DiPerna
6 books in 1, this nonfiction book provides interesting factual information on a range of topics. Filled with photographs to support, this is a well-written but challenging book for early elementary age children.
Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures series by Jeff Brown
Travel with Flat Stanley all over the world in this fun, geography and adventure oriented early chapter book series.
My Travel Journal by Lonely Planet Kids
This travel journal is filled with writing, drawing, coloring and collaging ideas that will capture a trip’s memories.
Recipe for Adventure #1 Naples! by Giada De Laurentiis (ages 6 – 8)
Time-travel back to Naples, Italy with siblings Emilia and Alfie where they discover a world of pizza and help a new friend and his family with the important missing ingredient. This series of books features a different country for each book, as well as the cuisine.
Greetings From Somewhere The Mystery of the Mosaic by Harper Paris, illustrated by Marcos Calo
Second in a series, this is a simple story about two kids who accompany their parents to Venice, Italy and get the chance to solve two mysteries. I liked the bits of geography and history and suspect this will be an interesting beginning chapter book series. The books take place in different geographic locations, giving kids a chance to learn more about the world.
Race the Wild series by Kristin Earhart (ages 8 – 12)
Starting with #1 Rain Forest Relay and now with the latest, #4 Savanna Showdown, this adventure series is quick to read and constant action. Plus, each book is filled with interesting facts about the ecosystem where it takes place and the creatures who live there. Savanna Showdown ends the reality adventure race with Team Red winning on the last leg in Africa.
Children’s Activity Atlas
Colorful illustrated maps with flag, animal and landmark stickers, postcards, and a passport book make this a great interactive for geography enthusiasts. (I’ll admit, I wanted to steal it from my children and do the stickers myself.)
Doodle Adventures: The Search for Slimy Space Slugs! by Mike Lowery
This book not only hooks the reader with it’s space explorer adventure plot and hilarious narrator Carl the Duckbut, it invites YOU to find the missing priceless artifact requiring bravery, heroism and drawing. Yes, drawing. Along the journey to retrieve the artifact from Captain Sleezoog (he’s a slug), you’ll be tasked with doing your part. Also read: The Pursuit of the Pesky Pizza Pirate!
Books with Geography and Travel for Ages 9 – 12
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Viking Explorer by Andrew Langley
I love this series for making history, and in this case, exploration, come alive. You get to be the main character and see what it would be like to live like a Viking in a fun, humorous way. If you like this book, know that there are many more books in this series.
National Geographic Kids Get Outside Guide: All Things Adventure, Exploration, and Fun!
Fun activities for kids to do in the backyard, on a road trip, in a park, and more. Filled with amazing photography and designed in a kid-friendly colorful layout, this book is awesome. We LOVE it!
My Family Travel Map by Lonely Planet Kids
This is a HUGE map poster for travel planning and recording. Then use the 180 stickers to mark where you live, where you’ve been, where you’d like to go, and more. Flip the map over and learn facts about every country.
The Iron Tomb (Pyramid Hunters) by Peter Vegas
Sam arrives for summer vacation in Egypt only to discover his uncle is missing — and he is being hunted. Sam accepts the help of a friendly taxi driver and a rich girl from his plane ride (who both are hiding something) and follows the clues his uncle left behind. It looks like his uncle might have found one of the Arks of the Covenant and could be trapped there. But will Sam get to him before the thieves? An action-packed story in an interesting part of the world.
Treasure Hunters by James Petterson and Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Juliana Neufeld
The life of the four Kidd siblings isn’t typical — they live on a boat with their treasure hunter parents. Unfortunately, not only is their mom missing but their father went overboard in a bad storm. Now the kids are on own their own and need money to survive. The only way they know is to find a treasure and sell it. But danger is around every wave; they’re not sure who to trust.
Kids’ Road Atlas by Rand McNally
Of all the kid atlases, I like this one the best. It has real road maps so kids actually learn and practice how to use them. (Many of the other atlases don’t.) This is a great choice for cross-country travel in the U.S. so that you can see the map keys, play state games and puzzles, learn more about states, and more. (Use with your AAA maps and books!?)
Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas by Jonathan W. Stokes
I thoroughly enjoyed this action-packed adventure story. Addison and Molly’s archeologist aunt and uncle are kidnapped for their specialized knowledge about the Incas and their famed, hidden treasure. But the kidnappers have underestimated the persistence and brilliance of Addison and Molly who, with their friends, pursue the treasure and their aunt and uncle all the way to South America.
What other books would you add to this list?