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Amusement Parks: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about amusement parks?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to amusement parks. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about amusement parks.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about amusement parks, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Roller Coaster to popular sellers like One Day at Horrorland to some of our favorite hidden gems like B Is for Bulldozer.

We hope this list of kids books about amusement parks can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story
Written by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan & illustrated by Floyd Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The true story of how a ride on a carousel made a powerful Civil Rights statement
 
_A Ride to Remember_ tells how a community came together—both black and white—to make a change. When Sharon Langley was born in the early 1960s, many amusement parks were segregated, and African-American families were not allowed entry. This book reveals how in the summer of 1963, due to demonstrations and public protests, the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Maryland became desegregated and opened to all for the first time. Co-author Sharon Langley was the first African-American child to ride the carousel. This was on the same day of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Langley’s ride to remember demonstrated the possibilities of King’s dream. This book includes photos of Sharon on the carousel, authors’ notes, a timeline, and a bibliography.

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Carnival in a Fix
Written by Philip Reeve & illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Funfair Moon, the outer space amusement park where Emily lives, has the highest roller coasters, the most dizzying Tilt-A-Whirls, and the scariest ghost train in the galaxy. Normally, Emily’s heroes Jinks and O’Hare keep it in tip-top shape. But the day the funfair inspector comes, everything goes wrong. Peeploid’s Merry-Go-Round and Fudge Shoppe is spinning out of control, gravity has reversed on the biggest slide, and there are strange little spiny black balls all over the place! Can Emily help fix the carnival before the inspector closes it for good?

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B Is for Bulldozer
Written by June Sobel & illustrated by Melissa Iwai
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Get ready for a ride through the alphabet at a busy construction site. There’s a big yellow Bulldozer, a tall shiny Crane, a rusty red Dump truck–and the construction crew is hard at work. But what are they building?

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Gator
Written & illustrated by Randy Cecil
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A carousel alligator goes on a courageous journey to find a place with real alligators–and a wonderful, familiar sound–in this moving and modest story. Full color.

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Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
Written by Kathryn Gibbs Davis & illustrated by Gilbert Ford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Describes how the engineer George Ferris invented the famous carnival attraction for the renowned 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

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  • At the Boardwalk - From sunrise to sunset, the attractions of a beach boardwalk include popcorn, taffy, arcade games, and a dazzling amusement park.

  • Roller Coaster - Twelve people set aside their fears and ride a roller coaster, including one who has never done so before.

  • Fun at the Fair - Toddlers will love exploring all the wonders of a day at the fair in this chunky, tactile board book. Little hands will thrill at flipping through the uniquely shaped, die-cut pages that overlap to reveal carousels, trains, rollercoasters and all the other fun-tastic sights and sounds of a bustling fairground. Delightfully petite, with light concept-based text and jubilant illustrations, Fun at the Fair is perfect for hands on play and bedtime reading alike. • The tactile, toylike quality makes Fun at the Fair an irresistible attention-grabber for toddlers. • Decorative and elegantly-designed, this book is ideal for both nursery display and hands-on learning. • Lovers of Scandinavian design will love Ingela Arrhenius’s beautiful, 1950s-inspired art. Fans of City Block, Main Street Magic, and Ingela Arrhenius’s Animals and Pop Up Things that Go! will love Fun at the Fair. • Board books for toddlers • Family read-aloud for ages 0–3 • Baby shower gift/home décor

  • Little Elliot, Big Fun - Elliot the little elephant is terrified when his friend Mouse introduces him to the carnival, but Mouse helps him to have fun.

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Monster Park!
Written & illustrated by Annie Bach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

“Monster play. Monster ‘YAY!’ Monster Park—come on, this way!” Monster’s having a fun time at the park—swinging and sliding, swirling and twirling, and riding the whirly-whirl. When it’s time to go, though, Monster says “NO!” But all’s okay because Monster can return another day. A monstrous-ly enjoyable follow-up to Annie Bach’s delightful Monster Party!

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Monster Needs a Party
Written by Paul Czajak & illustrated by Wendy Grieb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Disappointed when none of his friends can attend his pirate birthday, Monster cheers up when he goes to a pirate theme park, instead.

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Rumble of the Coaster Ghost
Written & illustrated by Troy Cummings
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Stermont's latest monster is a real scream!
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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
Written by Dusti Bowling
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Aven Green was born without arms–so when her dad takes a job running a dying western theme park in Arizona, she knows she’ll become the center of unwanted attention at her new school. But she bonds with Connor, a classmate with his own disability to conquer. Then they discover a room at the park that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. Can Aven face her fears, solve a mystery, and help her friend, too?

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Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13
Discover a new series for fans of Lemony Snicket, Roald Dahl and the Adams family. Welcome to the world of Nocturnia, where darkness reigns supreme, glitter is terrifying, and unicorns are the stuff of nightmares! This is the third book about Amelia Fang, a sparkly little vampire in a dark and gloomy world.
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  • Escape from the Roller Ghoster, Volume 11 - Desmond and Andres visit a scary roller-ghoster in this eleventh haunted adventure in the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series!

  • A Royal Ride - Join Catherine the Great on a fun-filled ride as she schemes to invent the roller coaster in this inventive, STEM-based nonfiction picture book! Empress Catherine the Great, Queen of Russia loved her country, especially the snowy winters. Giant ice slides meant daring drops and thrilling rides for all! But every spring, warm weather melted the snow and the slides. What could Catherine the Great do to ensure fun all year round? With some ingenuity and some royal thinking, Catherine the Great would create her greatest invention!

  • Road Trip with Max and His Mom - Third-grader Max is heading off on a road trip with Mom. With miles to travel, cousins to meet, and a tall roller coaster to ride (maybe), it will be an adventure! But Max always spends weekends with Dad; will Dad be okay if he’s left behind? And will Max be brave enough for all the new explorations ahead of him?

  • Foreverland - Endless rides, endless junk food, and endless adventure? Who wouldn't want to live in an amusement park? Foreverland is sure to be a big hit with young readers.
    --Suzanne Selfors, national bestselling author of Wish Upon a Sleepover and Fortune's Magic Farm Nicole C. Kear's Foreverland is a bighearted coming-of-age story about being lost, and finding your way back home again. Margaret is tired of everything always changing. Middle school has gone from bad to worse. Her best friend is becoming a stranger. And her family--well, it's not even a family anymore. So Margaret is running away to Foreverland, her favorite amusement park. Hiding out there is trickier than she expects--until she meets Jaime, a thrill-seeking, fast-thinking runaway who teaches Margaret how to stay one step ahead of the captain of security. At first, this after-hours, all-access pass to the park is a dream come true: sleepovers in the Haunted House, nonstop junk food, and an unlimited ticket to ride. But as the runaways learn each other's secrets, they must face the reasons they left their normal lives behind. With the Captain closing in and Jaime's future on the line, can Margaret finally take control? Foreverland is an exhilarating story about riding life's rollercoaster--figuring out how to hang on and learning when to let go. An Imprint Book

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Revenge of the Living Dummy
Written by R.L. Stine
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

It’s a whole new ride from master of horror and bestselling author R.L. Stine–with a story so fiendish that it can’t be contained to just one book! <p/>Fright-master R.L. Stine invites you on an all-new, all-terrifying adventure!<br> The thrill ride begins when 12-year-old Britney Crosby encounters an old ventriloquist’s dummy with a lively secret–and a wicked plan.<br> Just when she thinks the nightmare is over, Britney receives an invitation to an amusement park where everything is not as it seems. Who–or what–is summoning ordinary kids to HorrorLand? Britney and her friends must find out fast–or remain trapped forever in the scariest place on Earth.

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I Am Not Scared
Written by Anna Kang & illustrated by Christopher Weyant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Two fuzzy friends go to an amusement park. They try to convince each other that there are much scarier things than the roller coaster. Hairy spiders! Aliens! Fried ants! They soon discover that sometimes being scared isn’t as “scary” as they thought. With expressive illustrations and simple text, this giggle-inducing tale about (not) being scared features the endearing characters from the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award­ winner You Are (Not) Small.

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One Day at Horrorland
Written by R. L. Stine
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

Getting lost on their way to Zoo Gardens Theme Park, the Morris family instead finds Horrorland, an amusement park with no crowds, no lines, and heart-stopping rides that go beyond creepy. Original.

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Bringing Down the Mouse
Written by Ben Mezrich
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Charlie Lewis goes on a roller coaster ride of risk, math, and gaming in this middle grade novel that parallels the New York Times bestselling Bringing Down the House, which inspired the movie 21 with Kevin Spacey. Charlie Lewis is a nerd. All he’s ever been good at is math—and he’s really good at math. So good that he’s recruited by a group of kids determined to game the system at the biggest theme park in the world—and win the grand prize. Soon Charlie is caught up in the excitement and thrill of using his math skills for awesomeness…but what’s at stake may be more than he’s willing to risk. How far will Charlie go for a chance at the ultimate reward?

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Tick Tock Terror
Written & illustrated by Melanie Jackson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Conor loves to climb. So when the crusty old manager of a thrill ride based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” challenges Conor to scale the ride in the dark of night and hide a package at the top, he foolishly accepts. But it isn’t long before he realizes that he is now involved in something far more dangerous. What is in the package, and what does it have to do with Edgar Allan Poe? And why is the town bully so terrified of the old man? The more Conor learns, the deeper in trouble he gets.

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