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Cities: Books For Kids

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

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

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 cities, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Make Way for Ducklings to popular sellers like Madeline to some of our favorite hidden gems like Madeline’s Rescue.

We hope this list of kids books about cities can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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Madeline
Written & illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.”

Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not mice, not even getting sick. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years!

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Let's Go, Hugo!
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Thoughts from The Goodfather
This fanciful tale of friendship and courage is terrific. The whimsical illustrations, the Paris setting, Hugo's never ending excuses—it all combines to create a favorite around our home.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower—or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?

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Make Way for Ducklings
Written & illustrated by Robert McCloskey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Mrs. Mallard was sure that the pond in the Boston Public Gardens would be a perfect place for her and her eight ducklings to live. The problem was how to get them there through the busy streets of Boston. But with a little help from the Boston police, Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack arive safely at their new home.

This brilliantly illustrated, amusingly observed tale of Mallards on the move has won the hearts of generations of readers. Awarded the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children in 1941, it has since become a favorite of millions.

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The Homesick Club
Written by Libby Martinez & illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Mónica and Hannah are school kids in the big city. Together, they have formed the Homesick Club, since they are both from far away. Mónica misses the family of hummingbirds that she and her grandmother would feed in her backyard in Bolivia every day. Hannah misses the sunshine and the tiny tortoise that lived near her house in Israel.

When a new teacher, Miss Shelby, arrives from Texas, the girls discover that she misses her home, too, especially the huge sky full of stars and a Southern treat known as Hummingbird Cake. The girls ask Miss Shelby to join their club, then Mónica decides she will bring a surprise for show and tell — a surprise that brings Miss Shelby close to tears.

Author Libby Martinez addresses a theme that many children can relate to — feeling homesick — especially when home is far away. Rebecca Gibbon’s charming illustrations bring an imaginative, light touch to the story.

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Henri's Walk to Paris
Written by Leonore Klein & illustrated by Saul Bass
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Henri’s Walk to Paris is the story of a young boy who lives in Reboul, France, who dreams of going to Paris. One day, after reading a book about Paris, he decides to pack a lunch and head for the city. “Like many of us Henri wants to see Paris. In Paris, there are thousands of buses. In Reboul, where Henri lives, there is only one bus. In Paris there are many parks and rows and rows of trees. The park in Reboul has only five trees. In Paris there are many zoos full of animals for the people to see. So one fine day Henri packs up some lunch and starts off to see all the things he had read about.” Along the way, Henri gets tired and falls asleep under a tree. And this is when the story gets really charming. What Henri sees, we see, in a flowing panorama of pictures conceived by the eminent graphic designer Saul Bass.

Good Morning, City book
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Madeline's Rescue book
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Florette book
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Three Pennies book
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  • Good Morning, City - It’s dark and quiet. The moon still glimmers in the sky. While the baker, the ferry boat captain, and the TV anchorman are busy at work, most people are cozily snuggled in bed. Then dawn’s first light peeks through the tree branches. Wake up, city! There is much to be done in neighborhoods all across the metropolis. As the morning gets brighter, the city streets bustle with people ready to begin the day. GOOD MORNING, CITY, by morning news anchor Pat Kiernan, is sure to start the day off right.

  • Madeline's Rescue - “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.” Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not even mice. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years! When Madeline falls into the river Seine and nearly drowns, a courageous canine comes to her rescue. Now Genevieve the dog is Madeline’s cherished pet, and the envy of all the other girls. What can be done when there’s just not enough hound to go around?

  • Florette - A 2018 New York Times and New York Public Library Best Illustrated Picture Book When Mae’s family moves to a new home, she wishes she could bring her garden with her. She’ll miss the apple trees, the daffodils, and chasing butterflies in the wavy grass. But there’s no room for a garden in the city. Or is there? Mae’s story, gorgeously illustrated in watercolor, is a celebration of friendship, resilience in the face of change, and the magic of the natural world.

  • Three Pennies - A girl in foster care tries to find her birth mother before she loses her forever in this “tender tale” (School Library Journal, starred review) about last chances and new opportunities. For a kid bouncing from foster home to foster home, The Book of Changes is the perfect companion. That’s why Marin carries three pennies and a pocket-sized I Ching with her everywhere she goes. Yet when everything in her life suddenly starts changing—like landing in a foster home that feels like somewhere she could stay, maybe forever—the pennies don’t have any answers for her. Marin is positive that all the wrongs in her life will be made right if only she can find her birth mother and convince her that they belong together. Marin is close, oh so close—until she gets some unwelcome news and her resolve, like the uneasy earth far beneath the city of San Francisco, is shaken

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The Giraffe That Walked to Paris
Written by Nancy Milton & illustrated by Roger Roth
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This is a true story of a Giraffe that walked to Paris! It is neat to read about this animal bringing two countries together. Very fun to learn the history through the beautiful illustrations.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Retells the true story of how the first giraffe ever to come to Europe was sent by the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France in 1826, and the giraffe walked from the disembarkation point of Marseilles to Paris to see the King.

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Mr. Boddington's Studio: NYC ABCs
Written & illustrated by Mr. Boddington's Studio
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Based on the beautiful designs of Mr. Boddington’s Studio, this board book is the perfect introduction to the ABCs of NYC. This board book teaches the letters of the alphabet with illustrations of people, places, and things unique to the greatest city in the world. It is the perfect gift for anyone who loves New York!

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Paris
Written & illustrated by Ashley Evanson
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This is a darling book about Paris and some of the iconic landmarks in that great city. It shows the buildings made with different shapes. Very very cute.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Introducing Hello, World, an exciting new board book series that pairs early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of cities around the world.

Paris is a treasure trove of fascinating shapes: there are triangles at the Louvre Museum, rectangles at Notre-Dame Cathedral, arches at the Arc de Triomphe, and stars in a beautiful Parisian night sky. Explore shapes all over Paris in this gorgeous board book!

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Piglette
Written by Katelyn Aronson & illustrated by Eva Byrne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Will a pristine piglet find perfection in Paris?

Piglette can be a bit particular by her siblings’ standards. She always wants everything to be perfect. While her many brothers and sisters like rolling in the mud, Piglette prefers pampering in a mud bath. While her siblings eat slop, Piglette prefers pastries. But what she’s most passionate about is flowers. She loves to smell the lilies and lilacs in the pasture. So Piglette decides her precise nose is destined for the perfume shops of Paris!

But Piglette soon realizes that there’s nothing more precious than the pleasant scents of home, and she finds a way to bring a little Parisian perfection back where she belongs. Debut author Kateyln Aronson and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Eva Byrne have created an unforgettable, playful piglet who stays true to herself and the message that home is where the heart is.

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San Francisco
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Hello, World is an exciting board book series that pairs early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of cities around the world.

From the Golden Gate Bridge to seals to cable cars, there’s no shortage of bright, bold, and interesting things to count in San Francisco. Explore numbers through the best the city has to offer in this gorgeous board book!

A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans book
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Hello, Paris! book
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The ABCs of Washington, DC book
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Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood book
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  • A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans - Fans of How to Train Your Dragon will love this whimsical tale, the first in a series, by a Newbery Honor winner, featuring charming illustrations and pet “training tips” in each chapter. Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion! Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late. This refreshing debut collaboration by Laurence Yep, a two-time Newbery Honor winner and a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner, and Joanne Ryder features illustrations by Mary GrandPré.

  • Hello, Paris! - From bestselling author Christopher Franceschelli comes Hello, New York! and Hello, Paris!, board books about the most visited cities in the world. Each book opens with a simple map that puts all of the city sites in context before taking readers on a journey of the landmarks in each city. Playful die-cuts peek into windows and under bridges on each spread, culminating in an iconic gatefold at the end.

  • The ABCs of Washington, DC - The ABCs of Washington, DC brings to life the nation’s capital with a cheerful and distinctly native take on D, J and R, to name a few.

  • Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood - “An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.” —Booklist
    “Hartland’s gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children’s triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood.” —Publishers Weekly
    Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood. Once
    In a big city called New York
    In a bustling neighborhood
    There was an empty lot.
    Nevaeh called it the haunted garden.
    Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration. Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again. Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown.

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Brown Rabbit in the City
Written & illustrated by Natalie Russell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Brown Rabbit takes the bus to visit his best friend in the city, but the visit does not go as Brown Rabbit expected.

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The ABCs of Annapolis
Written by Golzar Kheiltash and Lisa Hall & illustrated by Lisa Hall
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Discover Maryland’s beautiful capital city by the Chesapeake Bay in this one of a kind board book. From “A” for Art Scene to “Z” for Zooplankton, Annapolis is brought to life from the distinct perspective of a long-time resident and local enthusiast in this vibrant board book. Little ones will love practicing their ABCs while learning about this capital city!

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All Aboard Paris
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

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Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
Written by Evie Robillard & illustrated by Rachel Katstaller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Here’s an insider’s tour of the fascinating lives of Gertrude Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, amusingly addressed directly to the reader (“The next time you go to Paris …”). It explores the couple’s art collection, their famous writer and artist friends and even their dog, Basket. It also describes how Gertrude’s book The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was not about Alice, but was more about Gertrude herself! A celebration of creativity and the creative process, this original and very readable picture book biography champions two women who dared to live unconventional lives.

In playful free verse, author Evie Robillard offers a unique introduction to one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century art and literature. It includes twelve child-friendly quotations from Stein’s work, such as: “It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.” Illustrator Rachel Katstaller’s fun yet detailed art delightfully evokes the time and place of the text. Touching on literature, history, writing and the visual arts, this biography offers loads of direct curriculum applications. Back matter includes a time line, “snapshots,” sources and an author’s note with further background.

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You See, I See: In the City
Written by Michelle Sinclair Colman & illustrated by Paul Schmid
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

See the city through the eyes of a child and parent in this heartwarming exploration of a day spent together.

You see a bustling city, I see adventure ahead!

What will you see in the city? It depends on who you ask! As a parent and child visit the newspaper stand, the store, the park, and more, each points out what they can see . . . and their perspectives might surprise you! With spare, rhyming text and a bold limited palette, this simple board book captures the fun and tenderness of exploring new places together, and the joy of seeing the world through a child’s eyes.

Don’t miss the first book in this series, You See, I See: On the Farm!

The City Girls book
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Cityblock book
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No Place Like Home book
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The Music of Life book
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  • The City Girls - Bustling sidewalks, busy streets, museums, parks, and tasty treats—the City Girls are ready to explore in this adorable picture book! From Aki, the author-illustrator of The Weather Girls and The Nature Girls, comes a new picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring the city and taking in all the diversity of life it has to offer! It’s morning time in the city./ We watch the sun rise, slow and pretty. Follow these busy girls as they wander through the city, taking in the sights. Charming rhyming verse and adorable art make this picture book irresistible—and perfect for sharing!

  • Cityblock - Cityblock explores city life in an exciting and unique way, from up in a high-rise building to down in the subway. Divided into three sections—things that go, things to see, and things to eat—it features 24 different aspects of city living. As with the other acclaimed books in the series, die-cut icons hint at the larger context on the next spread. Each section opens with a full city scene but gradually focuses in on the small, unique neighborhoods that make the city large and grand. This clever book will attract young readers living in a metropolis as well as those in the countryside with urban life that pops off each page.

  • No Place Like Home - Having to move a lot because of her father’s job, Kenzie is happy when an extended assignment allows her to enroll in a Las Vegas middle school, where she takes risks by revealing her crush, auditioning for a play, and running for student council.

  • The Music of Life - Full of joy and discovery, Louis Thomas’ The Music of Life is a simple, melodious picture book about finding big inspiration and beauty in the smallest of details. At night when everyone else is asleep, one artist sits awake—pencil in hand, stuck. Lenny is a composer, but this evening, no music floats from his head. Then as night breaks into dawn, Lenny’s cat, Pipo, begins lapping milk. Lick lick lick. Birds yawn awake, singing in the trees. Tweet tweet! A bike bell tings on the street below. Suddenly, Lenny notices a rhythm to the world around him. He pulls on his coat and walks through the city to write down every sound he can find. Lenny listens to a gardener, a jogger, a dogwalker, and more neighborhood characters. Finally, the morning’s sounds culminate in a sun-dappled symphony that Lenny conducts in the center of the park.

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F Is for Fenway Park
Written by Jerry Pallotta & illustrated by John S. Dykes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

A young baseball enthusiast’s centennial tribute to the oldest active ballpark and home of the Boston Red Sox features alphabetically arranged coverage of the field’s history, features and momentous events.

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P Is for Paris
Written & illustrated by Paul Thurlby
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

See the sights of Paris as never before! Award-winning illustrator Paul Thurlby takes us from A for Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, and some lesser known gems of Paris. Paired with snippets of useful information about each landmark, each page’s bold, eye-catching imagery is a visual treat for both kids and adults. Bursting with the sights, sounds, and energy of this unique and stunning city, this is a one-of-a-kind book for Paris lovers of all ages.

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Ooh-la-la (Max in Love)
Written & illustrated by Maira Kalman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

As he experiences Paris, the city of love, Max the millionaire poet dog knows he is missing something.

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The Dragon Warrior
Written by Katie Zhao
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Inspired by Chinese mythology, this high-action middle-grade fantasy follows an outcast as she embarks on a quest to prove herself—perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent’s Secret. As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret. Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon—and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, by commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. That is, if she can prove her worth and find the island of the immortals before the Lunar New Year. With Alex and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. But becoming the Heaven Breaker will require more sacrifices than she first realized . . . What will Faryn be willing to give up to claim her destiny? This richly woven contemporary middle-grade fantasy, full of humor, magic, and heart, will appeal to readers who love Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta.

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Where Is Alcatraz?
Written by Nico Medina and Who HQ & illustrated by David Groff
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The island of Alcatraz has always been a place that’s fascinated visitors, from the Native American tribes who believed it was home to evil spirits to the Spanish explorers who discovered the island. In modern times, it was a federal prison for only 29 years, but now draws over a million visitors each year. Learn the history of America’s most famous prison, from its initial construction as a fort in the 1800s, to its most famous residents such as Al Capone and “Machine Gun” Kelly. Where Is Alcatraz? also chronicles some of the most exciting escape attempts—even one that involved chipping through stone with spoons and constructing rafts out of raincoats!

The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial book
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The Alcatraz Escape book
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The Berenstain Bears Visit Big Bear City book
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Cityscape: Where Science and Art Meet book
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  • The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial - 2017 Orbis Pictus Honor Book
    2017 Jane Addams Peace Association Honor Book
    2017 Teachers’ Choice Pick, International Literacy Association
    An NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book of 2017
    In 1847, an African American girl named Sarah Roberts attended school in Boston. One day she was told she could never come back. She didn’t belong. The Otis School was for white children only.
    The Roberts family fought this injustice and made history. Roberts v. City of Boston was the first case challenging our legal system to outlaw segregated schools. Sometimes even losing is a victory.  They lost their case but Sarah’s cause was won when people, black and white, stood together and said, No more. Now, right now, it is time for change!
    With gorgeous art from award-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis, The First Step is an inspiring look at the first lawsuit to demand desegregation—long before the American Civil Rights movement, even before the Civil War.
    Backmatter includes: An integration timeline, bios on key people in the book, list of resources, and author’s note.

  • The Alcatraz Escape - Sleuthing duo Emily and James engage in a literary escape-room challenge on Alcatraz Island, but soon find that an invisible enemy is trying to sabotage the team at any cost.

  • The Berenstain Bears Visit Big Bear City -

  • Cityscape: Where Science and Art Meet -

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Sweep
Written by Louise Greig & illustrated by Júlia Sardà
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Ed’s bad mood begins as something really small, hardly a thing at all. But before long it grows, gathers pace, and spreads through the whole town. Can Ed sweep his troubles away?

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The Sword of Summer
Written & illustrated by Rick Riordan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he barely knows-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants, and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

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The Unbreakable Code (The Book Scavenger series)
Written & illustrated by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

Could books hidden through the Book Scavenger game be linked to an arsonist’s web of destruction? Find out in the New York Times-bestselling second book in the action packed Book Scavenger series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman.

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The Unbreakable Code
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

Could books hidden through Book Scavenger be linked to an arsonist’s web of destruction? Find out in Book 2 of Jennifer Bertman’s Book Scavenger series. Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there’s the coded note he drops at a book event. Then they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What’s most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers a fire. As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can’t ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist. The clock is ticking as the fires multiply, and Emily and James race to crack the code of a lifetime. A Christy Ottaviano Book

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Written by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

Book Scavenger book
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The Flying Squirrel Stowaways book
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Al Capone Does My Homework book
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Madame Martine book
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  • Book Scavenger - Just after twelve-year-old Emily and her family move to San Francisco, she teams up with new friend James to follow clues in an odd book they find, hoping to figure out its secrets before the men who attacked Emily’s hero, publisher Garrison Griswold, solve the mystery or come after the friends.

  • The Flying Squirrel Stowaways - Follow two flying squirrels who choose the Boston Christmas Tree as their home and accidentally stow away on an international adventure! I t’s wintertime in Nova Scotia, and two flying squirrels are busy exploring the woods around their spruce-tree home. After a busy night of playing and gliding and snacking, they’re ready to settle down and sleep all day. But humans have other plans: the tree is cut down and packed onto a truck bound for Boston, Massachusetts. It turns out their new home has been chosen as Halifax’s annual thank-you gift, the Boston Christmas Tree! The little squirrels have no idea they’re about to embark on a journey across Atlantic Canada and Maine on the way to Boston. Will the accidental stowaways be discovered? And what awaits them in their new American home?

  • Al Capone Does My Homework - Alcatraz Island in the 1930s isn’t the most normal place to grow up, but it’s home for Moose Flanagan, his autistic sister, Natalie, and all the families of the guards. When Moose’s dad gets promoted to Associate Warden, despite being an unlikely candidate, it’s a big deal. But the cons have a point system for targeting prison employees, and his dad is now in serious danger. After a fire starts in the Flanagan’s apartment, Natalie is blamed, and Moose bands with the other kids to track down the possible arsonist. Then Moose gets a cryptic note from the notorious Al Capone himself. Is Capone trying to protect Moose’s dad too? If Moose can’t figure out what Capone’s note means, it may be too late.

  • Madame Martine - Madame Martine lives in Paris and follows the same routine every day. She takes for granted the beautiful things that exist all around her. She refuses to go to the Eiffel Tower because it’s “just for tourists.” One day Madame Martine finds a stray dog and decides to take him home. When she tries keeping her dog on the same schedule, he breaks free, leading Madame Martine on a wild chase up the Eiffel Tower! Upon reaching the top, she discovers how much beauty she has been missing all these years. From then on, the two friends try something different every week.

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The Stranger
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The enigmatic origins of the stranger that Farmer Bailey hits with his truck and brings home to recuperate seem to have a mysterious relation to the weather. Could he be Jack Frost?

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Marching With Aunt Susan
Written by Claire Rudolf Murphy & illustrated by Stacey Schuett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

An inspiring story of the fight for women’s suffrage, based on the experiences of a real girl All Bessie wants is to go hiking with her father and brothers. But it’s 1896, and girls don’t get to hike. They can’t vote either, which Bessie discovers when Susan B. Anthony comes to town to help lead the campaign for women’s suffrage. Stirred to action, Bessie joins the movement and discovers that small efforts can result in small changes—and maybe even big ones. Inspired by the diary of the real Bessie Keith Pond, a ten-year-old girl who lived in California during the suffrage campaign, author Claire Rudolf Murphy and illustrator Stacey Schuett offer a thought-provoking introduction to the fight for women’s rights. A story of hope and determination, Marching with Aunt Susan reminds readers that society cannot evolve unless people—even young people—dare to take a stand

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My Family Divided
Written by Diane Guerrero & illustrated by Erica Moroz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Guerrero, the star of “Orange Is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin, “ presents her personal story in this middle-grade memoir about her parents’ deportation and the nightmarish struggles of undocumented immigrants and their American children. Photos.

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George Washington's Spy: A Time Travel Adventure
Written & illustrated by Elvira Woodruff
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

This historic time-travel fantasy is a riveting sequel to a bestselling classic. Ten-year-old Matt Carlton and six friends are accidentally swept back in time—to Boston in 1776! The British now occupy the city, and redcoat guards are everywhere! While the boys are being held captive by a den of Patriot spies, the girls have been taken in by a wealthy Tory family.

The pox is rampant; danger lies around every corner—and there’s no hope for returning home to their own time. How will these seven children survive?

Readers will relish the nonstop action and humorous dialogue in this riveting sequel to Woodruff’s bestselling novel, GEORGE WASHINGTON’S SOCKS.

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Escape from Alcatraz
Written & illustrated by Eric Mark Braun
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

What’s more exciting than a prison break? Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin escaped from Alcatraz in 1962 and have never been caught. Many authorities are certain they died crossing San Francisco Bay. Relatives claim they made it to Brazil. The theories of what happened to them are endless. Find out the facts from people who dealt with the men and the case first-hand. This is one mystery you’ll definitely want to solve.

The Fenway Foul-Up book
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My City book
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The Rainbow Flag: Bright, Bold, and Beautiful book
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A Con Artist in Paris (Book #15 of Hardy Boys Adventures) book
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  • The Fenway Foul-Up - Cousins Mike and Kate are at Boston’s Fenway Park when the Red Sox’s star hitter discovers that his lucky baseball bat has been stolen.

  • My City - A young boy discovers the excitement and unexpected delight of exploring his city—and so will readers of this vibrant picture book. Max is asked to mail a letter for his mother. As he walks through his neighborhood in search of a mailbox, he encounters all sorts of interesting things like falling leaves dancing in the wind, skyscrapers towering in the distance, and junk being piled into a garbage truck. All around him adults hurry on their various errands, too busy to appreciate these wondrous details. His walk through the city leads Max to discover that the mailbox is actually right next door to his own house. Children will enjoy following Max on his adventure and seeing things from his perspective as they explore Joanne Liu’s colorful celebration of everyday life in a busy city.

  • The Rainbow Flag: Bright, Bold, and Beautiful - Flags are brilliant and clever works of art and design, and they bring people together under a common banner. This colorful story follows a group of friends who helped dye and sew strips of cloth to create the first Rainbow Flags for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978. Led by a young artist named Gilbert Baker, the friends set out to create a flag that people could march behind during the Pride Parade. They knew the flag needed to be bright, in order to be seen by everyone as they marched. It needed to be bold, to lead the crowd. And it needed to be beautiful, like the love celebrated by the parade! The result is an iconic flag that has become an international symbol of the gay pride movement.

  • A Con Artist in Paris (Book #15 of Hardy Boys Adventures) - Brother detectives Frank and Joe follow a crooked trail of artistic deception in the fifteenth book in the thrilling Hardy Boys Adventures series. The Hardy Boys are visiting Paris! Joe is excited to check out all the street art he’s heard about. And Frank can’t wait to go to all the museums he’s researched. On their very first day in the city, the brothers are woken up early in the morning by fireworks. But these are no ordinary fireworks. They are a part of elaborate cover for the heist of a priceless artifact. What’s worse, the theft seems to have been orchestrated by Joe’s favorite street artist, an unidentified outlaw and activist that goes only by the name Le Stylo. Everyone seems sure that it’s him, but the Hardys are suspicious. From everything they know about Le Stylo, the crime is out of character. Sure, he makes a habit of provoking the authorities, but he’s an activist; not a thief. Could the artist known for his mystique have been framed? Frank and Joe are determined to find out. A race to find the real thief has Frank and Joe following clues that lead them all over Paris, where they hobnob with rich art patrons, travel in a car that can only be described as a small Batmobile, and explore the extensive Catacombs under the city. Deep in the world of artistic deception, the boys have to wonder, are they in over their heads?

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A Lion in Paris
Written & illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bored by his rural life in the savannah, a lion seeks excitement and opportunity in the City of Light, where he is surprised that even his roaring does not cause a stir while visiting Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower and the busy underground Métro. By the award-winning creator of Bugs in a Blanket.

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Waiting for Pumpsie
Written by Barry Wittenstein & illustrated by London Ladd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In 1959 the Boston Red Sox was the last team in the Major Leagues to integrate. But when they call Elijah “Pumpsie” Green up from the minors, Bernard is overjoyed to see a black player on his beloved home team. And, when Pumpsie’s first home game is scheduled, Bernard and his family head to Fenway Park. Bernard is proud of Pumpsie and hopeful that this historic event is the start of great change in America.

This fictionalized account captures the true story of baseball player Pumpsie Green’s rise to the major leagues. The story is a snapshot of the Civil Rights Movement and a great discussion starter about the state of race relations in the United States today.

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Earthquake in the Early Morning
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

An adventure that will shake you up! That’s what Jack and Annie get when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to California in 1906. As soon as they arrive, the famous San Francisco earthquake hits the city. Can Jack and Annie save the day? Or will San Francisco be destroyed first?

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Under the Ashes
Written by Cindy Rankin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Eleven-year-old Elizabeth “Littlebeth” Morgan would rather race the boys, chase skunks, and read about bandits than act like a lady. So her parents send her to her maiden aunt in San Francisco to be tamed and refined. But when an earthquake hits and she’s separated from her aunt, Littlebeth must use her fearless nature and quick-thinking to survive in a city that’s broken and burning.

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Busing Brewster
Written by Richard Michelson & illustrated by R. G. Roth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Brewster is excited about starting first grade . . . until Mama announces that he’ll be attending Central—a school in the white part of town. Mama says they have art and music and a library bursting with books, but Brewster isn’t so sure he’ll fit in.

Being black at a white school isn’t easy, and Brewster winds up spending his first day in detention at the library. But there he meets a very special person: Miss O’Grady. The librarian sees into Brewster’s heart and gives him not only the gift of books but also the ability to believe in himself.

This powerful and tender story of desegregation in the 1970s introduces readers to the brave young heroes who helped to build a new world.

A Hitch at the Fairmont book
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Anastasia's Chosen Career book
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Hannah Is My Name book
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A Whale in Paris book
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  • A Hitch at the Fairmont - An intrepid boy teams up with Alfred Hitchcock himself in this rollicking mystery rife with action, adventure, intrigue, and all the flavor of film noir. After the mysterious death of his mother, eleven-year-old Jack Fair is whisked away to San Francisco’s swanky Fairmont Hotel by his wicked Aunt Edith. There, he seems doomed to a life of fetching chocolates for his aunt and her pet chinchilla. Until one night, when Aunt Edith disappears, and the only clue is a ransom note written…in chocolate? Suddenly, Jack finds himself all alone on a quest to discover who kidnapped Aunt Edith and what happened to his mother. Alone, that is, until he meets an unlikely accomplice—Alfred Hitchcock himself! The two embark on a madcap journey full of hidden doorways, secret societies, cryptic clues, sinister villains, and cinematic flair. Including an author’s note about the real Hitchcock and an appendix of film references, this “fine read” is a “love letter to all that Hitchcock stood for” (Kirkus Reviews).

  • Anastasia's Chosen Career - In her seventh adventure, the irrepressible Anastasia decides that she needs more poise and confidence—especially since her chosen career is to be a bookstore owner. A flyer on her father’s windshield convinces her that charm school at Studio Charmante will teach her just that. But a week in modeling school may be just what Anastasia needs to realize that, just maybe, she already has what it takes.

  • Hannah Is My Name - “Based on her own immigration story, Yang’s offering is a winner — a spot-on depiction of the immigration experience in America.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS It’s a long way from Taiwan to San Francisco, but Hannah’s family has made the journey because they want to make America their home. In America, Baba tells his daughter, people are free to say what they think, and children can grow up to be whatever they choose. As Hannah takes a new name, starts a new school, learns a new language, and adjusts to a new way of life, they all wait — and hope — for the arrival of the green cards that will assure they are finally home to stay.

  • A Whale in Paris - A hopeful and heroic girl befriends a small, lost whale during World War II and together they embark on a journey to liberate France and find their families in this charming debut novel.

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West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

This fascinating firsthand account of life and travel in the early twentieth century includes 24 pages of photographs.

“It is like a fairyland.” So Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the beloved Little House series, described her 1915 voyage to San Francisco to visit her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Laura’s husband, Almanzo, was unable to leave their Missouri farm; her faithful letters home, vividly describing every detail of her journey, have been gathered here.

Perfect for supplementary classroom or homeschool research.

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Little Cities: San Francisco
Written by DK
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Little ones will love exploring the museums, monuments, and more with the help of this handy guide to the city of San Francisco.

Whether they’re San Francisco natives or on vacation, this board book is ideal for young children who want to learn more about this incredible city. Colorful images of famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge engage the attention of young readers, while fascinating facts help to engage children’s interest in their surroundings. For instance, did you know that when the Golden Gate Bridge was built, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world? Or that the city is built on more than 50 hills?

This board book highlights child-friendly attractions and features fun activities for kids to do. From famous landmarks and beautiful parks, to the cable cars and amazing buildings, this board book is the perfect children’s guide to the unique attractions of San Francisco.

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Ben's Revolution
Written by Nathaniel Philbrick & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

History comes alive in this gripping account of a young boy caught up in the start of the Revolutionary War. Based on an episode in National Book Award–winning author Nathaniel Philbrick’s New York Times bestseller Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution, this engrossing story allows readers to experience history from a child’s perspective, and Wendell Minor’s stunning paintings will transport readers back to the early days of the Revolutionary War.

Benjamin Russell is in school on the morning of April 19th, 1775, when his teacher announces, “The war’s begun, and you may run!” Ben knew this day was coming; after all, tensions had been mounting between the colonists and the British troops ever since the Boston Tea Party. And now they have finally reached the breaking point. Ben and his friends excitedly rush out of their classroom to bear witness, and follow the throngs of redcoats marching out of Boston toward Concord. Much to Ben’s surprise, Boston is sealed off later that day—leaving the boys stuck outside the city, in the middle of a war, with no way to reach their families. But Ben isn’t worried—he’s eager to help the Patriots! He soon becomes a clerk to the jovial Israel Putnam, a general in the provincial army. For months he watches the militia grow into an organized army, and when the Battle of Bunker Hill erupts, Ben is awed by the bravery of the Patriots, although saddened by the toll war takes. He later goes on to become an apprentice at a Revolutionary newspaper, and it’s a happy day when they get to report on the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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Madeline and the Old House in Paris
Written & illustrated by John Bemelmans Marciano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Madeline and her favorite companion in mischief, Pepito, embark on their wildest adventure yet. When ghostly moans lead them to the attic of the old house in Paris, they discover Felix de La Morte, who has lingered there for hundreds of years, waiting for the return of a certain comet. With the comet due to return the very next day, the poor fellow’s telescope has been stolen by mean Lord Cucuface, and it is up to Madeline and Pepito to get it back. A nighttime trip across Paris, a midnight apparition, and all is happily resolved in time for the three new friends to view the comet on a starry night.

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The Children of Alcatraz
Written & illustrated by Claire Rudolf Murphy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Offers a look at the life of the children who grew up on this infamous island with their families throughout its long and diverse history as a military prison, maximum security prison, and site of a Native American uprising, enhanced with period photos, interviews, and first-hand accounts.

Johnny Tremain book
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Up & Down book
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Kiki & Coco in Paris book
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  • Johnny Tremain - This striking 75th Anniversary edition of this Newbery Medal-winning historical fiction classic is updated with new jacket art and an illustrated foreword from author-illustrator Nathan Hale. Johnny Tremain is one of the finest historical novels ever written for children. To read this riveting novel is to live through the defining events leading up to the American Revolutionary War. Fourteen-year-old Johnny Tremain, an apprentice silversmith with a bright future, injures his hand in an accident, forcing him to look for other work. In his new job as a horse boy, he encounters John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Soon Johnny is involved in pivotal events from the Boston Tea Party to the shots fired at Lexington. For this anniversary edition, Nathan Hale brings his distinct graphic-novel storytelling to a new foreword.

  • Up & Down - Swept up by the European ballooning craze of the 1780s, Dr. John Jeffries longed to become the first person to fly across the English Channel. But first he had to outwit a rascally co-pilot, keep the balloon from bursting, and avoid crashing into the sea. The good doctor’s quick-thinking solutions will surprise young readers—and keep them giggling when “lightening the load” is a relief in more ways than one. Don Brown tells this quirky true story with his usual accuracy and heart.

  • Kiki & Coco in Paris - Coco, a doll, describes the fun experiences she has with her human owner, Kiki, while visiting Paris, including a scary moment when Coco gets hurt after Kiki accidentally leaves her in a chair at a restaurant.

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