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Father-son Relationships: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about father-son relationships?

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

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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about father-son relationships, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Christmasaurus to popular sellers like Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One the Lightning Thief to some of our favorite hidden gems like Guess How Much I Love You.

We hope this list of kids books about father-son relationships can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Father-son Relationships

#1
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The Crossover
Written by Kwame Alexander & illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

New York Times bestseller ∙ Newbery Medal Winner ∙ Coretta Scott King Honor Award ∙ 2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults ∙ 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ∙ Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ School Library Journal Best Book ∙ Kirkus Best Book

“A beautifully measured novel of life and line.”—The New York Times Book Review

“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander.

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

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#2
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Spot Loves His Daddy
Written & illustrated by Eric Hill
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Whether playing ball in the park, feeding the ducks, or reading bedtime stories, Spot and his Daddy are great buddies. Perfect for Father’s Day, as well as all year long, this happy and heartwarming book is great for sharing.

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#3
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Dad and the Dinosaur
Written by Gennifer Choldenko & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A heartwarming father-son story about bravery and facing fears.

Nicholas was afraid of the dark outside his door, the bushes where the giant bugs live, and the underside of manhole covers.

His dad was not afraid of anything.

Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner).

With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again.

Luckily, his dad knows that even the bravest people can get scared, and it’s okay to ask for help facing your fears. It’s just guy stuff.

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#4
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Enemy Pie
Written by Derek Munson & illustrated by Tara Calahan King
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy!

In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning your best enemy into your best friend. Accompanied by charming illustrations, Enemy Pie serves up a sweet lesson in the difficulties and ultimate rewards of making new friends.

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#5
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Great Dog
Written by Davide Cali & illustrated by Miguel Tanco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The age-old question of “what will I be when I grow up” gets a hilarious twist in this stylish and clever story.

A pup and his father contemplate his grand future while looking at other Great Dogs in their family. Will he be a marathon runner like Uncle Tibor, the fastest dog in the family? Will he be an astronaut like Aunt Yuki, who reached for the stars? Or maybe a teacher like Uncle Scooter, respected by all?

No matter what, says his father, he will be a GREAT dog!

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#6
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Bippity Bop Barbershop
Written by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this companion book to the bestselling I Love My Hair, a young boy, Miles, makes his first trip to the barbershop with his father. Like most little boys, he is afraid of the sharp scissors, the buzzing razor, and the prospect of picking a new hairstyle. But with the support of his dad, the barber, and the other men in the barbershop, Miles bravely sits through his first haircut. Written in a reassuring tone with a jazzy beat and illustrated with graceful, realistic watercolors, this book captures an important rite of passage for boys and celebrates African-American identity.

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#7
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You and Me, Me and You
Written & illustrated by Miguel Tanco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The wonder of being a dad is on display in this touching tribute to fathers. After all, the connection between a father and child yields a lifetime of learning and love. In You and Me, Me and You, that special bond is honored through poignant, tenderly rendered illustrated vignettes: a father and son walk together, discuss life amid a city’s bustle, play, and, perhaps most profoundly, grow, side by side. Bright pops of Pantone yellow infuse each spread with joy, and a cloth spine adds an irresistible specialness. At once a treasured Father’s Day gift and a year-round “I love you,” parents and children will delight in this celebration of a supremely meaningful relationship.

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#8
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Dragons: Father and Son
Written by Alexandre Lacroix & illustrated by Ronan Badel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

To prove to his father that he is a real dragon, young Drake is sent to the local village to cause some mischief and start a fire. But Drake has only ever breathed fire to roast a tasty caterpillar. How will be burn down a whole house? Or a school? Or even an old wooden shack? Has Drake got what it takes to make his father proud? Dragons: Father and Son is a funny and moving story about the bonds between fathers and children, with a positive, peaceful message – and all the magic and mayhem you’d hope for in a tale about dragons.

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#9
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If My Love Were a Fire Truck
Written by Luke Reynolds & illustrated by Jeff Mack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A father’s love for his son goes zoom, swoosh, vroom, boom! in this energetic, adventurous, action-packed board book tribute to fathers and sons.

The bond between a father and his son is as powerful as a rocket ship blasting into space, a giant whale splashing across the ocean, and booming, colorful fireworks lighting up the night sky. Celebrating that one-of-a-kind relationship between Dad and his favorite little guy, If My Love Were a Fire Truck is a rhyming love song from fathers to sons that will become a cherished part of their lives for many years to come.

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#10
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The Train of Lost Things
Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A magical story about a boy's love for his dying father and his journey to the mythic Train of Lost Things, where beloved lost objects are rescued and protected until they can be returned. Perfect for fans of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Bridge to Terabithia, and Lost in the Sun.
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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Father-son Relationships and...

Books About Father-son Relationships and Love

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If My Love Were a Fire Truck
Written by Luke Reynolds & illustrated by Jeff Mack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A father’s love for his son goes zoom, swoosh, vroom, boom! in this energetic, adventurous, action-packed board book tribute to fathers and sons.

The bond between a father and his son is as powerful as a rocket ship blasting into space, a giant whale splashing across the ocean, and booming, colorful fireworks lighting up the night sky. Celebrating that one-of-a-kind relationship between Dad and his favorite little guy, If My Love Were a Fire Truck is a rhyming love song from fathers to sons that will become a cherished part of their lives for many years to come.

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Guess How Much I Love You
Written by Sam McBratney & illustrated by Anita Jeram
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Sometimes, when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how much you treasure them. But, as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure! For two decades, Sam McBratney’s timelessly endearing story, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s exquisite watercolors, has captured the deep and tender bond between parent and child. Guess How Much I Love You is one of the world’s best-loved picture books.

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Spot Loves His Daddy
Written & illustrated by Eric Hill
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Whether playing ball in the park, feeding the ducks, or reading bedtime stories, Spot and his Daddy are great buddies. Perfect for Father’s Day, as well as all year long, this happy and heartwarming book is great for sharing.

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  1. You and Me, Me and You - The wonder of being a dad is on display in this touching tribute to fathers. After all, the connection between a father and child yields a lifetime of learning and love. In You and Me, Me and You, that special bond is honored through poignant, tenderly rendered illustrated vignettes: a father and son walk together, discuss life amid a city’s bustle, play, and, perhaps most profoundly, grow, side by side. Bright pops of Pantone yellow infuse each spread with joy, and a cloth spine adds an irresistible specialness. At once a treasured Father’s Day gift and a year-round “I love you,” parents and children will delight in this celebration of a supremely meaningful relationship.

  2. Just Like Daddy - Who wouldn’t want to be just like Daddy? He’s strong, kind, and practical–and he knows how to have fun! Even if he messes up, it’s never a big deal. Plus, he handles scary monsters (well, spiders), keeps his eyes open on the roller coaster (mostly), and puts on silly voices when he reads a bedtime story. This heartwarming picture book shows why Daddy is the BEST.

  3. Little Fox and the Wild Imagination - This is a collaboration beyond your wildest imagination! Jorma Taccone, from the hit comedy trio The Lonely Island, has paired up with New York Times-bestselling, Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Dan Santat to create a picture book about time, space, and giant-robot-squids. BEWARE! This is a tale of great caution, terror, and destruction . . . of bath time, and bedtime, and the battle in between. This is the story of Little Fox and one VERY BIG imagination. Everyone from Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Seth Meyers to music legend Weird Al Yankovic and Tony award-winning playwright Tony Kushner Little Fox and the Wild Imagination. Can you imagine that?

  4. On Our Way Home - This heartfelt picture book celebrates the love between a father and his child. Together, Daddy Bear and Baby Bear walk through the forest, racing and resting and gazing at wonderful things along the way. When they arrive home, Daddy tucks his sleepy little bear into bed with a kiss and a cuddle. With its gentle, simple text and lovely art, On Our Way Home is the perfect bedtime story.

Want to see books about love?

Books About Father-son Relationships and Friendship

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Enemy Pie
Written by Derek Munson & illustrated by Tara Calahan King
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy!

In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning your best enemy into your best friend. Accompanied by charming illustrations, Enemy Pie serves up a sweet lesson in the difficulties and ultimate rewards of making new friends.

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Son of Happy
Written by Cary Fagan & illustrated by Milan Pavlović
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The boy in this story never wants to go to his friends’ birthday parties, because Happy the Clown is always there. And Happy is … his dad.

He wishes his dad had a regular job, like all the other kids’ parents. He didn’t mind his dad being a clown when he was a little kid, but now it’s just embarrassing. And even worse, since business is slow, his dad is putting a sign on the front lawn advertising his clown services!

But one night at dinner Dad announces that he’s going back to his old job of being a lawyer. “You were a lawyer?” the boy asks, incredulous.

Now his dad wears a suit and tie to work, the family can buy a new car, his mom can take piano lessons, and he can have a skateboard and cellphone.

But something feels different. The boy wonders if his dad misses being a clown. Or is he the one who misses Happy?

With bittersweet humor, Cary Fagan brings us a story about a boy’s growing consciousness and a father’s realization that he can be himself.

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The Storm Whale in Winter
Written & illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this sequel to The Storm Whale, the boy, Noi, is caught in a storm at sea and his whale friend comes to his rescue. When Noi’s dad sails out on one last fishing trip before winter, Noi waits for him at home. But as the storm worsens and his dad does not return, Noi decides to go looking for his dad. But the storm is powerful and dangerous, and soon Noi, too, is stuck in the icy sea. When it seems that all hope is lost, a friend comes to help Noi and his father. Poignant and evocative, this is a beautiful celebration of friendship and family, and the special bond between a father and son.

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  1. The Frame-Up - When Sargent Singer discovers that the paintings in his father’s gallery are alive, he is pulled into a captivating world behind the frame that he never knew existed. Filled with shady characters, devious plots, and a grand art heist, this inventive mystery-adventure celebrates art and artists and is perfect for fans of Night at the Museum and Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer. There’s one important rule at the Beaverbrook Gallery—don’t let anyone know the paintings are alive. Mona Dunn, forever frozen at thirteen when her portrait was painted by William Orpen, has just broken that rule. Luckily twelve-year-old Sargent Singer, an aspiring artist himself, is more interested in learning about the vast and intriguing world behind the frame than he is in sharing her secret. And when Mona and Sargent suspect shady dealings are happening behind the scenes at the gallery, they set out to find the culprit. They must find a way to save the gallery—and each other—before they are lost forever. With an imaginative setting, lots of intrigue, and a thoroughly engaging cast of characters, The Frame-Up will captivate readers of Jacqueline West’s The Books of Elsewhere.

  2. The Secret Life of Sam - The timelessness of Bridge to Terabithia meets the wonder of Big Fish in this bittersweet, magical story, perfect for fans of Barbara O'Connor, Lisa Graff, and Dan Gemeinhart.

  3. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One the Lightning Thief - Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One: Lightning Thief, The

  4. The Sea of Monsters - When Camp Half-Blood, the only safe haven for demigods, comes close to being overrun by mythological monsters, Percy must find his best friend Grover, who is prisoner on an island in the Bermuda Triangle, and then set out to save the Camp.

Books About Father-son Relationships and Feelings And Emotions

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Dragons: Father and Son
Written by Alexandre Lacroix & illustrated by Ronan Badel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

To prove to his father that he is a real dragon, young Drake is sent to the local village to cause some mischief and start a fire. But Drake has only ever breathed fire to roast a tasty caterpillar. How will be burn down a whole house? Or a school? Or even an old wooden shack? Has Drake got what it takes to make his father proud? Dragons: Father and Son is a funny and moving story about the bonds between fathers and children, with a positive, peaceful message – and all the magic and mayhem you’d hope for in a tale about dragons.

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A Different Pond
Written by Bao Phi & illustrated by Thi Bui
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls “a must-read for our times,” A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son - and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui’s striking, evocative art paired with Phi’s expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.

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Things to Do with Dad
Written by & illustrated by Sam Zuppardi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Can a young boy figure out how to turn an obstacle into an opportunity in this nearly wordless picture book?

A morning of fun with Dad takes a turn for the boring when a long to-do list interferes. At first content to let Dad cross things off his list, the boy in the story soon realizes that the whole day will be spent on chores – unless he can come up with a solution. In his singularly expressive, kid-friendly style, author-illustrator Sam Zuppardi crafts a colorful celebration of the fun that can be had with just a little imagination – and a trusty green crayon.

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  1. Raj and the Best Day Ever - Best-selling illustrator Sebastien Braun introduces new character Raj in this celebration of the relationship between father and son. Raj and Dad are going on an adventure. They plan a list of all the things they will do. But then disaster strikes! Dad has left his wallet at home, and Raj thinks their day will be ruined. But maybe Raj and Dad can still have a great day–all they need is their imaginations and each other’s company!

  2. The Blue House - In the tradition of Virginia Lee Burton's

  3. Father and Son: A Nativity Story - In this profound new telling of the Christmas story, award-winning author Geraldine McCaughrean imagines how Joseph might have felt on that first night with his very special son. Fabian Negrin’s beautiful illustrations make Father and Son a very special book for the holidays.

  4. When This World Was New - An uplifting story about a young boy overcoming his fears and embracing his new home in America.

Books About Father-son Relationships and New Experiences

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Bippity Bop Barbershop
Written by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this companion book to the bestselling I Love My Hair, a young boy, Miles, makes his first trip to the barbershop with his father. Like most little boys, he is afraid of the sharp scissors, the buzzing razor, and the prospect of picking a new hairstyle. But with the support of his dad, the barber, and the other men in the barbershop, Miles bravely sits through his first haircut. Written in a reassuring tone with a jazzy beat and illustrated with graceful, realistic watercolors, this book captures an important rite of passage for boys and celebrates African-American identity.

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What's Next?
Written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by Jane McGuinness
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An inquisitive baby badger is drawn to discover the world outside his den in an endearing, delightfully illustrated father-and-child story. Baby Badger sleeps all day in his snuggly burrow. When he wakes, he explores every nook of his home and wants to know “what’s next?” So Daddy takes him to the dark forest above to roll in soft moss and snuffle in bluebell bulbs and watch the silvery moon setting, a signal that night is ending and it’s time to go home. But if daytime is “what’s next,” how can Baby Badger sleep without seeing that? So he slips out alone to see the brilliant flowers and birds and to feel the yellow sun hot on his fur. Cozy illustrations and a child-friendly text depict a curious little creature dazzled by the world’s natural wonders — and a doting father who is there to guide him back if “what’s next” turns out to take him a bit too far.

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Papasaurus
Written & illustrated by Stephan Lomp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Babysaurus loves playing hide-and-seek with his Papasaurus. But one day, no matter where he looks, he can’t find him, so Babysaurus turns to his prehistoric friends for help. Where can his Papasaurus be? Of course, Papasaurus has been right there all along, and when Babysaurus needs a little help, Papasaurus is ready with a big kiss and more games. This colorful and reassuring book is a fresh twist on a perennial theme that will win the hearts of little ones and their papas alike.

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  1. I Love My Haircut! - In this companion to the top-selling I Love My Hair! (_originally titled and adapted from _Bippity Bop, Barbershop), a young boy named Miles makes his first trip to the barbershop with his father–but he’s afraid that the haircut will hurt! With the support of his dad, the barber, and the other men in the barbershop, Miles bravely sits through his first haircut. In the end, Miles’s father even decides to receive the same haircut as Miles! Now in board book format, here is a much-needed story about a milestone moment for toddlers, featuring African American characters and a loving father-son relationship that is perfect for Father’s Day and all year round.

  2. Big Boys Cry - Let boys cry! This picture book imagines a world in which boys are encouraged to express their full range of emotions. It’s Levi’s first day at a new school, and he’s scared. His father tries to comfort Levi by telling him “Big boys don’t cry.” Though the father immediately understands his misstep, he can’t find the words to comfort his son, and Levi leaves for school, still in need of reassurance. Fortunately, along his walk to school, Levi sees instance after instance of grown men openly expressing their sadness and fear. His learned mantra, “Big boys don’t cry,” slowly weakens, and by the time he’s at school he releases a tear. Once he’s there, things aren’t so bad after all, and on his walk home he sees everyone he’s encountered earlier, feeling better now that they expressed their emotions. Upon his arrival home, he finds his father waiting for him on their porch, tears in his eyes. His father is able to admit that he was scared and the two embrace, closer than before. Jonty Howley’s gorgeous debut paints the world we wish existed for our boys, and offers a path there! This story is the truest interpretation of the notion that we should “let boys be boys”: let them express the full range of their emotions, vulnerable parts and all!

  3. A Long Road on a Short Day - A tender story of a father-son adventure with themes of community and kindness, in short chapters with vivid full-color illustrations, by bestseller and Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt and acclaimed artist Eugene Yelchin. In a story of perseverance and determination told with warmth and sparkling with humor, a short winter day finds Samuel and Papa walking a long road on Samuel’s first trading trip. Meeting strangers, practicing good manners, and proud to be in Papa’s company, Samuel watches and learns as Papa trades up from almost nothing to the milk cow Mama is yearning for. Simple text combines with vivid illustrations for a satisfying tale that will resonate with readers who enjoy an adventure with dad.

  4. Weekend Dad - "This home is home because my dad is here, and it's nothing like home because my mom isn't here," thinks the boy in this story when he enters his dad's new apartment for the first time. His dad moved out on Monday and now it's Friday night, the start of his weekend with his dad.

    The boy and his dad follow their normal weekend routine -- they eat eggs for breakfast, play cards and spend time at the park. And then they do the same things on Sunday. It is hard to say goodbye at the end of the weekend, but Dad gives his son a letter to remind him that, even if they can't always be together, the boy is loved.

    Naseem Hrab has written a poignant yet hopeful story, strikingly illustrated in Frank Viva's signature style, about what happens when parents separate, and the new reality of having two homes.

Books About Father-son Relationships and Sports And Recreation

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Football with Dad
Written by Frank Berrios & illustrated by Brian Biggs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Every Sunday, a boy and his dad watch the big football game on TV, and then go outside to play it. In this simple introduction to the game, the emphasis is on playing safely and having fun.

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Knockout
Written & illustrated by K. A. Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Levi just wants to be treated like a typical kid. As a baby, he had a serious disease that caused him respiratory issues. He’s fine now, but his mom and overprotective brother still think of him as damaged, and his schoolmates see him as the same class clown he’s always been. He feels stuck. So when his dad—divorced from his mom—suggests he take up boxing, he falls in love with the sport. And when he finds out about a school with a killer boxing team and a free-study curriculum, it feels like he’s found a ticket to a new Levi. But how can he tell his mom about boxing? And how can he convince his family to set him free?

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The Crossover
Written by Kwame Alexander & illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

New York Times bestseller ∙ Newbery Medal Winner ∙ Coretta Scott King Honor Award ∙ 2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults ∙ 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ∙ Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ School Library Journal Best Book ∙ Kirkus Best Book

“A beautifully measured novel of life and line.”—The New York Times Book Review

“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander.

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

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  1. Crossover - New York Times

  2. Ghost - A National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.
    Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

  3. The Bat Boy and His Violin - Reginald loves to create beautiful music on his violin. But Papa, manager of the Dukes, the worst team in the Negro National League, needs a bat boy, not a “fiddler,” and traveling with the Dukes doesn’t leave Reginald much time for practicing.
    Soon the Dukes’ dugout is filled with Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach – and the bleachers are filled with the sound of the Dukes’ bats. Has Reginald’s violin changed the Dukes’ luck – and can his music pull off a miracle victory against the powerful Monarchs?
    Gavin Curtis’s beautifully told story of family ties and team spirit and E. B. Lewis’s lush watercolor paintings capture a very special period in history.

  4. Leo Can Swim - Leo, Lola’s little brother from Leo Loves Baby Time, is back in a new adventure at the pool. Leo and Daddy go to swim class where they kick, bounce, and dive like little fish. Joining other babies and their caretakers in the pool is a guarantee for unforgettable fun.

Books About Father-son Relationships and Animals

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Dad and the Dinosaur
Written by Gennifer Choldenko & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A heartwarming father-son story about bravery and facing fears.

Nicholas was afraid of the dark outside his door, the bushes where the giant bugs live, and the underside of manhole covers.

His dad was not afraid of anything.

Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner).

With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again.

Luckily, his dad knows that even the bravest people can get scared, and it’s okay to ask for help facing your fears. It’s just guy stuff.

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My New Shoes
Written by Leilani Sparrow & illustrated by Dan Taylor
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Get ready to buy some new shoes in this fun follow-up to My First Day, now available as a board book! My feet are growing. What great news! It’s time to buy a pair of shoes. In this simple introduction to buying a new pair of shoes, a little bear shops for shoes with his dad. He gets his feet measured and imagines all the different sorts of shoes people buy, such as sneakers, high heels, rain boots, sandals, light-up shoes, even shoes that look like sharks! This follow-up to the well-received My First Day is filled with short, fun, and rhyming text with lots of rhythm and adorable animal characters to share in the experience.

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Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader
Written by Christianne C. Jones & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Harrison is a boy who loves life and likes to share with others, but as he grows older the people around him are finding that he stands too close and maybe hugs a little too much–until his father teaches him the Space Saver rhyme, a method for determining just the right amount of space to leave between himself and others.

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  1. Froggy Bakes a Cake - It’s Froggy’s mother’s birthday, and Froggy wants to bake her birthday cake all by himself. He gathers the chocolate, the sugar, the eggs, the flour, and pretty soon, Froggy has all the ingredients he needs to make?a big mess! Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewicz have collaborated on the six previous Froggy books, and they’ve cooked up another winner here, sweetened with generous helpings of Froggy humor and charm.

  2. Poppy and Rye - Heartbroken over the death of her beloved Ragweed, Poppy, a deer mouse, is determined to make the journey west to bring the sad news to his family. Traveling along is her best friend Ereth, the prickly porcupine who is forever spouting inventive - and hilarious - insults.

  3. Storm Runners - Book one in Roland Smith’s middle-grade action-adventure series–now in paperback! <p/>Chase Masters and his father are storm runners, racing across the country in pursuit of hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Anywhere bad weather strikes, they are not far behind. Chase is learning more on the road than he ever would just sitting in a classroom. But when the hurricane of the century hits, he will be tested in ways he never could have imagined.

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Books About Father-son Relationships and School

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Replay
Written by Sharon Creech
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Leo’s papa stood in the doorway, gazing down at him. “Leo, you make gold from pebbles,” and the way he said it, Leo could tell that this was a good thing. He may have been given a bit part in the school play … but Leo dreams he is the biggest star on Broadway. Sure, his big, noisy family makes him feel like a sardine squashed in a tin … but in his fantasy he gets all the attention he wants. Yes, his papa seems sad and distracted … but Leo imagines him as a boy, tap-dancing and singing with delight. That’s why they call Leo “fog boy.” He’s always dreaming, always replaying things in his brain. He fantasizes about who he is in order to discover who he will become. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, Leo is eager to discover what part will be his.

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I Talk Like a River
Written by Jordan Scott & illustrated by Sydney Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
What if words got stuck in the back of your mouth whenever you tried to speak? What if they never came out the way you wanted them to? Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to get the words flowing.
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Night Job
Written by Karen Hesse & illustrated by G. Brian Karas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

With lyrical narration and elegant, evocative artwork, Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse and illustrator G. Brian Karas share the nighttime experience of a father and child.

When the sun sets, Dad’s job as a school custodian is just beginning. What is it like to work on a Friday night while the rest of the city is asleep? There’s the smell of lilacs in the night air, the dusky highway in the moonlight, and glimpses of shy nighttime animals to make the dark magical. Shooting baskets in the half-lit gym, sweeping the stage with the game on the radio, and reading out loud to his father in the library all help the boy’s time pass quickly. But what makes the night really special is being with Dad. Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse’s quietly powerful story of a boy and his father is tenderly brought to life by G. Brian Karas in this luminous tribute to an enduring, everyday sort of love.

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  1. Battle of the Boss-Monster - The Super Secret Monster Patrol FINALLY comes face-to-face with the boss-monster!

  2. Baseball Great - From New York Times bestselling author and former NFL player Tim Green comes a baseball book pulsing with action. Baseball Great offers a baseball story attuned to today's headlines, a totally involving, character-driven, sports-centered thriller. Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica. As a young reviewer on Brightly.com said: "Great book with many exciting, surprising events that make you want to keep reading.

  3. The Big Game - New York Times bestselling author and former NFL defensive end Tim Green encourages readers to fight for their dreams in this heartfelt story about a young football star grappling with the stress of living up to his father’s name. Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica! Danny Owens is dedicating his seventh-grade season to his Super Bowl champion father, who recently passed away. Danny promises everyone that, just like his dad, he’ll dominate the big game at the end of the season and earn a spot on the high school varsity team. Then his English teacher catches him cheating on a test. Even though Danny can retake it, he knows there’s no point. He can’t read. And if Danny can’t pass this class, he won’t be eligible to play in the championship game that could unlock his future. While his resentment rises against the only person willing to help him win off the field, the pressure to succeed begins to weigh heavily on Danny’s shoulders. Danny is being tested on every level now, and to pass, he may very well have to choose a different path from his father’s.

  4. New Kid - New York Times bestselling author and former NFL defensive end Tim Green delivers another baseball tale that will keep kids on the edge of their seats. Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica or Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventure series. Tommy’s the new kid in town, like he’s been so many times before. Now he goes by the name Brock, and he’s having a hard time fitting in, especially when his new friend is the bully from the wrong side of the tracks. Thanks to a prank gone wrong, the baseball coach notices Brock and offers him a place on his failing baseball team. But can Brock prove himself on and off the field before he becomes a new kid…again?

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Books About Father-son Relationships and Social Themes

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The Train of Lost Things
Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A magical story about a boy's love for his dying father and his journey to the mythic Train of Lost Things, where beloved lost objects are rescued and protected until they can be returned. Perfect for fans of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Bridge to Terabithia, and Lost in the Sun.
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My Shoes and I/MIS Zapatos Y Yo: Crossing Three Borders/Cruzando Tres Fronteras
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The experiences of young migrant children traveling to the United States are poignantly portrayed in this bilingual picture book.

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Upside-Down Cake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

A young boy recounts the past year of his family’s life in this carefully crafted and sensitively illustrated chapter book. Soon after the narrator’s ninth birthday and his dad’s fortieth birthday, celebrated together with a deliciously gooey pineapple upside-down cake, Dad becomes sick. Before long it’s obvious he won’t be getting better. As his father grows weaker, the narrator struggles with anger, guilt, fear, and grief-emotions that intensify when his father finally passes away. Ultimately the narrator realizes that all his feelings are normal. What’s more, it’s okay to be happy, even to celebrate his next birthday with another upside-down cake. Basing the story on the experiences of her own family, Carol Carrick has written a moving and restorative book for any child who must confront loss.

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  1. Sadiq and the Desert Star - Sadiq’s father is going on a business trip, but before he goes he tells Sadiq a story of the Desert Star, which fits in perfectly with Sadiq’s third grade class field trip to the planetarium, and inspires Sadiq to build a simple telescope to study the stars when his father returns.

  2. I Am Perfectly Designed - I Am Perfectly Designed is an exuberant celebration of loving who you are, exactly as you are, from Karamo Brown, the Culture Expert of Netflix's hit series Queer Eye, and Jason Brown--featuring illustrations by Anoosha Syed. In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other. With tenderness and wit, this story captures the magic of building strong childhood memories. The Browns and Syed celebrate the special bond between parent and child with joy and flair...Syed's bright, cartoon illustrations enrich the tale with a meaningful message of kindness and inclusion.--Kirkus

  3. Sunny - Sunny tries to shine despite his troubled past in this third novel in the critically acclaimed Track series from National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds.

  4. Playing from the Heart - Peter H. Reynolds, creator of

Books About Father-son Relationships and Boys And Men

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Just Like Daddy
Written & illustrated by Ovi Nedelcu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A vivdly illustrated day in the life of a little boy and his daddy, this charming picture book paints a gently ironic comparison of how the day unfolds for each of them.

 The toddler is filled with glee as he tackles each new challenge, while the dad faces his day with a a more grown-up combination of perseverance and resignation--yet he finds himself inspired by his son's open-hearted optimism. Spreads alternate between perspectives--the little boy's excitement at driving his toy car around compared with his father trying to navigate traffic, for example. The tension is resolved by a transcendent final spread that shows what makes it all worthwhile. In its unvarnished yet loving acceptance of the travails of being a working parent, Just Like Daddy is a perfect Father's Day gift for today's dads. 
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Superhero Dad
Written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by Joe Berger
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

“Blazing with energy and saturated with love.” – Booklist Dad might not have a superhero mask or wear his underwear outside his pants, but his super snores can be heard a thousand miles away, he tells super-funny jokes, and he can even make super-scary monsters go away at bedtime! This vibrant, humorous, and warmhearted celebration of all the incredible things a dad can do is a fun tribute to the specialness of dads (and their superhero children!).

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The Boy and the Whale
Written & illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A boy and his father discover a whale tangled in their only fishing net. Is the whale dead? While the man worries about losing their net, the boy worries about the whale. He remembers the fear he felt when, caught in a net himself in childhood, he almost drowned before being rescued by his father. When the whale blinks an enormous eye, the boy knows that he has to try to save the creature, no matter how dangerous doing so may be.

Expressive and perfectly paced, this powerful story, The Boy and the Whale, by Caldecott Medal–winner Mordicai Gerstein was inspired in part by a real-life video of a whale’s rescue, and the creature’s joyful dance through the waves after being freed.

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  1. Beard Boy - Young Ben wants to be just like his awesome dad—bearded. Ben wants a beard. All the most boss people in his town have them. The baker, the barbers, the butcher, they’re all bewhiskered—even the old lady who waits at the bus stop has one. Most of all though, Ben wants a beard just like his dad. He tries his best to start on some scruff, but nothing works quite right. And when his dad explains he might have to wait ’til he’s older for a beard of his own, he decides to take some more permanent action—with a marker that is. In the end, Ben and his dad find the perfect solution in this hilarious and heartwarming picture book celebrating the bond between father and son.

  2. Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me - Every morning, I play a game with my father.He goes knock knock on my doorand I pretend to be asleeptill he gets right next to the bed.And my papa, he tells me, “I love you.” But what happens when, one day, that “knock knock” doesn’t come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.

  3. Seeking an Aurora - In the quiet of the night, a child's father bundles them up and shows them the majesty of an aurora. This book is perfect for those who love Owl Moon.

  4. Hooked - Joe loves fishing. He loves watching the water and looking at the sky, he loves the peacefulness, and he especially loves dreaming about catching the Big One. Joe’s dad does not love fishing. He doesn’t like the waiting, or the worms, or the fact that nothing much happens. But when Joe needs a parental chaperone for an ice-fishing field trip, his dad agrees to go along. And when the waiting turns into talking, exchanging jokes, and sharing hot chocolate, Joe’s dad discovers something unexpected. He doesn’t just like fishing with Joe—he loves it. You could even say he’s hooked.

Books About Father-son Relationships and Holidays

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Hello, Jimmy!
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A funny, noisy parrot comes into Jack's life and brings him closer to his dad in an unexpected and moving way in this gorgeous, emotionally resonant picture book from the creator of Florette.
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My Dad is Awesome
Written & illustrated by Nick Butterworth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

At last, here’s a book devoted exclusively to one of the world’s most valuable resources–dads. Children everywhere will delight in reading about a father’s most endearing qualities–a perfect opportunity to chime in with the qualities that make their own dads special!

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The Christmasaurus
Written by Tom Fletcher & illustrated by Shane Devries
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Why settle for a pony or a puppy for Christmas when you could have a dinosaur? A rollicking adventure from singer-songwriter and YouTuber Tom Fletcher.

Once upon a time–long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth–an egg rolled away from its mother and landed in the ocean, where it froze solid and stayed peacefully for thousands of years. Then one day Santa and his elves discover the frozen egg, and Santa sits on it to see if it will hatch. But he can’t guess what’s inside. . . . A dinosaur!

Meanwhile, a young boy named William Trundle has only ever wished for one thing for Christmas: a dinosaur! So when Santa accidentally gives William the real Christmasaurus instead of a stuffed replica, it’s the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! Until an evil man known as the Hunter decides a dinosaur will be the perfect addition to his collection.

A wild and hilarious adventure ensues. An instant Christmas classic!

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  1. Just Me and My Dad - Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter is going on a camping trip with his dad in this classic, funny, and heartwarming book. Whether he and his dad are canoeing, fishing, or building a campfire, parents and children alike will relate to this beloved story. A perfect gift for Father’s Day . . . or any day!

  2. I Love My Pirate Papa - “This tale will surely be met with delight by the youngest buccaneers.”–<i>School Library Journal</i> <p/>It’s a yar vessel that can carry this crew of burly pirates, the captain, and his scrappy little son. From the crow’s nest to the hold, from the high seas to the island of buried treasure, this boy hangs out with the most rough-and-tumble of rogues. And at the end of each day, he gets tucked in by the fiercest pirate of them all: his loving and tender dad. <p>

  3. Hooray for Dads! - What’s more important than spending time with Dad at the Annual Dad and Kids Games Day? SpongeBob doesn’t think anything else is – until he believes the grand prize is a gold-plated spatula!

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Books About Father-son Relationships and Sex And Gender

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My Dad Used to Be So Cool
Written & illustrated by Keith Negley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A perfect baby shower gift for new dads in your life!

Keith Negley’s playful and emotional art tells this story of a new father who is no longer the cool guy he once was. He looks back wistfully on his crazy times playing in a band, riding a motorcycle, and getting tattoos. Those days may be behind him, but his young son still thinks he’s the coolest guy in the world.

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Thing about Bees: A Love Letter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
A LOVE POEM FROM A FATHER TO HIS TWO SONS, AND A TRIBUTE TO THE BEES THAT POLLINATE THE FOODS WE LOVE TO EAT.
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Almost Time
Written by Elizabeth Stickney and Gary D. Schmidt & illustrated by G. Brian Karas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A tender father-and-son story about the passage of time, the change of seasons, and the excitement of reaching a goal.
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  1. I Need All of It - While Jim helps sort laundry, his father finds objects in Jim’s pants pocket that he things are worthless, but Jim recounts tales of their immense importance.

  2. Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team, The - A soccer dad misunderstands when he hears that his son’s team needs his help. Instead of taking care of halftime snacks, the dad grabs a jersey and runs onto the field to play! And what an embarrassment he is: he hogs the ball, complains about his teammates and throws a hairy fit when the referee doesn’t call a play his way! Can the boy find a way to teach his dad how to be a good sport before he drives the whole team crazy?

Books About Father-son Relationships and History

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Happy Feet: The Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hoppers and Me
Written by Richard Michelson & illustrated by E. B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

On March 12, 1926, the doors of the Savoy Ballroom swung open in Harlem. It was a night to remember, when blacks and whites, rich and poor, all came together to dance!

This inspiring story of the world-famous dancing palace and home of the Lindy Hoppers is told from a father to his son, Happy Feet. It’s Happy Feet’s favorite story–after all, he was born on the very night the Savoy opened. And he hopes that one day he’ll make his own dancing debut at the legendary ballroom . . . because with a lot of hard work and a little Savoy magic, anything is possible.

Includes an author’s note with biographies of Swing-Era dancers.

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Lord of the Mountain
Written by Ronald Kidd
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Nate’s family has a secret, and it’s wrapped up in a song. The problem is, his preacher father hates music, and when he catches Nate hanging around downtown Bristol with musicians like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, he comes down hard on him. So Nate sets out in search of himself and the song he thinks will heal his family. Set during the “big bang” of country music in the late 1920s, Nate’s journey of self-discovery parallels that of a region finding its voice for the first time.

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Jasper and the Riddle of Riley's Mine
Written by Caroline Starr Rose
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Hoping to strike it rich, two brothers escape an abusive father and set out on a treacherous journey to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush.
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  1. Two Roads - In 1932, twelve-year-old Cal must stop being a hobo with his father and go to a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, where he begins learning about his history and heritage as a Creek Indian.

  2. Worth - Before the accident Nathaniel’s life seemed pretty good. His help around the farm made his father proud. But now, with a busted leg, Nathaniel can’t do farmwork anymore, so his father adopts another son through the Orphan Train. Feeling replaced and useless, Nathaniel attends school for the first time. Meanwhile, sturdy and strong John is able to do the work that earns Pa’s attention. <p/> But the truth is, John Worth has his own set of troubles. He is treated more like a servant than a son. Kept awake at night by nightmares of his family’s death, he remembers having a pa who took pride in him. But now he has no one, until a community battle and a special book reveal a potential friend – and a chance for understanding.

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