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New Mexico: Books For Kids

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

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

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 New Mexico, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hardy Boys 28: The Sign of the Crooked Arrow to popular sellers like Race to the Sun.

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

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Southwest Sunrise
Written by Nikki Grimes & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

From Children’s Literature Legacy Award winner Nikki Grimes and highly-acclaimed illustrator Wendell Minor comes a stunning picture book about the beauty of the natural world and finding a new place to call home.

The beauty of the natural world is just waiting to be discovered . . .

When Jayden touches down in New Mexico, he’s uncertain how this place could ever be home. But if he takes a walk outside, he just might find something glorious.

Flowers in bright shades . . .
Birds and lizards and turtles, all with a story to tell . . .
Red rock pillars towering in the distance . . .
Turquoise sky as far as the eye can see . . .

Perhaps this place could be home after all.

Gorgeously poetic and visually stunning, this story from acclaimed creators Nikki Grimes and Wendell Minor celebrates the beauty of the Southwest as a young boy sees it for the very first time.

Acclaim for One Last Word
A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Winner
A New York Times Editor’s Choice

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The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes
Written & illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh reimagines one of Mexico’s cherished legends. Princess Izta had many wealthy suitors but dismissed them all. When a mere warrior, Popoca, promised to be true to her and stay always by her side, Izta fell in love. The emperor promised Popoca if he could defeat their enemy Jaguar Claw, then Popoca and Izta could wed. When Popoca was near to defeating Jaguar Claw, his opponent sent a messenger to Izta saying Popoca was dead. Izta fell into a deep sleep and, upon his return, even Popoca could not wake her. As promised Popoca stayed by her side. So two volcanoes were formed: Iztaccíhuatl, who continues to sleep, and Popocatépetl, who spews ash and smoke, trying to wake his love.

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Race to the Sun
Written by Rebecca Roanhorse
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents critically acclaimed indigenous fantasy writer Rebecca Roanhorse's thrilling adventure about a Navajo girl who discovers she's a monsterslayer.
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Oddity
Written by Sarah Cannon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Join a tough eleven-year-old as she faces down zombie rabbits, alien mobs, and Puppet Cartels while trying to find her missing twin in Sarah Cannon’s imaginative middle-grade debut, Oddity. Welcome to Oddity, New Mexico, where normal is odd and odd is normal. Ada Roundtree is no stranger to dodging carnivorous dumpsters, distracting zombie rabbits with marshmallows, and instigating games of alien punkball. But things haven’t been the same since her twin sister, Pearl, won the town’s yearly Sweepstakes and disappeared . . . Along with her best friend, Raymond, and new-kid-from-Chicago Cayden (whose inability to accept being locked in the gym with live leopards is honestly quite laughable), Ada leads a self-given quest to discover Oddity’s secrets, even evading the invisible Blurmonster terrorizing the outskirts of town. But one of their missions goes sideways, revealing something hinky with the Sweepstakes . . . and Ada can’t let it go. Because, if the Sweepstakes is bad, then what happened to Pearl? Praise for Oddity: “I’ve never read anything like this wonderful book. An infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters have a story they want to share with you, and they’re going by the name Sarah Cannon so as to be inconspicuous. Do yourself a favor and take Oddity from their little monkey fingers.” —Adam Rex, author of The True Meaning of Smekday “This book grabbed me from page one. Wild, whacky, and yet utterly believable. You will love Ada and ODDITY!” —Sage Blackwood, author of Jinx “Sarah Cannon is puppet master of this delightfully dark and hilariously creepy debut. Herein, you’ll find excitement, adventure, and heart–and I don’t just mean the kind you’d be likely to discover, still beating (perhaps even beatboxing), in a jar at the local Oddity grocery.” —Heidi Schulz, New York Times Bestselling author of Hook’s Revenge “Readers will be hooked from the first page. . . . Like Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Cannon’s work takes a sardonic tone, blending humor, darkness, suspense, and the enduring metaphorical battle of good vs. evil. . . . Featuring a diverse cast of characters, this fantasy is chock-full of adventure and agency, making it a must-buy and a must-read for most middle graders.” —School Library Journal “Utterly endearing. A charming, enjoyable thrill ride with memorable characters, crazy creatures, and a theme about the importance of family.” —Booklist “This blend of the absurd and the supernatural is perfect for the imaginative young reader who appreciates eerie occurrences and a little wicked puppetry but isn’t quite ready for the button-eyed beldam in Coraline.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market
Written by Raúl the Third
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A 2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book

Richard Scarry’s Busytown gets a Mexican-American makeover in the marketplace of a buzzing border town from Pura Belpré Medal-winning illustrator Raúl the Third.

Bilingual in a new way, this paper over board book teaches readers simple words in Spanish as they experience the bustling life of a border town. Follow Little Lobo and his dog Bernabe as they deliver supplies to a variety of vendors, selling everything from sweets to sombreros, portraits to piñatas, carved masks to comic books!

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  • Dust Storm! - In this thrilling addition to the high-stakes Survivor Diaries series perfect for fans of the I Survived series and Hatchet, a geocaching field trip goes awry when two tweens wander off into the desert of New Mexico.

  • Big Ernie's New Home: A Story for Children Who Are Moving - Affirms the normal sadness, anger, and anxiety that young children feel after a move. This work discusses the feelings that young children face when moving and offers suggestions for smoothing their adjustment.

  • Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale - Blessed Mary rewards Teresa’s good deeds with a shining gold star. Later she punishes Teresa’s unkind stepsisters, Isabel and Inez, with hideous horns and donkey’s ears that they try to hide under heavy veils! But will Teresa outshine her stepsisters at the festival? Robert D. San Souci retells this popular folktale in a lilting narrative that includes all the magic of the beloved Cinderella story and traditional elements from Spanish tales. Luminous watercolors by Sergio Martinez accentuate the beauty and goodness that radiate from Little Gold Star.

  • Hardy Boys 28: The Sign of the Crooked Arrow - With only the slender clue of an arrow-shaped tie clasp, Frank and Joe Hardy pick up the trail of a cunning gang of thieves responsible for a wave of jewelry-store holdups. But their investigations are interrupted when a desperate plea for help comes from their widowed cousin who lives on a cattle ranch in New Mexico. Frank, Joe, and their pal Chet fly there immediately, and manage to put an end to the trouble at the ranch and solve the jewelry-store robberies. From the Hardcover edition.

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Mystery of the Desert Giant
Written by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In a search for the missing Willard Grafton, Frank Hardy and younger brother Joe, encounter a gang of criminals intent on defrauding the US government, and are lead across California and even into Mexico.

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