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Town Life: Books For Kids

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

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

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. 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 town life, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Daisy and the Deadly Flu: A 1918 Influenza Survival Story to popular sellers like Save Me a Seat to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Magic Misfits.

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

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The Magic Misfits
Written by Neil Patrick Harris & illustrated by Lissy Marlin and Kyle Hinton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve. When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on. After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they’ll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso’s villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series. (Psst. Hey, you! Yes, you! Congratulations on reading this far. As a reward, I’ll let you in on a little secret… This book isn’t just a book. It’s a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll discover more than just a story–you’ll learn how to make your own magic!)

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Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy Town
Written & illustrated by Richard Scarry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Richard Scarry’s classic book that takes readers all around town!

Join Lowly Worm, Huckle Cat, and other beloved characters for a day in Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town. Visit the school, the farm, the post office, and many more fun and exciting places in this classic book that teaches little ones all about what goes on in their very own communities.

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King and the Dragonflies
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.
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Prairie Lotus
Written by Linda Sue Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12
Prairie Lotus
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American as Paneer Pie
Written by Supriya Kelkar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
An Indian American girl navigates prejudice in her small town and learns the power of her own voice in this brilliant gem of a middle grade novel full of humor and heart, perfect for fans of Front Desk and Amina's Voice.
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  • Going to Town - With the My First Little House picture book series, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books in these illustrated adaptations of the beloved series! One spring day Pa has a wonderful surprise—he is taking the family on a trip into town! Laura is very excited, for she has never been to a town, and this special visit is everything she imagined and more. Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

  • Best at It - From award-winning actor Maulik Pancholy comes a hilarious and heartfelt middle grade debut about a gay Indian American boy coming into his own. One of Time Out's "LGBTQ+ books for kids to read during Pride Month," this is perfect for fans of Tim Federle's Nate series. A Stonewall Honor Book!

  • Birdsong - A Best Book of the Year in Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Horn Book.

  • The Newspaper Club - Shortly after Nellie Murrow, named for one of the fiercest journalists who ever lived and daughter of two (former) newspaper reporters, move to sleepy Bear Creek, Maine, rumors of vandalism and attacks at the only park in town are keeping Nellie saddled to the house. Some townspeople say the attacks are gang recruitments. Others blame a vagrant spotted on the hiking trails around town. But when Nellie thinks like a reporter, none of those explanations make sense. Something is happening at the park, but what? All of the fake online news and rumors are clouding the real news. Nellie wants to break the story–and break free from the front yard-but she can’t do it alone. She needs a whole club if she’s going to start the town’s first independent newspaper–The Cub Report. Creating a newspaper from scratch is going to be tough; but for Nellie, making friends is even harder.

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The Second Story
Written by Neil Patrick Harris & illustrated by Lissy Marlin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
From award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris comes the magical second book in the New York Times bestselling Magic Misfits series--with even more tricks up its sleeve.
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Wonderland
Written by Barbara O'Connor
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When her mother uproots them again to another home and takes a job as housekeeper, ten-year-old Mavis is determined to find a best friend in Landry, Alabama, where the summer also holds the promise of friendship and change for a sad man, a stray dog, and a timid girl.

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The Doughnut Fix
Written by Jessie Janowitz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

An Amazon Best Book of the Month!

Superfudge meets The Lemonade War in this funny, heartwarming series debut about change, adventure, family, and of course, doughnuts.

Tristan isn’t Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he’s always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville―a town with one street and no restaurants. It’s like suddenly they’re supposed to be this other family, one that can survive without bagels and movie theaters.

His suspicions about his new town are confirmed when he’s tricked into believing the local general store has life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts, when in fact the owner hasn’t made them in years. And so begins the only thing that could make life in Petersville worth living: getting the recipe, making the doughnuts, and bringing them back to the town through his very own doughnut stand. But Tristan will soon discover that when starting a business, it helps to be both Gifted and Talented, and It’s possible he’s bitten off more than he can chew…

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Lentil
Written by Robert McCloskey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Young Lentil wants to learn to sing, but no matter how hard he tries he can’t sing on key. He can’t even pucker his lips to whistle! So Lentil learns to play the harmonica instead and beautifully carries his tune through the winding streets of Alto, Ohio. Lentil masters his craft just as the beloved Colonel Carter returns to town and the Alto residents decide to plan a special celebration. But Old Sneep, the grouchiest man in town, doesn’t want anyone celebrating Colonel Carter’s homecoming. When Old Sneep stops the welcoming parade in its tracks, Lentil’s music turns out to be just what Alto needs. <p/>Robert McCloskey, the Caldecott-winning author and illustrator of <i>Make Way for Ducklings, </i>brings readers this delightful two color picture book.

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Save Me a Seat
Written by Sarah Weeks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Save Me a Seat
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  • A Blind Guide to Stinkville - Before Stinkville, Alice didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. Sure, she uses a magnifier to read books. And a cane keeps her from bruising her hips on tables. Putting on sunscreen and always wearing a hat are just part of life. But life has always been like this for Alice. Until Stinkville. For the first time in her life, Alice feels different—like she’s at a disadvantage. Back in her old neighborhood in Seattle, everyone knew Alice, and Alice knew her way around. In Stinkville, Alice finds herself floundering—she can’t even get to the library on her own. But when her parents start looking into schools for the blind, Alice takes a stand. She’s going to show them—and herself—that blindness is just a part of who she is, not all that she can be. To prove it, Alice enters the Stinkville Success Stories essay contest. No one, not even her new friend Kerica, believes she can scout out her new town’s stories and write the essay by herself. The funny thing is, as Alice confronts her own blindness, everyone else seems to see her for the first time. This is a stirring small-town story that explores many different issues—albinism, blindness, depression, dyslexia, growing old, and more—with a light touch and lots of heart. Beth Vrabel’s characters are complicated and messy, but they come together in a story about the strength of community and friendship. Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

  • Daisy and the Deadly Flu: A 1918 Influenza Survival Story - In 1918, fourteen-year-old Daisy’s family has fallen on hard times. Her sister Elsie’s fiance was recently deployed to fight in World War I, and her father’s newspaper was forced to shut down for criticizing the U.S. entrance into the war. When the Spanish Flu arrives in her small town in Minnesota, Daisy tries to shield her loved ones from the devastating illness. As the influenza pandemic sweeps through the nation, can Daisy protect those closest to home? Featuring nonfiction support material, a glossary, and reader response questions, this Girls Survive story takes readers to one of history’s most important moments.

  • Each Little Bird That Sings - Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger has attended 247 funerals. But that’s not surprising, considering that her family runs the town funeral home. And even though Great-uncle Edisto keeled over with a heart attack and Great-great-aunt Florentine dropped dead–just like that–six months later, Comfort knows how to deal with loss, or so she thinks. She’s more concerned with avoiding her crazy cousin Peach and trying to figure out why her best friend, Declaration, suddenly won’t talk to her. Life is full of surprises. And the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them. <p/>Deborah Wiles has created a unique, funny, and utterly real cast of characters in this heartfelt, and quintessentially Southern coming-of-age novel. Comfort will charm young readers with her wit, her warmth, and her struggles as she learns about life, loss, and ultimately, triumph.<br>

  • The Unforgetable Guinevere St. Clair - A ten-year-old girl is determined to find her missing neighbor, but the answers lead her to places and people she never expected—and maybe even one she’s been running away from —in this gorgeous debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.

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Moffats
Written by Eleanor Estes & illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

Meet the Moffats. There is Sylvie, the oldest, the cleverest, and-most days at least-the responsible one; Joey, who though only twelve is the man of the house…sometimes; Janey, who has a terrific upside-down way of looking at the world; and Rufus, who may be the littlest but always gets in the biggest trouble.<br>Even the most ordinary Moffat day is packed with extraordinary fun. Only a Moffat could get locked in a bread box all afternoon, or dance with a dog in front of the whole town, or hitch a ride on a boxcar during kindergarten recess. And only a Moffat could turn mistakes and mischief into hilarious one-of-a-kind adventure.

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How High the Moon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
To Kill a Mockingbird meets One Crazy Summer in this powerful, bittersweet debut about one girl's journey to reconnect with her mother and learn the truth about her father in the tumultuous times of the Jim Crow South.
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