Take children on adventures with these wild books

Young boy reads Where The Wild Things Are in a garden

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Is your family or class stuck inside on a blustery day? Escape into wilderness through a cozy book that reminds you and your kids of the great outdoors you love! Here are some we recommend you share with your children or students to foster appreciation and care for wild lands:

Preschool to Kindergarden

Play with Me by Marie Hall Ets

Originally published in 1955, this is a timeless story of a girl’s discoveries on her journey into the meadow.




We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

This classic story tells of a family’s adventure through the wild elements in their search for a bear.



The Earth and I by Frank Asch

Written by popular author Frank Asch, this book is about a child’s endearing friendship with the Earth.




Lower Elementary

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss' quintessential story about the Lorax playfully teaches readers about ecological treasures and the crises posed by man’s misuse of resources.




This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie

The well-known Woody Guthrie song's lyrics are accompanied in this book by numerous colorful illustrations of America’s great places.



Crinkleroot's Guide to Walking in Wild Places by Jim Arnosky

Crinkleroot is an expert on the forests he lives in and his numerous guides are both entertaining and practical (see also Guide to Knowing Animal Habitats and others).




Upper Elementary

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Susan Jeffers

In this book, a native chief describes his tribe’s relationship to the Earth.




My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

This young boy’s journal tells an intimate story of his adventures in the Catskill Mountains.




Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

This novel is about a young girl who spends her entire childhood isolated on an island, where she learns to care for herself.




Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Paulsen writes about coming of age and wilderness, and in his most famous book a thirteen year old boy must survive the wilderness with only one tool – a hatchet.




Middle School

The Great Tree of Avalon series by T.A. Barron

Following The Lost Years of Merlin and Merlin's Dragon series, this string of adventure fantasy books includes environmental themes and messages. Learn more about the author here.




The Ancient Realm by Sarah Leith Bahn

This new fantasy series offers adventures to beautiful lands across the globe and reflections on ecosystems of concern.




Of Things Natural, Wild, and Free: A Story About Aldo Leopold by Marybeth Lorbiecki

This biography gives the reader a glimpse of Aldo Leopold, one of America's most well-known conservationists and one of The Wilderness Society's original founders.




Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

This popular fantasy novel is the first book of the Inkworld trilogy, a series that celebrates the magic of the natural world. Learn more about the author here.




High school

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Comprised of a unique collection of essays composed while Thoreau spent time at Walden Pond, this book offers insightful philosophies supported by his personal experiences in this wild place. 




A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

This autobiographical tale shares the author's insights and adventures as he hikes the revered Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine.




Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

This is a true story of a young man who abandons his possessions, family and promising future to venture into the Alaskan wilderness - alone.




See also: