Reading Our Way Around The World

We love books and love reading aloud as a family.  Several years ago I started putting little sticky labels on the big maps we keep on the wall next to our dining room table.  I put book titles on the places where the stories we were reading took place.  At first it was:

  • Mary Poppins- England
  • Little House in the Big Woods-Wisconsin
  • Penderwicks-Massachusetts
  • Famer Boy and the Melendy Quartet- New York
  • A Long Way from Chicago - Illinois 
What started out as labeling a couple books at first, has now turned into a family project of finding books from all over the world to read.  We quickly saw that many of our books came from either the Northern and Eastern parts of the United States or England.  We were missing the rest of the country and the world and we didn't even realize it.  What started as an awareness has now turned into a challenge.  There is nothing like a story to really learn about a culture and we are hooked.  Here are the titles of those we have read and recommend (and for which we remembered to put a sticky label on the map).  Some are chapter books and some are picture books.  Some are appropriate for all ages and some for older kids, use your own judgement.  Join us and let us know what you are reading so we can add that to our list as we explore cultures around the United States and around the world through great read-alouds.


Dream Carver - Mexico
Juan Bobo - Puerto Rico
Rainbow Weaver - Guatemala
Wild Wings - Scotland
Katie Morag - Scotland
Mary Poppins - England
Padington - England
Harry Potter - England
Treasure Island - England/Caribbean
Chico Chugg - England
The Railway Series - England/Sodor
Narnia Series - England/Narnia
The Winged Watchman - The Netherlands
The Faithful Spy - Germany
Papa Piccalo - Italy
The Toymaker's Apprentice - Eastern Europe
Anna Hibiscus - Africa
A Long Walk to Water - Southern Sudan
Grass Sandals - Japan
The Pumpkin Runner - Australia

The Enormous Egg - New Hampshire
Return to Sender - Vermont
Make Way for Ducklings - Massachusetts
Johnny Tremain - Massachusetts
The Penderwicks (series) - Massachusetts
Boxcar Children (series) - Connecticut
The Moffats Series - Connecticut
Ginger Pye - Connecticut
Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing Fudge Series - New York City/New Jersey/Maine
My Side of the Mountain Series - New York
Stuart Little - New York
Gone Away Lake - New York
Farmer Boy - New York
Four Story Mistake (Melendy Quartet) - New York
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (series) - New York City
Wonder - New York City
Magic Treehouse Series - Pennsylvania and everywhere
Ben and Me - Pennsylvania
Pie - Pennsylvania
The Rag Coat - West Virginia
Warm as Wool - Ohio
Homer Price - Ohio
Bud, Not Buddy - Michigan
The Bee Tree - Michigan
A Long Way from Chicago - Illinois
Paddle to the Sea - Great Lakes
Birchbark House - Wisconsin
Caddie Woodlawn - Minnesota
100 Cupboards (series) - Kansas
The Gullywasher - New Mexico
Paper Wishes - California
The Mouse and the Motorcycle - California

Two awesome resources if you are also into this sort of thing are:

What books do you love that take your family around the world?  Please leave a comment we would love to add them to our reading list.


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