Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Natural Wonders

Following the Coast - (ISBN: 978-0688171179)

by Jim Arnosky

Arnosky wrote and illustrated this book as he and his wife traveled up the Atlantic Coast. Readers will enjoy following his journey and seeing how his initial sketches turned into works of art to accompany his observant journal entries. When you take a vacation or short trip, take careful note of the wildlife you see, and try to write about it and draw it. Can you create your own book based on your trip? If you don’t go on a long trip, take a walk in the woods or a field and write about the wonders you find.

Go Wild in New York City - (ISBN: 978-0792279822)

by Brad Matsen

This book disputes the idea that New York City is just an urban jungle. It gently leads readers through New York’s parks, refuges, and public gardens and teaches about the city’s teeming plant and animal life. You will also enjoy learning about the rock formations, water spots, and environmental highlights that city dwellers enjoy. In your own city, think about where you can go to experience nature: zoos, parks, corner gardens, beaches, countryside, etc.

Mary on Horseback: Three Mountain Stories - (ISBN: 978-0141308159)

by Rosemary Wells

This book tells the true story of Mary Breckinridge, a traveling nurse. After losing her husband and children, she founds the Frontier Nursing Service and brings help to many Appalachian Mountain dwellers. How does the mountainous area where she works affect the difficulty of her job?

The Deep-Sea Floor - (ISBN: 978-1570914027)

by Sneed B. Collard, III

This book takes readers to the very bottom of the ocean through plenty of diagrams and beautiful illustrations. In addition to learning about the wonderful undersea animal life, readers also begin to understand how underwater land forms came about. Interesting details about the vehicles that make underwater exploration possible will certainly inspire every child to want to be a deep sea diver! Talk about what parts of the book you would like to learn more about.

The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest - (ISBN: 978-0152024864)

by Lynn Cherry Mark J. Plotkin

Author Lynn Cherry teams up with a native aspiring shaman, Kamanya, to travel through the rain forest in search of medicinal plants. Along with ethnobotanist Plotkin, the group experiences tension between their own Western medicine and the tribal remedies that do not always make everyone well. With great respect and beauty, the team finds a balance in which everyone wins. Cherry paints her own illustrations for this unusual and beautiful volume. Has anyone in your family suggested a non-medical cure for an ailment?

Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano - (ISBN: 978-0618332052)

by Kenneth Mallory

John Muir: My Life with Nature - (ISBN: 978-1584690092)

by John Muir Joseph Cornell

The Great Kapok Tree - (ISBN: 978-0152026141)

by Lynn Cherry

Activities for this Theme

Help your family make an ant farm


Enjoy an online youth science magazine.


Try these hands-on nature activities