Recommended children's booklists sorted by age or topic

Home > Topics > Geography > USA Topic

USA Topic

icon - globe

USA Topic Booklist

Get ready for a road trip across the USA! Take in the sights and sounds of America, from skyscrapers and statues to canyons and coastlines. Learn about the varied geography of the 50 states of America, influential people from history and native American folklore. We’ve got the topic covered with our handpicked selection of recommended children’s books for the USA topic.

Chapter books about the USA

Katherine Rundell
Chapter book

The Good Thieves transports readers back to the roaring twenties in New York City, complete with its mafia presence, its speak-easy hide-outs and promises of wealth. Vita arrives in New York to find that her grandfather has been robbed of his family home, Hudson Castle, by mafia-linked scammers. Clever and spirited Vita gathers together a crew of unlikely vagabonds to help her reclaim it, becoming the ‘good thieves’ who will carry out a Robin Hood style mission leading to a daring heist scene.

M. G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman
 & Elisa Paganelli
Chapter book
Harrison Beck can't wait for the opportunity to go on another amazing train journey. So when his Uncle Nat invites him aboard the California Comet, the iconic three-day train journey from Chicago to San Francisco, he leaps at the chance to travel. But when the daughter of billionaire entrepreneur August Reza goes missing en route, Hal finds himself with another mystery to solve. Can he uncover the kidnapper before the journey's end?
Tom McLaughlin
Chapter book
On a visit to the US things take a strange turn for 12-year-old Ajay when, completely at random and totally by accident, he is sworn in as the new president. Well, I guess he can't be any worse than that guy who had the job before him, right? Wrong. It's quite easy for power to go to your head and Ajay, overwhelmed by it all, goes rogue. Soon he's too busy ordering sparkly capes and enforcing the new national spider plan to spot the dastardly plot unfolding right under his nose.
Karen McCombie
Chapter book
Little Bird has landed in America, far from her home in Scotland and far from the danger that stalked her family. But the new world holds new perils, and soon she's on the run again. From the teeming streets of New York to the prairies of the west, Little Bird holds tight to secrets and dreams of freedom. Then, on her journey, she comes face-to-face with an unwelcome ghost from the past... A modern-day Little House on the Prairie, this is an exciting story of settling in the New World while still being haunted by everything you've left behind. The story follows one family's journey from Scotland to America in search of a promised better life. Set in 1860s America against the backdrop of the American Civil War, the story also explores how the influx of European immigrants in this period forced the Native American population to become displaced.
Sylvia Bishop
Chapter book

Set in 1960s New York, this is another beautifully written mystery from Sylvia Bishop with themes of fake news, friendship and loyalty. It’s really unusual to find a historical novel for children which isn’t based either on WW2 or in the far distant past; a story set in the living memory of their grandparents is a real treat. There are just enough touches to locate you in the 1960s without the setting being overwhelming. It’s also a great look at a besetting issue of our times: fake news.


Kelly Yang
 & Maike Plenzke
Chapter book

A story about a Chinese girl called Mia living in America with her parents, this book explores the themes of immigration, prejudice, poverty, institutionalised racism and what it looks like to hold onto hope in turbulant times.  Mia’s account of the difficulties her family faces as immigrants in modern day America is moving and powerful.  Recommended for upper KS2 and beyond.

Louis Sachar
Chapter book

An absorbing read about an American boy who is unfairly sent to a juvenile detention centre called Camp Green Lake. There, he and the other prisoners are forced to dig a large hole each day in the intense heat of the desert, because the warden claims it is character building. He soon discovers that much more is at play and themes of prejudice, family, fate, identity, and justice emerge as he digs for the truth. A popular choice in Upper KS2/Lower KS3 classrooms.

Picture books about the USA

Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Lauren Semmer
Picturebook
Discover the incredible life of Kamala Harris, the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American to be elected vice president of the USA. Little Kamala used to accompany her parents to civil rights marches in California, strapped into her pushchair so she wouldn't get lost. From an early age, she dreamed of becoming a lawyer to help people in need. Kamala's life was full of firsts, including becoming the first woman, Black woman, and South Asian American to be elected vice president. As Kamala stated to little girls everywhere in her speech – she may be the first but she won't be the last. This powerful book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the politician's life.
Naomi Howarth
Picturebook
In the dark depths of winter, snow is falling and the animals are freezing and famished. Brave Crow sets out on a dangerous journey to find the Sun, and beg for warmth. Will Crow succeed, and what will happen to his colourful rainbow feathers? Inspired by a Lenape Native American myth, this beautiful debut picture book shows how courage and kindness are what really matter.
William Grill
Non-fiction
1892, New Mexico. A wolfpack roams the Currumpaw Valley, preying on the cattle and evading capture by the exasperated local ranchmen. Due to his knowledge of wolf behaviour, a British naturalist by the name of Ernest Thompson Seton is employed to hunt down their notorious pack leader, king Lobo…
Fiona French
Picturebook
This is a retelling of the tale of Snow White, transposed to New York in the 1920s. Snow White's wicked stepmother uses her position of influence in the city's underworld to contract the killing of Snow White. Snow White stumbles into a club where the seven jazz-men take pity on her and she joins their band. A reporter who hears her sing propels her into the headlines . . . but her fame puts her once again in the sights of her evil stepmother. She is poisoned with a cocktail cherry. A shocked city mourns the death of the beautiful and talented Snow White but as her coffin is carried up the church steps by the grief-stricken jazz-men, Snow White's eyes open and her gaze is met by the reporter. They fall in love and live happily ever after.
Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Pili Aguado
Picturebook
Part of the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad conductor who 'never lost a single passenger.' Little Harriet was born into slavery on a plantation in Maryland. Though life was hard, Harriet persisted. She used all of her strength and bravery to escape slavery and journey north on the Underground Railroad. Harriet made the dangerous mission back to the South many times, fighting her whole life to bring others with her to freedom. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the abolitionist's life.

Non-Fiction about the USA

Kate Siber
 & Lydia Hill
Non-fiction
This stunning book showcases an amazing adventure activity to try in every single state. 50 Adventures in the 50 States features gripping outdoors activities, vividly illustrated and described alongside fascinating facts about the nature and geography of each activity location - the very best the U.S.A. has to offer budding young adventurers!
Gabrielle Balkan
 & Sol Linero
Non-fiction
In 51 charmingly illustrated infographic maps, explore every state of the USA from Alabama to Wyoming and the nation's capital to discover more than 2,000 facts that celebrate the people, cities, nature and historic events that have helped make America what it is today. You'll also get an expansive guide to the state flags and US presidents.
Jonathan Weil
 & John Aggs
Non-fiction
Meet ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the power-speaking president of the USA. He helped free millions of people from slavery, and his rags to riches tale is legendary. Find out: How he came up with one of the best speeches ever given; How he got the nickname 'Spotty Lincoln; And how wrestling and crowd-surfing helped him win votes. Get to know ABRAHAM on first name terms.
Kate Siber
 & Chris Turnham
Non-fiction
Take a tour of America's great outdoors and discover the beauty and diversity of its most iconic and majestic national parks. Packed with maps and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna unique to each of the 21 parks portrayed , this lushly illustrated coast-to-coast journey documents in large format the nation's most magnificent and sacred places - and shows why they should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Booklists you might also like...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Your Review

Stone Girl Bone Girl

review

Year group(s) the book is most suitable for:

Year group(s) the book is most suitable for:

Does the book contain anything that teachers would wish to know about before recommending in class (strong language, sensitive topics etc.)?

Does the book contain anything that teachers would wish to know about before recommending in class (strong language, sensitive topics etc.)?

Would you recommend the book for use in primary schools?

yes

Curriculum links (if relevant)

Curriculum links (if relevant)

Any other comments

Any other comments