CurriConnects Book List - Explorers


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Enjoy historical fiction and non-fiction about European and other explorers. This list fits well during the study of world wide exploration or at the beginning of an American History course.

Preschool and Picture Books

Livingstone Mouse - Pamela Duncan Edwards, (978-0060258696), Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, Lexile: 510, ESL level: 2
An adventurous mouse tries to adapt to strange sounds and smells in China.

The Miami Giant - Arthur Yorinks, (978-0062050694), Fiction
Interest level: 0-1, Lexile: 270, ESL level: 1
In a humorous exploration, Giuseppe Giaweeni finds an unknown tribe from Miami while attempting to find China.

Polar Bear Night - Lauren Thompson, (978-0439495240), Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, Lexile: 470, ESL level: 1
A young polar bear tentatively explores on his own and sees Arctic animal babies and wonderful shooting stars.

Tiptoe into Kindergarten - Jacqueline Rogers, (978-590466530), Fiction
Interest level: 0-1, ESL level: 1
A preschooler learns about school by accompanying her brother to his kindergarten class.

Walking through the Jungle - Debbie Harter, (978-0531300350), Fiction
Interest level: 0-1, ESL level: 1
Follow a young girl as she walks through different world terrains and sees a variety of animals and plants, all told in rhyme.

Early Elementary Books

Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life - Jan Reynolds, (978-1600602542), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-6, ESL level: and the modern way imposed by the government."
This book provides a picture of the contrast between the traditional way Balinese farmers grew rice using an elaborate "water system"" related to the location of temples

Encounter - Jane Yolen, (978-0152259624), Fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 760, ESL level: 2

Franklin's Canoe Trip - Sharon Jennings, (978-0439338776), Fiction
Interest level: 1-3, Lexile: 320, ESL level: 2
Franklin and his father, along with a friend, find their canoe exploration a bit crowded until they find a new spot.

The Island Below the Star - James Rumford, (978-0395851593), Fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 680, ESL level: 2
A family of brothers sets out in their boats and reaches Hawaii, each brother exhibiting one special talent.

Lewis and Clark: a Prairie Dog for the President - Shirley Raye Redmond, (978-0375811203), Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-2, Lexile: 320, ESL level: 2
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark capture a prairie dog while doing their famous Western exploration; they send it to President Jefferson as a memento.

Lionel in the Winter - Steven Krensky, (978-0803713338), Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, Lexile: 330, ESL level: 2
Lionel imagines himself an explorer, a snowman builder, and a resolution maker.

The Mystery of the Monkey's Maze - Doug Cushman, (978-0060277208), Fiction
Interest level: 0-2, Lexile: 330, ESL level: 2
A famous explorer travels to Borneo with his photographer to find a cure for hiccups.

North Pole, South Pole - Nancy Smiler Levinson, (978-0823417377), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-3, Lexile: 530, ESL level: 2
This book explains differences in land forms, weather, climate, and animals at the two poles.

Space Explorers - Eva Moore, (978-0439114936), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-3, Lexile: 560, ESL level: 2
A class of eager students travels into space to learn about the solar system

Terror on the Amazon: the Quest for El Dorado - Phil Gates, (978-0789466396), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 810, ESL level: 3-4
South American explorers, conquistadors, search for valuable minerals and spices amid dangerous conditions.

Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Journey to the Bottomless Pit: The Story of Stephen Bishop and Mammoth Cave - Betsy Mitchell, (978-0670059089), Fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 760, ESL level: 3
A young slave assists his master as they explore caves in Kentucky; he finds unknown parts and hidden passageways.

Meet My Grandmother: She's a Deep Sea Explorer - Lisa Tucker McElroy, (978-0761317203), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-6, Lexile: 940, ESL level: 3
A grandson describes the life of his famous and accomplished grandmother, a deep-sea scientist.

New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery - Allan Wolf, (978-0763621131), Fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 850, ESL level: 3-4
Original sources and their facsimiles including the letters of Thomas Jefferson and other explorers describe seeking a water trail through the United States to the West Coast.

North - Donna Jo Napoli, (978-0060579876), Fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 600, ESL level: 3
Inspired by hearing about African American explorer Matthew Henson, a young boy runs away to the Arctic.

A Small, Tall Tale from the Far, Far North - Peter Sis, (978-0679843450), Fiction
Interest level: 3-7, Lexile: 480, ESL level: 3
A Czech explorer depends on the native Inuit for survival assistance when he explores the Arctic in the 19th century.

To the Edge of the World - Michele Torrey, (978-0375823381), Fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 730, ESL level: 3-4
An orphan sees the world as he serves as cabin boy to Ferdinand Magellan on his sails to the Spice Islands.

Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa - Don Brown, (978-0618002733), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 550, ESL level: 3
Learn about an unusual 18th-century woman who traveled alone throughout West Africa.

Middle School to Young Adult Books

The Travels of Benjamin of Tudela: Through Three Continents in the Twelfth Century - Uri Shulevitz, (978-0374377540), Fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 920, ESL level: 3-4
A Jewish explorer leaves Spain to see the world in this fictionalized version of the life of a real man.

Bad River Boys: A Meeting of the Lakota Sioux with Lewis and Clark - Virginia Sneve, (978-0823418565), Fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 790, ESL level: 3
The Sioux come into contact with the famous Western explorers, Lewis and Clark.

Bartlett and the Forest of Plenty - Odo Hirsch, (978-1582348315), Fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 750, ESL level: 3
Two boys try to determine if they have the stuff to become real explorers when they go beyond the Gircassian Rift into unknown woods.

Christopher Columbus, Explorer of the New World - Robin Doak, (978-0756508111), Non-fiction
Interest level: 5-9, Lexile: 1090, ESL level: 3-4
This biography tells the story of the life of Christopher Columbus as he makes his discovery of the new world and returns home again.

The Little Prince - Antoine de St. Exupery, (156012197), Fiction
Interest level: 4-8, Lexile: 710, ESL level: 3
A young prince ventures to a strange planet in search of friends and meaning.