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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Road Trip! (Reading Books Across 50 States)

A few years ago when I was still a school librarian, the 4th grade teacher and I had this great idea. The students were doing reports on their chosen state. Why not read a novel set in that state?

Great! I said.

Then I realized I had to find books suitable for lots of states that weren't very well-represented in middle-grade novels.

A fun but time-consuming project.

Now, look at this!

50 States

Somebody else did all the work. 

There are a few under-represented states (Hello, Arkansas! May I suggest a book called MAKING FRIENDS WITH BILLY WONG?)

But I can see this being an excellent starting place for some really fun books.

(I wish there were a way to suggest titles because a few have already come to mind.) 

UPDATE: Thanks to my commenter, Ramona, for the additional links. 
Here's one from NEA:

And this, which has some additional, very interesting links for teachers and writers:

New update alert! I found another list (via a Facebook memory of my own. This must be a topic I'm quite interested in).


Ramona said...

I'm so excited to see this link. Like you, I wish we could suggest titles. I also wish they could organize the books alphabetically by state. It starts that way, but then gets a bit mixed up. I always wanted to have my students Read Across America for Dr. Seuss Day. It could be done by each student picking different states and completing the map as a group.
Here's a link to an NEA list created for Read Across America Day:
And here's another one that I found geared to younger children:

Augusta Scattergood said...

Thanks for those helpful links. I'm going to add them to the blog ASAP.

The drop-down menus are helpful for searching by state, etc. But I think those last books were recent additions and not alphabetical.

Love your idea for tying to READ ACROSS AMERICA day.

Melinda said...

Love that you found this! This is my website. Making Friends with Billy Wong has been added! :) There is now also a contact email address for suggestions when you scroll to the bottom. Eventually it will have a contact form. For now cut and paste into your email program.

The website is literally 3 weeks old. My husband is a computer programmer and was out of work for a couple months. I had this idea and he was able to throw it together for me. It will continue to progress in features. He has a job now, so the progression will be slower, but the fact that somebody found it and linked to it, encourages him to put some time into it. So, thank you!! It's been a fun project for me this summer finding books to put on it.

I am a homeschooling mom and really wanted this tool for my own use as we study American geography and history. I love reading historical fiction to my kids and I want a way to motivate them to read books independently that they would not normally pick off a shelf.

I am definitely open to suggestions for good books. So far I have gone through my own collection of books, went down the Newbery winner and honor list, and Scott O'Dell award list. I'm sure a librarian knows of more that are not included on these lists. And Nevada! I need Nevada!!! Apparently nobody likes to set a story in Nevada. Haha! I am mostly looking for fiction for upper elementary (grades 3-5) and middle school. I am including high school young adult too, but there are fewer of those. Not looking for picture books or lower elementary. That might be added later.

And @Ramona the newest ones added are added to the bottom of the home page. For now you have to search by state. The search feature is something that will continue to improve.

Thanks for the link!

Augusta Scattergood said...

I can tell this is a labor of love. It's a great list. I will try to look for the Library of Congress's list to link. Maybe they found Nevada!

Thanks for commenting. I will continue to share as this is really an excellent resource for teachers.