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Read Around the World:
Children’s Books Set in North America

by Dena McMurdie

north america

Books transport readers to new places and immerse them in new experiences. North America is a massive continent with a wealth of fantastic stories to devour. As a Canadian who now lives in the United States, I love sharing stories from my country and books set in the rest of North America with my children. And even if your kids currently call North America their home, there’s so much more than their own country to explore. These books will send children on a continent-wide adventure!

  • Middle Grade

  • Innovation Nation

    by David Johnston and Tom Jenkins, illustrated by Josh Holinaty

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    Canadians love hockey and donuts, but they’re also incredible innovators. Whether they’re big or small, the people, ideas, and products in this book changed the world. Readers will learn about the inventions that originated in Canada, from canoes and lifejackets to advances in medicine and science.

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  • The Many Meanings of Meilan

    by Andrea Wang

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    Family drama forces Meilan’s family to leave their Boston home and hit the road. They get a new start in a small town in Ohio, where Meilan struggles to fit in. However, an incident at school causes her to speak up and show everyone (and herself) how strong she is. This book is an excellent read for anyone who struggles to find their place.

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  • See You in the Cosmos

    by Jack Cheng

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    This award-winning book is perfect for fans of Wonder and Counting by 7s. It’s about a boy who travels around the southwestern United States, recording his adventures on his iPod and hoping to launch it into space. Add this book to your kid’s reading stack if they enjoy quirky, thought-provoking stories about unique children with big questions.

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  • Lotería

    by Karla Arenas Valenti, illustrated by Dana SanMar

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    Get lost in a fast-paced story about Mexican folklore, fate, and a life-or-death card game. When Clara’s cousin disappears into a mythical kingdom, she ventures in after him. But she doesn’t know that Life and Death are playing Lotería — and the game’s outcome determines her success and survival.

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  • Beyond the Bright Sea

    by Lauren Wolk

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    If you’ve never read Lauren Wolk’s novels for children before, Beyond the Bright Sea is an excellent place to start. Crow is a young orphan girl who knows nothing about her history. With the help of her foster father and neighbor, Crow pieces together who she is and where she came from. This heartfelt book gives readers a peek into a little-known part of American history.

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