Be sure to check out Books Set in Minnesota from the Children’s Literature Network.
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The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Describes the life of an American Indian girl during a smallpox outbreak. Sad, but excellent.
The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich
Sequel to The Birchbark House, Omakayas and her family go on a journey to find a new home.
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling Clancy Holling
Minn is a snapping turtle who begins a journey along the Mississippi river.
Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Betsy Bowen
This picture book highlights examples of relationships between specific plants and animals in the Minnesota prairie ecosystem, such as between foxglove beardtongue (a type of Penstemon) and hummingbirds; monarch butterflies and milkweeds; and goldfinches and sunflowers. The back matter includes lists of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, insects, and plants commonly found in prairies. Even though it explores the prairies of Minnesota, it has a much more general appeal and a serious message about preserving habitats that can apply anywhere.
Phyllis Root and Betsy Bowen have paired up previously with Big Belching Bog, also from the University of Minnesota Press.
Sure to engross young readers, this book explains how the conditions of the bog produce methane gas. Root also reveals the plants and animals found in this unique habitat, including plants that eat insects!
Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; First Edition edition (September 3, 2010)
Antler, Bear, Canoe: A Northwoods Alphabet by Betsy Bowen
A special alphabet book to share with nature lovers, Betsey Bowen's woodcut illustrations again shine. She writes about what she knows best because she lives on the north shore of Lake Superior. What is the word for Z? Zero degrees, of course!
Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 26, 2002)
Tracks in the Wild by Betsy Bowen
Ever seen tracks in the snow and wondered what animal made them? Tracks in the Wild shows the reader who made them and what they were doing.
Age Range: 5 - 8 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1St Edition edition (September 28, 1998)
Playful Slider: The North American River Otter (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage) by Barbara Juster Esbensen and illustrated by Mary Barrett Brown
A reprint of an older book, learn all about the playful North American river otter.
Age Range: 9 and up
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; Reprint edition (August 22, 2011)
M Is For Minnesota by Dori Hillestad Butler and illustrated by Janis Lee Porter
- Age Range: 5 and up
- Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (September 1, 1998)
- ISBN-10: 0816630410
- ISBN-13: 978-0816630417