Alaska

The Alaska State Library has compiled an extensive list of books about Alaska from 1999 -2000. It is an outstanding resource.

The list of books set in Alaska is as big as the state itself!

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Fiction:

Picture Books


Alaska’s Three Bears by Shelley Gill and illustrated by Shannon Cartwright

Paperback | Hardcover

Retelling of the classic three bears fairy tale. Readers meet Alaska’s three bears: polar bears, black bears, and grizzly bears.

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Publisher: Paws IV Pub (February 1, 1992)
  • ISBN-10: 0934007101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0934007108

Up on Denali: Alaska’s Wild Mountain (PAWS IV) by Shelley Gill and illustrated by Shannon Cartwright

Paperback | Hardcover

Mixing fiction and fact, this book explores Alaska’s ultimate landmark. Learn all about Denali, including its wildflowers and wildlife, tundra and glaciers, legends and history.

  • Age Range: 3 – 7 years
  • Publisher: Little Bigfoot; Illustrated edition (February 7, 2006)
  • ISBN-10: 1570613656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570613654

Way Back Then by Neil Christopher

Illustrated by Germaine Arnaktauyok 

Kindle | Hardcover

Inuit-inspired tale told in both English and Inuktitut. Kudlu tells his children a series of stories his mother used to tell him.

  • Age Range: 3 – 5 years
  • Publisher: Inhabit Media; Bilingual edition (November 1, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1772270211


The Gift by Kristine L. Franklin

Illustrated by Barbara Lavallee (1999) 

Hardcover Only

Jimmy Joe catches a salmon and then gives it away in this picture book illustrated with lovely watercolors. Out of print.


Snow Bear by Jean Craighead George

Illustrated by Wendell Minor (2003)

Paperback | Hardcover | Audio Cassette

Bessie plays with a polar bear cub on the Arctic ice.

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (September 15, 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0786804564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786804566


Arctic Dreams by Carole Gerber

Illustrated by Marty Husted (1999)

Paperback | Hardcover

Lovely bedtime book for little ones describing a journey across the Arctic. 

  • Age Range: 3 – 7 years
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 2006)
  • ISBN-10: 1580890741
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580890748


Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun by Deb Vanasse Illustrated by Jeremiah Trammell (2005)

Paperback | Hardcover

Can you imagine a day when the sun never sets? This picture book for preschool to grade 2 takes the reader far above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to celebrate the summer solstice. 

  • Age Range: 3 – 7 years
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books (March 1, 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 1570614512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570614514

Lucy’s Dance by Deb Vanasse

Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover

Lucy helps her grandfather demonstrate the traditional Yup’ik arts through dance.

  • Age Range: 4 and up 
  • Publisher: University of Alaska Press (June 15, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1602231265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602231269


Togo by Robert Blake (2002)

Hardcover Only

Award-winning story of the sled dog that led in the race to bring medicine to Nome, Alaska (the event commemorated by the Iditarod).

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Publisher: Philomel Books; 1st Impression edition (October 14, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0399233814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399233814


Big Jim and the White-Legged Moose by Jim Arnosky  (1999)

Hardcover Only

Aronsky’s song/tall tale tells about the time Big Jim dropped his pencil and sketchbook when he climbed a tree to avoid a huge bull moose. 

  • Age Range: 4+ years
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (May 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0688108644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688108649

Middle Grade and Young Adult

Bristol Bay Summer by Annie Boochever 

Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover

In this coming-of-age story, thirteen-year-old Zoey Morley deals with her parents divorce and the ensuing changes. Setting is the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books (May 1, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0882409948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882409948


Williwaw! by Tom Bodett (2000)

Audiobook | Paperback | Hardback

This story is a family-friendly action adventure about a brother and sister living in rural Alaska who fry the family’s radio, their only means of communication.

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (October 10, 2000)
  • ISBN-10: 0375806873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375806872


My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover

Forcibly sent away to a boarding school during the early 1960s, Luke struggles with being forced to learn a new language, eat unfamiliar food, and endure no one being able to pronounce his name.

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape; Reprint edition (September 24, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1477816291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477816295


Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier (Tom Bodett Adventure Series) by Tom Bodett (2006)

Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD

A group of stories about an awkward boy growing up in Alaska from age 13 to almost 16.

  • Reading age: 12-15
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; X-Library – 1st edition (November 9, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0679890319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679890317

The Great Alaska Adventure! by Jeff Corwin (2010)

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Audio CD

Middle grade fiction written by a wildlife biologist. A lot of facts about Alaska and its wildlife.

  • Reading age: 6-8
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Illustrated edition (March 4, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0142414093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142414095


Jason’s Gold by Will Hobbs (2000)

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Audio Cassette

15 year old Jason travels north to find his older brothers, look for gold, and meet young Jack London.

  • Reading age: 8-12
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (September 29, 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0688150934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688150938

Wild Man Island by Will Hobbs (2003)

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD

An adventure about a teenager stranded on an island in Alaska.

  • Reading age: 8-12
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (April 16, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0688174736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688174736

Nonfiction:

Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights by Debbie S. Miller and illustrated by Jon Van Zyle

Paperback | Hardcover

Glorious acrylic paintings track the changes in daylight and night at the Arctic circle, from one summer solstice to the next. Includes map of Alaska.

  • Age Range: 5 – 9 years
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens; Reprint edition (January 23, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0802796362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802796363

Moose Racks, Bear Tracks, and Other Alaska Kidsnacks: Cooking With Kids Has Never Been So Easy! by Alice Bugni and illustrated by Shannon Cartwright (1999)

Paperback

Snack recipes with Alaska names like Arctic Animal Crackers, Denali Peaks, Iditarod Trail Mix, Kayaks (potato wedges), Muskox Morsels, Sea Otter Biscuits, and Tundra Turf. What a cute idea.


Born To Pull:  The Glory of Sled Dogs by Bob Cary and illustrated by Gail de Marcken

Kindle | Paperback

Information about sled dogs, such as how they are trained, how they communicate, etc.

  • Age Range: 8 -13 years
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; 1st edition (October 26, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 081666773X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816667734

After the Spill : The Exxon Valdez Disaster Then and Now by Sandra Markle

Hardcover

A photo-essay of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and its impact on the environment and people of Prince William Sound (from 1999). Appears to be out of print.

  • Age Range: 8 – 10 years
  • Publisher: Walker & Co (May 1, 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0802786111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802786111

This Place Is Cold (An Imagine Living Here Book) by Vicki Cobb and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee (2013)

Paperback

This Place Is Cold readers will learn how people and animals survive in Alaska’s ferocious cold.

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (January 15, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0802734014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802734013

Alaska by Shelley Gill

Paperback | Hardcover

Alaskan author Shelley Gill explores the 49th state’s history, culture, wildlife, and geography. Explosive volcanoes, extreme climates, massive mountains, shimmering Northern Lights, and dog-mushing races are just some of the sights captured in crisp photographs.

  • Age Range: 6 – 9 years
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0881062936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881062939


L Is for Last Frontier: An Alaska Alphabet (Discover America State by State) by Carol Crane and illustrated by Michael Glenn Monroe

Kindle | Hardcover

An example of layered text, a simple read-aloud text is accompanied by sidebars filled with details for more advanced readers.

  • Age Range: 6 and up 
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (March 13, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 1585360201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585360208

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