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The Three Little Javelinas /Los Tres Pequeños Jabalíes, by Susan Lowell and illustrated by Jim Harris

A fun, southwestern-flavored re-telling of the classic three little pigs. This title was chosen as a Reading Rainbow book.

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Publishing Llc; 1st edition (September 1, 1992)
  • ISBN-10: 0873585429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873585422

Big Moon Tortilla by Joy Cowley (2002)

Set on a Tohono O'odham reservation in Arizona, this picture book offers advice about solving problems.

Way Out West Lives a Coyote Named Frank by Jillian Lund (1997)

This picture book for the younger set has many bright images of the desert. It follows Frank the coyote on his many adventures, such as chasing a rabbit or inspecting a gila monster (type of lizard). 

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (July 1, 1997)
  • ISBN-10: 014056232X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140562323

Hip, Hip, Hooray, It's Monsoon Day/ ¡Ajúa, ya llegó el chubasco! by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford and illustrated by Richard Johnsen

Winner of multiple awards, this story explores the excitement of Arizona's special summer storms called monsoons.

  • Lexile Measure: 770L 
  • Publisher: Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Press; Bilingual edition (July 11, 2007)
  • Language: Spanish/English
  • ISBN-10: 1886679363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886679368

Middle Grade Fiction 

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Thirteen-year-old Aven Green was born without arms, but her parents have always encouraged her to be independent and have a can-do attitude. It was no problem in her old school in Kansas where she had many good friends. When her family moves to Arizona, however, she has trouble being accepted. That is until she meets Connor, who has Tourette's and can relate to being treated as an outsider. Together they investigate the strange events going on at Stagecoach Pass, the has-been theme park where Aven's parents work.

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling Children's Books (September 5, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1454923458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454923459

 Brighty: Of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry and illustrated by Wesley Dennis (1963, new release 1991)

This book is a classic. It is the tale of actual incidents in the life of a burro that lived in the Grand Canyon.

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (April 30, 1991)
  • ISBN-10: 0689714858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689714856


Grand Canyon by Jason Chin (2017)

Jason Chin is a fantastic artist. Follow a father and daughter on their incredible journey through the Grand Canyon.

  • Age Range: 7 - 12 years
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; Ill edition (February 21, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1596439505
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596439504

Cheery; The True Adventures of a Chiricahua Leopard Frog by Elizabeth W. Davidson and illustrated by Michael Hagelberg

Walking the line between fiction and nonfiction, the true story of the endangered Chiricahuan leopard frog is told in first person. Will he be able to survive the threat of introduced bullfrogs and disease?

  • Age Range: 8 and up 
  • Publisher: Little Five Star; 1 edition (April 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1589850254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589850255
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches

The Adventures of Salt & Soap at Grand Canyon by Lori Rome and illustrated by Tanja Bauerle (2009)

True story of two puppies found at the Grand Canyon.

Down the Colorado: John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer by Deborah Kogan Ray (2007)

John Wesley Powell led the first known expedition to explore the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Author Conrad Storad has been an Arizona icon. 

Arizona Way Out West & Witty: Awesome Activities, Humorous History, and Fun Facts! by Lynda Exley and Conrad J. Storad, illustrated by Michael Hagelberg (2012) 

Witty is presented as a library edition. It is in chapter book format and is not consumable, and it comes with a curriculum guide in the back.

Arizona Way Out West & Wacky: Awesome Activities, Humorous History and Fun Facts! by Lynda Exley and Conrad J. Storad, illustrated by Michael Hagelberg (2011)

Wacky is an activity book that covers the same material, but in an interactive, consumable way. It has word searches, crossword puzzles, and coloring pages, as well as other fun activities.

Cactus Hotel (An Owlet Book) by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Megan Lloyd (1993)

G Is for Grand Canyon : An Arizona Alphabet (Alphabet Series) by Barbara Gowan and illustrated by Katherine Larson (2002)

Desert Digits: An Arizona Number Book (America by the Numbers) by Barbara Gowan and illustrated by Irving Toddy (2006) 


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© Roberta Gibson 2020