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

Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover

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)

Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover

Set on a Tohono O’odham reservation in Arizona, Marta Enos is having a bad day. It begins when the wind blows her homework out the window and the dogs chew it to pieces. Her grandmother consoles her with a tortilla as “big and pale as a rising full moon,” along with ancient words of advice.

  • Reading age : 2 – 5 years
  • Publisher : Boyds Mills Press; 1st edition (September 1, 1998)
  • ISBN-10 : 1563976013
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1563976018

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

Paperback | Hardcover

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

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD

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)

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover

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)

Kindle | Audiobook | Hardcover

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. Note: there is a newer edition now (2017) illustrated by Tim Jessell (hardcover)

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

Paperback | Hardcover

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

  • Reading age : 8 – 10 years
  • Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (October 16, 2007)
  • ISBN-10 : 0374318387
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0374318383

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 a library edition. It is in chapter book format, is not consumable, and it comes with a curriculum guide in the back. (See Wacky – next entry)

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 as Witty above, but in an interactive, consumable way. It has word searches, crossword puzzles, and coloring pages, as well as other fun activities.

  • Reading age : 8 – 9 years
  • Publisher : Little Five Star; 1st edition (January 3, 2012)
  • ISBN-10 : 1589850475
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1589850477

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

Paperback | Hardcover

This multiple award-winning book is about a giant saguaro cactus and the animals who live in it.

  • Reading age : 5 – 8 years
  • Publisher : Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (May 15, 1991)
  • ISBN-10 : 0805013334
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0805013337

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

Kindle | Hardcover

Explore Arizona with this two-leveled text.

  • Reading age : 6 – 8 years
  • Publisher : Sleeping Bear Press; 1st edition (August 26, 2002)
  • ISBN-10 : 1585360686
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1585360680

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


Arizona is the only state where four deserts are found. Learn about many diverse aspects of the state.

  • Reading age : 6 – 9 years
  • Publisher : Sleeping Bear Press; Illustrated edition (August 29, 2006)
  • ISBN-10 : 1585361623
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1585361625

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