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I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018 by Lauren Tarshis (2020)

Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover | Audiobook

When eleven-year-old Josh moves to Northern California, his cousin helps him adjust. One day a walk in the forest puts them in the path of a raging wildfire. Will they survive?

  • Age Range: 7 – 10 years
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.; Library edition (September 1, 2020)
  • ISBN-10: 1338317466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1338317466

Redwoods by Jason Chin (2015)

Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover | Audiobook

In this picture book, Jason Chin deftly combines fiction and nonfiction when he transports a boy on a train to the redwood forests of California.

  • Reading age : 4 – 8 years
  • Publisher : Square Fish; Reprint edition (May 26, 2015)
  • ISBN-10 : 1250062691
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1250062697

Chang’s Paper Pony (I Can Read Book 3) by Eleanor Coerr and illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray

Paperback | Library Binding | Audio Cassette

Set during the California Gold Rush, Chang wants a horse of his own to feel like less of an outsider. 

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Harper Trophy ed. edition (March 30, 1993)
  • ISBN-10: 0064441636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064441636

Orphan Runaways by Kristiana Gregory (2004)

Mass Market Paperback | Hardcover

Danny and Judd run away from an orphanage in 1879 California. They head for the mining town of Bodie, where they hope to find their uncle. Looks like it is out of print, but used copies available.

By The Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman (1988)

Paperback | Audiobook | Library Binding | MP3 CD

When Jack’s aunt is forced to sell her beloved mansion but is still unable to raise enough money to pay her debts, the twelve-year-old goes to California in search of gold to help her.

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 30, 1988)
  • ISBN-10: 0316286125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316286121

Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory 1849 (Dear America Series) by Kristiana Gregory


A popular addition to the Dear America series.

  • Age Range: 8-10 years
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1st Scholastic Printing edition (January 1, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0439445663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439445665

Kildee House by Rutherford G. Montgomery and illustrated by Barbara Cooney (1993)

Paperback | Mass Market Paperback | Hardcover

Jerome Kildee builds a cabin in the redwoods and learns about himself, with help from some children and friendly animals.

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (September 1, 1993)
  • ISBN-10: 0802773885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802773883

Good Night, Little Sea Otter by Janet Halfmann, with illustrations by Wish Williams (2010)

Board Book | Paperback | Hardcover

A bedtime book for the youngest set that features many of the sea creatures found on the California coast, including an adorable baby sea otter. Ages 3-6.


Mountain Chef: How One Man Lost His Groceries, Changed His Plans, and Helped Cook Up the National Park Service by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Rich Lo

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover

Picture book biography of Tie Sing, who loved the mountains But because he was of Chinese descent at a time in America when to be Chinese meant working in restaurants or laundries, Tie Sing’s prospects were limited. He began cooking for mapmakers and soon built a reputation as the best trail cook in California.

When millionaire Stephen Mather began his quest to create a national park service in 1915, he invited a group of influential men—writers, tycoons, members of Congress, and even a movie star—to go camping in the Sierras. Tie Sing was hired to cook. After disaster struck, would Tie Sing be able to carry on?

  • Reading age : 6 – 9 years
  • Publisher : Charlesbridge; Reprint edition (March 5, 2019)
  • ISBN-10 : 1580899854
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1580899857

California History for Kids: Missions, Miners, and Moviemakers in the Golden State, Includes 21 Activities by Katy S. Duffield (2012)

Kindle | Paperback

From making a Chimash rock painting to putting together an earthquake preparedness kit, this middle grade book makes history come alive with hands-on activities.

  • Reading age : 9 years and up
  • Publisher : Chicago Review Press; 0 edition (January 1, 2012)
  • ISBN-10 : 1569765324
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1569765326

G is for Golden: A California Alphabet by David Domeniconi and illustrated by Pam Carroll (2002)

Kindle | Hardcover

Facts organized by alphabet, it covers natural history, social sciences, inventors, and more.

  • Reading age : 6 – 9 years
  • Publisher : Sleeping Bear Press; 1st Edition (February 22, 2002)
  • ISBN-10 : 1585360457
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1585360451

Our California by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Rafael López (2008)

Paperback | Hardcover | Spanish edition

Spirited poems celebrate California’s major cities and regions. Backmatter includes state symbols and additional information about each place.

  • Age Range: 6 – 9 years
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1580891179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580891172

What Was the Gold Rush? by Joan Holub and illustrated by Tim Tomkinson

Kindle | Paperback | Library Binding

n 1848, gold was discovered in California, attracting over 300,000 people from all over the world who came with dreams of striking it rich. With black-and white illustrations and sixteen pages of photos.

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap (February 7, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0448462893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0448462899

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