Florida

Fiction:

(This page contains Amazon affiliate links)

Junonia by Kevin Henkes

Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover

Almost ten-year-old Alice Rice loves the family tradition of celebrating her birthdays in a cottage on the Florida beach. This year she has the faintest sense of foreboding, however, as the rental car passes over the bridge. Who will be able to come to her party? And will she finally find the rare and highly-prized junonia shell (featured on the cover)?

In this lovely book, Henkes has perfectly captured the conflicting feelings of a young girl caught between childhood and the growing maturity of adolescence. Front matter includes illustrations of some common Florida seashells.

Highly recommended!

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0061964190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061964190

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | MP3 CD

Set in Eatonville, Florida, this is a fictionalized account of author Zora Neale Hurston’s childhood related from the viewpoint of her best friend Carrie.

  • Age Range: 10 and up 
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (December 27, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0763658146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763658144

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Audio CD

When Turtle’s mother finds a much-needed job during the Great Depression, Turtle is sent to the Key West to stay with her aunt. Discover Florida as Turtle discovers herself. This title is a Newbery Honor Book.

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Publisher: Yearling; Dgs Rep edition (December 27, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 037583690X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375836909

The Last Wild Place by Rosa Jordan (2008) 

Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

Sixth-grader Chip’s feelings of loneliness lead him to find a family of Florida panthers. Can he save them when development threatens?

  • ISBN-10 : 1554551463
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1554551460


Carl Hiaasen is well-known for his books set in Florida: 

Scat by Carl Hiaasen (2012) 

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD

Set in the Florida Everglades, Nick and Marta are trying to find out what happened to their missing biology teacher, as well as what else is going on.

  • Reading age : 10 – 13 years
  • Publisher : Yearling (February 28, 2012)
  • ISBN-10 : 0440421047
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0440421047


Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (2005)

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD

A boy discovers new friends and burrowing owls after moving to Coconut Grove, Florida. Hiaasen has written numerous quirky books for adults and this book is also filled with unusual characters.

  • Reading age : 10 – 12 years
  • Publisher : Yearling; Reprint edition (December 27, 2005)
  • ISBN-10 : 0440419395
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0440419396

See also the rest in the series:

Chomp

Squirm


Adrian Fogelin also has written several books set in the city where she lives, Tallahassee, Florida:

Sister Spider Knows All by Adrian Fodelin (2003)

Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover

Roxanne’s life is busy because she works at the Tallahassee flea market on the weekends, but her life doesn’t feel compete because she doesn’t know who her parents are. Will the diary she finds help answer her questions?

  • Reading age : 8 – 12 years
  • Publisher : Peachtree Publishing Company (October 1, 2003)
  • ISBN-10 : 9781561452903
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1561452903

Crossing Jordan by Adrian Fogelin

Illustrated by Suzy Schultz (2002)

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover

When Jemmie moves in next door, Cassie discovers she likes the same things:  running and reading. She also discovers that inter-racial friendships can be frowned-upon in her Tallahassee, Florida neighborhood.

  • Reading age : 8 – 12 years
  • Publisher : Peachtree Publishing Company; Illustrated edition (July 1, 2002)
  • ISBN-10 : 1561452815
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1561452811


Sam the Sea Cow (Reading Rainbow Books) by Francine Jacobs and illustrated by Laura Kelly (1992)

Paperback | Library Binding

Picture book that follows the adventures of Sam the manatee (early elementary).

  • Reading age : 4 – 8 years
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury USA Childrens; First Edition (May 1, 1992)
  • ISBN-10 : 0802773737
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0802773739


The Yearling (Aladdin Classics) by Patricia Reilly Giff

Kindle | Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover

Probably best for children older than 12, this classic novel is full of the harsh realities of growing up in rural Florida.

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; First Edition edition (September 1, 2001)
  • ISBN-10: 0689846231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689846236

Nonfiction:

Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

Kindle | Hardcover

In this picture book biography, we learn how reporter and nature lover Marjory Stoneman Douglas worked to save the Everglades from development. More thorough review and activity suggestions at Growing with Science blog.

  • Grade Level : Preschool – 3
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (September 22, 2020)
  • ISBN-10 : 1534431543
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1534431546

Everglades by Jean Craighead George and illustrated by Wendell Minor (1997)

Paperback | Library Binding

Learn about the history and nature of the Everglades.

  • Reading age : 4 – 8 years
  • Publisher : HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 21, 1997)
  • ISBN-10 : 0064461947
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0064461948

Parrotfish and Sunken Ships: Exploring a Tropical Reef by Jim Arnosky 

Hardcover

Exploring the coral reefs around the Florida Keys. 

  • Reading age : 5 – 10 years
  • Publisher : HarperCollins; 1st edition (August 28, 2007)
  • ISBN-10 : 0688171230
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0688171230


S is for Sunshine: A Florida Alphabet by Carol Crane and illustrated by Michael Glenn Monroe

Kindle | Hardcover

Learn about everything from Florida’s beaches to the state flower.

  • Reading age : 6 – 9 years
  • Publisher : Sleeping Bear Press; 1st edition (October 9, 2000)
  • ISBN-10 : 1585360120
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1585360123


Book cover links to Amazon are provided to allow for easy access to more information about the book, including the ISBN and reviews. Disclosure:  I am an Amazon affiliate. If you go to Amazon by clicking the book cover and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Proceeds will be used to help defray the costs of developing and maintaining this website.

Leave a Comment