New York

The New York State Library has extensive Explore New York reading lists.


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New York City:

New York Day & Night by Aurelie Pollet and Vincent Bergier

Sandy the cat helps readers explore the nighttime city, starting with a rocket-ship shape that stands out light against a dark blue and black night sky. Lifting the page, Frankie the squirrel welcomes readers to New York in a daytime scene which reveals the rocket is actually the iconic Empire State Building. The illustrations create alternating tension then relief in each set of spreads as readers learn that sometimes things aren't as they seem. Imaginative and innovative.

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Publisher: Prestel Junior (March 19, 2019)
  • ISBN-10: 3791373781
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791373782

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (2017)

When their landlord decides not to renew their lease five days before Christmas, the Vanderbeekers must pull out all stops to stay in the old brownstone that is the only home they’ve known.

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 3, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 0544876393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544876392

Silent Movieby Avi and illustrated by C.B. Mordan (2003)

Follows the struggles of a Swedish family that immigrated to New York City in the early 1900s.

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (March 1, 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 0689841450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689841453

The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi and illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker (2011)

A realistic fiction picture book about a man named Fred who keeps bees on his rooftop in Brooklyn. Description of the honey-making process included.

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (March 8, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0375849807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375849800

Central Park Serenade by Laura Godwin and illustrated by Barry Root (2002)

The sights and sounds of New York City's Central Park, told through rhyming text. Matched with lovely illustrations with green and golden tints.

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (April 2, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0060258918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060258917

Hattie and the Wild Waves: A Story From Brooklynby Barbara Cooney (1993)

Somwhat autobiographical tale of a young girl growing up in Brooklyn and Long Island, who wants to become an artist.

Chapter Books:

The Cricket in Times Squareby George Selden and Garth Williams (Illustrator) (originally 1970)

In this classic, Chester Cricket comes to New York City’s Times Square by mistake.

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Publisher: Square Fish; 1st edition (April 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0312380038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312380038

Lexi's Tale(Park Pals Adventures) byJohanna Hurwitzand illustrated by Patience Brewster (2002)

A guinea pig and a squirrel learn to live in Central Park in this chapter book for lower elementary readers.

Zoe Sophia in New York The Mystery of the Pink Phoenix Papersby Claudia Mauner and Elisa Smalley (2006)

Early elementary level mystery with many details about the Big Apple.

Next Stop, New York City!(Polk Street Special) byPatricia Reilly Giff (1997)

Emily is not the New York City expert everyone thinks. What will happen when her class goes there on a trip?

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Miranda and Sal are sixth graders living in New York City. After a series of mysterious events that might be linked toMadeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, they have to figure out what is going on and prevent a death. Will they be too late?

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (December 28, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0375850864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375850868


A Northern Lightby Jennifer Donnelly (2004)

Award-winning young adult novel about a girl torn between her family and her future, set in 1906 in the Adirondacks.

Legend of Sleepy Hollowby Washington Irving

Available in many versions, the story was set in Tarry Town, New York in the 1790s.

Erie Canal Cousinsby Dorothy Stacy(2007)

Rose, Charles, and the Finnegans take a canal boat on the Erie Canal from Albany to Utica.

Nonfiction Books:


A winner of multiple awards, Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet was located in biography in my library, but it could have been shelved in holidays as well. Ever wondered about the huge balloons in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? This book tells how Tony Sarg made the Macy’s Parade what it is today.

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (November 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0547199457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547199450

Hiromi's Hands by Lynne Barasch (2007)

A picture-book biography of Hiromi Suzuki, one of New York City's first female sushi chefs.

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books (March 1, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 1584302755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584302759


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Roberta Gibson 2020