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The Best Children’s Books About Explorers

“What are the best Children’s books about Explorers?” We looked at 151 of the top Kids Explorer books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 13 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Children’s Explorer” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 125+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 13 Best Children’s Explorer Books



13 .) Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys written by Matt Phelan

	Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys

Lists It Appears On:

  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

A Scott O’Dell Award-winning graphic novelist follows three dauntless adventurers on a Jules Verne-inspired challenge: circling the world, solo! As the nineteenth century wound down, a public inspired by the novel Around the World in Eighty Days clamored for intrepid adventure. The challenge of circumnavigating the globe as no one ever had before–a feat assuring fame if no A Scott O’Dell Award-winning graphic novelist follows three dauntless adventurers on a Jules Verne-inspired challenge: circling the world, solo!




12 .) Atlas of Adventures written by Lucy Letherland

	Atlas of Adventures

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • What Do We Do All Day

A 2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (National Council for the Social Studies-Children’s Book Council ) Set your spirit of adventure free with this lavishly illustrated trip around the world. Whether you’re visiting the penguins of Antarctica, joining the Carnival in Brazil, or a canoe safari down the Zambezi River, this book brings together more than A 2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (National Council for the Social Studies-Children’s Book Council ) Set your spirit of adventure free with this lavishly illustrated trip around the world. Whether you’re visiting the penguins of Antarctica, joining the Carnival in Brazil, or a canoe safari down the Zambezi River, this book brings together more than 100 activities and challenges to inspire armchair adventurers of any age.




11 .) Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud written by Tracey Fern

	Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud

Lists It Appears On:

  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

Ellen Prentiss’s papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate. As soon as she met a man who loved sailing like she did, she married him. When her husband was given command of a clipper ship custom-made to travel quickly, she knew that they would need every bit of its speed for their maiden voyage: out of Ellen Prentiss’s papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate.




10 .) Follow the Dream written by Peter Sis

	Follow the Dream

Lists It Appears On:

  • My Learning Table
  • The Best Childrens Books

The details on each page invite individual readers to pay Illus. in full color. The 15th century comes alive in this splendidly original picture book about Christopher Columbus. “The illustrations, executed in a variety of media, show scenes from the explorer’s life as well as some imaginary creatures that populated the Europeans’ picture of the outside world at that time. The details on each page invite individual readers to pay close attention, but the brief, clear text and framed illustrations lend themselves equally well to group sharing. Make room on your crowded Columbus shelf for this one.




9 .) How We Crossed The West: The Adventures Of Lewis And Clark written by Rosalyn Schanzer

	How We Crossed The West: The Adventures Of Lewis And Clark

Lists It Appears On:

  • My Learning Table
  • Start With A Book

Appealing art and descriptive text bring Lewis and Clark alive for young adventurers. Carefully chosen text from Lewis and Cark’s actual journals opens a fascinating window into this country’s exciting history.




8 .) Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson written by Deborah Hopkinson

	Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson

Lists It Appears On:

  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

This stunning picture book offers a riveting account of African-American explorer Matthew Henson’s 1909 journey to the North Pole with Admiral Peary. Matthew Henson was born just after the Civil War, a time when slavery had been abolished, but few opportunities were available for black people. As a child, Henson exhibited a yearning for adventure, embarking at age thirteen This stunning picture book offers a riveting account of African-American explorer Matthew Henson’s 1909 journey to the North Pole with Admiral Peary. Matthew Henson was born just after the Civil War, a time when slavery had been abolished, but few opportunities were available for black people. As a child, Henson exhibited a yearning for adventure, embarking at age thirteen on a five-year voyage sailing the seven seas.




7 .) Shackleton’s Journey written by William Grill

	Shackleton’s Journey

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • What Do We Do All Day

Grill’s beautiful use of colored pencils and vibrant hues effortlessly evokes the adventure and excitement that surrounded the expedition. His impeccably researched drawings, rich with detail, fastidiously reproduce the minutiae of the expedition. Children will love examining the diagrams of the peculiar provisions and the individual drawings of each sled dog and packhorse. This book takes the academic and historical information behind the expedition and reinterprets it for a young audience.




6 .) So You Want to Be an Explorer? written by Judith St. George

	So You Want to Be an Explorer?

Lists It Appears On:

  • My Learning Table
  • Teaching Kids Books

So you want to be an explorer? What does it take, you ask? To find out, take a look at Judith St. George and David Small’s witty collection of some of the best explorers the world has ever known.You know Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus, but what about Mary Kingsley, who studied cannibals in Africa, or cowboy Jim White, who, by mistake, found Carlsbad Caverns? Full of So you want to be an explorer? What does it take, you ask? To find out, take a look at Judith St. George and David Small’s witty collection of some of the best explorers the world has ever known.You know Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus, but what about Mary Kingsley, who studied cannibals in Africa, or cowboy Jim White, who, by mistake, found Carlsbad Caverns? Full of boundless energy and illustrations you won’t forget, this historical jaunt will inspire the explorer in all of us, young and old.




5 .) The Great Voyages of Zheng He written by Hao Yu Zhang

	The Great Voyages of Zheng He

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • What Do We Do All Day




4 .) The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest written by Steve Jenkins

	The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest

Lists It Appears On:

  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

In this stunning picture book, Steve Jenkins takes us to Mount Everest – exploring its history, geography, climate, and culture. This unique book takes readers on the ultimate adventure of climbing the great mountain. Travel along and learn what to pack for such a trek and the hardships one may suffer on the way to the top. Avalanches, frostbite, frigid temperatures, wind, In this stunning picture book, Steve Jenkins takes us to Mount Everest – exploring its history, geography, climate, and culture. This unique book takes readers on the ultimate adventure of climbing the great mountain. Travel along and learn what to pack for such a trek and the hardships one may suffer on the way to the top. Avalanches, frostbite, frigid temperatures, wind, and limited oxygen are just a few of the dangers that make scaling this peak one of the most extreme physical challenges one can experience.




3 .) Who Was Ferdinand Magellan written by S. A. Kramer

	Who Was Ferdinand Magellan

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • The Best Childrens Books

When Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Spain in 1519, he believed he could get to the Spice Islands by sailing west through or around the New World. He was right, but what he didn’t know was that the treacherous voyage would take him three years and cost him his life. Black-and-white line drawings illustrate Magellan’s life and voyage, with sidebars and a When Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Spain in 1519, he believed he could get to the Spice Islands by sailing west through or around the New World. He was right, but what he didn’t know was that the treacherous voyage would take him three years and cost him his life. Black-and-white line drawings illustrate Magellan’s life and voyage, with sidebars and a time line that enhance readers’ understanding of the period.




2 .) Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air written by Stewart Ross

	Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air

Lists It Appears On:

  • My Learning Table
  • Teaching Kids Books
  • What Do We Do All Day




1 .) Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 written by Brian Floca

	Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • My Learning Table
  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure a Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon.




 


The 125+ Additional Best Kids Books Featuring Explorers



 

#BooksAuthorsLists
147 Ate 9Tara Lazar
Start With A Book
15A Big Day for BaseballMary Pope Osborne
Start With A Book
16A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark Fatherly
17
A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840
 
My Learning Table
18
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
 
A Mighty Girl
19
A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers, & Other Badass Girls
 
A Mighty Girl
20
A World Of Her Own: 24 Amazing Women Explorers and Adventurers
 
A Mighty Girl
21Ace Lacewing: Bug DetectiveDavid Biedrzycki
Start With A Book
22Adventures of the Treasure FleetAnn Bowler
The Best Childrens Books
23
Aim for the Skies: Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith’s Race to Complete Amelia Earhart’s Quest
 
A Mighty Girl
24Alphabet MysteryAudrey Wood
Start With A Book
25Apples to Oregon 
My Learning Table
26Archaeologists Dig for CluesKate Duke
Start With A Book
27Archaeology for KidsRichard Panchyk
Start With A Book
28
Away With Words: The Daring Story of Isabella Bird
 
A Mighty Girl
29Baby Monkey, Private EyeBrian Selznick , David Serlin
Start With A Book
30Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the WorldTracey Fern
Start With A Book
31Beyond the Sea of Ice The Voyages of Henry HudsonJoan Elizabeth Goodman
The Best Childrens Books
32Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones 
My Learning Table
33By the Great Horn Spoon!Sid Fleischman
Start With A Book
34Cam Jansen and the Green School MysteryDavid Adler
Start With A Book
35Chet Gecko, Private Eye SeriesBruce Hale
Start With A Book
36Clothesline Clues to Jobs People DoKatherine Heling, Deborah Hembrook
Start With A Book
37Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun 
My Learning Table
38Daily Life in a Covered Wagon 
My Learning Table
39Dandelions 
My Learning Table
40Detective LaRue: Letters from the InvestigationMark Teague
Start With A Book
41EncounterJane Yolen
The Best Childrens Books
42Encyclopedia Brown SeriesDonald Sobol
Start With A Book
43Escape North!: The Story of Harriet Tubman 
A Mighty Girl
44Exploration and ConquestBetsy & Guilio Maestro
The Best Childrens Books
45
Explore! The Most Dangerous Journeys of All Time
 
What Do We Do All Day
46Explorers of the New World: Discover the Golden Age of ExplorationCarla Mooney
Teaching Kids Books
47Explorers Who Got LostDiane Dreher
The Best Childrens Books
48
Exploring Planet Earth: The Journey of Discovery from Early Civilization to Future Exploration
 
My Learning Table
49Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and BeyondMartin Jenkins
Start With A Book
50
Far Beyond the Garden Gate: Alexandra David-Neel’s Journey to Lhasa
 
What Do We Do All Day
51Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine 
A Mighty Girl
52First Girl Scout: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low 
A Mighty Girl
53FlotsamDavid Wiesner
Start With A Book
54FlushCarl Hiaasen
Start With A Book
55
Fly Girls Young Readers Edition: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History
 
A Mighty Girl
56
Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII
 
A Mighty Girl
57Fly High! The Story Of Bessie Coleman 
A Mighty Girl
58Follow That Map! A First Look at Mapping SkillsScot Ritchie
Start With A Book
59
Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space
 
A Mighty Girl
60Girl with a Camera 
A Mighty Girl
61Gold in the Hills: A Tale of the Klondike Gold RushCandice Ransom
Start With A Book
62
Helen Thayer’s Arctic Adventure: A Woman and Her Dog Walk to the North Pole
 
A Mighty Girl
63
Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure
 
A Mighty Girl
64Hermelin the Detective MouseMini Grey
Start With A Book
65Historium: Welcome to the MuseumJo Nelson
Start With A Book
66
How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln: The Story Behind the Nation’s First Female Detective
 
A Mighty Girl
67How the Sphinx Got to the MuseumJessie Hartland
Start With A Book
68HurricaneDavid Wiesner
Start With A Book
69I Am Amelia Earhart 
A Mighty Girl
70I Spy Mystery: A Book of Picture RiddlesJean Marzollo
Start With A Book
71I, Matthew Henson: Polar ExplorerCarole Boston Weatherford
Start With A Book
72If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of StonehengeMarc Aronson
Start With A Book
73In 1492Jean Marzollo
The Best Childrens Books
74It Can’t Be Done, Nellie Bly 
A Mighty Girl
75Julian, Secret AgentAnn Cameron
Start With A Book
76King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret CodeDori Hillestad Butler
Start With A Book
77Leif the Lucky 
My Learning Table
78Letters from Camp: A MysteryKate Klise
Start With A Book
79
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
 
What Do We Do All Day
80Lost in Outer Space: The Incredible Journey of Apollo 13Tod Olson
Start With A Book
81Magellan’s WorldStuart Waldman
The Best Childrens Books
82Marco Polo for Kids : His Marvelous Journey to China : 21 ActivitiesJanis Herbert
Teaching Kids Books
83Melonhead and the Undercover OperationKaty Kelly
Start With A Book
84Monster Hunt: Exploring Mysterious CreaturesJim Arnosky
Start With A Book
85Morning GirlMicheal Dorris
The Best Childrens Books
86Mr. Chickee’s Funny MoneyChristopher Paul Curtis
Start With A Book
87Mrs. Harkness and the PandaAlicia Porter
Start With A Book
88Muddy Max: The Mystery of Marsh CreekElizabeth Rusch
Start With A Book
89My First Amelia Earhart (Little People, Big Dreams) 
A Mighty Girl
90Nate the GreatMarjorie Weinman Sharmat
Start With A Book
91
Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids: Mighty Muckrakers from the Golden Age to Today
 
A Mighty Girl
92Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic 
A Mighty Girl
93Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own BackyardMary Kay Carson
Start With A Book
94Patterns in Peru: An Adventure in PatterningCindy Neuschwander
Start With A Book
95Pedro’s JournalPam Conrad
The Best Childrens Books
96Polo: The Runaway BookRegis Faller
Start With A Book
97QuestKathleen Benner Duble
The Best Childrens Books
98
Reporting Under Fire: 16 Daring Women War Correspondents and Photojournalists
 
A Mighty Girl
99
Sacajawea: Lewis and Clark Would Be Lost Without Me
 
A Mighty Girl
100
Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Woman in Space
 
A Mighty Girl
101Sally Ride: Life On A Mission 
A Mighty Girl
102Saving Kabul CornerN.H. Senzai
Start With A Book
103Secret CodersGene Yang
Start With A Book
104Secrets of StonehengeMick Manning
Start With A Book
105Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian HieroglyphsJames Rumford
Start With A Book
106
Seized by the Sun: The Life and Disappearance of World War II Pilot Gertrude Tompkins
 
A Mighty Girl
107Sir Walter Raleigh & the Quest for El DoradoMarc Aronson
The Best Childrens Books
108Stones, Bones, and Petroglyphs: Digging into Southwest ArchaeologySusan Goodwin
Start With A Book
109StowawayKaren Hesse
The Best Childrens Books
110Super Sniffers: Dog Detectives On the JobDorothy Hinshaw Hinshaw Patent
Start With A Book
111Tesla’s AtticNeal Shusterman
Start With A Book
112The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient EgyptClaudi Logan
Start With A Book
113The Boxcar Children: Houseboat MysteryGertrude Chandler Warner
Start With A Book
114The Buzz on Bees: Why Are They Disappearing?Shelly Rotner, Anne Woodhull
Start With A Book
115The Capital Catch (Ballpark Mysteries)Dsavid A. Kelly
Start With A Book
116The Dinosaur MuseumNational Geographic
Start With A Book
117The Discovery of the AmericasBetsy & Guilio Maestro
The Best Childrens Books
118The King’s FifthScott O’Dell
The Best Childrens Books
119The Mighty Mars RoversElizabeth Rusch
Start With A Book
120The Museum Book: A Guide to Strange and Wonderful CollectionsJan Mark
Start With A Book
121The Pilot And The Little Prince Fatherly
122The Raft 
My Learning Table
123The Sea KingAlbert Marrin
The Best Childrens Books
124The Secret Cave: Discovering LascauxEmily Arnold McCully
Start With A Book
125The Stunning Science of Everything: Science with the Squishy Bits Left InNick Arnold, Tony De Saulles
Start With A Book
126The Talking T. Rex (An A to Z Mystery)Ron Roy
Start With A Book
127
The Usborne Book of Explorers from Columbus to Armstrong (Famous Lives)
 
My Learning Table
128The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps 
A Mighty Girl
129The World in 1492Jean Fritz and other
The Best Childrens Books
130The World Made NewMarc Aronson
The Best Childrens Books
131
The Wright Brothers: How They Invented The Airplane
 Fatherly
132The Wrigley RiddleDavid Kelly
Start With A Book
133To Space and Back 
A Mighty Girl
134To the Edge of the WorldMichele Torrey
The Best Childrens Books
135
To The Stars!: The First American Woman to Walk In Space
 
A Mighty Girl
136Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa 
What Do We Do All Day
137What Darwin Saw: The Journey that Changed the WorldRosalyn Schanzer
Start With A Book
138When Grandma Gatewood Took A Hike 
A Mighty Girl
139When You Wander: A Search-and-Rescue Dog StoryMargarita Engle
Start With A Book
140Where Do You Think You’re Going,Jean Fritz
The Best Childrens Books
141Who HQ Collection: Women in History 
A Mighty Girl
142Who Really Discovered America 
The Best Childrens Books
143Who Was First?Russell Freedman
The Best Childrens Books
144Who Was Sacagawea? 
My Learning Table
145Why?Richard Torrey
Start With A Book
146Women Explorers: Perils, Pistols, and Petticoats 
A Mighty Girl
147
Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics
 
A Mighty Girl
148
Women in Science Boxed Gift Set (Little People, Big Dreams)
 
A Mighty Girl
149
Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels
 
A Mighty Girl
150Yankee Doodle Gals: Women Pilots of World War II 
A Mighty Girl
151Young Cam Jansen and the Lost ToothDavid Adler
Start With A Book

 


 


7 Best Kids Books Featuring Explorers Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
What Do We Do All Day Children’s Books about Explorers: True Life Amazing Adventures
Start With A Book Detectives and Explorers: Fiction & nonfiction children’s books and …
A Mighty Girl Explorers / Adventurers – Role Models – Mighty Girls & Women – Books …
Teaching Kids Books Explorers | Teaching With Kids’ Books
The Best Childrens Books The Age of Exploration in the Best Children’s Books
Fatherly The Best Books About Explorers For Kids In 2016
My Learning Table What to Read: Children’s Books About Explorers – Learning Table

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