The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Trips and Treks: Books about Travel- September 2010

Selected and annotated by Laurel Halfar


Berkeley, Jon. The Hidden Boy. Tegan/HarperCollins, 2010. 262 p. Gr. 4-6
The adventure begins when Bea and her family unexpectedly win a trip to the magical land of Bell Hoot through a contest they never entered. It turns out the trip is not the relaxing vacation the family expects when Bea's brother goes missing.

Bildner, Phil. The Hallelujah Flight; illus. by John Holyfield. Putnam, 2010. 32 p. 5-8 yrs
This fictional account details the unsponsored transcontinental flight of African American pilot James Banning and mechanic Thomas Allen in 1932.

Caletti, Deb. The Secret Life of Prince Charming. Simon, 2009. 336 p. Gr. 8-12
Three sisters embark on a road trip to visit women their father has wronged in his past. The journey brings about love, mystery and growth for its participants.

Davis, Tanita S. Mare's War. Knopf, 2009. 351 p. Gr. 7-10
Two sisters are forced to travel to their family reunion on a cross-country road trip with their eccentric grandmother, Mare. The book goes back and forth between their current journey and the journey of Mare's life which she shares with the girls as they travel.

Finn, Mary. Anila's Journey. Candlewick, 2008. 314 p. Gr. 7-10
Teenage Anila finds herself alone in 18th century Calcutta after her mother's death and her father's departure. She gains employment, due to her drawing abilities, with a naturalist and accompanies him on a journey to document new bird species.

Frazee, Marla. A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever. Harcourt, 2008. 32 p. 6-9 yrs
The story follows two friends, Eamon and James, during a week of their summer vacation. Although the boys attend a nature day camp, the book focuses on the fun they have while not at camp.

Glatt, Lisa and Suzanne Greenberg. Abigail Iris: The One and Only; illus. by Joy Allen. Walker, 2009. 160 p. Gr. 3-5
Third-grader Abigail dreams of what it would be like to be an only child. She gets a glimpse into the life when she accompanies her only-child friend on vacation and soon realizes it may not be quite the fantasy she has imagined.

Gray, Keith. Ostrich Boys. Random House, 2010. 304 p. Gr. 7-10
Three teenage boys are angered by the funeral of their best friend, Ross, who was killed in an accident. To honor him, they steal his ashes and bring them along on a journey to Scotland, a place Ross had always wanted to visit.

Green, John. Paper Towns. Dutton, 2008. 352 p. Gr. 9-12
Weeks before graduating high school Quentin learns that his estranged, yet beloved, childhood playmate Margo has ran away. He makes it his mission to find her with the help of his friends.

Harper, Jessica. Underpants on my Head; illus. by Jon Berkeley. Putnam, 2009. 64 p. Gr. 1-3
The sequel to, Uh-Oh Cleo, follows eight-year-old Cleo and her family of eight on a summer vacation to Denver.

Hogan, Mary. Pretty Face. HarperTeen, 2008. 224 p. Gr. 9-12
16 year old Haley is unhappy with her life in Santa Monica; she is always the friend, never the girlfriend. Her mom sends her on a summer trip to Italy where she discovers self-acceptance and her first love.

Horowitz, Dave. Duck Duck Moose; illus. by Dave Horowitz. Putnam, 2009. 5-8 yrs
Two ducks convince a Moose from New Hampshire to accompany them on their migratory road trip to Florida.

Jenkins, A.M. Night Road. Harperteen, 2008. 361 p. Gr. 9-12
Cole, a loner hemavore (a term preferred over vampire by blood-drinkers) is asked to teach newcomer, Gordan, the ropes. Cole and his friend Sandor take Gordan on a road trip to educate him on the ways of hemavores.

Kelley, Jane. Nature Girl. Random House, 2010. 256 p. Gr. 4-7
Megan's parents insist she leave New York City to spend the summer reconnecting with nature in Vermont. While hiking the Appalachian Trail, Megan becomes lost. She decides to hike the 30 miles to Massachusetts where her best friend is spending the summer.

Law, Ingrid. Savvy. Dial/Walden Media, 2008. 342 p. Gr. 4-7
Mibs is anxiously awaiting her thirteenth birthday when her "savvy" or magical power will be revealed. Unfortunately before she can celebrate, her father is injured in a car accident causing Mibs and her friends to stowaway on a bus in order to reach the hospital in hopes of saving him.

Lin, Grace. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Little, 2009. 288 p. Gr. 4-6
After listening to the fantastic tales told by her father, Minli leaves her small Chinese village in search of the Man in the Moon in order to change her family’s luck. Along the way she meets many interesting characters who each have a story of their own to tell.

Lowell, Susan. The Elephant Quilt: Stitch by Stitch to California!. Kroupa/Farrar, 2008. 40 p. 5-9 yrs.
Lily Rose records the details of her travels in a quilt she makes while her family journeys by covered wagon from Missouri to California in 1859.

Moodie, Craig. Seaborn. Roaring Brook, 2008. 208 p. Gr. 5-9
Luke and his father embark on their annual family sailing trip even though Luke's mom has just walked out on them. A sudden storm transforms the yearly trip into quite an adventure.

Ockler, Sarah. Twenty Boy Summer. Little, 2009. 290 p. Gr. 8-12
Anna's secret romance with her best friend, Frankie's, older brother, Matt, is perfect until his unexpected death. A year later, Anna has still not told Frankie the truth about her relationship with Matt. Frankie insists Anna accompany her family to California for vacation where the girls encounter new romances and continual grief.

Pearson, Mary E. The Miles Between. Holt, 2009. 288 p. Gr. 7-10
Destiny spots an empty car idling outside of her boarding school and enlists her crush and two classmates to accompany her on a road trip. The group is hoping for "one fair day" in which everything goes right for them.

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth. Greenwillow, 2010. 352 p. Gr. 7-10
Ry is on a train headed to summer camp when he accidentally gets left behind at an unexpected stop in Montana. Ry connects with a helpful man named Del and the pair set off on a road trip to reconnect Ry with his family.

Priceman, Marjorie. How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A.. Knopf, 2008. 32 p. 5-8 yrs
A young girl travels throughout the U.S.A. obtaining the natural resources necessary in order to make the equipment she will need to bake a cherry pie.

Rex, Adam. The True Meaning of Smekday. Hyperion, 2007. 423 p. Gr. 6-9
After the Boov, a group of aliens, take over Earth, they relocate all of the humans to Florida by space pods. A young girl, Gratuity Tucci, decides to reach Florida another way and sets off on a cross-country road trip with a renegade Boov.

Schanzer, Rosalyn. What Darwin Saw: The Journey That Changed the World. National Geographic, 2009. 47 p. Gr. 4-8
This book follows the travels of Charles Darwin aboard the ship, the Beagle. It includes excerpts from diary entries, letters, and published works from Darwin.

Sensel, Joni. The Timekeeper's Moon. Bloomsbury, 2010. 340 p. Gr. 5-8
Ariel is not sure why, but her she feels the need to travel.. In the sequel to, The Farwalker's Quest, Ariel and her guardian Scarl travel the land sharing information with those they come across.

Stevenson, Robin. A Thousand Shades of Blue. Orca, 2008. 224 p. Gr. 7-10
In hopes of bringing their strained family closer together, 16 year old Rachel and her brother, are forced to join their parents on a year long sailing trip while leaving their brain damaged sister behind.

Warnes, Tim. Chalk and Cheese. Simon, 2008. 32 p. Gr. 2-4
Pen-pals, Chalk, a country mouse, and Cheese, a dog from New York City show that opposites do attract. The story follows the odd-couple touring the Big Apple when Chalk visits Cheese.

Weingarten, Lynn. Wherever Nina Lies. Point/Scholastic, 2009. 336 p. Gr. 7-10
Two years ago Ellie's sister, Nina, mysteriously disappeared. After finding a clue about her sister's disappearance Ellie pairs up with Sean, a boy who is mourning the death of a sibling, on a road trip in search of her missing sister.

Whelan, Gloria. Parade of Shadows. Harper Collins, 2008. 295 p. Gr. 7-10
16 year old Julia finds her life in 1907 London boring; she dreams of adventure and travel. She has a chance to see the world when she accompanies her father, who works for the British Foreign office, to the Middle East.

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