Mapping Your World

Maps do a lot more than get you from Point A to Point B! According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a map is “a diagram or other visual representation that shows the relative position of the parts of something,” and here at SSHEL we know that books can do the same thing. They help us explore who we are and where we come from – just like maps help us to find our place in the world. Go through the list of books below in order to read some stories all about being lost and found, following treasure maps, and traveling the world.

To find more books about maps and adventure, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “maps,” “atlases,” or “cartography.” Nonfiction books about maps and geography can generally be found in the 912 call number range.

Bryant, Jennifer.
Kaleidoscope Eyes. 2009 (Fiction: middle grade, novel in verse)
After Gramps dies, Lyza helps her dad clean out his house and she finds three maps hidden in the attic. An envelope on top reads “For Lyza ONLY,” and she knows it’s going to be the start of an amazing adventure. With the help of her two best friends, Malcolm and Carolann, they decipher a letter from Gramps that reveals that a pirate treasure from Captain Kidd could be buried in their very own town in New Jersey! Readers will turn the pages quickly in order to follow along as the three go on a secret treasure hunt all while the Vietnam War looms over their community.
[S-Collection S. B8415k]

Buckley Jr., James.
Animal Atlas. 2016 (Nonfiction: atlas)
In this large-format atlas, you can’t help but keep flipping the pages and reading about different animals on each of the continents. It combines cartoons and real images for a dazzling visual experience and an abundance of creatures, pictures, and learning opportunities. With a conversational tone, glossary, index, and fun facts galore, adults and kids alike will enjoy taking this book home to explore!
[S-Collection Q. S590 B856a]

Chen, Justina.
North of Beautiful. 2010 (Fiction: young adult)
Terra grew up in a world of maps and compasses, but she can’t seem to find herself. Hiding her face with its port-wine stain along with her feelings is natural to her. On the outside her life seems perfect: she has a popular boyfriend, a great job at an art gallery, and is very pretty. However, people don’t see what she looks like beneath her makeup or how her dad treats her mom at home. It takes Jacob, an interesting Goth Chinese-American, a trip across the ocean, and an exploration of her own art for Terra to finally find the real meaning of true beauty.
[Center for Children’s Books S. H344n]

Clements, Andrew.
The Map Trap. 2014 (Fiction: middle grade)
One day, Alton’s most prized possessions – his maps – are stolen from his locker. Which is kind of a problem, because while there are “regular” maps that provide locations and directions, there are also some special maps that explore how and what he thinks about people, including his friends, his teachers, and (gulp) his principal. Soon the “mapnapper” starts giving him instructions about what to do if he wants to see his maps again, and Alton is thrust into uncharted territory!
[S-Collection S. C5912m]

Fanelli, Sara.
My Map Book. 1995 (Fiction: picture book)
Full-page, bright, colorful, interactive illustrations fill this book that teaches kids that maps don’t have to just be of places. Readers will experience not only a traditional map of the main character’s room, but also a map of his day, a color map, and more. With so much to explore and think about, children will want to start making their own maps after reading this book, so be sure have paper and crayons handy!
[S-Collection Q. SE. F213m1995]

Hargrave, Kiran Millwood.
The Cartographer’s Daughter. 2016 (Fiction: middle grade)
The day the Governor arrived, everything changed. The songbirds left, the ports closed, and going beyond the forest was forbidden. Isabella is the daughter of the only cartographer on the island, and she yearns to follow in his footsteps and chart the Forgotten Territories. One day her best friend, who happens to be the Governor’s daughter, disappears, and Isabella soon realizes that she’s going to have follow her map and her heart in order to save her friend and the island. This fantasy adventure will take readers on an incredible journey of friendship, exploration, and magic.
[S-Collection S. H2233c]

Milford, Kate.
Greenglass House (Greenglass House #1). 2014 (Fiction: middle grade)
A ringing doorbell interrupts Milo’s plans of doing nothing and relaxing during his winter vacation. The inn is normally quiet this time of year, but soon Greenglass House is full of odd guests with strange stories and secrets. Add to the mix a strange map, an attic full of treasures, and theft and Milo has a mystery on his hands! With the help of Meddy, the cook’s daughter, the pair work together to try to discover just what secrets this rambling old inn is hiding.
Look for the sequel, Ghosts of Greenglass House in the S-Collection (S. M598gg)!
[Center for Children’s Books S. M598g]

Ritchie, Scot.
Follow That Map! A First Book of Mapping Skills. 2009 (Nonfiction: picture book)
In this fun and interactive picture book, readers follow Sally and her friends on their quest to find Max and Ollie, a dog and cat on the loose. Along the way they explore their neighborhood, city, country, and the world around them. This book helps explain the basic concepts needed to understand maps to children while also exercising their imaginations. As a fun bonus, Max and Ollie are hidden somewhere in every map for readers to find!
[S-Collection Q. S.912.014 R5108f]

Sweeny, Joan.
Me on the Map. 1996 (Fiction: picture book)
This is an easy, timeless, methodical introduction to maps for young readers. Readers follow a young girl as she draws and interacts with maps of her room, house, town, state, country, and world. As she discovers her place on the map and in the world, children learn along with her about identity as well as geography. The warm colors and detailed illustrations give readers a lot to explore and provide ample opportunity for discussion.
[S-Collection SE. SW352m]

Wolverton, Barry.
The Vanishing Island (The Chronicles of the Black Tulip #1). 2015 (Fiction: upper middle grade)
Bren Owen feels stuck in his small town of Map in the year 1599, and he longs to travel to find fame and adventure. With a cartographer for a father and sailors constantly coming into port with new tales from afar, Bren is itching to leave to see for himself what’s out there. Soon he’s caught up in the riddle of a lifetime complete with a secret code, the promise of lost treasure, and a legendary island that vanished from the map long ago. Readers will be at the edge of their seats as they race through the pages in order to see if Bren can survive the danger in order to find the treasure!
Look for The Dragon’s Gate #2 (S. W839d) and The Sea of the Dead #3 (S. W839s) also in the S-Collection!
[S-Collection S. W839v]