Kids’ Books set in New York City
Read Before You Go – Kids’ Books Set in NYC
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Reading about anything helps you understand it and appreciate it more. This is especially true for children who don’t have the background knowledge that grownups do. Scroll down to get the BEST list of kids’ books set in New York City and read before your next trip!
Make the MOST of any trip:
To make the most out of any trip with kids you need to prepare them by letting them become familiar with what they will see and experience. Reading kids’ books set in New York City is the very best way to do just that! Get little minds thinking of all the wonderful things to see on the family’s adventure! Have them use critical thinking skills and discuss questions like: What will be the same as the way we do things at home? What will be different?
Don’t let this happen to you!
Some people go on a trip, come home, look at the photos and think….where was that taken? Which church was that?? Or even worse, spend time on a guided tour thinking, “Another Madonna and child painting??” and have no idea what they are seeing or why.
Improve your trip AND your child’s intelligence!
We want children to remember, internalize, and make these experiences part of their core being! When a child learns something they add to their schema, or background knowledge, which will help them in their education until the end of time. Layering the learning by introducing information and then showing it to them on a vacation is the best way to internalize information. Use travel to get smarter and improve skills for the kids in the family!
A GREAT way to get the wheels turning and introduce information about your adventure destination AND improve your child’s intelligence and academic educational success is reading. Stories with familiar characters or beloved animals will pave the way for learning – really learning about the new culture they are going to experience. Read kids’ books set in New York or listen with an audiobook.
CLICK BELOW on YOUR destination for kids’ books lists!
Need more proof that reading is valuable? A study published in the Economic Journal shows that ‘boys with easy access to books tend to have higher incomes when they become adults than their counterparts who grow up with few or no books by their side’ and “Men who grew up in households filled with books earn 21 percent more..”. So, read before your trip! It will be fun AND will make your kiddo smarter and wealthier in the long run.
Read at bedtime and have sweet dreams about your upcoming trip! Or download to an IPAD or Kindle and read on the loooooooooooong flight over. These are perfect for any storytime before, during, and after a trip, too.
There are many, many to choose from. You can get ideas on which books to read from the school librarian or research topics online. Choose based on your family’s interest! Art? Architecture? Sculpture? Food? Don’t despair over so much choice! I have spent hours and hours reading books, reading summaries, reading reviews, reading about authors, reading about topics related to New York SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO! This comprehensive list is all you need to get started learning and daydreaming about your trip. Enjoy!
There are wonderful books about New York and the cool things you see there.
Kids’ Books set in New York City: Read about the Sights
This is New York by Miroslav Sasek This reprint of a classic which was originally published in 1960 has updated information like changing the earlier version of the Empire State Building from being the tallest building in the world to being ‘one of the tallest’. Wonderful part of a series and a great place to start for looking at the sights before you arrive in New York City. Written for ages 5+. Length: 64 pages.
Adventures in New York by The Educational Tourist Learn interesting tidbits about the Big Apple and keep your travelers engaged with activities about each. Download this 38-page booklet RIGHT NOW. Written for elementary school-aged kiddos but serves as Cliff Notes for the adults in the group. Length: 38 pages.
New York, New York: The Big Apple from A to Z by Laura Krauss Melmed Give the kids a flavor of what they will see in the city that never sleeps! Great for kids of all ages, but written for ages 4-8. Length: 48 pages.
Larry Gets Lost in New York City by John Skewes Puppy, Larry, gets lost while on vacation with his owners after taking off when he sees a tasty piece of pizza that has been tossed aside. He searches for his family while taking in all the sights in the city! Get some fun tidbits of information for your whole family along with Larry. If you love Larry, be aware he gets lost in other cities, too: Washington DC, Boston, LA, Chicago, and San Francisco among others. Written for ages 3-7. Length: 32 pages.
Goodnight New York City by Adam Gamble If you are at the ‘Goodnight Moon’ phase with your preschooler then you’ll really enjoy this one. Kids love the predictable cadence to this book and get a taste of the New York City sights at the same time. Written for sleeping preschoolers. Length: 24 pages.
Kids’ Books set in New York City: Read about Museums
You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman LOVE this one and it is perfect for any age. There aren’t any words, but follow the photos and you’ll realize that the balloon is encountering similar adventures to the art inside! Written for 5-8 years but I wouldn’t hesitate to use for kids up to 12. Length: 40 pages.
Inside the Museum: A Children’s Guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, by Joy Richardson Does it surprise you to see a mummy on the cover of a book about an art museum? There are lots of surprises in this wonderful museum! Great to get everyone thinking and planning your visit. You can’t see it all in one trip! Written for grades 9+ Lexile Measure: Not Availble. Length: 72 pages.
Museum ABC by The NY Metropolitan of Art This isn’t your ordinary ABC book because with each letter’s text you’ll find 3 pieces of art. Sometimes the entire piece is used and sometimes very tight closeups from art is used. Wonderful way to examine art and teach that you can appreciate it from more than one angle. Written for kids ages 4-7 but easily used for kids of all ages when you are discussing art! Length: 60 pages.
Kids’ Books Set in New York City: Read Outside the Box!
City by Numbers by Stephen T. Johnson The award winning author encourages us to look outside the usual and see beauty all around us by looking for numbers in the city. Mr. Johnson found numbers all over New York City! Written for 5-8 years but would be enjoyed from 4-12 in my opinion. Length: 32 pages.
Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson The winner of the Caldecott Honor Award (1986) will change forever the way you look at ordinary sights around you. Using New York city as a base, Mr. Johnson found the alphabet in ways that will astound you and the kids. Look around….really look around! Written for ages 3-7, but anyone at all will enjoy the lovely photographs and cool visuals. Length: 32 pages.
Kids’ Books Set in New York City: Read About Your Favorite Characters
Arthur in New York by Marc Brown Everyone’s favorite aardvark family takes on the Big Apple in this story for young readers. D.W. gets separated from her family and the family has an adventure looking for her until they find her at Mary Moo-Cow Palace! Written for kids aged 5-8 years old. Length: 24 pages.
Dodsworth in New York by Tim Egan Dodsworth has looked forward to seeing the Big Apple for a very long time and is so excited to be off on a New York City adventure. His dreams of this trip did not include having a very silly duck along. Enjoy the antics of the crazy duck and all the sights New York has to offer! Written for ages 7-10. Lexile Measure: 360L. Length: 48 pages.
Kids’ Books Set in New York City: Read and Discover
Mission New York: A Scavenger Hunt for Kids by Catherine Aragon This real life scavenger hunt will have your teens and tweens really engaged. Follow photos and clues all around the city to discover information that might be new to even the adults in the crowd! My favorite piece of information is about the real life James Bond! An absolute must for teens! Written for the late tween -teen traveler. Length: 60 pages.
Kids’ Books Set in New York City: Read Fiction
Thea Stilton: Big Trouble in the Big Apple by Thea Stilton While in New York City for the Big Apple marathon, the Thea sisters hear that someone is threatening to burn down a local restaurant and the adventure of finding the bad guys starts! Part of an excellent series. Written for 7-10 years. Lexile Measure: 720L. Length: 176 pages.
The Burglar Who Bit the Big Apple by Stever Brezenoff Samantha and friends, Egg and Gum, find themselves in the middle of a mystery involving the big tourist sights in New York City while visiting for a field trip. Written for ages 8-11. Lexile Measure: 500L. Length: 88 pages.
Kids’ Books Set in New York City: Read about The Statue of Liberty
The Story of the Statue of Liberty by Betsy Maestro Great books to explain how The Statue of Liberty came to be such an important iconic landmark in New York City. Excellent illustrations to support the informative text. Written for ages 6-10. Lexile Measure: AD740L. Length: 48 pages.
L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison Excellent crisp and clear book on the Statue of Liberty and the Fourth of July holiday. Wonderful introductory book for young children. Written for ages 4-8 years. Length: 24 pages.
You Wouldn’t Want to be a Worker on the Statue of Liberty: A Monument You’d Rather Not Build by John Malam There is nothing quite like reading a book in this series to make you really glad you live in the time period you do! Kids of all ages love these books. Learn the REAL story behind the making of the Statue of Liberty. Written for ages 8-11 years. Lexile Measure: 870. Length: 32 pages.
The Magic School bus Builds the Statue of Liberty by Anne Capeci Follow Ms. Frizzle and her students on yet another crazy adventure! Ms. Frizzle knows more about fun field trips (and dressing the part) than any teacher on the planet. Written for elementary school aged kiddo – 7-10. Length: 32 pages.
Kids’ Books set in New York City: Read and color!
New York for Kids: 25 Big Apple Sites to Color by Patricia J. Wynne Dover Coloring books are my favorite as they are clean and easy to color, but very accurate drawings of historical and cultural sights. Get the crayons or colored pencils out and color with the kids! Great way to pass the time on a long plane or car trip on your way to the big apple.
Wildlife of New York: A Five-Borough Coloring Book by Shannon Lee Connors This is not the ordinary coloring book for local sights. This includes the every day part of New York like parks also. Included are the surprising numbers of wildlife you can find in the urban jungle. Kids who love animals will find this the perfect daydreaming tool. Written for all ages though best for kids for 10+ because of the fine motor skills needed for the small details. Length: 60 pages.
Kids’ Books set in New York City: Read About Ellis Island
The Girl in the Torch by Robert Sharenow Fantastic novel about 12 year old Sarah’s dangerous and difficult journey to New York City. So much heartache is a part of the journey to get to New York, but just as she is set to arrive, she finds out she is going to be turned away. She can’t bear the thought of going back again so she leaps off the boat and swims to the Statue of Liberty. Follow her adventure from there to the mainland. Written for ages 8-12 years. Lexile Measure: 800. Length: 304 pages.
Ellis Island by Lori Mortensen Very clear and concise information on this important historical spot. There isn’t much available at this reading level so snatch up this book to prepare your young travelers before heading to Ellis Island. Written for kids aged 5-7 years. Lexile Measure: IG770L Length: 24 pages.
If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island by Ellen Levine Great introduction to what Ellis Island symbolized for those entering the country. Did your family arrive through Ellis Island? Not everyone who came to the country actually got to stay. Learn how decisions were made regarding who stayed and who didn’t. Written for 7-10 years old. Lexile Measure: 880L. Length: 80.
My America: Hope in My Heart, Sofia’s Ellis Island (Book One) by Kathryn Lasky Sofia and her family finally arrive at Ellis Island following their boat journey from Italy. Sofia is sent into quarantine which separates her from her family. In the hospital, she finds a friend and together they mange the miserable circumstances they find. Great novel that illustrates the difficulty of being an immigrant. Written for 7 – 10 years old. Lexile Measure: 630L. Length: 112 pages.
Coming to America: The Story of Immigration by Betsy Maestro This book minces no words about the hardships for immigrants to the country. Children that grew up here in the states will find this an eye opening and enlightening book about how hard it is to travel to a new land, with a new culture, new language and school, etc. Written for ages 4-7. Lexile Measure: AD890L. Length: 40 pages.
The Memory Coat by Elvira Woodruff I love this book because it shows children, who, having grown up here, the destination was a dream for so many. Following the story of children Rachel and Grisha from Russia to Ellis Island, but at the last moment, Grisha is rejected and a mark is placed on coat indicated he can’t enter. His friend, Rachel who thinks his tattered coat is really special because it was made with love by his mom, has the clever idea to turn the coat inside out. Turning the coat covers the mark and allows him passage into the US. Written for kids aged 4-8 years. Lexile Measure: AD650L. Length: 32 pages.
Kids’ Books Set in New York City: Read about Times Square
One Times Square: A Century of Change at Crossroads of the World by Joe McKendry Wonderful book following the creation of such an iconic spot in the US from the benign when it was a dirt road called Bloomingdale Road. Lovely artistry to accompany information and curious tidbits. Written for kids 11-14. Length: 64 pages.
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden An oldie but goodie and 1961 Newbery Honor Book, this book follows the journey of Chester the Cricket who meets up with a cat and a mouse who live in Times Square. As you would expect, the animals tour around Times Square and have a wonderful adventure. Written for kids aged 6-9 years but makes a great bedtime story for kids on either side of that age range. Lexile Measure: 780L. Length: 144 pages.
Kids’ Books set in New York City: Read about Broadway
Lights on Broadway: A Theatrical Tour from A to Z by Harriet Ziefert Fantastic picture book for kids of all ages because of the fantastic vocabulary. Kids will appreciate the great white way even more when they understand what the fuss is all about, especially if a Broadway show is on your list of things to do while in New York. Written for 8 and up. Length: 48 pages.
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet Each Thanksgiving Broadway is full of enormous balloons and this book tells the story behind them. Not just balloons but really ‘upside down’ puppets. Written for ages 4-7 years old, but any age traveler would be interested in the how behind the Thanksgiving magic. Lexile Measure: 1000L. Length: 40 pages.
Kids’ Books Set in New York City: Read about the Subway
The Secret Subway by Shana Corey Very interesting story about one of the oldest subways in the United States. Read about the subway that transformed New York city making it cleaner and more efficient.
Interesting reading books where the characters live in New York, like Eloise!
Kids’ Books Set in New York City: Read about the Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge by Lynn Curlee A picture really is worth ‘a thousand words’ and this makes it so easy to explain how the Brooklyn Bridge was built! The text is a little dry but will be enjoyed by the future engineers in a group. Even if all you do is look at the photos, this book is a must. Very cool to see how something SO large and strong is built in water – includes information on safety for such a feat like dealing with the bends. Written for kids aged 8 – 12 years old, but the photos are good for anyone 4+. Lexile Measure: 1160L. Length: 40 pages.
Twenty One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince When the Brooklyn Bridge was built the locals were afraid it wasn’t strong enough to hold people. PT Barnum solved that problem but parading 21 elephants across the bridge which illustrated the strength of the bridge. Curious solution that kids will enjoy hearing about. Written for 4-7 years. Lexile Measure: 800L. Length: 32 pages.
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Enjoy the City that Never Sleeps!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist