The Great Outdoors: 10 books about the world outside

By Staff of Frederick County Public Libraries

Summer and early fall provide the perfect setting for outdoor adventures.
As families take advantage of warm weather and weekend camping trips, they’ll find there’s much for all ages to discover in the wilderness and beyond.

Picture Books

“How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside”
by Kari Percival
This delightful book, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award, encourages all readers—from those who LOVE the outdoors to those with hesitation—to interact with nature at their own comfortable pace.

“What Color is Night?’
by Grant Snider
Night is not just black and white. Look closer with Grant Snider’s beautiful debut picture book, exploring the subtle wonders and dreamy colors of the night.

Early Readers

“Treasure Map”
by Brandon Todd, illustrated by Gloria Felix
Grab your compass and join the Adventure Friends in the first book of this early reader series! Clarke is new to town and meets Miquel, who loves to go on adventures. With walkie-talkies and their compass in hand, they set out to map the neighborhood for Clarke and search for treasure. Fully colored illustrations and mapping skills are included in the four short stories.

“The Nature Club”
by Rebecca Elliott
Eva wants to help save the planet in this new installment of the beloved and best-selling Owl Diaries series.
Mrs. Featherbottom splits Eva’s class into two clubs to prepare for the Nature Day party. When Eva is separated from her best friends, she learns new things about her other classmates. Perfect for newly independent readers, this series contains speech bubbles, easy-to-read text and colorful illustrations.

Middle Readers

“Survival Scout: Lost in the Mountains”
by Maxwell Eaton
Lost in the mountains, Scout knows exactly what to do in this graphic novel guide to the wilderness. She takes stock of her supplies, figures out how to find water and food and creates a shelter, all while also signaling for help. Callout sections on wilderness safety help reinforce safety measures, and Eaton builds lessons into the story, including reading a topographic map, collecting rainwater and choosing a location and materials for a shelter.

“I Begin with Spring: The Life and Seasons of Henry David Thoreau”
by Julie Dunlap
The seasons and their variations provide a framework for this absorbing biography of Henry David Thoreau written by local author, educator and environmentalist Julie Dunlap. Dunlap discusses the importance of her subject’s work in a modern-day study of climate change, encouraging readers to become citizen scientists and record what they see, too.

Teen Readers

“Nowhere Better Than Here”
by Sarah Guillory
Jillian has seen devastation in her small hometown over and over again from hurricanes. But this time, massive rains cause devastation to her home and her personal life. Jillian finds herself unexpectedly reconnecting with her father and helping a neighbor salvage old photographs from the flood. In the pictures, she uncovers truths about her hometown she never knew, and curiosity floods to the surface of what the
pictures reveal. [Also available as an e-book and e-audiobook through Libby:]

“Daybreak on Raven Island”
by Fleur Bradley
Three classmates are on their way to Raven Island for a field trip. None of them are excited about small talk, or going on this field trip, but that all changes when they stumble upon a body in the woods. Now, stranded on the island because they missed the last ferry, they have to work together to solve the mystery and get home. Discover how they will unlock the truth before daybreak. [Also available as an e-book and e-audiobook through Libby:]

For Parents

“Outdoor Kids in an Inside World: Getting Your Family Out of the House and Radically Engaged with Nature”
by Steven Rinella
Practical advice for getting kids radically engaged with nature in a muddy, thrilling, hands-on way, with the ultimate goal of helping them see their own place within the natural ecosystem. [Also available as an e-book and e-audiobook through Libby:]


“The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures & Connect Kids to Nature”
Do you need some help planning your family camping adventure? Humorous and irreverent, yet always authoritative, this guide to camping with kids, from babies through pre-teens, is filled with checklists, smart tips, recipes, games, activities and art projects.

BookFLIX – Stories for Children: BookFLIX is an online literacy program for children that pairs classic video storybooks with nonfiction e-books. BookFLIX builds a love of reading while reinforcing early reading skills in English and Spanish. Find titles about animals and nature, and so much more:

These titles are thoughtfully selected by Frederick County Public Libraries. You can find these books and more by visiting