10 Best Children's Books About NYC History
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All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
In this 189-pager about a Jewish family living on the Upper East Side at the turn of the twentieth century, the five girls in the family visit many popular NYC locales. Head to Coney Island and envision where the girls went for a dip, or travel to the Essex Market ("Rivington Street market" in the book) for some farmers fresh fare. The girls even venture to the New York Public Library to deal with a lost book dilemma. Kids learn about the olden days of their town while also learning a bit of Jewish culture along the way.
The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh
The Night Tourist uses references to classical mythology, historical figures, and the supernatural aspect of death. A dark tale about 14-year-old Jack who, through a series of odd events, ends up in the underworld that exists below Grand Central Station, this story is sure to have young adult readers searching for ghosts during their next subway ride.
A story about how the conservationists at the Bronx Zoo brought the American bison back from the brink of extinction, the book teaches kids the tumultuous history of the buffalo from Oklahoma to New York and back again. Read the story and then take the kids to the same zoo where Waldman's interest in the "mother herd" first began.
The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley
With the American Museum of Natural History's "The World's Largest Dinosaurs" exhibit on display through January 2, 2012, now is the perfect time to introduce dino-fascinated kids to the true story of the man who brought dinosaurs to life. Long before anyone could even "fathom" what these prehistoric creatures looked like, Watherhouse Hawkins was determined to show the world. From large-scale dinosaur statues in Sydenham, England to his attempts to construct the Paleozoic Museum (the Museum that never was) in Central Park, Hawkins was a man with ideas as large as the creatures that fascinated him.
Also see: More on kids' books based in NYC and visiting the city's kid lit landmarks at www.nymetroparents.com/nycreads
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