This is a great informational book filled with pictures of real people that live in Alaska. It has maps and defines some of the Eskimo words. For example, “Inupiaq” means “the real people.” It focuses on a seven-year old boy and the reader follows a day in his life. You get to meet his family, follow him to school, and see what chores he has to complete. I think it is a valuable book because it connects kids to kids.
Kummer, Patricia K. Alaska. MN: Capstone Press, 1998.
This is an informational book about Alaska for children. It is easy to read and includes interesting facts. The chapters focus on the Iditarod, the land, the people, Alaskan history, and seeing the sights. It has a few maps. The chapters are short and concise, great for kids.
Petersen, David. Denali National Park and Preserve. New York: Children’s Press, 1996.
This book focuses just on this specific part of Alaska. It gives a description of the park, talks about safety, and also about the wildlife. I like how at the end there is a list of important words for the children.
Blake, Robert J. Akiak: A Tale From The Iditarod. New York: Philomel Books, 1997.
This is a story about a dog that gets to participate in Iditarod Day (Dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome). It describes the race and how important it is to the sled dogs and the people. Akiak is a dog that has raced the trail before but has never won. Now she is getting old and this may be the last race she is in. She gets hurt during the race and is left behind. Akiak wants to catch up with her team and win. This is a story about a dog that will not give up. Akiak is a picture book that has wonderful visual images for kids.
This story is about a non-Eskimo baby growing up in the Arctic culture. He is treated no differently than others. The reader follows Luke/Kupaaq as he grows in this adventure-filled world. This book has good illustrations and has detailed descriptions of daily life in the Arctic.
George, Jean Craighead. Snow Bear. New York: Hyperion Books, 1999.
This story is about a little girl named Bessie and a polar she befriends. However, Bessie’s brother and the polar bear’s mother are both worried that the one they love is going to get hurt. They watch and observe how the two children play together and get along. It has nice illustrations.
O’Dell Scott. Black Star, Bright Dawn. New York: Fawcett Juniper, 1988.
This is a novel about Iditarod Day. It is appropriate for more advanced readers. This story involves a teenage Eskimo girl and her wolf dog that race in the famous Iditarod Race of Alaska. Bright Dawn is honored to be a participant but does not realize how harsh nature can really be. The story is about this young girl’s adventure on the trail.
Scott, Ann Herbert. On Mother’s Lap. New York: Clarion Books, 1972.
The setting in this story takes place in an Eskimo village. It does not focus on the Eskimo’s directly. This story’s main message is about sibling jealousy when a new baby is born.
Standiford, Natalie. The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto. New York: Random
This story is about Balto, an Alaskan dog that has a challenge on his hands. He has to make it through a terrible storm to bring medicine to sick children. I like how a map of Alaska is included.
This is a site about the government of Alaska. It has many facts and other historical information about the state. It is mostly an informational site.
This site was really cool. It is entitled “Field Adventures in Paleontology.” At this site students could read about a real dig done in Alaska. The pictures of the fossils found are also included.
This has a lot of really good factual information. It is broken down into sections so kids could focus on a more specific topic. It also includes current weather reports in the major Alaskan cities, maps, and information on cities.
This has a list of frequently asked questions about Alaska. It also presents a chronological history of Alaska.
Harrison Michael, and Christopher Stuart Clark. The New Oxford Treasury of Children’s
Poems. New York: Oxford University Press.
There are lots of poems and colorful pictures in this collection. I found two poems I thought I might use when studying Alaska. One is entitled “The North Wind” by Joanne Lysik. The other poem is about grizzly bears. It is entitled “Infant Innocence” by A.E. Housman.
Lansky, Bruce ed. Kids Pick the Funniest Poems. New York: Meadowbrook Press, 1991.
The poem I would chose out of this collection to share with kids would be the poem entitled “Grizzly Bear.” This can be connected to Alaska.
Schmidt, Gary D. ed. Poetry for Young People Robert Frost. New York: Sterling
Publishing Company, Inc., 1994.
The poems are divided into seasons. I would use some of the poems that illustrate snow, cold weather, and ice. All of these are characteristics of the Arctic.
This is an activity book about using an atlas. Fun and captivating games and ideas that grabs kids attention and help them learn what an atlas is all about. Example text,
“Adventure or mystery? It’s only a mystery if you haven’t uncovered the clues and codes.”