We invite you to Read across the United States with this list of the most popular children’s books by state! Reading has the potential to take the reader out of this world, and into one unlike anything they have ever seen. It’s a known fact that each state across the country is vastly different from the next, so it only makes sense for the book choices to be different too.

Our cross-country reading tour includes two books for each state: (1) the most popular book in the region and (2) one recommendation from Reading Partners. Let’s start with the nine states plus the District of Columbia where Reading Partners is located.

read across the united states

California: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Am Smart, I Am Blessed, I Can Do Anything! By Alissa Holder and Zulekha Holder-Young

Colorado: If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! By Elise Parsley

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Ambitious Girl by Meena Harris and Marissa Valdez

Maryland: If I Had a Raptor by George O’Connor

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Windows by Patrick Guest and Jonathan Bentley

Minnesota: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khalil and Anait Semirdzhyan

New York: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Vamos! Let’s Go Eat by Raul the Third

Oklahoma: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sheman Alexie

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Finish the Fight: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote by Veronica Chambers

South Carolina: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Peterson

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids by Kimberly Brown Pellum

Texas: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voice Go Tell It by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

Washington: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Swashby by the Sea by Beth Ferry and Juana Martinez-Neal

Washington, DC: Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Am Everything Good by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James

read across the united states


Here are the rest of the states’ top books and a Reading Partners recommendation for each.


Alabama: Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Alaska: Eloise by Kay Thompson

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: A Story About Afiya by James Berry and Anna Cunha

Arizona: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade

Arkansas: Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo

Connecticut: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn

Delaware: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne and Julia Kuo

Florida: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho

Georgia: Home by Carson Ellis

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Hawaii: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris and Ana Ramirez Gonzalez

Idaho: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor and Rafael Lopez

Illinois: Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: 111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh and Marianne Ferrer

Indiana: What Do You Do With An Idea? By Kobi Yamada

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery and Jessie Hartland

Iowa: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison

Kansas: Ramony Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez

Kentucky: The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: All Because You Matter by Tami Charles and Bryan Collier

Louisiana: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Maine: Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Mendez and Jaime Kim

Massachusetts: The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson and Sophie Blackall

Michigan: Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal

Mississippi: Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Yasmin the Explore by Saadia Faruqi and Hatem Aly

Missouri: The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

Montana: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: My Friends by Taro Gomi

Nebraska: Freight Train by Donald Crews

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade by Lyla Lee and Dung Ho

Nevada: Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Double Bass Blues by Andrea J. Loney and Rudy Gutierrez

New Hampshire: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Oldest Student by Rita Lorraine Hubbard and Oge Mora

New Jersey: Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Ready to Fly by Lea Lyon and Alexandria LaFaye

New Mexico: The Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Sadiq and the Green Thumbs by Siman Nuurali and Anjan Sarkar

North Carolina: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Señorita Mariposa by Mister G and Marcos Almada Rivero

North Dakota: Story Boat by Kyo MacLear

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar and Alea Marley

Ohio: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang and Charlene Chua

Oregon: Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max

Pennsylvania: The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood by Tameka Fryer Brown and Shane Evans

Rhode Island: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle and Mike Curato

South Dakota: Front Desk by Kelly Yang

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Under My Hijab by Hena Khan and Aaliya Jaleel

Tennessee: A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown and Jason “Rachel” Brown

Utah: Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o and Vashti Harrison

Vermont: Drawn Together by Minh Le

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman and Sue Williams

Virginia: A Different Pond by Bao Phi

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S. K. Ali

West Virginia: The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Thank You, Omu! By Oge Mora

Wisconsin: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Drawn Together by Minh Le and Dan Santat

Wyoming: Corduroy by Don Freeman

  • Reading Partners’ recommendation: Super Satya Saves the Day by Raakhee Mirchandani and Tim Palin


The Ultimate List of Children’s Books Set in Each State 

Reading Through the States with Wrapped in Foil

Children’s Book by Each State

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