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Here we’ve made a list of books for not just young readers, but also the especially young readers–these books are probably only going to be stimulating for kids twelve and under, and some of them only for six and under. These books begin to cross the genres of history and ‘Early Readers’. They mix entertainment, information, and educational technique to give kids a taste of history from a starting point that won’t make them prematurely squeamish.
Archaeology for Kids: Uncovering the Mysteries of Our Past by Richard Panchyk. Chicago Review Press, 2001.
The Archaeology of North America by Dean R. Snow. NY: Chelsea House Publishers, 1990.
Collect It! Making collections–From Fossils to Fakes by Elizabeth Newbery. London: A & C Black, 1991.
A Day in the Life of a Museum Curator by Judith Tropea. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates, 1991.
A Visit to the Sesame Street Museum (A Random House picturebook) by Liza Alexander. NY: Random House/Children’s Television Workshop, 1987. (Bert, Ernie and Grover introduce young children to the concept of a museum. Ages 4-8)
Discover: Investigate the Mysteries of History with 40 Practical Projects Probing Our Past by Katherine Grier. Royal Ontario Museum, 1989; Published by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., Reading, MA, 1990.
Diving to the Past: Recovering Ancient Wrecks by W. John Hackwell. NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988.
Ella’s Trip to the Museum by Elaine Clayton. NY: Crown Publishers Inc., 1996. (Ella, on a field trip to an art museum with her class, interacts with the paintings and statues in a magical way. Ages 3-8)
The Field Mouse and the Dinosaur Named Sue by Jan Wahl (Bob Doucet, illustrator. NY: Cartwheel Books, Scholastic, Inc., 2000. (The Field Mouse loses his home under one of Sue’s bones during the archaeological excavation, accompanies the T. rex’s bones to Chicago and explores the Field Museum looking for his special bone. Ages 4-8)
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. Dell Publishing Co. paperback printed 1997. (1967 Newbery Medal. Twelve-year-old Claudia and her younger brother Jamie discover the Metropolitan Museum of Art, solve a mystery, and grow up a little. Ages 9-12)
Going to the Getty by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997. (This creative book about the Getty will give you ideas for new ways to look at any museum! Ages 4-8)
How to Take Your Grandmother to the Museum by Lois Wyse and Molly Rose Goldman. NY: Workman Publishing, 1998. (Grandma usually takes Molly to “Interesting Places,” but this time Molly takes Grandma on a tour of the American Museum of Natural History. Ages 4-8)
Inside the Museum: A Children’s Guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Joy Richardson. NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1993. Ages 9-12
Let’s Go to the Art Museum by Virginia K. Levy. NY: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., 1988.
Mastodon Hunters to Mound Builders: North American Archaeology by Peter and Belia Nichols. Austin, TX: Eakin Press, 1992.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Activity Book by Osa Brown. NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1989.
My Family Tree Workbook: Genealogy for Beginners by Rosemary A. Chorzempa. NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1982.
Right Here on This Spot by Sharon Hart Addy, illustrated by John Clapp. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999. (Picture book provides a wonderful introduction to archaeology and concept of history for the youngest readers. Ages 4-8)
Visiting a Museum by Althea Braithwaite. Over, Cambridge, England: Dinosaur Publications, Ltd., n.d.
Visiting the Art Museum by Laurene Krasny Brown and Mark Brown. NY: E.P. Dutton, 1986.
Who Put the Cannon in the Courthouse Square? (Discover It Yourself Book) by Kay Cooper. NY: Avon/Camelot Book, 1993. (Ages 10-12)
Working at a Museum (Working Here Series) by Arthur John L’Hommedieu. CT: Children’s Press, 1999. (Ages 4-8)
You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser (illus.). (No words, just delightful line drawings of museum exhibits and complementary New York City scenes as a little girl tours the museum while her yellow balloon, an escapee from the museum guard, scoots about the city. Ages 4-8)
The Young Scientist Book of Archaeology by Barbara Cook and Sturand Reid. Tulsa, OK: EDC Publishing, 1987.