The Best Children’s Books About Explorers

“What are the best Children’s books about Explorers?” We looked at 151 of the top Kids Explorer books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 13 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Children’s Explorer” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 125+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 13 Best Children’s Explorer Books



13 .) Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys written by Matt Phelan

Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys

Lists It Appears On:

  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

A Scott O’Dell Award-winning graphic novelist follows three dauntless adventurers on a Jules Verne-inspired challenge: circling the world, solo! As the nineteenth century wound down, a public inspired by the novel Around the World in Eighty Days clamored for intrepid adventure. The challenge of circumnavigating the globe as no one ever had before–a feat assuring fame if no A Scott O’Dell Award-winning graphic novelist follows three dauntless adventurers on a Jules Verne-inspired challenge: circling the world, solo!




12 .) Atlas of Adventures written by Lucy Letherland

Atlas of Adventures

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • What Do We Do All Day

A 2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (National Council for the Social Studies-Children’s Book Council ) Set your spirit of adventure free with this lavishly illustrated trip around the world. Whether you’re visiting the penguins of Antarctica, joining the Carnival in Brazil, or a canoe safari down the Zambezi River, this book brings together more than A 2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (National Council for the Social Studies-Children’s Book Council ) Set your spirit of adventure free with this lavishly illustrated trip around the world. Whether you’re visiting the penguins of Antarctica, joining the Carnival in Brazil, or a canoe safari down the Zambezi River, this book brings together more than 100 activities and challenges to inspire armchair adventurers of any age.




11 .) Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud written by Tracey Fern

Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud

Lists It Appears On:

  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

Ellen Prentiss’s papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate. As soon as she met a man who loved sailing like she did, she married him. When her husband was given command of a clipper ship custom-made to travel quickly, she knew that they would need every bit of its speed for their maiden voyage: out of Ellen Prentiss’s papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate.




10 .) Follow the Dream written by Peter Sis

Follow the Dream

Lists It Appears On:

  • My Learning Table
  • The Best Childrens Books

The details on each page invite individual readers to pay Illus. in full color. The 15th century comes alive in this splendidly original picture book about Christopher Columbus. “The illustrations, executed in a variety of media, show scenes from the explorer’s life as well as some imaginary creatures that populated the Europeans’ picture of the outside world at that time. The details on each page invite individual readers to pay close attention, but the brief, clear text and framed illustrations lend themselves equally well to group sharing. Make room on your crowded Columbus shelf for this one.




9 .) How We Crossed The West: The Adventures Of Lewis And Clark written by Rosalyn Schanzer

How We Crossed The West: The Adventures Of Lewis And Clark

Lists It Appears On:

  • My Learning Table
  • Start With A Book

Appealing art and descriptive text bring Lewis and Clark alive for young adventurers. Carefully chosen text from Lewis and Cark’s actual journals opens a fascinating window into this country’s exciting history.




8 .) Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson written by Deborah Hopkinson

Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson

Lists It Appears On:

  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

This stunning picture book offers a riveting account of African-American explorer Matthew Henson’s 1909 journey to the North Pole with Admiral Peary. Matthew Henson was born just after the Civil War, a time when slavery had been abolished, but few opportunities were available for black people. As a child, Henson exhibited a yearning for adventure, embarking at age thirteen This stunning picture book offers a riveting account of African-American explorer Matthew Henson’s 1909 journey to the North Pole with Admiral Peary. Matthew Henson was born just after the Civil War, a time when slavery had been abolished, but few opportunities were available for black people. As a child, Henson exhibited a yearning for adventure, embarking at age thirteen on a five-year voyage sailing the seven seas.




7 .) Shackleton’s Journey written by William Grill

Shackleton’s Journey

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • What Do We Do All Day

Grill’s beautiful use of colored pencils and vibrant hues effortlessly evokes the adventure and excitement that surrounded the expedition. His impeccably researched drawings, rich with detail, fastidiously reproduce the minutiae of the expedition. Children will love examining the diagrams of the peculiar provisions and the individual drawings of each sled dog and packhorse. This book takes the academic and historical information behind the expedition and reinterprets it for a young audience.




6 .) So You Want to Be an Explorer? written by Judith St. George

So You Want to Be an Explorer?

Lists It Appears On:

  • My Learning Table
  • Teaching Kids Books

So you want to be an explorer? What does it take, you ask? To find out, take a look at Judith St. George and David Small’s witty collection of some of the best explorers the world has ever known.You know Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus, but what about Mary Kingsley, who studied cannibals in Africa, or cowboy Jim White, who, by mistake, found Carlsbad Caverns? Full of So you want to be an explorer? What does it take, you ask? To find out, take a look at Judith St. George and David Small’s witty collection of some of the best explorers the world has ever known.You know Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus, but what about Mary Kingsley, who studied cannibals in Africa, or cowboy Jim White, who, by mistake, found Carlsbad Caverns? Full of boundless energy and illustrations you won’t forget, this historical jaunt will inspire the explorer in all of us, young and old.




5 .) The Great Voyages of Zheng He written by Hao Yu Zhang

The Great Voyages of Zheng He

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • What Do We Do All Day




4 .) The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest written by Steve Jenkins

The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest

Lists It Appears On:

  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

In this stunning picture book, Steve Jenkins takes us to Mount Everest – exploring its history, geography, climate, and culture. This unique book takes readers on the ultimate adventure of climbing the great mountain. Travel along and learn what to pack for such a trek and the hardships one may suffer on the way to the top. Avalanches, frostbite, frigid temperatures, wind, In this stunning picture book, Steve Jenkins takes us to Mount Everest – exploring its history, geography, climate, and culture. This unique book takes readers on the ultimate adventure of climbing the great mountain. Travel along and learn what to pack for such a trek and the hardships one may suffer on the way to the top. Avalanches, frostbite, frigid temperatures, wind, and limited oxygen are just a few of the dangers that make scaling this peak one of the most extreme physical challenges one can experience.




3 .) Who Was Ferdinand Magellan written by S. A. Kramer

Who Was Ferdinand Magellan

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • The Best Childrens Books

When Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Spain in 1519, he believed he could get to the Spice Islands by sailing west through or around the New World. He was right, but what he didn’t know was that the treacherous voyage would take him three years and cost him his life. Black-and-white line drawings illustrate Magellan’s life and voyage, with sidebars and a When Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Spain in 1519, he believed he could get to the Spice Islands by sailing west through or around the New World. He was right, but what he didn’t know was that the treacherous voyage would take him three years and cost him his life. Black-and-white line drawings illustrate Magellan’s life and voyage, with sidebars and a time line that enhance readers’ understanding of the period.




2 .) Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air written by Stewart Ross

Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air

Lists It Appears On:

  • My Learning Table
  • Teaching Kids Books
  • What Do We Do All Day




1 .) Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 written by Brian Floca

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fatherly
  • My Learning Table
  • Start With A Book
  • What Do We Do All Day

Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure a Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon.





The 125+ Additional Best Kids Books Featuring Explorers



# Books Authors Lists
14 7 Ate 9 Tara Lazar
Start With A Book
15 A Big Day for Baseball Mary Pope Osborne
Start With A Book
16 A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark   Fatherly
17
A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840
 
My Learning Table
18
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
 
A Mighty Girl
19
A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers, & Other Badass Girls
 
A Mighty Girl
20
A World Of Her Own: 24 Amazing Women Explorers and Adventurers
 
A Mighty Girl
21 Ace Lacewing: Bug Detective David Biedrzycki
Start With A Book
22 Adventures of the Treasure Fleet Ann Bowler
The Best Childrens Books
23
Aim for the Skies: Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith’s Race to Complete Amelia Earhart’s Quest
 
A Mighty Girl
24 Alphabet Mystery Audrey Wood
Start With A Book
25 Apples to Oregon  
My Learning Table
26 Archaeologists Dig for Clues Kate Duke
Start With A Book
27 Archaeology for Kids Richard Panchyk
Start With A Book
28
Away With Words: The Daring Story of Isabella Bird
 
A Mighty Girl
29 Baby Monkey, Private Eye Brian Selznick , David Serlin
Start With A Book
30 Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World Tracey Fern
Start With A Book
31 Beyond the Sea of Ice The Voyages of Henry Hudson Joan Elizabeth Goodman
The Best Childrens Books
32 Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones  
My Learning Table
33 By the Great Horn Spoon! Sid Fleischman
Start With A Book
34 Cam Jansen and the Green School Mystery David Adler
Start With A Book
35 Chet Gecko, Private Eye Series Bruce Hale
Start With A Book
36 Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do Katherine Heling, Deborah Hembrook
Start With A Book
37 Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun  
My Learning Table
38 Daily Life in a Covered Wagon  
My Learning Table
39 Dandelions  
My Learning Table
40 Detective LaRue: Letters from the Investigation Mark Teague
Start With A Book
41 Encounter Jane Yolen
The Best Childrens Books
42 Encyclopedia Brown Series Donald Sobol
Start With A Book
43 Escape North!: The Story of Harriet Tubman  
A Mighty Girl
44 Exploration and Conquest Betsy & Guilio Maestro
The Best Childrens Books
45
Explore! The Most Dangerous Journeys of All Time
 
What Do We Do All Day
46 Explorers of the New World: Discover the Golden Age of Exploration Carla Mooney
Teaching Kids Books
47 Explorers Who Got Lost Diane Dreher
The Best Childrens Books
48
Exploring Planet Earth: The Journey of Discovery from Early Civilization to Future Exploration
 
My Learning Table
49 Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond Martin Jenkins
Start With A Book
50
Far Beyond the Garden Gate: Alexandra David-Neel’s Journey to Lhasa
 
What Do We Do All Day
51 Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine  
A Mighty Girl
52 First Girl Scout: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low  
A Mighty Girl
53 Flotsam David Wiesner
Start With A Book
54 Flush Carl Hiaasen
Start With A Book
55
Fly Girls Young Readers Edition: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History
 
A Mighty Girl
56
Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII
 
A Mighty Girl
57 Fly High! The Story Of Bessie Coleman  
A Mighty Girl
58 Follow That Map! A First Look at Mapping Skills Scot Ritchie
Start With A Book
59
Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space
 
A Mighty Girl
60 Girl with a Camera  
A Mighty Girl
61 Gold in the Hills: A Tale of the Klondike Gold Rush Candice Ransom
Start With A Book
62
Helen Thayer’s Arctic Adventure: A Woman and Her Dog Walk to the North Pole
 
A Mighty Girl
63
Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure
 
A Mighty Girl
64 Hermelin the Detective Mouse Mini Grey
Start With A Book
65 Historium: Welcome to the Museum Jo Nelson
Start With A Book
66
How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln: The Story Behind the Nation’s First Female Detective
 
A Mighty Girl
67 How the Sphinx Got to the Museum Jessie Hartland
Start With A Book
68 Hurricane David Wiesner
Start With A Book
69 I Am Amelia Earhart  
A Mighty Girl
70 I Spy Mystery: A Book of Picture Riddles Jean Marzollo
Start With A Book
71 I, Matthew Henson: Polar Explorer Carole Boston Weatherford
Start With A Book
72 If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge Marc Aronson
Start With A Book
73 In 1492 Jean Marzollo
The Best Childrens Books
74 It Can’t Be Done, Nellie Bly  
A Mighty Girl
75 Julian, Secret Agent Ann Cameron
Start With A Book
76 King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code Dori Hillestad Butler
Start With A Book
77 Leif the Lucky  
My Learning Table
78 Letters from Camp: A Mystery Kate Klise
Start With A Book
79
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
 
What Do We Do All Day
80 Lost in Outer Space: The Incredible Journey of Apollo 13 Tod Olson
Start With A Book
81 Magellan’s World Stuart Waldman
The Best Childrens Books
82 Marco Polo for Kids : His Marvelous Journey to China : 21 Activities Janis Herbert
Teaching Kids Books
83 Melonhead and the Undercover Operation Katy Kelly
Start With A Book
84 Monster Hunt: Exploring Mysterious Creatures Jim Arnosky
Start With A Book
85 Morning Girl Micheal Dorris
The Best Childrens Books
86 Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money Christopher Paul Curtis
Start With A Book
87 Mrs. Harkness and the Panda Alicia Porter
Start With A Book
88 Muddy Max: The Mystery of Marsh Creek Elizabeth Rusch
Start With A Book
89 My First Amelia Earhart (Little People, Big Dreams)  
A Mighty Girl
90 Nate the Great Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Start With A Book
91
Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids: Mighty Muckrakers from the Golden Age to Today
 
A Mighty Girl
92 Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic  
A Mighty Girl
93 Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard Mary Kay Carson
Start With A Book
94 Patterns in Peru: An Adventure in Patterning Cindy Neuschwander
Start With A Book
95 Pedro’s Journal Pam Conrad
The Best Childrens Books
96 Polo: The Runaway Book Regis Faller
Start With A Book
97 Quest Kathleen Benner Duble
The Best Childrens Books
98
Reporting Under Fire: 16 Daring Women War Correspondents and Photojournalists
 
A Mighty Girl
99
Sacajawea: Lewis and Clark Would Be Lost Without Me
 
A Mighty Girl
100
Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Woman in Space
 
A Mighty Girl
101 Sally Ride: Life On A Mission  
A Mighty Girl
102 Saving Kabul Corner N.H. Senzai
Start With A Book
103 Secret Coders Gene Yang
Start With A Book
104 Secrets of Stonehenge Mick Manning
Start With A Book
105 Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs James Rumford
Start With A Book
106
Seized by the Sun: The Life and Disappearance of World War II Pilot Gertrude Tompkins
 
A Mighty Girl
107 Sir Walter Raleigh & the Quest for El Dorado Marc Aronson
The Best Childrens Books
108 Stones, Bones, and Petroglyphs: Digging into Southwest Archaeology Susan Goodwin
Start With A Book
109 Stowaway Karen Hesse
The Best Childrens Books
110 Super Sniffers: Dog Detectives On the Job Dorothy Hinshaw Hinshaw Patent
Start With A Book
111 Tesla’s Attic Neal Shusterman
Start With A Book
112 The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt Claudi Logan
Start With A Book
113 The Boxcar Children: Houseboat Mystery Gertrude Chandler Warner
Start With A Book
114 The Buzz on Bees: Why Are They Disappearing? Shelly Rotner, Anne Woodhull
Start With A Book
115 The Capital Catch (Ballpark Mysteries) Dsavid A. Kelly
Start With A Book
116 The Dinosaur Museum National Geographic
Start With A Book
117 The Discovery of the Americas Betsy & Guilio Maestro
The Best Childrens Books
118 The King’s Fifth Scott O’Dell
The Best Childrens Books
119 The Mighty Mars Rovers Elizabeth Rusch
Start With A Book
120 The Museum Book: A Guide to Strange and Wonderful Collections Jan Mark
Start With A Book
121 The Pilot And The Little Prince   Fatherly
122 The Raft  
My Learning Table
123 The Sea King Albert Marrin
The Best Childrens Books
124 The Secret Cave: Discovering Lascaux Emily Arnold McCully
Start With A Book
125 The Stunning Science of Everything: Science with the Squishy Bits Left In Nick Arnold, Tony De Saulles
Start With A Book
126 The Talking T. Rex (An A to Z Mystery) Ron Roy
Start With A Book
127
The Usborne Book of Explorers from Columbus to Armstrong (Famous Lives)
 
My Learning Table
128 The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps  
A Mighty Girl
129 The World in 1492 Jean Fritz and other
The Best Childrens Books
130 The World Made New Marc Aronson
The Best Childrens Books
131
The Wright Brothers: How They Invented The Airplane
  Fatherly
132 The Wrigley Riddle David Kelly
Start With A Book
133 To Space and Back  
A Mighty Girl
134 To the Edge of the World Michele Torrey
The Best Childrens Books
135
To The Stars!: The First American Woman to Walk In Space
 
A Mighty Girl
136 Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa  
What Do We Do All Day
137 What Darwin Saw: The Journey that Changed the World Rosalyn Schanzer
Start With A Book
138 When Grandma Gatewood Took A Hike  
A Mighty Girl
139 When You Wander: A Search-and-Rescue Dog Story Margarita Engle
Start With A Book
140 Where Do You Think You’re Going, Jean Fritz
The Best Childrens Books
141 Who HQ Collection: Women in History  
A Mighty Girl
142 Who Really Discovered America  
The Best Childrens Books
143 Who Was First? Russell Freedman
The Best Childrens Books
144 Who Was Sacagawea?  
My Learning Table
145 Why? Richard Torrey
Start With A Book
146 Women Explorers: Perils, Pistols, and Petticoats  
A Mighty Girl
147
Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics
 
A Mighty Girl
148
Women in Science Boxed Gift Set (Little People, Big Dreams)
 
A Mighty Girl
149
Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels
 
A Mighty Girl
150 Yankee Doodle Gals: Women Pilots of World War II  
A Mighty Girl
151 Young Cam Jansen and the Lost Tooth David Adler
Start With A Book


7 Best Kids Books Featuring Explorers Sources/Lists



Source Article
What Do We Do All Day Children’s Books about Explorers: True Life Amazing Adventures
Start With A Book Detectives and Explorers: Fiction & nonfiction children’s books and …
A Mighty Girl Explorers / Adventurers – Role Models – Mighty Girls & Women – Books …
Teaching Kids Books Explorers | Teaching With Kids’ Books
The Best Childrens Books The Age of Exploration in the Best Children’s Books
Fatherly The Best Books About Explorers For Kids In 2016
My Learning Table What to Read: Children’s Books About Explorers – Learning Table

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