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Children’s Books Set In Richmond and Virginia! (Part 1)

Posted about 1 month ago by Lisa Wiertel

This is the first installment of a series of blog posts highlighting children’s books that include Richmond and Virginia as the location.

It is always fun to read books that take place where we live.  Seeing our Virginia cities and counties mentioned in the pages of a book gives one a special connection to what is being read.  Richmond Public Library has many children’s books in our collection with settings that take place in Richmond and Virginia.  Both fiction and non-fiction selections are included with a brief description, recommended age range, and a link to our library catalog where one can request the book.  

O is for Old Dominion, A Virginia Alphabet by Pamela Duncan Edwards. This book is more than an introduction to the alphabet. A letter of alphabet is presented on each page with a detailed paragraph describing the historical significance of the word being presented.  Some letters revolve around an aspect of Virginia culture, for example the dogwood, while other words used for letters delve into Virginia history.  (Ages 6-8)

Jack and the Richmond Bubble by Beth Thomas.  Written and illustrated by a University of Richmond graduate, this book tells the story of Jack who floats above Richmond in a magical bubble seeing all the sights.  The Metro Richmond Zoo, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and a Flying Squirrels Game are some of the places that Jack visits. Nutzy, the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ mascot even makes an appearance! (Ages 5-6)

The Case for Loving by Selina Alko.  This picture book explains in a simple, thoughtful way the background story to the Supreme Court’s decision in 1967 which made outlawing interracial marriages unconstitutional. The illustrations are part painting/part collage and each page has a lot of artistic elements to view.  (Ages 4-8)

The Story of Jamestown by Eric Braun.  This graphic novel hits all the main points regarding the formation and survival of the Jamestown Settlement.  Key players in the Jamestown story are introduced including both the English and Powhatan and key moments including the 1619 arrival of the first Africans to America. A good overview of the significance of Jamestown and its role in American history.  (Ages 8-14)

You Wouldn’t Want to Be an American Colonist! by Jacqueline Morley.  Illustrated by David Antram, this book is in a unique, comic-style format.  The book starts with the pre-Jamestown failed Roanoke colony and concludes with the introduction of tobacco as the cash crop that helps the colony succeed.  Includes a vocabulary list at the end along with some additional information about the first settlement. (Ages 8 and up)

One Step Further: My Story of Math, the Moon, and a Lifelong Mission by Katherine Johnson.  The story of the women of NASA’s “hidden figures” is well known as many books and a movie have been based on it.  This unique picture book, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, tells Katherine’s story as well as her 3 daughters’ experiences during the same time period in Hampton Roads, Virginia. It speaks of the segregation that Katherine and her daughters faced when they moved to Virginia. Along with the illustrations, Johnson family photographs are in the pages including photos of Johnson’s report card from college and her white pearls she wore to her job at NASA. (Ages 3-5)

Thank you for reading our Virginia books post.  If you end up reading one of our suggestions, we would love for you to post about the book!

Until next time!

Lisa Wiertel

Lisa Wiertel is a Youth Services Librarian working out of the Westover Hills branch. She is a native of Buffalo, NY (Go Bills!), but Virginia has been home for a long time. She is a mixed media artist, long distance hiker, and a nature lover. She loves books where she can explore her love of history that also challenge her way of thinking.

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