outdoor themed book recommendations for every interest set from Thompson Island

Outdoor-Themed Book Recommendations for Every Interest Set

This year we are joining Read Across America‘s  campaign to build a nation of readers by providing some outdoor-themed reading recommendations handpicked by our staff! We are excited to offer a list that has a little something for everyone! You’ll find recommendations for youth and adults and topics that cover a wide variety of perspectives on outdoor exploration, education, and conversation. We hope you find something that sparks your interest! If you do, you can let us know or share your own recommendations with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

Books for Children and Young Adults:

Hoot book cover

Whitney recommends: Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Whitney -“Everybody loves Mother Paula’s pancakes. Everybody, that is, except the colony of cute but endangered owls that live on the building site of the new restaurant. Can the awkward new kid and his feral friend prank the pancake people out of town? Or is the owls’ fate cemented in pancake batter?”

touching the spirit bear book cover

Olga recommends: Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

“The story of a young boy who has anger control issues and is sentenced by a judge to live on a deserted island.  He encounters survival, learning through failure, healing, forgiveness and ultimately forms a relationship with peace.  Warning though – there is some graphic violence at the beginning.  Families should review to decide if it’s right for their child.”

Books for Adults:

gloryland book cover

Elissa recommends: Gloryland by Shelton Johnston

Elissa –“Gloryland is a historical fiction novel that follows a black man who was born in the south on the same day as the Emancipation Proclamation was given in 1863, what he goes through growing up and watching his family, and how he eventually joins the army, becomes a buffalo soldier, and is one of the first people sent by the U.S. to gain control of and patrol newly announced national parks (particularly Yosemite). It has a lot of description of the land itself and the protagonist’s connection to it, and is another relatively untold story of the U.S.’s wild places.”

A Walk in the Woods Book cover

Carina recommends: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

 Carina – “This book is about two middle aged men setting out to hike the AT. It’s a hilarious book that shows adventures are for any age.”

from the forest book cover

Ashley recommends: From the Forest by Sara Maitland

Ashley – “A look at the intertwined history of forests and fairy tales-  in this book the author takes the reader on series of guided walks through northern European forests to explore the cultural significance of common fairy tale tropes and dive into the ecological history of forests.”

A Sand County Almanac book cover

Whitney recommends: A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Whitney –These astonishing portraits of the natural world explore the breathtaking diversity of the unspoiled American landscape — the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. A stunning tribute to our land and a bold challenge to protect the world we love.”

the revenge of gaia book cover

Hilary recommends: The Revenge of Gaia by James Lovelock

Hilary – “The Revenge of Gaia provides a deep understanding of the earth as a single organism and how damage to any part of the web of life does and will impact life on our fragile planet.”

last child in the wood book cover

Hilary recommends: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv 

Hilary -“A frightening analysis of the ever-widening divide between children and the outdoors.”

A woman's guide to the wild book cover

Jaclyn recommends: A Woman’s Guide To The Wild “Your Complete Outdoor Handbook” by Ruby McConnell 

Jaclyn -“ ‘The truth is, men are no better (or worse) equipped than women to survive in the wilderness…Moreover, there is no reason to assume that just because men and women are both capable of being in the wilderness, that the way in which they approach the experience will be any more similar than how they approach anything else in life.’ This book gives a great introduction to the basic foundations of outdoor adventures from a female perspective.”

endurance book cover

Arthur recommends: Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lancing

Arthur -“The classic telling of explorer Ernest Shackleton’s truly epic survival of being locked in the Antarctic ice, losing his ship and surviving and finding his way to help without losing a single man. Highly recommended.”