Staying in the city this summer? You can still enjoy the great outdoors with books that will help you lose yourself in the wilds of America through pictures and riveting stories. Pop a tent in your backyard and get a flashlight to read by, or simply lounge in your local Pratt Library branch and read without the nuisance of mosquitoes.
The Camping Trip That Changed America by Barbara Rosenstock
I came across this picture book when it was selected as a nominee for the Maryland Association of School Librarians’ 2013-14 Black-Eyed Susan award. Vivid illustrations and lively narration tell the story of Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir’s 1903 camping trip in Yosemite, which led to the creation of the National Park Service—an idea that was "ground-breaking" at the time.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Strayed’s harrowing, humorous and truthful memoir tells of the author’s solo backpacking trip (and soul-searching journey) along the 2,663 miles of trail. It also begs the question: which one book would YOU bring along on a three-month long hike?
My Side of the Mountain and A Pocket Guide to the Outdoors by Jean Craighead George
After reading this classic story of a boy who runs away to live in a hollowed-out tree in the Catskill Mountains, you might wonder what you really need to know to live alone in the wild. Fortunately, George also published a companion guidebook that will teach you the most important wilderness skills and information needed to survive like Sam, the young protagonist.
Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith
Written completely in correspondence format, this novel about a group of scientists on a field study in Yellowstone National Park in 1899 is a funny, engaging and information-filled read.
Ansel Adams in the National Parks: Photographs From America's Wild Places
Adams’ photos are credited with helping to champion the importance of the National Park Service, and it is easy to see why when you flip through this collection of his quiet and majestic images of the national parks. It might inspire you to get out a camera and capture your own surroundings, even if they are buildings instead of trees and buses instead of glaciers!
Baltimore Trails: A Guide for Hikers and Mountain Bikers by Bryan MacKay
If you are looking for some shade and quiet, but you don’t want to go too far from home, this guidebook will help you can find places to go nearby. July is Baltimore City’s Parks and Recreation month, which means there are lots of opportunities to explore nature in the city this summer. You can find more information on the Department of Recreation and Parks website.