Alaska and Hawaii Books for Kids

Lesson 12: Alaska and Hawaii

This is the last lesson in our United States study. Earlier lessons can be found on the Geography Page.

America is a country filled with variation and uniqueness. Although differences can be seen between all the states, they are much easier to see on a regional basis. While learning more about the states, I wanted my daughter to gain an understanding of the overall geography of the United States and learn how the differences in climate effect the region. 

Studying all of the United States in a 12 week time frame is very short. Therefore, this study serves as a basic introduction. Before the US study, we learned about Native American. Because we studied Native Americans by concentrating on the region of the country where they were/are located, the two studies complimented each other in many ways.

For example, the plains Indians and the states of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota occupy the same territory. With the same resources available, it was interesting to learn about both the pains Indians and the states of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Before colonization the Natives hunted buffalo, rode horse back and made clothes out of animal skins. Now the people of the plains are primarily farmers. So how did we go from then to now? The answers are not always happy, but hopefully I have raised some questions in my daughter's mind.

Next on our learning list is The Little House (9 Volumes Set) and a study of United States History. But first, a quick study of Alaska and Hawaii.

Alaska and Hawaii are probably our two most unique states. They are not part of the continental United States and therefore, much more remote than the others. Fortunately, there are lots of books available on these two states. Here are some that we read.


Luka's Quilt - When Luka doesn't appreciate the traditional quilt her grandmother makes their relationship suffers. Fortunately, they find a way to put aside their differences and both be happy.

The Island-below-the-Star - In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl of Norway journeyed across the Pacific Ocean on a raft in his Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft expedition. His exploration changed the way the world believed the Hawaiian Islands were populated. The book Island-Below the Star is a picture book that retells what the journey may have been like from the native perspective.


Baby in a Basket - Pictured Above - This book tells and amazing, true-life story of a baby lost and then later found from a sleigh in Alaska.

Akiak: A Tale From the Iditarod - When a lead dog is taken out of the Iditarod, he isn't ready to be done racing, and finishes the race on his own. We loved this excited true stroy.

The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (Step-Into-Reading) is another exciting, but very different story about a lead sled dog in Alaska. Balto a true hero, is instrumental in getting medicine to sick children in Alaska during a snowstorm.

How Alaska Got Its Flag
Through a statewide competition, the big dipper ended up on the Alaska flag. This is an inspiring, non-fiction story.

The Great Alaska Pipeline is a very detailed book suitable for adults interested in the Alaska pipeline. It is interesting, but I would only recommend it for older children who are interested in engineering and big science projects.

A Child's Alaska is the perfect introduction to Alaska for young children as it highlights many Alaska uniquenesses such as the Northern Lights, sled dogs and the midnight sun.

Check out these great blog hops for more educational activity ideas.


  1. Such great books! We read so many wonderful sled dog books when we studied the Iditarod. Alaska was the one state I didn't feel the need to teach to my boys because they are so interested in learning about it on their own from the gold rush to the arctic to living off the land. I think they'll love these book suggestions; thank you. Pinning to my geography board.

  2. Thanks for sharing about these books! On an unrelated note, my kids were playing Speed! today and loving it!

    1. That's great to hear. We moved back to the states about 1 year ago and have been having so much fun this spring playing Speed! at local homeschooling conferences.

  3. Thanks for sharing about these books! On an unrelated note, my kids were playing Speed! today and loving it!


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