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Welcome to our virtual Yosemite Book Club!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Check out the books and activities below.
  2. Pick three (or more!) book activities that you’d like to do.
  3. Once you’ve read your three books and completed the related activities, ask your parent or another adult to send us your mailing address and we’ll send you a prize.
  4. That’s it! We’ll add more book recommendations and activities from time to time, so check back often.

These books and activities are designed for readers between the ages of 4 and 12, but anyone is welcome to participate!

πŸ“– Book Club Pick: Where’s Rodney?
Written by Carmen Bogan, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

  • For ages: 4-7 years
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Length: 32 pages
  • Published: 2017 ( Yosemite Conservancy)

Rodney really wants to be outside … and in the award-winning Where’s Rodney?, readers get to join him for an inspiring, eye-opening field trip from his classroom into the wonders of the natural world. As Rodney takes in the sights, sounds and sensations of a big park, he gets to explore and learn with all his senses while being more outside than he’s ever been before.

Get your copy

If you don’t have your own copy yet β€” or even if you do! β€” click the play button below to read along with author Carmen Bogan:

πŸ“– Book Club Activity: Step out into a green space or open a window. How many different types of leaves can you see? What bugs or birds live in the green space? Sit quietly and close your eyes. What can you hear? How does it make you feel?Β  Write or draw your observations, and then share them with a family member or a friend!

πŸ“– Book Club Pick: The Sequoia Lives On
Written by Joanna Cooke, illustrated by Fiona Hsieh

  • For ages: 4-7 years
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Length: 32 pages
  • Published: 2018 ( Yosemite Conservancy)

Did you know that giant sequoias are among the most massive living things on Earth? These towering titans of the plant world start out as tiny seeds, smaller than your smallest fingernail, and can grow to be more than 250 feet tall. The Sequoia Lives On draws young readers into the story of one of these remarkable trees β€” and inspires us all to consider how we can help protect our planet’s natural treasures.

Get your copy

Watch Yosemite rangers read this book aloud!

πŸ“– Book Club Activity: Draw or paint a tree! Your tree could be a tall giant sequoia, a tiny sapling, or anything in between β€” it’s up to you and your imagination. Does your tree have needles or leaves? What does the bark look like? Are there any animals living in or near your tree? (Our art coordinator Lora Spielman has a fun way to make a tree using cardboard stamps and paint β€”Β follow along in this video, or click here to download the instructions.)

πŸ“– Book Club Pick: The Singer in the Stream
By Katherine Hocker and Mary Willson

  • For ages: 4-7 years
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Length: 32 pages
  • Published: 2015 ( second edition, Yosemite Conservancy)

Calling all budding biologists, birders and appreciators of the animal world: This one’s for you! Katherine Hocker and Mary Willson’s The Singer in the Stream introduces readers to the American dipper (also known as a “water ouzel”). This nonfiction book uses colorful illustrations, verse and a dash of humor to share insights into the habits and habitats of these small gray birds, which spends their lives near, and sometimes in, mountain streams.

Get your copy

πŸ“– Book Club Activity: Coming soon!

πŸ“– Book Club Pick: Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir
Written by Julie Bertagna, illustrated by William Goldsmith

  • For ages: 8-12 years
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Length: 128 pages
  • Published: 2019 (Yosemite Conservancy)

The action-packed graphic novel Wildheart follows John Muir’s journey from Scotland to the American Midwest to California and beyond. Also available as an ebook wherever ebooks are sold.

Get your copy

πŸ“– Book Club Activity: Complete one (or all!) of the activities below inspired by quotes from the book.

  1. Inspiration: “I loved everything that was wild.” (p. 14)
    Activity: Start a nature journal.Keep a nature journal of all the wild things you notice around your home or when you go for a walk. List or draw the birds, flowers, plants, trees, leaves, insects and other animals you see. Note any changes you observe in the natural world: How much does the grass grow in a week? Which flowers do you see today that weren’t blooming yesterday? Do you hear baby birds chirping in their nests? How does a rainstorm affect the way things look and smell outdoors?
  2. Inspiration: “Between every two pines is a door leading to a new way of life.” (p. 77)
    Activity: Create a short story or graphic novel. Imagine walking through a forest. Suddenly, as you step between two pine trees, you find yourself in a place where everything is different. What do you see, hear, smell and feel? Write and illustrate a short story or create a mini graphic novel about this unfamiliar space you’ve entered. Have you stepped into the past or the future? Or into another world? What do your surroundings look like? Are there animals, plants or people? If there are people, what kind of homes do they live in? How do they get around? What do they wear? Let your imagination fly!
  3. Inspiration: “Do something for the wilderness.” (p. 102)
    Activity: Think of something you can do for nature. Here are just a few ideas β€” try one of these, or come up with your own:

    • Build a bird house. Cut a small hole, about the size of a golf ball, in the front of a cardboard box or milk carton. Attach a stick or wooden dowel below the hole to make a perch. Decorate your bird house with nontoxic paint or other materials you have at home.
    • Plant a pollinator patch. Grow native flowers to help birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators! To find out which plants are best for your area, check out the Xerces Society’s lists of pollinator-friendly native plants.
    • Grow your own snacks. Plant a garden to raise fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits. Sow seeds in your yard, or in containers on your windowsill or on a balcony. Make sure your seedlings get plenty of water and sunlight, and soon you’ll have tasty, healthy snacks that you grew yourself.
    • Make some upcycled crafts. Gather some materials that otherwise might have been thrown out, like old magazines, plastic bottle caps and fabric scraps. What can you create? Can you make a bracelet? Or a picture frame? How about a special bookmark or some fun magnets?

πŸ“– Book Club Pick: Call Me Floy
By Joanna Cooke

This Conservancy-published historical fiction book opens in 1876, as Florence “Floy” Hutchings sits in a San Francisco classroom dreaming of the place she was born: Yosemite. Based on real people and true events, Call Me Floy follows the adventures and challenges of a 19th-century girl who defied the conventions of her time, and reminds readers that “sometimes dreams follow the steepest path.” Available as an ebook wherever ebooks are sold!

  • For ages: 8-12 years
  • Genre: Historical fiction
  • Length: 192 pages
  • Published: 2020 (Yosemite Conservancy)

Get your copy

πŸ“– Book Club Activity: Create your own Call Me Floy cover. Pick one of the options below β€” or if you’re feeling extra inspired, do them both!

  • Option 1: Recreate the cover of Call Me Floy … with you in it! Make sure to include the key elements: Half Dome, pine trees, and that hand-on-hip pose. Use photos, drawings, things around your house, a big rock in your neighborhood β€” get creative!
  • Option 2: Create a brand-new book cover inspired by Call Me Floy. Think of a goal you’ve achieved. How did you get there? What challenges did you face along the way? Now, think about how you’d tell that story in a book like Call Me Floy. Design a cover for your book!

πŸ“– Book Club Pick: My Yosemite: A Guide for Young Adventurers
Written by Mike Graf, illustrated by Annette Filice

  • For ages: 8-12 years
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Length: 176 pages
  • Published: 2012 (Yosemite Conservancy)

Whether you’re planning a future Yosemite trip or looking for an armchair adventure that the whole family can enjoy, the My Yosemite travel guide is the perfect place to start. In eight chapters covering history, iconic sights, activity ideas and more, author Mike Graf calls on the park’s knowledgeable insiders β€” including biologists, rangers and entertainers β€” to share their stories and advice.

Get your copy

πŸ“– Book Club Activity:Β Plan your dream Yosemite trip! Complete our Yosemite word search to get familiar with some of the park’s most famous sights, and then use our trip-planning worksheet to create your itinerary. Use the links below to download the word search and worksheet:

Happy reading, and don’t forget to email us to claim your prize once you’ve completed three activities!