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The Southwest (AZ, CA, NM, OK, TX)


Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.
A boy from New York City worries about what life will be like when he and his family move to the West.

Maybe Next Summer by Don Schellie.
Matt, a 17-year-old boy, stumbles into an illegal smuggling operation while working for a small town newspaper.

Me, Cholay, & Co.: Apache Warriors by Don Schellie.

The Righteous Revenge of Artemis Bonner by Walter Dean Myers.
A witty spoof about a 15-year-old who journeys from New York City to Tombstone, Ariz., to avenge the murder of his uncle.

Sing Down the Rain by Judi Moreillon.
Indians who live in the Sonoran Desert prepare for the rains. Set on the Tohono O'odham reservation outside Tucson.


The Case of the Goblin Pearls by Laurence Yep.
The first of a series of mysteries that take place in modern day Chinatown in San Francisco, with young Lily Lew and her outlandish, lovable Great Auntie Tiger Lil.

Cat Running by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.
Eleven-year-old Cat Kinsey builds a secret hideout to escape her unhappy home life. She gets to know a poor family who have come to California after losing their Texas home to the dust storms of the 1930s.

Dragonwings by Laurence Yep.
An 8-year-old boy is sent from his small Chinese village to join his father in America. The story takes place in the early days of San Francisco and Oakland Hills, around the time of the 1906 earthquake. It is a grand adventure seen through the eyes of a young boy learning about a new country and his father's dreams.

Eight Mules From Monterey by Patricia Beatty.
During the summer of 1916, 13-year-old Fayette and her brother accompany their widowed mother on a mule trip into the California mountains, where she is to establish library outposts in isolated communities.

Tikvah Means Hope by Patricia Polacco.
A story of the devastating Oakland fire and how a Jewish family and their neighbors find hope amidst the ashes.

New Mexico

...And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (Newbery Medal winner).
Twelve-year-old Miguel wishes to join the men when they take the sheep to summer pastures. He works hard to learn about the sheep and learns about himself in the process.

Billy by Laura Roybal.
A teenager named Billy lives in New Mexico with his father. Billy discovers he was actually kidnapped by his father from his adoptive parents.

The Farolitos of Christmas by Rudolfo Anaya.
Luz is a member of a Chicano family in New Mexico. Her father, wounded in World War II, hasn't come home yet. Luz and her Indian friend Reina make farolitos (lighted candles in paper bags weighted with sand) to light the way for Christmas pilgrims. Spanish words are a natural part of the narrative.

Grandmother's Adobe Dollhouse by MaryLou M. Smith.
A young boy describes his grandmother's adobe dollhouse and relates information about Southwestern art, architecture, food, and culture.

Kokopelli's Flute by Will Hobbs.
Thirteen-year-old Tepary discovers an old flute in a cliff dwelling. Through its power, he discovers ancient Native American magic.

The One Who Came Back by Joann Mazzio.
Two best friends go hiking in the mountains of New Mexico but only one of them returns. People speculate about what happened to the other boy, and they blame the boy who comes back for his friend's disappearance.


Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.
Set during the Depression, a young boy saves money for two years to buy two hound dogs. The boy and his dogs hunt cagey raccoons in the woods of the Ozark Mountains. This is a heartbreaking yet wonderful read-aloud story for the whole family.


Don't Scream by Joan Lowery Nixon.
A mystery that takes place in Texas. When two boys come to her school, Jess thinks things are really looking up, but she realizes she doesn't know their true identities or if she can trust them.

A Paradise Called Texas by Janice Jordan Shefelman.
Historical fiction set in 1845 about immigration from Germany to Texas; numerous German communities exist in Texas. Historically accurate and well written. Short glossary of German words included. Great book about immigration in the 1800s, regardless of the state.

The Southwest (AZ, CA, NM, OK, TX)