11 Great Michigan Children’s Books – Best Books About Michigan

Children's books about Michigan - children's books set in Michigan - Michigan picture books - picture books about Michiigan - books about Michigan for kids - Books about Detroit - Picture books about Detroit

The Ultimate List of Children’s Books about Michigan

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RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrations by Frank Morris

Learn about the Queen of Soul in this book about Aretha Franklin, in R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Aretha Franklin was raised in Detroit. 

 

A Voice Named Aretha, by Katheryn Russell-Brown, illustrated by Laura Freeman

This book about Aretha Franklin, A Voice Named Aretha, begins with Aretha Franklin’s childhood dreams of being a singer, and moves into how she accomplished those dreams becoming a world-famous singer based in Detroit, Michigan.

 

Rosie, A Detroit Herstory (Great Lakes Books Series). by Bailey Sisoy Isgro

Rosie the Riveter was an image born from Detroit, in the Michigan factories during World War 2. This book tells the story of Rosie the Riveter and Detroit. 

 

Mackinac Bridge: The Story of the Five Mile Poem, by Gloria Whelan

Students get a poetic spin on this picture book about Michigan landmark, the Mackinac bridge. 

 

 

Children’s Books about Michigan Science

 

Under Michigan: The Story of Michigan’s Rocks and Fossils, by Charles Ferguson Barker

This picture book about Michigan rock formations is written for a 3rd to 6th grade level. It discusses how Michigan used to be home to tropical seas, then how the glaciers moved over top of the land, and how the region is doing now with its sedimentary rock formations that go deeper than the Grand Canyon. Michigan’s unique shape has a rich and deep science story, just like its lakes!

 

 

Children’s Books about Michigan for Older Students:

The Colored Car, by Jean Alicia Elster

A story of riding trains in 1930s Detroit, Michigan. Patsy Ford helps with canning the vegetables, and gets ready for a trip to see family in Clarksville, Tennessee. As the family heads south on the train, they see their rights of ‘equality before the law’ be stripped back, readjusted entirely in the train’s seating patterns, as they head into the segregated South. 

Who’s Jim Hines? by Jean Alicia Elster

Based on a true story, this tell the Great Depression era story of Douglas Ford, Jr., who is 12-years-old when the story takes place, in Detroit, Michigan. The book shows a lot of Detroit in the 1930s, from the labor unions and the factory jobs, that home heating was different then (wood stoves), and a court trial. Perfect for 10-12 year olds.

 

   

The Melody Series by American Girl 

Melody, No Ordinary Sound 1964, by Denise Lewis Patrick

Melody, Never Stop Singing 1964, by Denise Lewis Patrick

Melody lives in Detroit, sings in her church choir, and wants to be a Motown singer. She and her family follows the news with regards to Martin Luther King and work to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and eventually Melody gets the chance to record her very own Motown record. 

 

Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, Not Buddy is an orphan story set in 1936, travelling from Flint to Grand Rapids, Michigan. It focuses a lot on music and the music of the time. Christopher Paul Curtis is an acclaimed author, born in Flint, Michigan, who won the Coretta Scott King award and Newbery Medal for this book. He is also the author of Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963, about a 10 year old Kenny who travels from Flint, Michigan with his family down to Birmingham, Alabama to visit relatives.  Bud, Not Buddy is commonly read in 4th and 5th grades, and is enjoyable for older students as well. 

 

BETTY BEFORE X, by Ilyasah Shabazz

Set in 1945 Detroit, this is a fictionalized tale about Betty Shabazz. Told by her daughter, Ilyasah, this book shows the young student in Michigan in the days before she met Malcolm. 

256 pages biography-meets-historical fiction, for middle grades – 4th through 7th grade.

 

Children’s Books about Michigan and all 50 states. Which state will you read about next!

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Here you will find children’s books about Michigan and all 50 states.