Getting Motivated with Outdoor Books

“While life has become increasingly more busy over the years, I am a big reader.  I love to soak up knowledge from the pages and lose myself in the stories.  As the winter wears on, here are a few great book recommendations to check out while you (or your family members) cozy up next to a fire (or in whatever location makes you comfy!)  Too busy enjoying the snow?  Save them for the heat and relaxing of summer!

National Outdoor Book Awards 2012

A great place to start for a little outdoor inspiration.  Included on the list is Michael Lanza’s “Before They’re Gone” which we reviewed on the blog last year.  An incredible book definitely worth checking out (you can read our previous interview with Michael during his blog book tour here.)  There are definitely a few more on the list I am planning to read including the children’s book award winner, For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson.  By Peggy Thomas.  Illustrated by Laura Jacques.

ForTheBirds BeforeGone










 Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine

“An outdoor family’s year on the water, in the woods and at the table.”  An incredibly well-written book about living closer to the earth, cherishing family and lots of life lessons.  A pleasant surprise of a can’t-put-it-down book, Closer to the Ground entices parents and outdoor-lovers alike.  Be prepared – it will make you want to move to your own island and leave the modern world behind!  A must-read.



Fishing Kids Books

A series of three books for kids aged ~ 7 – 12 years old.  Since our kids are a bit too young for the series, I read it first and then we passed our copies around.  In short, they are well-written books for both boys AND girls and keep kids captivated.  Two thumbs up for us!  Here’s the feedback we got from the others:

shop_book-monster“I was thankful to find a book that is geared for young boys. In a day and age where boys books are either fantasy, or action hero, this was a breath of fresh air. My son would much rather be outside and being active rather than sitting listening to a book. This one kept his attention and he was able to answer questions regarding the story. Kudos to the people publishing it! It is much needed.” – Mom of a 7 year old

“I just finished reading the Monster of White Bear Lake to my 6 year old. He absolutely loved it! His favorite TV show is Monster Fish and he is also an avid fisherman when he can get out with his dad. The book was very entertaining, especially for me, the mom, to read aloud to him. It was engaging and my son didn’t want me to put it down each night. The dialogue between the Bobber and Spinner was funny and I found my son laughing out loud a few times. The descriptions of the fish, lures and etc were informative as well. My favorite part was the lesson that honesty is always a good thing and telling the truth doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Anyway, I think we will have to get the next one in the series. Great book!” – Mom of a 6 year old

“I liked the story because it taught me not to give up when things are hard. And it also taught me how to get creative on how to solve a problem I might have.” – A.B. Age 9

“I liked the book, because it was about two boys and their grandpa fishing. It was easy for me to understand what they were doing and the stuff they were using while they were fishing.” – C.B. Age 7

You can buy the books (and fun action figures and shirts, etc.) here.


Backcountry Kids by Darin Legzring, Illustrated by Bob Beason

A story of a family visiting Yellowstone for the first time, the book highlights what you need to bring, animals to be prepared to see and includes an activity section at the back.  While the publication is definitely low-budget, the story has some great points about safety in the park and engages little readers (or listeners).


In case you missed our other book reviews:


Have your own great book recommendations?  I would love to hear (and I am sure others would too)!  Please share in the comments!  Interested in winning a copy of Backcountry Kids?  Let me know if your comment (along with your email address) and I will pick a lucky winner after March 1st.  You MUST leave your email address so I can contact you! Happy Monday!

© 2013, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

15 thoughts on “Getting Motivated with Outdoor Books”

  1. Some of our current favorites are the Dee and Mr. Magee series by Chris Van Dusen. Other authors we are addicted to that have a “nature” theme to the stories are…. Jan Brett (especially Annie and the Wild Animals, and The First Dog), Elsa Beskow (Ollie’s ski trip, 1907 and Hat Cottage, 1930), and Ivy Wallace (the Pookie series). We haven’t read any of the books in the contest….they are now on our “to read” list. Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. We just got Mr. McGee Learns to Ski at the library and i loved it! i mean, i think the boys liked it, too, but i thought it was a really fun read. Would love to check out more McGee books, and “Closer to the Ground” is now at the top of my list! We definitely try to be backcountry kids, so we’d love this book! [email protected]

  3. I would love to win a copy of Backcountry Kids. I like it that you say that the book highlights what you need to bring along withletting us know about the animals there. I have never been to Yellowstone but it is on my To Do List!

  4. Funny you should post this. I’ve been sitting here wracking my brains as to what the outdoor book market is missing. I’m an editor, and I’m always looking for a new nonfiction book.

    P.S. I’d love to win the book.

  5. I am a mother of two, a nine year old and a seventeen month old. I first came across your site when searching reviews prior to the purchase of my kelty backpack. Winning reading material for my nine year old would be a fun way to get her excited about the adventures in exploring the world around us. Thank you for the chance to win.

  6. I am new to your site/FB (sent by a fellow fan on FB!) and I am loving your posts. We live in Washington State and love to hike in the Olympic Mountains. We have a 2 year old boy, 2 wild weimaraners, and a baby on the way! We would love to win a copy of the book to help us continue our outdoor lifestyle with our growing family! thanks for your great work!

    katy savolskis
    [email protected]

  7. Is it too late to enter your contest? I just checked our local library online for Closer to the Ground, and Up (mentioned by one of your readers). Neither are available at all. I’d love a chance to win Closer to the ground. [email protected]

    1. Not too late! However, I don’t have a copy of Closer to the Ground to giveaway 🙁 We are, however, giving away Backcountry Kids. Keep watching for Up too – they should be hitting libraries soon (though don’t you hate when you can’t get them easily!?!?!?)

  8. Pingback: Weeklong Camping Trips with Kids Are Easier Than You Think! | Tales of a Mountain Mama

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