Literary Locals: Create a D.C.-Inspired Reading List

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When it comes to children’s book authors, the DMV has no shortage of all stars. From beloved classics to freshly pressed favorites and covering topics from sports to zoos to nature, we’ve rounded up a must-read list that kids of all ages and interest can enjoy. Read on for our picks by local literary heroes.


Judy Sierra
Whether you’ve sung your way through Zoozical or witnessed the Big Bad Wolf’s rehabilitation in Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf, you’re likely familiar with the work of Judy Sierra. The Wild About Books author now lives in Portland, Oregon but grew up nearby in Falls Church, Va. Wonder if she had any local places in mind when she wrote We Love Our School!


Judith Viorst
Yes, it’s true. Alexander’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day startedright here in D.C. Author Judith Viorst has lived in the area since 1960. And besides stories about Alexander (there are three beyond the original that has since become a movie), she’s written dozens of other titles including another series about a precocious little girl named Lulu.



Katherine Paterson
Do you remember reading The Bridge to Terabithia? It, and Paterson’s equally awarded The Great Gilly Hopkins were set in Virginia. Jacob I Have Loved, another classic favorite, was set in the Chesapeake Bay. Although she now lives in Vermont, her childhood and early adulthood in Virginia continues to inspire her legendary stories.



Courtney Pippin-Mathur
Unlike some of the others in this list, you won’t recognize elements from the district in Maya Was Grumpy. But you’ll definitely want to read it when the snow days get long and tempers get short as a way to help everyone feel a little less crispy. And then, maybe see if Pippin-Mathur could do a visit at your school!



Fred Bowen
Got a sports fan in your home? Spend the off-season reading the short, fast-paced sports fiction stories crafted by local author and Silver Spring resident, Fred Bowen. With titles about Football, Baseball, Soccer, and Basketball, there’s sure to be something to keep your kids’ head in the game until spring. And in between books, check out his weekly sports column for kids in the Washington Post!



Henry Cole
Author, illustrator, and Alexandria native, Henry Cole infuses the beautiful nature of our area into his books. See the Chesapeake Bay come alive in On the Way to the Beach or hear his childhood days in Loudon County come through in I Took a Walk.


Who are your favorite local authors?

—Tricia Mirchandani

feature photo: Kevin Davenport via flickr

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