Items shown in
are believed to be available for purchase
at the time this bibliography was last revised.
No attempt has been made to include entries from
encyclopedias or similar reference works.
Albay, Diana T.,
John Muir: Life and Journeys/Vida y Viajes
(Earlimart, CA; Earlimart School District, 1990).
Illustrated by Edward Campos, Jr.
This book was written by students in the 8th Grade Honors Science Class
(Dr. Bruce K. Boaz, Science Teacher)
at Earlimart Intermediate School,
for students at Earlimart Elementary School.
this paperback biography is bilingual,
with both English and Spanish text.
Chapters include "Early Years", "The 1,000 Mile Walk", "California",
"Earthquake", "Stickeen", "More Adventures", and "The Sierra Club".
Includes an excellent one page chronology listing events
in Muir's life and specifying years,
and notable contemporaneous historical events.
Anderson, Peter, John Muir: Wilderness
Prophet (New York: Franklin Watts, A Division of Grolier
Publishing 1995). A First Book. Color and black and white
photographs, Bibliography, Index. 62 pp. Paperback: $5.95;
Hardbound School and Library Binding: $19.90.
A nice biography for primary grade readers, with colorful illustrations (even
black and white photos have color borders). The design
qualities of this book are a definite plus.
Appleseeds Magazine: John Muir (April, 2011). (Cobblestone Publishing, ($6.95) Paperback 36 pgs. Full Color
Suggested for ages: 7-10.
The theme of this issue is John Muir and the Sierra Club. The publisher explains:
Why is it important to care for the natural world? John Muir had a lot of answers to that question. "Break clear away one in a while," he said. And thanks to Muir, we have national parks to protect the country's most beautiful places, as well as the Sierra Club. In this issue, you'll meet John Muir and get some good ideas about how to are for our earth and have a great time in the process."
A free Teacher's Guide to this issue is available:. (PDF - HTML)
To Save the Earth: The American Environmental Movement
(Chapter on John Muir)
(New York: Viking, 1998).
Illustrated, lists environmental organizations you can join, bibliography, index, 198 pp.
This book for young people features lively biographies of four environmentalists: John Muir, Rachel Carson, David McTaggart, and Dave Foreman, wrapping up with a "Short History of the Environmental Movement," and concluding with a chapter on "The Fight to Save the Earth Today and Tomorrow." The chapter on John Muir begins with Muir's exciting adventure with Stickeen on a perilous glacier in Alaska, then continues to tell all of Muir's life in a very lively way. Does an outstanding job of explaining his role as a pioneer of the conservation movement and as the founder of our national park system. Other chapters cover Rachel Carson, the biologist who brought widespread visibility to the effects of pesticides and chemical wastes; David McTaggart, the organizer of Greenpeace, who introduced the tactic of nonviolent resistance into the struggle, while Dave Foreman, co-founder and former leader of the activist group Earth First!, shook up a movement that had grown complacent.
Armentrout, David and Patricia,
(Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Publishing LLC, 2002)
("People who Made a Difference"). Available in hard back or paperback. 24 pages, Dimensions: 0.29 x 7.36 x 7.90 inches.
The publisher appropriately identifies this book as suitable for Grades 2-3, but Amazon.com (mistakenly) claims it is for grades 4-8. This book is designed with a full-page photo - either color or black-and-white - opposite each page of text. The historical photos and color shots of wild places are high-quality. In the simple, fact-focused text on each page, key words are in bold face, with the definition provided in the accompanying glossary. Also includes a very brief index, chronology, bibliography, and a link to the Sierra Club's history page for John Muir which now automatically redirects to the John Muir Exhibit.
A Spanish language version of this book from the series Personas Que Cambiaron La Historia is also available.
Bartagna, Julie, John Muir Earth-Planet Universe (Edinburgh: Scottish Book Trust, 2014) .ISBN 978-1-901077-27-8 Free. Illustrated by William Goldsmith. A graphic novel of John Muir's life, prepared as an educational teaching resource, with free copies going to every secondary school in Scotland, for use by S1, S2 and S3 pupils. There are also Teaching Support Notes avvailable to accompany the graphic novel, a John Muir Quiz, and other resources for teachers. Through this graphic novel, the Scottish Book Trust hopes to ensure that Muir's legacy is also upheld in Scotland, the land of his birth. The novel combines environmental studies with literacy in an innovative way that hasn't previously been implemented in Scotland, and is supported by accompanying online resources for teachers. As well as literacy, the novel will cover many other aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence, such as citizenship, outdoor learning and health and well being.
Commenting on the use of graphic novels as a way of engaging pupils in learning, Marc Lambert, Director of Scottish Book Trust, said: "The importance of taking care of the planet for future generations is one of the most vital lessons our children can learn. Telling the story of John Muir's life and thoughts through the highly accessible and entertaining form of a graphic novel allows us to reclaim a Scottish hero and helps children to develop a deeper understanding of the key environmental issues he campaigned for, in a creative and enjoyable way."
Pete Rawcliffe, Scottish Natural Heritage's People & Places Unit Manager, said: "The values which John Muir held dear – how much nature gives us and how important it is to protect it – ring as true today as they did in Muir's day. Outdoor learning and play is important in giving our young people the best start in life and supporting their education. This lively, fun book is a terrific tool to get children thinking and talking about nature, and to encourage them to enjoy the great outdoors. The wonderful stories and drawings certainly made me keen to get out and see more of Scotland's nature myself!"
Written by award-winning author Julia Bertagna and illustrated by Glasgow-based artist William Goldsmith, the novel is based on the key moments and life adventures of John Muir and is intended to help children develop a deeper understanding and awareness of the natural environment and the importance of protecting wild places.
Download free PDF from Scottish Book Trust.
(Chapter on John Muir)
(Minneapolis, Minn., the Oliver Press, Inc., 1998).
Illustrated, includes Introduction, summary of America's Public Lands, Sources for Information, Bibliography, and Index. 160 pp.
Part of the publisher's "Profiles" series, this book features illustrated biographies of modern environmentalists; in addition to John Muir there are chapters on Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling; Rosalie Edge; Aldo Leopold; Olaus and Margaret Murie; Rachel Carson; David Brower; and Gaylord Nelson. The Chapter on John Muir is a good straight-forward account of his life, emphasizing his work preserving the wilderness.
John Muir, Friend of Nature
(Champaign, Illinois, Garard (Discovery Books), 1974).
Illustrated by Cary.
suitable for third to fourth grades or read aloud to younger grades.
"John Muir: Friend and Protector of Nature",
30 Grove St.,
Peterborough, NH 03458.
The theme of this special issue of the Children's history magazine is
"The Environmental Movement".
In addition to the story about Muir,
other conservationists such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson are highlighted,
along with photographs and a highly readable account
of the growing environmental movement up to the present day.
Includes student project ideas.
John Muir: My Life with Nature
(Nevada City: Dawn Publications, 2000) Illustrations by Elizabeth Ann Kelley and Christopher Canyon. Paper, $8.95, ISBN 1-58469-009-7,
Ages 10-16, 72 pages, 34 photo/illustrations, includes "Further Reading" and credits, 6" x Ê9."
An unique "autobiography" of John Muir for children and adults, delivers John
Muir to us through the "Sharing Nature" outdoor education philosophy. Author
Joseph Cornell of Sharing Nature with Children fame explains, "To
stay true to the spirit of Muir as clearly and fully as possible, I have told
his story as if he were alive, using his own words and colorful expressions as
often as possible. I have, however, simplified and condensed his words to make
them more accessible to young readers." Cornell includes about ten journal-writing
activities that assist in appreciating Nature through the inspiration of John
There is a book jacket summary and photo of book cover for this book.
(See & Read Biography)
(New York: Putnam, 1974).
A short, illustrated biography for primary grade children.
Douglas, William O.,
Muir of the Mountains
(San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1993).
Illustrated by Daniel San Souci.183 pp.
A reprint of the 1961 classic children's biography of Muir by the late U.S.
Supreme Court Justice William O.
himself a noted mountaineer and conservationist.
Ages 9 -12.
Available for this book :
Book Jacket Summary
Muir's Public Service"
John Muir: Young Naturalist
(Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merill Co., 1975; (New York: Aladdin Paperbacks (Simon and Schuster), 1998).
Illustrated by Al Fiorentino.
This children's biography,
part of a "Childhood of Famous Americans" series,
is suitable for 3rd to 6th grades.
Includes appendices entitled "When John Muir Lived"
(other events in history during Muir's lifetime);
"Do You Remember" (questions testing the reader's memory about Muir's life);
"Its Fun to Look Up These Things"
(leading questions about geography and conservation);
"Interesting Things You Can Do";
"Other Books You May Enjoy";
and "Interesting Words in This Book".
Dunlap, Julie & Marybeth
Lorbiecki; Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth,
John Muir and Stickeen: An Icy Adventure with a No-Good Dog (NorthWord Press, October, 2004).
A beautifully-illustrated children's book based on Muir's own book Stickeen, which tells the thrilling adventure of how Muir set off to explore an Alaskan glacier one day, with the unwelcome accompaniment of Stickeen, and ran into a storm. What happened on that terrifying day made Muir see domestic animals in a new light. For ages 5-8, Grades 1-4. The School Library Journal opines: "Although not the first picture-book version of this story about a harrowing 1880 expedition to Glacier Bay, this excellent rendition is the best treatment so far." The Journal goes on to note: "The only flaw in the text is that the authors overplay the naturalist's disdain for dogs in general. While Muir's own Stickeen (Houghton, 1909) does confirm that he thought Sitckeen to be "small and worthless" and likely to "require care like a baby," he also states plainly that he did generally like dogs. Apart from this minor mischaracterization, they do a fine job of conveying the wonder that inspired the man's life work and the peril of this particular exploit. While some portions are condensed and others drawn out, they generally remain faithful to Muir's own accounts. "
Henry,Voices for Green Choices: John
Muir: Protecting and Preserving the Environment (New York: Crabtree
Publishing Company, 2009), 48 pp., illustrated.
A lavishly illustrated children's biography, part of the "Voices for
Green Choices" series is suitable for 5th to 8th grades.
Photographs include scenic, historic, and wildlife topics related to Muir.
Emphasis is on Muir's actions and writings, and his founding of the Sierra
Club, crediting him as one of the shapers of the modern environmental
movement. Chapters cover Muir's camping trip with Theodore Roosevelt, his
boyhood in Scotland and Wisconsin, his 1,000 mile walk to the Gulf, his
California years (including his campaigns for Yosemite Valley and Hetch
Hetchy Valley), and a final chapter on how Muir's legacy and struggles
continue. Engaging sidebars on every page include quotations, photo descriptions,
and supplemental material on such things as amateur ornithology and
keeping a nature journal. Includes a Chronology, Glossary,
Further resources, and index. Highly recommended.
John Muir (Englewood Cliffs: Silver Burdett Press, 1990).
Part of "Pioneers in Change" series.
This new inexpensive children's biography,
mostly text but with a number of historical photographs,
is suitable for older elementary through junior high readers.
Includes a chronology of Muir's life,
and an index.
Fristik, Debra A., Button Box Adventures: For the Love of Trees. Illustrated by Wendy H. Berry. (Bay Village, OH: Button Box Books Ltd., 2012). 26 pages.
This short but beautiful picture book for very young children, suitable for grades 1-3, begins as a young boy is bothered by the sound of crashing trees in his beloved piney forest, making room for stores. When Sammy says "trees are better than stores," his Grams tells him he sounds like John Muir, and explains she has a button that once belonged to John Muir. Something magical happens every time Sammy opens Gram’s button box. Gram's button box is full of famous people's buttons. Shortly,
he is off on an adventure where he actually gets to meet John Muir, the man who helped our country establish a system of national parks and forests for all to enjoy. Sammy learns from John Muir how he can save trees.
A book jacket summary is available.
Goldstein, Natalie John Muir (Conservation Heroes) (Chelsea House (An imprint of Infobase Learning), availble from publisher in Library Binding or ebook formats, 2011) Illustrated, 139 pages.
This 139 page book intended for school libraries is part of the publisher's "Conservation Heroes" series,which includes Ansel Adams, RachelCarson, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, and several others.
The book is for ages 10 and up, grades 5 and up. The 10 chapters are not just historical, but place Muir into context with today's geography and environmental issues. The engaging text covers Muir's whole life and personalizes Muir, though sometimes putting the author's opinions and interpretation into the text. The focus is on the events that shaped his life and the author examines the development of his worldview, his love of nature, and his passion for preservation.The graphic design and choice of photographs and side bar information is excellent. The last chapter discusses "Muir's Legacy" to current environmental issues. The book includes end sections on "How to Get Involved," a Chronology, Glossary, Bibliography, Further Resources, Picture Credits, Index, and "About the Author."
(New York: Thomas Crowell Co. 1973).
Illustrated by Robert Levering.
This children's book,
well-written with a modern theme of ecology,
is especially suitable for second to fourth grade readers.
John Muir: Man of the Wild Places
(Chicago: Childrens Press, 1991).
A Rookie Biography.
Color and black-and-white photographs on literally every page enhance this simple biography suitable for grades 1-3.
This book fills an important gap,
providing an excellent biography of Muir's life for younger readers,
for a very reasonable price.
Includes chart of Important Dates and Index.
Grossman, Adrienne Moss
Trails of His Own: The Story of John Muir &
His Fight to Save our National Parks
(New York: Longmans, Green & Co. 1961).
An imaginative biography of Muir,
suitable for 6th to 8th graders.
John Muir: Protector of the Wilds
(New York: Abingdon 1957).
Illustrated by Avery Johnson.
This biography is suitable for fourth to sixth grade children.
Ito, Tom, The Importance of John Muir (San Diego, CA: Lucent Books 1996).
Part of "The Importance Of...
biography series. 109 pp.
Billed as "Quality Nonfiction for Libraries and
Classrooms" this book differs from many children's
biographies in that the quotations are all from original
sources, and there is no fictionalized dialogue. Each
chapter is sub-divided into sub-sections, with frequent
excerpts directly form Muir's writing set off by attractive
borders. Amply illustrated with photos and maps. Includes
footnotes, bibliography, and index.
Kallen, Stuart A., Earth Keepers (Chapter on John Muir)
(Edino, MN: Abdo & Daughters 1993). Part of the "Target
Earth TM Earthmobile SM Environmental Science Library."
Illustrated, hardbound, 47 pp.
A chapter on John Muir
(nearly half the book) is included in this book which also
describes the lives of environmentalists Rachel Carson and
Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The book is severely marred by its
full-page introductory picture definitely being someone else
with a beard -- NOT John Muir! The text, however, is mostly
accurate and serves as an useful introduction to Muir for
young readers, within the context of environmentalism.
Includes Glossary and Index.
Koehler-Pentacoff, Elizabeth, John Muir and Stickeen: An Alaskan Adventure Illustrated
by Karl Swanson. (Brookfield, CT: Millbrook
Press, 2003). 0.40 x 11.50 x 8.66; available in both hardbound and paperback;
One of two illustrated children's books about Muir's exciting and dangerous adventure
on a glacier with a brave and loyal dog. The author tells the story in the present
tense, which may discomfit some: "Mountain streams crash upon boulders. Trees
bend in the wind. John loves the excitement. He enjoys nature's fierce weather." Full-color
illustrations by Karl Swanson are intended to highlight the hostility of the
environment and the incredible courage of Muir and his canine companion. The
acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations portray the Alaskan wilderness, whether
forest or glacier, in an often indistinct, ghostly, lightly-tinted bluish-mauve
texture, giving the effect of everything - especially Stickeen himself - being
coated with hoarfrost. This approach emphasizes the rugged weather, but lacks
naturalism. A one-page end note tells about Muir's life and contributions to
wilderness preservation. For Grades K-3. For older grades, see Donnell Rubay's
book, Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog below.
For more information and to see a larger view of the cover:
Book Jacket Summary
Krensky, Stephen, Four Against the Odds: The Struggle to Save our Environment ( Chapter on John Muir) (New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1992).
Illustrated, paperback, bibliography, index, 105 pp.
This book is about four people who realized the peril to our environment, and vowed to do something about it: John Muir, Rachel Carson, Lois Gibbs, and Chico Mendes. The John Muir chapter nicely tells the story of Muir's life and his campaign to preserve America's wilderness, including Yosemite National Park. Each chapter incorporates valuable historical context that clarifies the political and economic opposition each of these environmentalists faced. Although each of the four people covered in this book came from different times and backgrounds, each of them bravely acted to protect the environment in the face of great opposition by those with economic interests. Other Chapters cover Rachel Carson, the biologist who fought the chemical industry to tell them how pesticides were not only killing insects, but wildlife and people as well; Lois Gibbs, who battled bureaucracy and ignorance to help her neighbors in Love Canal, a neighborhood built on a toxic waste dump; and Chico Mendes, a rubber tapper in Brazil who was murdered because he fought to save the rainforest.
Lasky, Kathryn, John Muir: America's First Environmentalist (Candlewick
Press, 2006) Illustrations by
Stan Fellows; 48 pages, ages 4 to 8.
This richly illustrated picture book tells the story of
John Muir (1838-1914). Kathryn Lasky writes that Muir "was
drawn to the mountains as if by a magnetic force." Muir was drawn not
only mountains, but to all of nature - the shores and moors of Scotland,
the backwaters of Florida, the glacial bays of Alaska, the giant Sequoias
of California, the Deodars of India, the Eucalyptus forests of Australia
-- each was a wonder in his eyes, each a responsibility to protect and preserve.
Lasky quotes liberally from Muir's journals.
Ledbetter, Cynthia E.
Richard C. Jones,
(Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Publications, Inc.,
Rourke Biographies: Pioneers,
14 color &
16 b&w photographs,
This children's book (Grades 5 &
up) is less of a biography than a persuasive argument for environmental protection,
using Muir's life as the inspiration.
The first chapter describes Muir's environmental philosophy,
and the story of his life does not begin until the second chapter.
The final chapter,
describes modern environmental issues,
highlighting those in which the Sierra Club is active.
the book and accompanying maps are marred by several geographical inaccuracies.
Appendices include: Organizations,
John Muir: America's Naturalist (Golden, CO: Fulcrum
Publishing, 2003); 32 pages; 11 x 8.5 inches; full-color paintings; hardbound
with dust jacket. Forward by Dr. Edgar Wayburn, Honorary President of the Sierra
Club. Includes two pages of quotations from John Muir.
This is the first true "picture book" focusing on John Muir. Fifteen full page landscapes are featured, each depicting Muir in the context of wilderness. One image shows Muir writing at his study desk, the rest show him as an usually small figure in a glorious natural landscape. Like many children's picture books, adults will enjoy the high-quality paintings and accompanying text as well. Each painting is accompanied by two or three sentences in simple language about milestones in Muir's life, placed on a color background matching the painting on the right. Also, on the bottom right of each text page, there is a short John Muir quotation.
Also available as a companion to this book from the same publisher: Teacher's
Guide to Thomas Locker's John Muir: America's Naturalist, by Joan
Franklin Smutny, 8.5 x 11, Grades 4-8, Blackline Masters, tie-in to national
standards, language arts exercises, 22 pages, $9.95, ISBN 1-55591-492-6. The
teacher's guide primarily focuses on questions and activities to stimulate ideas
for daily nature journal entries. The questions encourage students to write not
only from Locker's paintings, but from their own experience in the outdoors.
A second part offers ideas for student essays, poetry, short stories, and biographies
and autobiographies. One page includes some ideas for science, but assumes the
teacher independently has the science information needed for the exercise.
A larger book cover image and book jacket summary
of both the book and Teacher's Guide is available.
John Muir (Children's Press, A division of Scholastic, Inc., 2002).
("Rookie Biographies") Available in School and Library binding or Paperback: 32 pages; Dimensions: 0.08 x 7.06 x 6.08 inches.
A very easy-to-read book suitable for grades 1-2. The book design consists of
a photo on one page, with a single-sentence text on the opposing page. The photos
include high-quality color and black-and-white historical photographs. The text
briefly tells the story of Muir's life, including formation of the Sierra Club.
Some of the longer words, like "naturalist" and "Roosevelt" include a pronunciation
key. An unique substitute for a glossary at the back of the book is a section
entitled "Words You know" accompanied by smaller versions of the photos used
in the main body. Includes a brief index, a two-line "About the author" and photo
A Kid's Guide to Exploring John Muir National Historic Site
(Tucson, AZ, Western National Parks Association,
14 pp., illustrated, paperback, $3.95. Available from John Muir National Historic Site Bookstore.
Multiple color photographs and graphics on each page enhance this beautiful little booklet. Despite the book's title, the book is primarily a very brief biography about John Muir, with just the last one-third emphasizing his fruit ranch home in Martinez. The author and designers did a great job of making Muir a friendly, human person of interest to kids. Highly recommended.
John Muir: Naturalist and Explorer
(New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2003)
24 pp., hardbound, illustrated, Timeline, Glossary, Index, Primary sources, Web Sites.
For K-3 readers, this is one of the most visually stunning of all children's
biographies of Muir. The layout is artistic and imaginative, with each page displayed
with an attractive circling gold-leaf ribbon. Many sketches, letters, and maps
as well as photographs are included, arranged in a "scrapbook" like fashion.
Notable are some of Muir's own sketches, including a color sketch of his "early-rising
machine" nowhere else available in print. Good coverage of most of most Muir's
life, but the book shares a common weakness with many juvenile biographies in
completing omitting Muir's epic, but losing battle, to save Hetch
Hetchy Valley from being flooded. It also makes a mistake in the last chapter
on "Muir's Legacy" by incorrectly stating that Earth Day is observed on April
21, Muir's birthday, when Earth Day is actually observed on April 22. For the "Websites" feature,
the publisher indicates that due to the changing nature of Internet links, they
have developed an online list of Web sites related to the subject of this book.
Ironically, as of this writing (August, 2003) the link provided is not working:
McCully, Emily Arnold, Squirrel and John Muir (New
Farrar, Strauss & Giroux,
2004) 40 pages; Size: 8 1/2 x 11 1/2.
Full-color pictures throughout; Author's note, bibliography; for ages 4-8).
This nice picture book imagines Muir through they eyes of a young girl, Florence
(Floy) Hutchings, nicknamed Squirrel due to her wild tomboyish ways. Based
on historical fact, 7 or 8 year-old Floy met 30-year old Muir when he became
a hired hand at her father's Yosemite Valley tourist hotel. Author and illustrator
McCully creatively imagines Muir and Squirrel taking hikes and studying rocks,
plants, insects, and birds together. Large watercolor paintings throughout
the book vividly capture the beauty of Yosemite. Blending
colorful art-work, natural history, and a moving personal relationship, this
is a wonderful book for young readers. An author's note at the end explains
how this fictionalized retelling of an actual relationship is based on the
true character of the famous Scottish naturalist. Both his gentle personality
and steely determination to see his beliefs recognized by his peers come through
clearly. The note also tells what eventually happened to the real Florence
Hutchings, who was determined to never grow up
"if it meant being a lady." McCully doesn't mention it, but, intriguingly,
this is not the first time Florence Hutchings has been depicted in fiction:
In Thérèse Yelverton's
1872 novel, Zanita:
A Tale of the Yo-Semite, the character of Zanita is only a thin disguise
for Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Hutchings' young daughter Florence (Floy).
A book jacket summary is available.
Miller, Barbara Kiely, Great Americans: John Muir (Pleasantville,
NY: Weekly Reader® Books, An imprint of Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2008)
24 pp, illustrated, Glossary, "For More Information," and Index. Hardbound:
$19.95; Paperback: $5.95.
A very simple three-chapter biography of Muir designed for grades 2-4: Levels:
GR:M, DRA: 28, running word count: 921.
Color and black and white photographs illustrations enhance every page. Brings
Muir alive for younger readers, including his legacy as Father of our National
Parks, first president of the Sierra Club, and being honored in the 2005 California
Quarter. Unfortunately, like most Muir biographies for children, omits the
tragedy of Muir's loss of Hetch Hetchy Valley. The book does give a good summation:
"John Muir remains an example for everyone who cares about Earth.... His work
guides people who are fighting climate changes or saving wild places."
Naden, Corrinne J.
John Muir: Saving the Wilderness
(Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press,
(Distributed by Houghton Mifflin)
A Gateway Biography,
This well illustrated biography is suitable for the late primary grades.
Excellent choice of modern and historical photographs,
except for one mistakenly identifying a much larger reservoir as Hetch Hetchy.
Includes "Important Dates" in Muir's life,
The bibliography emphasizes not history but current conservation issues.
John Muir, Father of our National Parks
(New York: Messmer 1957).
Although currently out of print,
still widely available in many libraries;
this biography is suitable for junior high to adult readers.
Riley, Alice, John O'Mountains (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997), Ilustrated by Craig Spearing. 16 pp, black and white illustrations, paperback. ISBN No: 0-02-14777-9.
From McGraw-Hill School Division, this is intended as a textbook for Grade 5 readers. Each page has nice black and white illustrations; text emphasizes Muir's role in establishing and protecting national parks, especially Yosemite. Tells the story of Muir's life, outdoor adventures, writing and conservation career, including the story of his camping trip with President Theodore Roosevelt. Back inside cover includes two activities for School and Home: "Write a Dialog" (imagining Mur andRooseelt's campfire conversatoin) and "Write a Letter" (encouraging a letter to your Congressperson about an important issue for your community.)
Rosenstock, Barb, The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks (Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Youn Readers Group, 2012). Illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. 32 pages, ISBN 0803737106.
Like Ginger Wadsworth's 2009 book
Camping with the President (see below) this award-winning children's book tells the story of John Muir's 1903 camping trip with
President Theodore Roosevelt. While Wadsworth's book is written for older readers, this one is suitable for younger readers, ages 6 -8, grades 1 - 3 or older. As both authors note, camping by themselves for three nights in Yosemite, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of many new national parks and national forests. An Author's Note on the last page explains how the story is based on truth, but with some imagined and invented dialog, and provides a list of sources. The text focuses on the men's enjoyment of the outdoors, with several of Muir's stories (like his famous bear encounter) thrown in, then ending on the historical importance of their camping trip. Gerstein contributes very nice line-and-watercolor illustrations, including small portraits of the men, a memorable scene showing two figures dwarfed by giant sequoias, and a close-up of the men talking around their campfire. Strangely, there is no illustration depicting the famous photograph of Muir and Roosevelt standing on Glacier Point with Vernal and Nevada Falls in the background. As nominee for the 2014-2015 California Young Reader Medal, a list of related books is available. Other awards include a Parents' Choice Award - silver medal, California Public Library Association Beatty Award, Illinois Monarch nominee, Maryland Black Eyed Susan nominee, South Carolina Picture Book Award nominee, Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" list, Washington, D.C. Capitol Choices List, BookList Top 10 Books on the Environment for Youth.
A video book trailer for The Camping Trip that Changed America is available on YouTube. (off-site link)
Stickeen : John Muir and the Brave Little Dog (Sharing Nature With Children Book)
(Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 1998).
Illustrated by Christopher Canyon. $16.95 hardcover; $7.95 paperback - U.S.;
$24.50 hardcover; $11.50 paperback - Canada
A wonderful "picture book" with outstanding, full-size, full-color
illustrations of John Muir's famous story of Stickeen. Although recommended for
children ages 4 to 12, adults will appreciate the
beautiful illustrations. Donnell Rubay greatly simplifies
and shortens Muir's story for young readers, yet retains many direct passages from Muir's
original work and the essence of his exciting story.
For more information and to see the cover:
Book Jacket Summary
Publisher's Press Release
John Muir: Prophet Among the Glaciers
(New York: Putnam, 1972).
Part of the publishers "Lives to Remember" series,
this modern biography is suitable for 6th to 8th grade students.
Stanley, Phyllis M., American Environmental Heroes (Springfield,
NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc, 1996). Illustrated, with index, 128 pp.
This well-designed, illustrated book features ten environmental heroes
from the past and present - both 19th century and 20th century figures.
John Muir is covered in chapter 2 as the Sierra Club Founder. Other environmental
heroes included are: Henry David Thoreau, Ellen Swallow Richards, George
Washington Carver, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, David Brower, Barry Commoner,
Sylvia Earle, and Frances Moore Lappé. For grades 6 - 9.
Swift, Hildegarde Hoyt,
From the Eagle's Wing: A biography of John Muir
(New York: William Morrow & Co.,
Illustrated by Lynd Ward.
An excellent biography
for older elementary and junior high to high school readers.
Talmadge, Katherine S.,
John Muir: At Home in the Wild
(New York: 21st Century Books,
Henry Holt & Co.,
Illustrated by Antonio Castro.
Suitable for grades 3-5,
this new biography is a good introduction to Muir,
emphasizing his accomplishments as a conservationist.
Part of the publishers "Earth Keepers" series
which portrays many noted historical and contemporary environmentalists,
it includes numerous black &
a glossary and an index.
John Muir: Naturalist, Writer,
and Guardian of the North American Wilderness
"People Who Have Helped the World"
An excellent new biography for the 90's for fifth and sixth grade readers.
Illustrations and a creative design greatly enhance this book,
with color and black and white photographs,
also including quotations by and about Muir and conservation philosophy.
Does an excellent job of relating Muir's life
and work to contemporary environmental issues and concerns.
Includes addresses for further information,
a short bibliography,
a chronology of Muir's life,
and a one-page index.
Suitable for either home or classroom use.
Call Him Father Nature: The Story of John Muir
(Nevada City, CA, Blue Dolphin Publishing, 2001) Paperback, Illus., 97 pages, Dimensions: 0.32 x 8.48 x 5.56 inches.
For ages 8-12, this book is simple, entertaining and well-written. The text emphasizes
the young John Muir, and ends about 1880 when Muir was age 42, except for a brief
epilogue about his achievements. Except for two photos of Muir, the illustrations
are clip-art. This book's lack of coverage of the Hetch Hetchy battle is a major
weakness. Otherwise, it is a readable book for this age group. Also includes
two outline maps of California and Alaska showing Muir's travels.
John Muir: Wilderness Protector
(Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Co.,
Superb modern biography of Muir,
with emphasis on his conservation efforts.
Grades 5 and up.
Contains extensive photographs,
many never before published.
historical map of Muir's Yosemite,
A thorough and readable juvenile biography.
With the President (Honesdale,
PA: Calkins Creek Books, 2009) Hardcover, 32 pages.
Excellent picture book for ages 8 and up, and
grades 4–6, telling the story of John Muir's 1903 camping trip with
President Theodore Roosevelt.
Author Ginger Wadsworth is noted for her careful research, but some details
may be vague; this is made up by the excellent author and source notes at
the back of the book. The watercolor illustrations in this book are superb. Awards:
Smithsonian Notable Books for Children 2009.
While this book is written for older readers, Barb Rosenstock's book The Camping GTrip That Changed America (see above) is another picture book on the same topic suitable for younger readers, ages 6 -8, grades 1 - 3.
jacket summary for this book is available on our site.
an excellent preview of this book, see the Book
Trailer for Camping with the President on YouTube. (off-site link)
Warrick, Karen Clemens,
John Muir: Crusader for the Wilderness
(Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow
Publishers, Inc., 2002).
128 pages, Illus., black and white photos, Chronology, Chapter Notes, glossary,
Further Reading and Internet Addresses, Index.
A thorough and entertaining modern biography of Muir,
covering his entire life. For Grades 5 to 10.
A thorough and readable juvenile biography. Although there are quite a few photos,
few are of Muir himself, except for the front cover image used as a frontispiece.
Includes URL for the John Muir Exhibit as one of four
The Mountain Man and the President
(New York: Steck- Vaughn Co.,
Illustrated by Charles Shaw,
(also available in hardcover),
This short story-book for elementary school readers focuses on the 1903
Yosemite camping trip shared by John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt.
The book is excellent in explaining how this historical event relates
to the importance of wilderness in our lives today,
and the continuing need to protect wilderness for the future.