Our Favorite Books about Boston

I can’t lie. I love Boston because it’s such a literary city. It’s home to so many authors, from Louisa May Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne, to Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, Robert Frost and Robert Lowell, to Celeste Ng and Denis Lehane. The list can go on, and is as varied as there are genres. And those are just the books for adults. There are a lot of great books about Boston out there for the kiddos that can help your kids get excited about their trip to Beantown.  Here are just a few of our favorites. 

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Beautiful pictures, a great story line, and a little bit of humor, this classic book has it all. Make Way for Ducklings is the story of a hard-working mama duck who has to prepare her ducklings for their solo trip to the city. It teaches valuable life lessons that every five year old should know, such as how to cross the street, following directions, that moms really can have it all, and of course, the most valuable lesson of all Boston lessons: the importance of location when buying real estate.

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Curious George by Margaret and H.A. Rey

Curious George is the spirit of Boston. Margaret and H.A. Rey brought the manuscript to the US when they fled the Nazi invasion of France in 1940. They settled in Cambridge, and the curious little monkey became a standard for kids to learn from their mistakes, and perhaps learn to curb their impulses. We love them all, but Curious George and the Dump Truck especially reminds us of the pond in the Boston Public Garden.

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Hello Boston by Martha Day Zschock

This is just a cute little intro to Boston for the itty bitties, and a great bedtime read. Daddy duck and baby duck explore the town and get to see the major sites of Boston, from the USS Constitution to Fenway. We’ve used it as a checklist for things to do in the city and it’s great to the see the littles remember their adventures every time we snuggle up with it. 

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa was a badass. She wanted to write, and despite constant rejection, she kept at it, using the money she earned to bail her family out of the debts her father continually incurred. In fact, the story of Little Women, which leaves out the patriarch entirely, is kind of like a big middle finger to her father. While it was never her favorite (she wanted to write sizzling potboilers) she finished the book to huge acclaim while she was living at a hotel that is now apartments on Beacon Street, across from the Boston Athenaeum. 

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The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ted Rand

I’ll never forget my embarrassment when a park ranger asked me to recite the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, and I had no idea what he was talking about. But now, this book has grown on me and my children. We’ve recited parts of it when we take the ferry across the harbor, and it’s a great way to explain Paul Revere. Plus the long lines and cadence is also wonderful for calming the kiddos down for their midnight sleep. We especially love the pictures in this edition by Ted Rand

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