Houghton Mifflin History — Social Science

California Studies

Unit 1 Bibliography: Land and First People

The books listed below may be available through publishers, distributors such as bookstores or online retailers, or library systems.

Books for Independent Reading

Extra Support

California Here We Come!
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Charlesbridge, 1997
In this easy-to-read book, Ryan points out interesting facts about the recreation, history, culture, and geography of California. Available in Spanish as ¡California, aquí vamos!

John Muir: America's Naturalist
by Thomas Locker
Fulcrum, 2003
After spending his early life in Scotland and Wisconsin, Muir eventually moved west, where he became fascinated with Yosemite and participated in the founding of the Sierra Club.

The Worry Stone
by Marianna Dengler
Northland, 1996
This original folktale, a story of friendship between an old woman and a young boy, pays homage to the Chumash Indians, the first people of California's Ojai Valley.

On Level

Death Valley
by Jason Cooper
Rourke, 1995
The author discusses the natural wonder of Death Valley and the kinds of plant and animal life that survive there.

Giant Sequoia Trees
by Ginger Wadsworth
Lerner, 1995
This photo-essay showcases the giant redwoods, thousands of years old, found in the Sierra Nevada.

Life of the California Coast Nations
by Bobbie Kalman
Crabtree, 2004
The daily lives, customs, and rituals of Indian nations of California's coast are detailed.


Whispers from the First Californians
by Gail Faber and Michele Lasagna
Magpie, 1994
This collection contains creation legends and stories about the everyday lives of California's early Indians and their beliefs and customs.

Stories from Where We Live: The California Coast
Edited by Sara St. Antoine
Milkweed, 2001
Using poetry, biographical excerpts, and stories, the author focuses on historical and contemporary life along the California coast.

The Ohlone of California
by Jack S. Williams
PowerKids, 2003
Highlighted are the lives, customs, rituals, and traditions of the Ohlone of the central California coastal region.

Read Aloud and Reference

Read Aloud Books

Two Bear Cubs: A Miwok Legend from California's Yosemite Valley
by Robert San Souci
Yosemite Association, 1998
When the rock now known as El Capitan begins to grow, two bear cubs are trapped until a tiny inch worm comes to the rescue.

Coyote and the Grasshoppers: A Pomo Legend
Retold by Gloria Dominic
Troll, 1998
Coyote can save the Pomo from drought and starvation if he eats huge quantities of grasshoppers.

The People Shall Continue
by Simon Ortiz
Children's, 1988
Ortiz offers a history of the Native American people, from creation myths to the usurpation of their lands.

Reference Books

California Native Peoples
by Stephen Feinstein
Heinemann, 2003
This book presents an overview of the daily lives of California's original peoples, detailing their customs, beliefs, and rituals.

California Plants and Animals
by Stephen Feinstein
Heinemann, 2003
Featured are plant and animal life found in contemporary California.

Yosemite and the High Sierra
by Ansel E. Adams and Andrea G. Stillman
Bullfinch, 1994
The famed photographer's black-and-white photos of the peaks in Yosemite and the High Sierra range are featured in this attractive book.

Free and Inexpensive Materials

National Park Service Headquarters
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C., 20240
Phone: (202) 208-6843

National Park Service
Through the National Park Service's website, you can find information about national parks and historic sites.