Books to Help Your Child Discover New Worlds From Home

Open new horizons by instantly transporting your reader to different worlds and cultures, real or imagined.

Jun 24, 2024



Books to Help Your Child Discover New Worlds From Home

Jun 24, 2024

The ability to travel is not always easy. Whatever the reason or season — when it feels like everyone needs to get away — a good story can provide the perfect escape.

Kelly Matthews, a 4th-grade teacher in Colorado, says books are the perfect alternative for exploring different places, cultures, and worlds. “When you have a chance to delve into a different world using literature, you develop more empathy and understanding,” she says. 

Plus, check out these 100 incredible books under $5 that will inspire a love of reading.

Here are three tips to help your child discover new worlds from home through books.

1. 'Travel' as a Family

The benefits of traveling through the pages of a book? You can take everyone with you! Family or friends – when you read together, you share a journey. 

Matthews says exploring books as a family will naturally help your child become more enthusiastic.

“Showing interest in the books your child is reading helps them feel comfortable to ask questions about where or when books take place,” she says. “Discuss the location or setting and your interpretations, comparing and contrasting your point of views.”

Patrick Mongeau, a 2nd-grade teacher in Massachusetts, says asking simple questions can increase comprehension while allowing your child to express their original ideas and thoughts.

Where are they? can elicit a response that shows understanding or misunderstanding. How is that different or similar to your world? can really push their thinking. Keep mum until you hear their ideas and take them with an open mind,” he says.

From real cities to fantasy worlds and even outer space, the books below will take readers on unforgettable journeys. No passport required. 

2. From Your Shelf to Your Screen

Matthews recommends reading books set in different worlds and then watching the movie or show version. This helps children “see” the director’s interpretation and determine how it may have differed from their own. Harry Potter, The Bad Guys, Stillwater, and Clifford are just a few favorites.

Take it a step further by having your child create their own movie trailers, or by acting or pretending they are in the book. They may even want to create an alternate ending for a story they wish ended differently. 

“They learn so much by visualizing the book’s setting, characters, and details that by the time they are finished, they get so much more out of it,” Matthews says.

With unlimited wanderlust, readers can go as far as their imagination will take them. 

The best-selling books below have all been turned into buzz-worthy movies and shows.

3. Feed Your Child’s Curiosity

Mongeau believes the best way to travel from home is through cooking and eating dishes from different parts of the world.

Books such as Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome can provide inspiration while also helping your child develop empathy and their own sense of self.

“Seeing things that are different is so important for children to develop a sense that who they are is ‘local’ and ‘personal,’ and every bit as unique and strange as these different worlds,” Mongeau says.

An added bonus to traveling from your armchair at home? Their stack of books isn't limited by the size of their suitcase, and snacks are always more than welcome. Your family can read, travel, and eat your way through endless books — no itinerary needed. 

Perhaps you want to be whisked away to the magical world of Hogwarts by cooking up a bowl of Hagrid's hearty soup or a few skewers of Sir Cadogan's sword kebabs with The Official Harry Potter Cookbook. If you'd rather eat out, introduce your tween to This Is How I Roll: A Wish Novel, a rom-com about shushi rolls, secret crushes, and a summer spent chasing dreams. Once your child finishes the novel, take them out to your local shushi restaurant and discuss the book over dinner. Choose your culinary adventure below! 

Read, explore, repeat. Visit beloved stories again and again or get lost in new ones. Either way — book a trip with your reader. The ticket has never been more worthwhile or the memories more impactful. 

Shop books to explore and discover new worlds! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.

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