Books for Kids with Rocks in Their Heads



I’m not a collector. I was not a kid who collected stamps or Pokemon cards or N*SYNC posters. And as much as I love books, I rarely buy them (news flash: they’re free at the library). The only collection I did have was collected for me by my mother, and as she can attest, I did not appreciate those porcelain dolls nearly as much as they deserved. As for sentimental items, I’m more likely to get rid of something than store it because one day maybe my children could possibly . . . take it to Goodwill. That’s just the reality.

I promise I’m not heartless. I’m very sentimental about stories, and I’ve typed almost every sweet thing my children have ever done. I just don’t connect those stories to objects.

There’s one exception. For whatever reason, I like stripey rocks. I like looking for them on the rocky beaches of the Pacific NW. I like seeing them sit on my bookshelf. I love that my children will run up to me with a striped rock and ask hopefully if it meets my strict criteria.

All this to say, while the blog has been sleeping this month, I have been (among other things) strolling along the beach, scanning for striped rocks with my extended family. One evening, while looking over my haul (much too large because I couldn’t break my children’s spirit and tell them that, no, in fact, their rocks were wrong), my older brother talked about his own rocks (is this a family trait?) – one from the Berlin Wall, another from an asteroid, maybe a moon rock, I can’t even remember. My rocks are special only to me, the only history they hold my own, but it made me happy to think that we both have stones piled on our shelves.

My son briefly caught the family geology bug, and went through a serious rock phase. While my brother cares about the history of his rocks, and I care only for their beauty, my son was into the science. My quiet boy surprised everyone on a first grade field trip to a rock museum by volunteering the answers to all the questions: “Igneous! Metamorphic! Sedimentary!” My niece once filled a garbage disposal with rocks to see what would happen, but I don’t think that really counts.

Whether your child is saving her allowance for a rock tumbler or just filling a slingshot, these reads should please any rock enthusiast.


Rocks in His Head is a lovely family story about being true to yourself and your passions.


A Rock is Lively marries science and beauty in one gorgeous and informative read.


Rhoda is my kindred spirit. A little rock collecting makes any outing more fun.


Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop always makes me think of Ed’s House of Gems in Portland.


Roxaboxen is perfect for kids who love rocks for their pretend play possibilities.


You need to know the ten rules for finding a rock. Baylor and Parnall will help you.


Stick and Stone will be interesting to even the kid with the most desultory interest in rocks. The stone is just a vehicle for a story about friendship.


It’s impossible to read something written by Drew Daywalt or illustrated by Adam Rex and not chuckle. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors is no exception. 


Happy reading and rock hunting!

**Just as a fun little side note, and due to my little brother’s telepathic superpowers, he and his husband sent this photo from Switzerland today:

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