8 Children’s Books About Rocks…That Rock!

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Jaime Herndon finished her MFA in nonfiction writing at Columbia, after leaving a life of psychosocial oncology and maternal-child health work. She is a writer, editor, and book reviewer who drinks way too much coffee. She is a new-ish mom, so the coffee comes in extra handy.

Twitter: @IvyTarHeelJaime

I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love rocks. Any kind of rock, really. Gravel on a path, landscaping rocks, rocks in other people’s yards, gemstones and geodes — you name it, they usually love it. And if they’re anything like my kid, they’ll say things like, “I’m going to put this in my pocket to take home and save.” And then they’ll add it to their ever-growing collection on a shelf in their room.

I mean, what’s not to love, right? Rocks can tell us all about the history of the Earth if we know what to look for. Plus, many of them are cool shapes and textures or just feel really good to hold or fidget with. But learning more about rocks can unlock a whole new world for a child, and books are a great way to do that.

Here’s a roundup of some great children’s books about rocks and geology that I think rock (sorry, I had to) — both fiction and nonfiction — for you to explore. By no means are these all the books out there, and if you’re looking for something even more portable for a hike or a trip, the National Geographic Kids Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Rocks & Minerals is a great resource. There are also various pocket guides to geology that you can find — some are even location-specific — that you can stash in a side pocket of your backpack.

Let’s take a look at the best children’s books about rocks!

cover of What a Rock Can Revealcover of What a Rock Can Reveal

What a Rock Can Reveal: Where They Come From and What They Tell Us About Our Planet by Maya Wei-Haas and Sonia Pulido

Wei-Haas, a science writer and geologist, has written a book that children and adults alike will love reading. Using the tool of observation, she introduces geology to kids by describing its characteristics and explaining how it was created, where it’s from, and how it changes over time, tying in history and the story of the earth. It’s vibrantly illustrated, making it a really beautiful book that kids will be drawn to.

cover A Rock is Livelycover A Rock is Lively

A Rock is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

Don’t let these thin books fool you — this series is jam-packed with information and beautiful, intricate illustrations. My soon-to-be-8-year-old still loves these books, and this one is no exception. Aston writes about how different rocks are formed, the history of geology, and reviews various different kinds of rocks, with plenty of colorful drawings to pore over. They’re engaging but calming books because of the mix of scientific facts and poetic language, making them perfect for any time. Don’t miss other great titles in the series, like A Butterfly is Patient and A Shell is Cozy!

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Where Wonder Grows by Xelena González and Adriana M. Garcia

This lyrical book is a heartwarming story about a grandmother showing her granddaughters a special garden and exploring what things like shells, rocks, and crystals can tell them. She shows how the history of these natural objects tells stories, and she shares her Indigenous knowledge and traditions of the natural world with a new generation. It’s a quietly powerful story about connecting with nature, imagination, and the larger world.

cover of Rocks, Fossils, and Arrowheadscover of Rocks, Fossils, and Arrowheads

Take-Along Guide: Rocks, Fossils, and Arrowheads by Laura Evert

Another great series, these smaller books are perfect for stashing in a backpack and taking with you on a nature walk or hike, and work just as well indoors for a read-aloud or reference book. Evert breaks the book down into three major areas: rocks and minerals, fossils, and arrowheads and artifacts. It also provides some fun experiments and crafts to do, including making your own rock candy. For each rock, she shares what it looks like, where it can be found, what it’s used for, and plenty of neat facts and detailed illustrations. For the budding geologists, there are also scrapbook pages in the back to take notes and add their own drawings.

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Science Comics: Rocks and Minerals: Geology from Caverns to the Cosmos by Andy Hirsch

If you haven’t read these comics, you’re missing out. This nonfiction graphic novel series is perfect for middle grade readers and up, though even younger readers will enjoy them. In this volume, take a wild ride around the world, and even into space, with a geologist in this book while learning all about the rocks and minerals that tell us about the earth and its history. It’s a great blend of storytelling, history, and plenty of science that will keep readers engaged. It would also pair well with the Science Comics volume Volcanoes and Life.

Cover of Jada Jones Rock Star book 1Cover of Jada Jones Rock Star book 1

Jada Jones: Rock Star by Kelly Starling Lyons and Vanessa Brantley Newton

If your rock-loving kiddo wants some fiction, here’s Jada Jones! It’s the first book of the early chapter book series, and Jada loves science; she especially loves finding new rocks to add to her rock collection. Plus, it’s easier to find new rocks than new friends. But when her teacher announces a science project on rocks and minerals, maybe this is her chance to shine. Except, one of her team partners doesn’t seem to like her very much. Can Jada navigate the project and maybe try to make a new friend?

cover of DK Rock and Gemcover of DK Rock and Gem

The Rock and Gem Book: And Other Treasures of the Natural World by Dan Green

This is a DK book, and they’re always amazingly done, including this one. From drawings, diagrams, and photographs to plenty of history and science information, this is a resource to return to again and again. Rocks, minerals, fossils, and shells — they’re all in this encyclopedic text that’s super visual and very accessible for readers. The text brings in connections with art, history, science, and architecture, providing kids with a multi-disciplinary lens through which to see geology.

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Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

While this book is more specific than the others, it’s an all-time favorite here and so well done. The story follows a father and daughter on their way through the canyon, but the book also details the geological makeup of the canyon, the different kinds of rock and stone, and how the canyon was formed. Plenty of back matter provides even more in-depth geology and history, with illustrations and a list of resources to explore. Not only is the text and information amazing, but the visual set-up of the book is stunning, making it enjoyable to read again and again and again.

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