Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org
, a website that supports local bookstores.
Taking the best of John Muir's writings on nature, Fred White's collection presents a fresh look at one of California's greatest literary figures.
City by the Bay: A Magical Journey Around San Francisco
A colorful introduction to San Francisco’s highlights through collage-style illustrations of city landmarks -- kids will have fun finding the hidden surprises in each picture.
Escape from Alcatraz
First published in 1963, this true crime classic is now out in a special edition. Bruce recounts the Rock’s transition from a Spanish fort to the infamous penitentiary, temporary home of legendary criminals like Al Capone and the Birdman of Alcatraz (Robert Stroud). He also includes descriptions of Frank Morris’ escape attempt alongside archival photos.
San Francisco, A Cultural History
Organized more thematically than chronologically, this easy-to-read introduction to the city and its neighborhoods will appeal both to first time visitors and those who know and love the city.
Journey Around San Francisco from A to Z
Exploring the unique cultural appeal of San Francisco this children's book for ages 6 to 9 is an informative read, made enjoyable by lots of hand-drawn color illustrations.
This is San Francisco
Cable cars, Chinatown and other city sights are depicted with bright, stylized illustrations in this classic portrait of San Francisco, first published in 1961 and presented here in facsimile.
The Cable Car and the Dragon
An illustrated journey through San Francisco, from Fisherman's Wharf to Chinatown, alongside a cable car and a Chinese dragon.
A Crack in the Edge of the World, America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906
Geologist, master storyteller, traveler and journalist, Simon Winchester succeeds again in this fast-paced, utterly fascinating account of the great 1906 earthquake that devastated San Francisco.
Al Capone Shines My Shoes
The sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts (SFO72) continues the story of 12-year-old Moose Flanagan who lives on Alcatraz Island and receives cryptic messages in his laundry from infamous inmate Al Capone. A fun book for readers 9 to 12.
San Francisco: A Food Biography
At the ideal intersection of rich farmlands and the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco is a reputable food destination. Peters delves into the city’s culinary history, from early Spanish missions and ongoing immigrant influences to current fixation on local ingredients.
A fabulous and stylish die-cut book that introduces young readers to San Francisco highlights.
Maybelle the Cable Car
The true story of how the people of San Francisco banded together to stop the city from shutting down the cable cars -- which still run today! Illustrated and told through the perspective of Maybelle the cable car.
Fly High, Fly Low
A classic Caldecott Honor Book about two San Francisco birds who live in a sign above a hotel; illustrated with sweeping panoramas of the Bay Area.
Golden Gate, The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge
Starr covers the history and meaning of this beloved icon and great American feats of engineering in this slim portrait.
The Mystery in San Francisco
When the Boxcar Children go to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, they discover something amiss with their friend’s fishing operation. Will they solve the mystery?
Al Capone Does My Shirts
The first in an award-winning trilogy about a young boy and his family who live on Alcatraz Island in 1935; humorously narrated and full of history about The Rock.
The Lucky Ones, One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America
Ngai, a professor of history at Columbia University, uncovers the story of the Tape family in post-Gold Rush, racially explosive San Francisco.
California History for Kids, Missions, Miners, and Moviemakers in the Golden State: Includes 21 Activities
A history of the dreamers who shaped the great state of California, featuring a time line of important events and fun and educational hands-on activities.
San Francisco Map
A laminated, folded map of the city center of San Francisco at a nice scale of 1:13,000.
Trees in Paradise, A California History
A fascinating account of environmental tumult in California that chronicles the "improvements" attempted by settlers, providing a new perspective on Californian history.
Travelers' Tales San Francisco
Experience San Francisco from the inside out with this engaging, insightful and entertaining selection of mostly contemporary eyewitness reports -- a terrific literary profile of a dynamic city.
Earthquake in the Early Morning
Jack and Annie travel to the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake where they meet a reporter and bring kids to safety.
Al Capone Does My Homework
The next installment in the Al Capone series for readers ages 9 to 12 follows Moose Flanagan’s adventures as his father gets promoted to Associate Warden on Alcatraz Island and becomes a target. Once again, Moose receives cryptic messages from the prison’s most infamous inmate, Al Capone, and must figure out what he is trying to communicate.
Fifth Chinese Daughter
First published in 1945, Jade Snow Wong's memoir is a simply told, moving story of family life in pre-WWII San Francisco Chinatown.
Gold Fever, One Man's Adventures on the Trail of the Gold Rush
Rich in history and economics, Boggan's travelogue follows the trails of the original 49ers -- to San Francisco and beyond -- where Americans still risk life and limb for lucrative gold strikes.