Book Review: The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid

The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for The World’s Most Adventurous Kid isn’t your regular travel book. Yes, it starts off with a packing list that includes things like sun protection and reusable water bottles (for our environmentally conscientious traveler), but it also includes goat treats and a Geiger counter, just in case. For some of the places they’re recommending, they might be a wise idea.
Many of the sights that they highlight are actual tourist attractions that are unusual but possible to visit, such as the Miniatur Wunderland in Germany, home of the world’s largest model train setup or the fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Others are more unlikely, like Pripyat in the Ukraine, the amusement park next to Chernobyl. Good thing you packed that Geiger counter.

Each two-page spread tells you the name of the place, where it is located, and a few other tidbits. If your students don’t know that rodeo is the official sport of Chile or that water puppetry is a traditional art in Vietnam, they will now.

The art is incredible and very inspiring. There are often diverse kids featured in the illustrations and it’s easy to imagine yourself there.

The last few pages of the book include an index, questions to ask people as you travel, advice, and further reading.
The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for The World’s Most Adventurous Kid, Dylan Thuras and Rosemary Mosco, Illustrated by Joy Ang. 9781523503544. 2018. Gr 4-8.


If you’re interested in a slightly more practical travel guide aimed at adults or older readers but fine for anyone with wanderlust, the original Atlas Obscura book is for you. It still includes amazing places, some of which are impossible to get to, but it also has unique places that you can easily visit in the US and all around the world.

Atlas Obscura, Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton. 2016. 9780761169086. Gr 10-Adult.


Finally, before there were the books, there was the Atlas Obscura website. It currently has information on 15,720 places and foods. I highly recommend searching any city you plan on visiting, or even your hometown to find hidden places for an adventure.


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