I <3 DC
Though reading can take you on an adventure around the world, I also sometimes like to read about locations I know well, like my hometown or somewhere I've recently visited. Picking up on references to specific spots always gives me a thrill and really helps me to visualize what's happening in the story. If you're looking for a children's novel that's full of familiar streets and sights, try one of these DC-based books on for size!
Capture the Flag written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Yuta Onoda
Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers who happen to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of American History the very night that someone steals the flag that inspired the "Star-Spangled Banner." The three officially meet the next day, stranded at the airport due to an unexpected snowstorm that cancels their flights home. Thinking that the thieves must be somewhere in the airport, Anna convinces the group to investigate. Will they find the culprits and save this special piece of history before it's too late? Capture the Flag is the first book in the Silver Jaguar Society series.
The People in Pineapple Place by Anne Lindbergh
August Brown is the new kid in town, and he's not very happy about it. His parents are recently divorced and he's just moved to Washington, DC from Vermont. To top it all off, he hasn't seen any other ten-year-olds to befriend in Georgetown, his new neighborhood. One day, August follows a mysterious woman to a hidden, quiet street called Pineapple Place. August is excited to meet lots of other kids there; the only problem is that he's the only one who can see them -- most of the time, anyway. Join the magical people of Pineapple Place as they take August on an adventure throughout DC and help him feel welcome in his new home.
The Problem with Being Slightly Heroic written by Uma Krishnaswami and illustrated by Abigail Halpin
In this sequel to The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, Dini is back in Takoma Park, MD for a visit. After spending several months at her new home in India, she's beyond excited to hang out with her best friend, Maddie. She's also thrilled that her favorite Bollywood star, Dolly Singh, will be in nearby Washington, DC to celebrate the launch of her latest movie. However, Dini begins to experience anxiety as she strives to make Dolly's trip to the United States a success and struggles to reconcile her new life in India with her old life in Maryland. Will she be able to pull it all off with ease, like one of her perfectly choreographed dances?
Audacity Jones to the Rescue by Kirby Larson
Audacity Jones is a spunky, intelligent, eleven-year-old girl who loves a good adventure. She lives with her friends and a curious cat named Miniver at Miss Maisie's School for Wayward Girls in Swayzee, IN. Everything changes, however, when a man named Commodore Crutchfield arrives at the school, seeking a companion for a top-secret mission in Washington, DC. Audie volunteers to help, but soon realizes that something seems fishy about the Commodore's plan and decides she must do what she can to try to stop him.
Elvis and the Underdogs: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service written by Jenny Lee and illustrated by Kelly Light
Benji’s former (talking!) therapy dog, Elvis, lives at the White House with the President. Though it’s only been a few months since they parted ways, Benji misses Elvis so much that he regularly sends him letters and baked goods. One day, while watching a clip of the President, Benji spots Elvis in the background, thumping his tail against the ground. Upon closer observation, Benji and his friends Alexander and Taisy realize that Elvis is communicating a secret message to them in Morse code, and the three make their way to DC to help him. Though this book can easily stand on its own, it is a sequel -- so if you like this one, be sure to check out Elvis and the Underdogs.