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The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks
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The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,093 ratings  ·  221 reviews
Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein captures the majestic redwoods of Yosemite in this little-known but important story from our nation's history. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 19th 2012 by Dial Books
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  1,093 ratings  ·  221 reviews


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Dave Schaafsma
I have a long history of camping and backpacking in the National Parks and plans to visit a few again this summer. I also write this during a time in which the long protected public lands are being auctioned off (or attempts are made to sell it) to the highest bidders. This. Must. Not. Happen.

How did the National Parks come about? A lot of work against a lot of resistance, without question. But it began with outdoorsman Teddy Roosevelt reading a book written by John Muir, which led to a camping
...more
Melki
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if everyone owned the wilderness?

In 1903, Teddy Roosevelt headed west to learn about the great outdoors from John Muir. They slept under the stars, once even waking under a blanket of snow. Roosevelt returned to Washington determined to protect huge tracts of land from mining and development.

What if we could save the forests for all the children to come?
Annette
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sure, its a kids book and I've heard the story before of Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir, but, because half the fun of any trip is the anticipation and we'll be camping in Yosemite this summer, I just want to drink in anything about this beautiful place of wonder. The illustrations are great and the author makes the story come alive. I actually can (and have) recommended this book to others -- young and old. ...more
Richie Partington
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Richie's Picks: THE CAMPING TRIP THAT CHANGED AMERICA: THEODORE ROOSEVELT, JOHN MUIR, AND OUR NATIONAL PARKS by Barb Rosenstock and Mordicai Gerstein, ill, Dial, January 2012, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-8037-3710-5

"So then, here is our common question:

"If our country, our companies, and each one of us benefit more in the short run from using as many natural resources as we can, then what will stop us from destroying our whole world -- our common ground?
-- from COMMON GROUND: THE WATER, EARTH, AND AIR WE
...more
Kathryn
I loved this book! It's a subject that is dear to my heart and it is told in such an engaging, entertaining and touching way. While the story feels complete, the Author's Note is excellent and helps provide greater context as well as insight into how she created the story from the historical sources available. Sources are included, and I appreciate the direct quotes from Muir and Roosevelt included, as well. Highly recommend. ...more
Stephanie  Weatherly
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story of an untold part of history. I had no idea that we didn't have National Parks or preserved wildlife until Teddy Roosevelt put those things in place. Perfect read to bring into a middle school classroom. ...more
Nicole
Mar 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Read to 6 year old boy who enjoyed it and learned about Roosevelt and Muir and the legacy of the parks. Fun way of presenting for elementary school history. For educators using Classical Conversations curriculum, fits well with Cycle 3 week 15 History.
Danette
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
6/11/17 Read to the family.
An interesting story except for the evolutionary blah blah blah.
Sally
When John Muir met Teddy Roosevelt, a mission to save America's precious wilderness.

A fortunate meeting as even in 1903ish, investors were looking to overtake these treasures.
...more
Rebecca
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: mentions millions of years
Maura
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My 6 year old son and I absolutely loved this book about John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt, which combined our loves of history, National Parks, and hiking adventures.
Erin
Jun 22, 2021 rated it liked it
Learned somethings!
Michele
This beautiful book tells of the meeting of naturalist John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt during a camping trip at Yosemite that inspired President Roosevelt to declare 18 national monuments including the Grand Canyon. Roosevelt is known for increasing the number of national parks and preserving large amounts of wilderness.

This book specifically focuses on the camping trip, the same trip that was featured in PBS's "National Parks" documentary program. It is a well-worded story with funn
...more
Jim Erekson
Part biography, but mostly a historical retelling, this informational book was well complemented by Gerstein's illustrations. Much like Byrd's illustrations for the Ben Franklin book, the ink drawings have a hint of old engraving to them that makes the book feel in the correct period (interestingly, the palette was almost identical to Byrd's Franklin book).

The 'slice' of history is again a refreshing approach, because it allowed me to see both Muir and Roosevelt in some depth through this one e
...more
Kermit
Oct 31, 2012 rated it liked it
3.9 stars
I got this title from a list of best nonfiction for children. The illustrations are wonderful. It's a short, easy read. It tells how President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir went on a famous camping trip. President Roosevelt was so impressed by what John Muir shared with him that he enacted legislation that produced national monuments, national parks, designated wilderness areas, etc. I'm not sure if kids would have watched Ken Burns' National Parks series on PBS---but this would be a
...more
Wendy
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Perhaps I am reacting mostly to the idea and principles and setting of this book, which I couldn't love more if I tried, but it is also a purely joyful read, with illustrations that make you want to get up and dance. ...more
Nicole
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was such an interesting look at Theodore Roosevelt and for many a first look at John Muir. I love how the story gave such rich details about both men and how the beautiful illustrations added to the story. Overall, a beautiful book.
Amy McFadden
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
#bookaday summer reading challenge #15. True story of how TR’s trip to Yosemite inspired him to protect it. Would make a great read-aloud, with social studies, science, writing, and character ed tie-ins; or just share it because it’s beautiful. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Paul  Hankins
The meeting of Theodore "Teedie" Roosevelt and John "Johnnie" Muir and the camping trip that inspired Roosevelt to draft into action the protection of wooded places as national parks and reserves. ...more
Emi Bevacqua
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Subtitled: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks. Excellent, engaging romp through history showing how government and conservancy can actually work together sometimes!
Chris
In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt read John Muir’s book on the Sierra Nevada, which ended with a plea for government to save the vanishing forests. The president asked Muir to take him camping in the Yosemite wilderness, and two months later, Roosevelt followed his knowledgeable guide into the mountains, through the valley, and among the giant sequoia trees. Returning to Washington, the president pushed to pass the laws that created national parks and forests as well as wildlife sanctuaries.

Short on
...more
Nicole
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This children’s picture book explains how President Theodore Roosevelt came to establish the National Park Service. He was a well known sportsman and loved being in the outdoors, and as president, he read a John Muir book about how the wilderness of California was being taken over by human progress. This inspired Roosevelt to journey by train to see for himself. Roosevelt and Muir camped together, and after this camping trip, they exchanged letters throughout the rest of their lives. While there ...more
Taylor Meier
The Camping Trip That Changed America is a story about Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt trip to the western parks in 1903. On the three day journey, Teddy experiences the mountains and never ending forests. This camping trip between Teddy Roosevelt and his journalist, John Muir, is the reason that America has national parks, national forests, and national sanctuaries. This book also tells the reader that Teddy Roosevelt saved more wild land than any other President in history. I would read this book t ...more
Lynya Cooper
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historic-fiction
I enjoyed The Camping Trip that Changed America by Barb Rosenstock. This read told how a world famous naturalist and a President join together to save the forest in California's Yosemite wilderness. President Roosevelt determined to hear and see how could he be of assistance, contacted John to plan a camping trip that would later impact America. From official speeches, horseback riding, site seeing in the Mariposa Grove to a warm fire with story-telling and mountain climbing, a friendship formed ...more
Kelley Mitchell
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Teddy Roosevelt is a first grade standard and this book is a little long, but it would make a FABULOUS read aloud in fifth grade to go with that period of history and I think I will use it as an if-the-government-can't-get-their-act-together backup for a national park virtual field trip. The book was very well written and the narrative felt conversational and approachable. It detailed the one meeting between Muir and Roosevelt, and if I made a virtual field trip through the places in the story t ...more
Joanne Roberts
I love this storytelling style dual type narrative based on quotes and facts about Teddy Roosevelt's meeting with conservationist John Muir. It has the feeling of a tall tale the naturalist might tell, generating the excitement the 26th president himself might have felt. The energetic illustrations glow with color. The characters are recognizable yet have an elastic cartoon quality which supports the storytelling. A great story and a great introduction to this historic event. Terrific for starti ...more
Emily
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was a fun way to teach kids about history. It also slyly taught kids about preservation of nature. I gave it three stars because it was a bit bland and generic, but I bet for a kid it would be a great way to learn! The book is about the creation of national forests and why Teddy created them. It even mentioned what presidents do and fun camping adventures. Genre: historical fiction, picture book. Great for 2nd-4th graders
Annie Oosterwyk
A timely and simple picture book about the creation of our national parks and monuments. John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt transformed their passion for the outdoors into a conservation success. This could feed into a discussion about what is currently happening with the Trump administration and the national monument land grab.
Colbie Wakeley
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is really awesome because history is not a strong subject for me and it's a hard thing for me to teach. History can be so boring, but I think this book brings history to life in a more fun and fascinating way. History just makes so much sense to me in a children's book.
I think this would be helpful to read to an upper elementary class during a social studies lesson.
Historical Fiction
...more
Shari
Story of how Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir came together and brought about National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries to preserve a part of our nations beauty for future generations. Overall good story however there are several references to millions of years and an evolutionary slant that doesn’t jive with a Creationist worldview.
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