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19 of the Best Books by Maine-Based Authors – For the Entire Family!

Reading is a lifelong adventure, and the magic begins with that very first colorful page (even before words have meaning) and throughout adulthood.

If combining a love of books and love of Maine is up your alley, this guide of amazing reads by Maine-based authors will help you find something for everyone in the family to enjoy!

Ready to dive in? Here’s a way to order online and still support your local bookshop! Bookshop.org allows you to support local bookstores with the convenience of easy, online ordering. Their store locator lets you enter your zip code and find all the local bookstores that are powered by Bookshop. If you select a specific bookstore (there’s lots of Maine shops on there!), all profits will go directly to that shop. If you don’t specify a store, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores. Such a great concept!

In our guide, we’ll provide some local buying options (but please feel free to choose your favorite local bookshop) and we’ll also include an Amazon link for those that prefer it. Please know that we don’t get any money or incentives for providing these links; we just want to celebrate these books from our wonderful Maine-based authors!

Happy reading!

Ages 0 – 3

Dahlov Ipcar’s Maine Alphabet
As one of Maine’s most loved authors/painters/illustrators, this beautiful board book captures the attention and imagination of young children – and it’s a beautiful way to meet the ABCs!

Available through Longfellow Books (in Portland) here or on Amazon

123 Gulls by Beth Rand
In making their way through an island winter wonderland, toddlers will have a blast learning numbers with these colorful and fun seagulls.

Available through Bookshop.org here (The Book Review in Falmouth has it in stock) or on Amazon

Little Maine by Jeannie Brett
A perfect way for young friends to get to know Maine (including our state bird, flower, animal, and tree) with colorful photos and rhyming riddles!

Available through Bookshop.org here (Royal River Books in Yarmouth has it in stock) or on Amazon

Mud, Sand, and Snow by Charlotte Agell
In celebration of all the unique Maine seasons, this board book is perfect for toddlers – and they will enjoy the watercolors and easy rhyming.

Available through Islandport Press (in Yarmouth) here or on Amazon

Ages 3 to 5

Andre the Famous Harbor Seal by Fran Hodgkins
The friendship between Rockport, Maine’s Harry Goodridge and the harbor seal pup he named Andre is a heart-warming classic story children will love.

Available through Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops here or Amazon

The Little Fisherman written by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Dahlov Ipcar
Comparing and contrasting a simple day catching fish with a fisherman’s big day at sea, this brings the heart of coastal life to its pages.

Available through Bookshop.org here (Letterpress Books in Portland has it in stock) or on Amazon

Moose, of Course! by Lynn Plourde
A young boy has a mission – to find a moose – and he won’t stop until he does! Kids will get a kick out of his attempts to locate Maine’s most famous mascot.

Available through Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops here or Amazon

Ages 5 to 8

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
A little girl wants to make the world a more beautiful place. This lovely book is about the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. And, for local residents – the art for Miss Rumphius has a permanent home at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Available through Bookshop.org here (The Corner Bookshop in Bath has it in stock) or on Amazon

One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
Classic Maine at its best, this book is a tribute to the coast and to childhood – and generations of kids will continue to fall in love with this story.

Available through Bookshop.org here (Fine Print Booksellers in Kennebunkport has it in stock) or on Amazon

The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen
Loosely based on a true historic event of a steamship carrying circus animals that sank in Penobscot Bay, this is a story of friendship. And – it’s FUN. Kids and parents will love this story – and enjoy finding the hidden animals on the colorful pages!

Available through Bookshop.org here (The Green Hand Bookshop in Portland has it in stock) or on Amazon

Ages 8 to 12

The Fog of Forgetting by G.A. Morgan
As the first book in The Five Stones Trilogy, this fantasy series explores what happens when five children are boating on the Maine coast – when suddenly they get lost in the dense fog before washing ashore to a mysterious and forgotten island of ancient secrets and terrible history.

Available through Islandport Press (in Yarmouth) here or on Amazon

Finchosaurus by Gail Donovan
Finch has trouble paying attention in school – especially since he’s daydreaming about finding a dinosaur fossil to name after himself. One day, he digs up a note in the fifth-grade class garden with the word HELP on it – and he wants to solve the mystery!

Available through Bookshop.org here (Kelly’s Books on the Go in South Portland has it in stock) or on Amazon

What the Wind Can Tell You by Sarah Marie Aliberti Jette
Isabelle is determined to win the middle school science fair with her wind machine – and have her brother Julian (who lives with a severe form of epilepsy and uses a wheelchair) as her assistant. Her world changes when Julian has a grand seizure – and she suddenly finds a magical world where her brother’s physical limitations disappear.

Available through Islandport Press (in Yarmouth) here or on Amazon

Teens

Call Me American (Adapted for Young Adults): The Extraordinary True Story of a Young Somali Immigrant by Abdi Nor Iftin
From Somalia to Maine, this is the story of Abdi Nor Iftin. When the threat of civil war reaches Abdi’s life, he has to flee for safety – and he soon has to find his way in America. Inspiring and powerful, this shows how unexpected the future can be. 

Available through Bookshop.org here (The Book Review in Falmouth has it in stock) or on Amazon

The Door to January by Gillian French
Nightmares have plagued 16-year-old Natalie Payson ever since she moved away from her hometown in Maine – and she decides to head back to face her fears and see what dangerous forces are calling her back home.

Available through Bookshop.org here (Mockingbird Bookshop in Bath has it in stock) or on Amazon

As Many Nows as I Can by Shana Youngdahl
This is the love story of Scarlett and David in the summer before they leave for college – exploring how the past and present shape the future of what comes next.

Available through Bookshop.org here (Royal River Books in Yarmouth has it in stock) or on Amazon

Adults

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and now an HBO Miniseries, this is the story of Olive Kitteridge. As a retired schoolteacher, she’s struggling with the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and figuring out her life.

Available through Longfellow Books (in Portland) hereor on Amazon

The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron
As the first book in the “Mike Bowditch” series, this is the fast-paced thriller of an estranged son on the hunt for a murderous fugitive ― his own father ―all set in the wilds of Maine.

Available through Bookshop.org here (The Book Review in Falmouth has it in stock) or on Amazon

11/22/63 by Stephen King
Written by the most notable Maine novelist, Stephen King takes a detour from horror for this one – where Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, has the opportunity to go back and time and stop the JFK assassination.

Available through Bookshop.org here (Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick has it in stock) or on Amazon

The MyAlfondGrant website (myalfondgrant.org) is sponsored by the Alfond Scholarship Foundation (ASF), a Maine non-profit organization. This site is intended as a service to families of children who have been awarded the $500 Alfond Grant for college, so that they can access information on college and career planning, and, in connection with the MyAlfondGrant Info from FAME website (www.myalfondgrantinfofromfame.com), sponsored by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), they can track the value of their child’s Alfond Grant. The information made available on myalfondgrant.org is not intended to replace a family’s own research or other sources of information on such topics.