The National Parks: Preserving America's Wild Places (History Comics)

by Falynn Koch (Author)

The National Parks: Preserving America's Wild Places (History Comics)
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: History Comics

Let this graphic novel be your time machine--experience history like never before! Our past is only the beginning with History Comics. In this volume, The National Parks: Preserving America's Wild Places, turn back the clock to 1872, when Congress established Yellowstone National Park as an area of unspoiled beauty for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.

Meet the visionaries, artists, and lovers of the American wilderness who fought against corruption and self-interest to carve out and protect these spaces for future generations. See for yourself how the idea of National Parks began, how they've changed, and how they continue to define America.

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Kirkus Reviews

Sassy guides lead readers through a witty yet complicated history of the national parks.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 5-7—Trotting in Bigfoot as tour guide and spokescryptid for all of our national parks, monuments, and historical sites, Koch offers both a general celebration of their wonders and value and a history of how they came to be. This begins with the forcible removal of the indigenous Miwoks from the Ahwahnee valley (later renamed "Yosemite") in 1851 and continues on to the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone in the 1990s. Koch includes nuanced introductions to significant figures and visionaries of the past, from Presidents Grant and Roosevelts to John Muir (an overt racist, for all his good works) and Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Readers will come away understanding how the parks and other preserves as we know them today are the products of often violent struggles between competing interests: native populations and would-be settlers; commercial exploiters and preservers of wild places; strict conservationists and officials bent on improving access with new roads and facilities. Brightly colored cartoon art in sequential panels featuring animated people (notably an excitable Teddy Roosevelt, who positively bounds across some pages) and wild creatures livens up the substantial informational load, which is presented almost entirely as dialogue and capped by a time line to 2019 and a short list of print resources. VERDICT Middle grade readers visiting any of the hundreds of national park sites will find their enjoyment and appreciation of the experience much enhanced by this graphic overview.—John Edward Peters

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes


Falynn Koch
Falynn Koch was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. She has an MFA in sequential art from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta and is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. She loves to travel and explore the outdoors with her husband and occasionally her dogs. Her books from First Second include Science Comics: Bats, Science Comics: Plagues, Maker Comics: Bake Like a Pro!, History Comics: The National Parks, History Comics: The Wild Mustangs (with writer Chris Duffy), and Science Comics: Elephants (with writer Jason Viola)
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
First Second
Publication date
May 20, 2022
History Comics
BISAC categories
JNF037020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Environmental Conservation & Protection
JNF025260 - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | Symbols, Monuments, National Parks, Etc.
JNF062020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | History
JNF062030 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | Science & Nature
Library of Congress categories
United States
Graphic novels
Cartoons and comics
Comics (Graphic works)
Nonfiction comics
National parks and reserves
Conservation of natural resources
Educational comics

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