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Books Set in North America

Whether you found this list searching for books set in North American countries, or you’re participating in our Book Voyage reading challenge, you’ll find a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction book recommendations set in Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the USA.

Three angeled brighly colored book covers with the center red and yellow cover with feathers and the title There There

PS: You can read all about the Book Voyage challenge, find new book lists each month, and download your free printable map book tracker, with a color-coded map of each region here.

Interesting Facts About North America

Even if you call North America home, there’s so much more to learn about this incredibly diverse continent. For example, you might be surprised to learn that while 8 of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in North America are located in the USA, it is actually Mexico City that tops the list with the largest population. And did you know that Greenland is the world’s largest island that isn’t also a continent?

North America has a huge range of climates, including every one of the Earth’s major biomes. From ice and arctic tundra of the far north to the tropical rainforests of Central America. This continent also includes temperate forests, grasslands, savannas, deserts, and coral reefs in between.

The North American continent is also a very important source of information about the Earth’s geologic periods. The Appalachian Mountains, running parallel to the Atlantic coast from Canada to Alabama, are the world’s oldest mountain range. Archeologists have unearthed more dinosaur fossils in the United States than in any other country.

North American Book Recommendations

As always, you are welcome to choose any book set in North America that you’d like. We’ve compiled the recommended reading list, below, specifically with the intent to help you explore beyond what you already know. While many readers may automatically think of books set in the USA, we encourage our fellow Americans to armchair travel to one of the continent’s other countries or territories.

In addition to the USA, our list covers books set in Canada, Greenland, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Below our book recommendations, we’ve also included a list of additional resources for further North American reading.

Books Set in North America by Region

Books Set in Canada & Greenland

Books Set in Mexico

Latin American Books Set in Central American Countries

The term Latin America generally refers to the entire region south of the United States in which Spanish, Portuguese, and French (all Latin languages) are officially spoken. The countries of Latin America span both the North and South American continents.

For the purposes of this North American reading list, our Latin American book recommendations cover the Central American countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Books That Provide Unique Perspectives on the United States

In addition to the books set in the United States below, we have book recommendations set in every individual state, plus Washington DC, and the five inhabited territories. Click here to see the full books by state index.

More Resources for North American Books

The North American book recommendations above are just a starting point. We also have lots of other reading resources that you may find useful:

  • Arctic North: Our list of Arctic books covers the northernmost parts of Canada, Greenland, and the US state of Alaska.
  • Islands: In addition to the countries listed above, there are also many island nations and territories that are considered part of North America. You’ll find many of those covered on our list of books that take place on islands.
  • Latin America: The book list above includes books set in Mexico and Central America. Check out our list of the best books set in South America for even more Latin American literature and non-fiction.
  • United States: We have book lists broken down by each US State as part of our Read Around the USA Challenge.
  • The Past Century in the United States: The list above includes just a handful of books set in the United States, with a focus on works that provide a unique perspective. If you’re interested in learning more about life in the US throughout the past century, we encourage you to check out the reading lists that we’ve compiled for the Decades Reading Challenge. Here you’ll find book recommendations for each decade from the 1910s to the present, many of which are set in the United States.
  • Children’s Books Set in North America: If you are looking for kids’ books about North American countries, we have a great list with a wide range of picture books, early chapter books, and middle-grade books set in Canada, the US, Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean.
Four book covers in the corners with a black circle in the center and white text that reads 25+ Books set in North America



Angela & Melissa

The Book Girls are best friends who jointly read over 200 books per year. We started Book Girls' Guide in 2019 to help others de-stress and find joy through the power of a great book. We do in-depth research on thousands of novels and non-fiction titles each year to provide curated book lists covering a variety of genres.

Children's Books Set in North America

Saturday 2nd of September 2023

[…] If you want to read a book about North America along with your child, check out our lists of Books Set in Northern America for Adults. […]

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