Here is our list of the best Peru books for parents to read before visiting. As parents ourselves, we know that time is at a premium and so its super useful to have enjoyable books to read that also educate you on the place you are visiting (2 birds with one stone, so to speak). These are all interesting books about life in Peru, but sufficiently good reading to give you lots of background knowledge to pass on to your kids. Plus some very cool facts!
Think that you are a hardy travel parent? Then read on to be inspired, or perhaps challenged!
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The White Rock by Hugh Thomson
This is quite possibly my favorite book about Peru; it shares the story of a young adventurer setting off to find some ruins once found but now lost in the jungle. As he travels, he shares much of the history of the Incas, in a captivating and thoroughly fascinating way. As a parent, I can share history with my kids when I am passionate about it. This book brings Inca history alive, and tells a great travel story at the same time. Highly recommended! This is my number one choice for pre-Andean adventure reading (in preference to the other Hugh Thomson books which focus on other areas of Peru).
Eight Feet in the Andes by Dervla Murphy
A vivid story about a woman and her young 9-year-old daughter who travel with a mule named Juana along the trails of the Andes, making their way to Cusco, Peru. Their journey begins in 1979, and takes place over the course of 3, or so months. Throughout their journey, they face many hardships from blizzards to theft to not knowing where they will find their next meal.
This Peru book is worth the read if you should stick it out. There are many reviews that seemed to indicate that it was slow going through the beginning of the story. Many readers felt they could not connect with the characters of the story because while you read about what they saw, you don’t get an extensive background.
If you any Peru books before traveling, let it be this. This is a good, strong, in-depth guide to all things Peru.
You will learn about traditions and values of the residents of Peru. The guide also explains communication, food, along with do’s and don’ts so that you can avoid any awkward experience when visiting for the first time!
It’s always difficult to travel from one country to another, especially if you haven’t been there before. This guide will help you know what to expect, and understand the things that you may see – it’s a great tool to prepare you for your trip!
This is quite an interesting story!
While this is not related to travel, it’s a great historical fiction on the history of the potato and how it was introduced to Europe after being discovered in the Andes! Can you believe the potato was once known as throwaway food no one wanted to eat? Wow how is has evolved. This book does a marvelous, and entertaining, job of illustrating the evolution and importance of the potato.
This book doesn’t so much touch on the history of the potato in the Andes though. Rather it speaks about the incredible effect it had in France, England, and Ireland. It’s incredible to think about the impact a simple potato had! It really was life-changing for so many people and countries!
A beautifully illustrated look at weaving in Peru!
This book is a great look at the history and culture of Peru. It extensively documents many of the incredible traditional patterns that you see throughout Peru’s textiles! It shows how exquisite pieces of fabric are crafted on a simple loom – it really helps you appreciate the labor and love that goes into each piece!
It’s worth a read – especially if you want to know more about the weaving of Peru! This is one of the Peru books for parents that I highly recommended even if you are not traveling to Peru.
Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca LifePaperback by Elizabeth Conrad VanBuskirk (Author), Angel L. Callañaupa Alvarez (Illustrator)
A beautiful collection of folk tales that is suitable for a wide range of audiences, from young children to adults. This book as stunning illustrations that bring each story to life. It’s an easy read, and more than worth the time it takes to do so.
It’s really a celebration of all things Peru, celebrating the life and culture. This book is one that certainly can be passed down from generation to generation. A truly unique collection of stories for all to experience.
Again, this is one of the Peru books for parents I highly recommend even if you are not planning travel as it is such a beautiful collection of stories. Even though I say it is one the Peru books for parents, I would encourage you to share the stories with your children.
Lost city of the Incas by Hiram Bingham
I love this book for the way it brings the spirit of adventure to life; you travel along with Hiram Bingham on his explorations that found the famed “Lost City of the Incas.” You learn that he was always accompanied by local guides who knew the locations of all the “lost” ruins, and get a good feeling for Bingham’s romantic and exciting exploration. While some “facts” presented in this book are not correct, it is still an evocative read.
Check out our companion post – “Best Peru Books For Children”.
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