Children's Book Review: The Adventures of Bubba Jones: Time Traveling Through Shenandoah National Park by Jeff Alt

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from the author, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

Today I have ANOTHER kids book for you, but this one is for the older kids, and helps them to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Parks!

Outdoor recreation expert and award-winning author, Jeff Alt, puts on educational adventure show and tell presentations exhorting parents and kids to get off the couch and enjoy the benefits of the outdoors everywhere he goes. He kicks off the release of his newest book:

he Adventures of Bubba Jones cover


After Inheriting legendary time travel skills from their Papa Lewis, Tommy "Bubba Jones," and his sister Jenny "Hug-a-Bug," embark on a Shenandoah National Park adventure to solve a family mystery. 

From the moment they reach the park entrance, the excitement begins. They travel back in time hundreds, thousands, and millions of years and come face to face with extinct creatures, endangered species, the areas first inhabitants, past presidents, former park residents, and some of the park founders.  They travel deep into mountain hollows, up onto Talus mountain slopes, and discover more about Shenandoah than they ever imagined. 

They head out on the trail on a thrill packed journey that takes them to places beyond anything they could ever imagine. The story is sprinkled with notable facts about history, ecology and science about the park and its inhabitants.
They meet past presidents, Thomas Jefferson, Herbert Hoover and FDR.  Hug-a-Bug is thrilled to meet Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, at Rockfish Gap where he met to decide the location of the University of Virginia.  They fish with President Hoover & hike with First Lady Hoover at the original presidential retreat, Rapidan Camp.  They have lunch with FDR and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) boys in Big Meadow during one of FDR’s trips to Shenandoah to review the progress of the CCC program he created during the depression.
 They go back in time over 500 million years and swim in the ancient Lapetus Ocean.  They travel back in time 11,000 years and come face to face with a Wooly Mammoth and Paleo Indians.   They experience firsthand how the rock mountain tops crumbled due to the temperature change at the end of the ice age which created the Talus Slopes we see today.
They meet Appalachian Trail (AT) legend Myron Avery who supervised construction of the most famous footpath in the world and they meet several hikers walking the AT in Shenandoah on their journeys from Georgia to Maine.
They travel back in time and meet some of the people that lived in Shenandoah before it became a park.  They meet George Pollock, a colorful character who ran Stony Man resort which later became Skyland after the creation of the Park.  Pollock would go to extremes to provide entertainment to his guests. They learn about the legendary women of Skyland and Shenandoah.

Finally, they enter modern times and learn all about the endangered Shenandoah Salamander.  They experience stunning mountain top views and the raw beauty of the waterfalls strewn throughout the park.  They encounter bears, deer and other wildlife and discover more about Shenandoah than they ever imagined. 

About the Series:

The Adventures of Bubba Jones crisscrosses the country, taking youth and teens on an educational, time-travelling adventure through America’s beloved National Parks.  BubbaJones stories engage kids with wild animal encounters, interesting history, science, and the environment that will have your entire family excited to take their own National Park adventure. Book 1 is  The Adventures of Bubba Jones: Time Traveling Through the Great Smoky Mountains. 

Each Bubba Jones adventure story focuses on a different national park and is designed to teach young readers to have a healthy respect for the outdoors along with elements of personal self-confidence, empowerment, and overcoming the fear of the unknown.  The books contain a backpacking gear checklist for hiking and safety.  They focus on raising awareness, interest, and excitement in exploring and protecting our National Parks


This book series is aimed at kids ages 8-12 ( 3rd-7th grade), and this is the second book in it. 

If your kids loved the Magic Treehouse books, they will LOVE this series too! Miss Grace devoured the book, and loved being able to read about animals and the park. She then had to regale me with different facts from the story! I always count that as a plus. If your child can tell you everything from a book, then obviously it took hold of their imagination and they liked it! Miss Grace already wants all the rest of the books in the series. The illustrations help to break up the chapter reading and are totally kid worthy! This is a great series that your child will love reading, and you will love having them read (you just might want to read it too!).

If you are a homeschooling parent, you will want to pick up EVERY book in this series, to add to your science, history and reading curriculumns! There's even ways to add math and language! Each of the Bubba Jones books are filled with historical, ecological and scientific facts about the park in question, and its inhabitants, allowing you to use one book to cross spectrum topics. Plus if you add in a little hiking and on-hand science experiments, the education from the book will really take root! Plus each book includes a curriculum guide and discussion questions for each chapter, so it almost teaches your kids for you, LOL. With these books, you'll get books that are fun AND educational for your kids too.

About the Author:

Jeff Alt is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has been conducting family hiking programs in the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks for many years. He has walked the Appalachian Trail, the John Muir Trail with his wife, and he carried his 21-month old daughter across Ireland. When he and his wife Beth got married, they spent part of their honeymoon hiking.

Jeff has spent over a decade perfecting his ability to engage kids of all ages and grades to learn as a school based speech language pathologist. He has now combined his educational experience with his outdoor talents in writing the Adventures ofBubba Jones series. 

Jeff's children, family, and friends are the source of the fictional characters Bubba Jones, Hug-a-Bug, Papa Lewis, and the array of other characters you meet in The Adventures ofBubba Jones. Visit his website  for more info!

About the Illustrator:

Hannah Tuohy is a children's book illustrator based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Oklahoma State University and graduated with a BFA in graphic design, emphasizing illustration. Since graduating, Hannah has illustrated over a dozen children's books including No Sand in the HouseWondering and The Oyster's Secret. She is also a member of SCBWI. When she isn't busy working on commissions, Hannah spends her time filling up her sketchbook and brainstorming new story ideas with her husband, Justin. The Adventures of Bubba Jones is the first chapter book series Hannah has illustrated.


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