roller coaster

12 Exhilarating Kids' Books about Roller Coasters

the pigeon will ride the roller coaster

The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster!

Mo Willem's has another winner to add to his best-selling Pigeon books! In this zany story, Pigeon's body language humorously conveys the wide range of emotions that comes with riding a roller coaster. Waiting in a long line while experiencing a mix of anxiety, excitement, fear, and exhilaration, Pigeon is ready to burst. Sparse bubble text punctuated with some surprisingly big words make this book especially fun to read aloud.


roller coaster

Thrilling Roller Coaster Picture Books

Roller coasters are fascinating rides that elicit a wide range of emotions, oftentimes a blend of excitement, fear, nervousness, and exhilaration. Families flock to amusement parks, taking a break from swimming and other summertime activities, seeking out the the tallest, fastest rides that will give them a thrill. The fear triggers the release of endorphins that gives some passengers a natural high, and a desire to ride the coaster over and over again. For others, the nerves get the better of them, sometimes before they even make it to the front of the line. Fortunately, everyone can enjoy reading about these fun attractions. Kids will have a lot of fun comparing roller coaster they have ridden with the rides featured in these stories.


roller coaster

Roller Coaster

A picture paints a thousand words. Such is the case in this entertaining story about a group of passengers getting ready to ride a thrilling roller coaster. The text graces the pages in clever font, mirroring the slow climbs and fast descents of a speedy thrill ride. But the real entertainment and amusement can be found by examining the faces of all the people before, during, and after their adventure. Kids will discover new details every time they read this funny, fast-paced picture book.



 amazing structures roller coasters

Amazing Structures: Roller Coasters

 Readers are given a basic lesson in physics as they learn about how rollercoasters are constructed. This non-fiction book is filled with colorful photographs that depict gravity-defying movement across tracks high in the sky. A solid choice for young children interested in how things work, perhaps even providing inspiration for a career in engineering. Lots of activities and discussion material included in the last few pages.




the thrills and chills of amusement parks

The Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks

A fast and fun read about the science behind all the rides at amusement parks. Some advanced topics are introduced to readers who will learn all about motion, momentum, and gravity. There are some fun quizzes and activities in the back to test readers on their knowledge. Vocabulary is easy enough for emerging readers to decipher, and the physics and engineering concepts will challenge bright minds.




the roller coaster ride

The Roller-Coaster Ride

A little boy and his daredevil grandma are headed out for an exciting day. They have plans to spend time at the beach. But more importantly, there is a rollercoaster right by the ocean that they plan on riding together. There are lots of fun moments captured in this book about a day of adventure at an amusement park.




the biggest roller coaster

The Biggest Roller Coaster

A leveled reader book that is just right for kids who love amusement park rides. Fritz and Franny, a pair of fox siblings, along with their dog, Fred, excitedly explore the park in search of the biggest, scariest, fastest ride. When they come across the roller coaster, they anxiously wait in line for their turn to ride. A fast, fun read with short paragraphs and fun illustrations that capture the joy kids feel when aboard their favorite thrill ride.



 kingda ka roller coaster

Kingda Ka Roller Coaster

When Kingda Ka first opened to the public in 2005, it was considered the most ambitious roller coaster engineering feat to date. The Six Flags theme park in New Jersey made headlines for the breathtaking, heart-stopping rider that attracted thrill-seekers from around the country. This picture book will fascinate budding engineers who will get a behind-the-scenes look at this amazing structure. Kids will learn how it was constructed and the many challenges the engineers had to overcome in order to design a safe, record-breaking roller coaster.



when amelia earhart built a roller coaster

When Amelia Earhart Built a Roller Coaster

Everyone knows Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Little readers will love getting a sneak peak into her life as a little girl. She was born with an adventurous spirit and unbridled curiosity to learn, invent, and explore the world. Amelia played football, played endlessly along the river bluffs, and even built her very own roller coaster. An fantastic introductory book about one of the most historic figures associated with flight.




r is for roller coaster

R is for Roller Coaster

This ABC book takes readers on an exhilarating ride. The author, a roller coaster expert and enthusiast, shares her passion for these rides with readers. Kids will learn engineering terminology, the words for parts of the ride, and how these machines are designed. Full color photography brings the experience of this thrill ride to life!  The most impressive coasters are captured in motion, perhaps causing stomachs to lurch, hearts to race, and palms to sweat even from the comfort of the couch at home.




world's fastest roller coasters

World's Fastest Roller Coasters

Every roller coaster enthusiast will enjoy reading this book chock full of history and facts. This non-fiction book has thirty pages filled with short paragraphs just right for beginner readers. It covers fascinating information about the origins of the roller coaster and the way technology has progressed through the years. Glossy photos capture people riding the biggest, fastest, scariest roller coaster around the world.



the berenstain bears ride the thunderbolt

The Berenstain Bears Ride the Thunderbolt

This easy reader book will whisk kids away for a day of fantastic fun at Bear Country Amusement Park. Vibrant pictures capture the expressive faces of the Bear family as they experience the thrill of riding a big roller coaster. Minimal bold text makes it easy for emerging readers to finish this book independently, preferably before a fun visit to a nearby amusement park! 



 braver than brave 

Braver Than Brave

 Wanda is tired of always living in the shadow of her bigger, much braver brother. The day finally comes when she can prove that she is not a little scaredy-cat. The siblings are visiting an amusement park famous for its rollercoaster- the Coaster of Doom. Will Wanda have the courage to buckle up for the frightening climbs, drops, and loops of this thrill ride? Or will she chicken out like always? A fun book for kids with valuable lessons about the definition of bravery and staying true to yourself.

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roller coaster


Mind-Blowing Facts About Roller Coasters for Kids

Roller coasters are remarkable engineering feats that have evolved quite dramatically over time. These thrill rides are the main attraction at amusement parks around the world. After passengers buckle themselves safely into their seats, they are whisked away on an adventure that is over in the blink of an eye. In a few short minutes, riders endure slow, agonizing climbs followed by stomach-lurching drops. They are sent around loop-the-loops, through dark tunnels, and along twisting tracks that defy gravity. Curious, thrill-seeking readers will find these roller coaster facts good food for thought next time they are ready to jump aboard a ride. 

The Very First Rollercoaster: Switchback Gravity Railway


switchback roller coaster


  • The purpose of the first roller coaster was to distract people from the saloons and brothels that were taking over. In the 1800s, LaMarcus Adna Thompson designed the first ride that was intended to be an escape from the stranglehold of Satan. The roller coaster took passengers on a scenic, wholesome, enjoyable tour where they could enjoy the scenery below.
  • The ride, called the Switchback Gravity Railway, was built on Coney Island and cost a whopping 5 cents to ride. It brought in about $600 per day, which is equal to $15,000 in present-day dollars.
  • You may be surprised to learn that this very first rollercoaster moved very slowly across the tracks. Top speeds were clocked at 5 miles per hour. Not a very exciting ride by today's standards, but nonetheless a marvel in its day! 
Think Rollercoasters Have Engines? Guess again!


roller coaster


  • Rollercoasters are not powered by engines like other rides at the amusement park. Rather, they operate based on the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy. In other words, when rollercoasters fly down a steep decline, they gain a substantial amount of kinetic energy that keeps the cars moving up subsequent inclines. Once that energy is exhausted, the coaster reaches a state of potential energy. Then it enters another gravity-inducing drop where it's kinetic energy is restored. 
  • But how do rollercoasters make the first first climb along the tracks? Well, that agonizingly slow progression up a steep slope is accomplished by using a cable or a lift to pull the cart up the tracks. While this is happening, the train will be building up a supply of potential energy to help propel it down the tracks.


Kingda Ka is the World's Tallest Rollercoaster


kingda ka


  • Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey is home to the tallest rollercoaster built to date. It's peak reaches a mind-blowing 456 feet into the sky, which is enough to make those on the ground quiver just looking at it. 
  • Built in 2005, this record-breaking rollercoaster cost a whopping $25 million to build.
  • In order to successfully climb the 90-degree steep slope, the cars accelerate from 0 to 128 miles per hour about 3.5 seconds. And then after reaching the top, riders are treated to a dizzying 270-degree spiral to the bottom!


More Children's Picture Books for Adventure Seekers 

Soaring Airplane Stories

Exciting Pirate Tales at Sea

Speedy Ski Picture Books

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