Cover image for The scrambled states of America
The scrambled states of America
Keller, Laurie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
The states become bored with their positions on the map and decide to change places for a while. Includes facts about the states.
Reading Level:
AD 510 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.4 0.5 31560.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.5 2 Quiz: 16164.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



At the first annual "states party," Virginia and Idaho hatch a plan to swap spots so each can see another part of the country. Before the party is over, all the states decide to switch places.

In the beginning, every state is happy in its new location. But soon things start to go wrong. Florida, who switches spots with Minnesota, is freezing in the frosty northern climate, and Minnesota hasn't brought sunscreen and is getting an awful sunburn. Will the states ever unscramble themselves and return to their proper places?

Packed with madcap humor and whimsical illustrations, this quirky story--starring all fifty states--is chock-full of introductory facts and silly antics that will make learning geography as much fun as taking a vacation.

This title has Common Core connections.

Author Notes

Laurie Keller is a designer and fine artist, and the illustrator of Marty Frye, Private Eye , by Janet Tashjian. Ms. Keller makes her picture-book debut with The Scrambled States of America .

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. Once upon a time, Kansas and Nebraska had a party. All the states came, put on name tags, and made friends. Soon they decided to change places with one another. Although the switch started out as an adventure, it ended up with a lot of unhappy states: Minnesota was sunburned, Florida was freezing, and Kansas was lonely and seasick out in the middle of the Pacific. So they all went back home, where they compared notes with their neighbors. The book ends with two large spreads featuring each smiling state, its capital, area, population, and nickname. The idea is original and the writing clever, but much of the book's fun comes in the illustrations, which depict the characters as distinctively state-shaped entities with expressive faces and tiny lines for arms and legs. Bright colors, humorous cartoon-style comments from the states, and the tongue-in-cheek tone of the text add appeal for the intended audience as well as for the adults who may be reading aloud. A lighthearted, yet informative introduction to 50 states. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Keller endows each of the 50 states with a unique personality and, as all of them develop a case of wanderlust, she presents geography lessons as clever quips exchanged across state lines," said PW in our Best Books citation. Ages 4-9. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-In this hilarious animated version of Laurie Keller's book (Holt, 2008), the idea for a talent show comes to New York in a dream. All of the states are enthusiastic participants-Minnesota does a magic act in which he saws South Dakota in half, Iowa tells corny jokes, Hawaii and Kansas dance the hula, and Kentucky plays the banjo and sings. The "New States on the Block"-a boy band featuring New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New Hampshire-steal the show with their song, "State of Love." The only problem is that Georgia has the shakes. Dr. Globe measures her square miles, temperature, and average yearly rainfall. After he x-rays her cities and counties and finds everything in order, his diagnosis is "stage fright." When the final act is introduced, Georgia and the other three state jugglers have barely begun when Georgia's peachy perfume prompts host Washington, DC, to sneeze, blowing Massachusetts off the stage. Director Indiana cries "the show must go on" and orders them to "Start juggling! Start juggling!" Georgia has no time to be afraid and the act is a hit. Keller's wacky cartoon illustratons come to life, while lively big band music and clever asides add to the fun. Other features include subtitles, quick state facts, and an interview with the author in which she refers to herself as the "patron saint of inanimate objects." Just as Keller likes to imagine what objects such as a donut would be like if it had feelings, students can make up their own stories featuring inanimate objects. Use this entertaining pick to enrich a state unit or before a school talent show.-Barbara Auerbach, P.S. 217, Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.