Nothing beats gathering around the flames to hear a tale. We asked librarians near national parks for their suggestions, and threw in one of our own.

Sunset  – September 8, 2004

While the kind of fire you can build depends on your wood,the principles involved don’t change. “The fire triangle is made upof three ingredients ― fuel, heat, and oxygen,” says JulieSidel, interpretive specialist at Big Basin. “Folks often forgetthat third ingredient.” Nothing beats gathering around the flamesto hear a tale. We asked librarians near national parks for theirsuggestions, and we threw in one of our own. (All are available at www.amazon.com.)

Campfire Stories: Things That Go Bump in the Night, byWilliam W. Forgey, M.D. (Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT, 1985;$12). Original, classic stories of adventure and ghosts, each easyto memorize for retelling.

My Life in Dog Years, by Gary Paulsen (Bantam Doubleday Dell, New York, 1998; $16).The famed author of adventure tales reflects on the canines in hislife (you’ll love Caesar) in a series of entertaining stand-alonechapters.

Ready-to-Tell Tales: Sure-Fire Stories from America’sFavorite Storytellers, edited by David Holt and Bill Mooney(August House, Little Rock, AR, 1994; $20). Forty professionalstorytellers share stories guaranteed to work in front of the mostdemanding audiences.

Stories for Around the Campfire, by Ray Harriot (Campfire Publishing Company, Laurel, MD,1986; $7.95). A collection of humorous, ghost, adventure, foreign,and Native American stories handpicked by camp directors.