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Books for Children and Young Adults about Wisconsin People, Places, and Topics of Interest

©1996-2009 Cooperative Children's Book Center

Last Updated: October 30, 2017

This listing features books published from 1996 to the present that have been received by the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) and are about Wisconsin-related topics. Books designated "CCBC CHOICE" at the end of the citation are recommended by the CCBC.

The list is arranged in the following categories:

  • General Books about Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin People

  • Wisconsin Places

  • Wisconsin Topics

  • Fiction Set in Wisconsin


  • For a comprehensive listing of books about Wisconsin's American Indian nations, see the CCBC bibliography Native Peoples of Wisconsin.

    General Books about Wisconsin


    Butler, Dori Hillestad. ABCs of Wisconsin. Illustrated by Alison Relyea.
    Wisconsin Trails (P.O. Box 5650, Madison, WI 53705), 2000. 32 pages (0-915024-79-9) CCBC CHOICE

    An alphabetical parade of Wisconsin children cleverly uses alliteration to give a strong sense of place: "Andrew awakes on the Apostle Islands. / Becky and Ben buy a Badger. / Courtney counts cows. / David discovers the Dells." Engaging watercolor illustrations show children of diverse ethnic backgrounds playfully enjoying their Wisconsin home. (Ages 3-7)

    Butler, Dori Hillestad. W Is for Wisconsin. Illustrated by Eileen Dawson.
    Wisconsin Trails (P.O. Box 5650, Madison, WI 53705), 1998. 32 pages (0-915024-62-4) CCBC CHOICE

    For each letter of the alphabet, presented in both written and sign language, the author presents information about Wisconsin: A is for the Apostle Islands, P is for the Peshtigo Fire, and Y is for the Yerkes Observatory in Lake Geneva. The narrative for each letter is accompanied by a color illustration that incorporates Wisconsin cities beginning with that letter. (Ages 8-12)

    Dornfeld, Margaret. Wisconsin. (It's My State!)
    Benchmark Books / Marshall Cavendish, 2003. 78 pages (0-7614-1524-6)

    Part of series on the 50 states, this nonfiction book provides historical and contemporary information about Wisconsin. Subjects covered include state government, local resources and industry, and "Famous Wisconsinites." (Ages 7-11)

    Gamble, Adam, and Mark Jasper. Good Night Wisconsin. Illustrated by Cooper Kelly.
    Our World of Books, 2012. 20 pages (978-1-60219-064-1)

    A bedtime board book that takes children both on a tour of Wisconsin places and attractions (the State Capitol, Lambeau Field, the Wisconsin Dells, and others) and through the course of a day – from morning on a dairy farm to evening at a lighthouse on the shores of Lake Michigan. (Ages 2-5)

    Heinrichs, Ann. Wisconsin. (This Land is Your Land)
    Compass Point Books, 2003. 48 pages
    (0-7565-0328-0)

    Wisconsin's geography, government, history, local landmarks and famous residents are presented in a short and easy text, accompanied by color photographs. (Ages 7-10)

    Holliday, Diane Young and Bobbie Malone. Digging and Discovery: Wisconsin Archaeology.
    State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1997. 80 pages (pbk: 0-87020-291-X)

    A booklet illustrated with unique visual information demonstrates the discipline of archaeology and informs readers about past centuries in the region of North America now known as Wisconsin. According to a publication announcement "it moves readers from the glacial times of the Paleo-Indians, to the stratified socieites of the Woodland era, through the historic maneuvers of French, British, and ultimately US settlers." (Ages 7-11)

    James, Eric. The Spooky Express Wisconsin.
    Illustrated by Marcin Piwowarski. Jabberwocky / Sourcebooks, 2017. 36 pages
    (978-0-7385-2849-6)

    Two children jump aboard the Spooky Express, an airborne Halloween train and travel the state passing through Wisconsin landmarks such as Milwaukee, Madison, and the Cave of the Mounds. (Ages 3-7)

    Jerome, Kate B. The Wise Animal Handbook: Wisconsin.
    Arcadia Kids, 2017. 32 pages
    (978-1-4926-5412-4)

    Words of wisdom to help one live a happy life. Animal pictures paired with each quote. Three coloring pages of Wisconsin animals in the back of the book. (Ages 5-10)

    Lantier, Patricia. Wisconsin. (Portraits of the States)
    Gareth Stevens, 2006. 32 pages (0-8368-4638-9)

    This brief overview of Wisconsin's history, people, land, economy, and government includes facts about the state's symbols and famous people. (Ages 6-9)

    Magsamen, Sandra. I Love Wisconsin: An ABC Adventure.
    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2016. 32 pages. (978-1-4926-2840-9)
    An alphabetical tour of the state that assigns a Wisconsin landmark, attraction, or other defining feature to each letter, along with short, descriptive rhyming lines. (Ages 4-7)

    Malone, Bobby. Learning from the Land: Wisconsin Land Use. (The New Badger History Series) Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011. 160 pages (978-0-87020-464-7)
    Describes the landscape of Wisconsin both before and after it became a state, and illustrates how people throughout Wisconsin's history have interacted with it. This revised and expanded second edition includes new material on organic agriculture, farmers' markets, and community and urban gardens. (Ages 8-12)

    Malone, Bobby and Kori Oberle. Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story.
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2008. 246 pages (978-0-87020-378-7)

    This textbook published by the Wisconsin Historical Society describes the physical and social forces that have shaped Wisconsin's history from the Ice Age to the current day. Twelve color-coded chapters are each prefaced with a series of "Thinking Like a Historian" questions designed to engage students with the content within. Generously illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs, maps, drawings, and timelines and including a glossary of key terms. (Ages 9-13)

    Malone, Bobbie. Working with Water: Wisconsin Waterways. (The New Badger History Series)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2001. 82 pages (0-87020-329-0)

    This educational text focuses on the many waterways within the state of Wisconsin, both historically and at the present time, as used for transportation, industry, agriculture, and recreation. (Ages 9-12)

    Silvano, Wendi. Love Is All Around Wisconsin.
    Illustrated by Joanna Czernichowska.
    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2016. 32 pages. (978-1-4926-2975-8)
    This book explores the many ways in which love can be seen throughout Wisconsin. A girls tucks her teddy bear into bed, a boy plays with his dog, fans cheer for their team at Lambeau Field, but the greatest love is the love of family. (Ages 3-6)

    Wargin, Kathy-jo. B is for Badger: A Wisconsin Alphabet. Illustrated by Renée Graef.
    Sleeping Bear Press / Thomson Gale, 2004. 40 pages (1-58536135-6)

    Each letter of the alphabet is assigned a Wisconsin connection, described in a few rhyming lines, such as "And D is for Dairy cow / grazing afar. / "America's Dairyland" / is what we are." An accompanying paragraph provides additional information about the highlighted subject; for example, Wisconsin was the first state to produce Colby and Brick cheeses from its dairy cows. (Ages 6-10)

    Wisconsin. (One Nation) Capstone Press, 2002. 48 pages (0-7368-1275-X)
    This newly revised and updated edition provides an easy overview of Wisconsin's history, geography, economy and residents. Appendices include a short list of relevant internet sites and tourist attraction addresses. (Ages 7-9)

    Wisconsin for Kids by Kids. Written and illustrated by the students of Winnequah Middle School.
    Winnequah Middle School (800 Greenway Road, Monona, WI 53716), 1998. 82 pages (0-9667981-0-4)

    Winnequah Middle School students illustrate Wisconsin's history and its famous people and places in words and pictures. From the Peshtigo fire, to the International Crane Foundation, to Harry Houdini, learn what makes Wisconsin unique. (Ages 8-12)

    Zeinert, Karen, and Joyce Hart. Wisconsin. (Celebrate the States)
    Marshall Cavendish, 2007. 144 pages (0-7614-2157-2)

    Subjects in this formula series entry include the geography, history, population, government, economy and regional landmarks of the state of Wisconsin. (Ages 9-12)

    Wisconsin People


    Adare, Sierra. Ojibwe. (Native American Peoples)
    Gareth Stevens, 2003. 32 pages (0-8368-3667-7)

    Part of a formulaic series of informational books about Native American peoples, this volume offers a brief historical and contemporary overview of Ojibwe life, illustrated with photographs and line drawings.

    Adkins, Jan. Frank Lloyd Wright: A Twentieth Century Life. (Up Close)
    Viking, 2007. 301 pages (0–670–06138–7) CCBC CHOICE
    This exciting and eloquent biography offers a refreshing examination of the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, legendary architect. The introduction of the book reads like an introduction to the man himself—Adkins’ vivid descriptions and helpful historical contexts make it seem as though we are meeting Mr. Wright at one of his infamous parties rather than through the pages of a book. A captivating character, the author shows Frank Lloyd Wright as a phenomenon whose work impacted the way we interact with buildings and spaces. The word rogue is introduced to show additional dimensions of Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence. As one kind of rogue, Wright was liar and scoundrel who manipulated facts and figures his whole life through. Rogue can also mean beggar, and Wright was constantly in debt, both personally and professionally, despite his success. Wright was a mesmerizing and talented person—a master trickster who got exactly what he wanted—yet another definition of rogue. An architect of words, Adkins offers a highly engaging look at one of America’s most notable, and controversial, figures. (Age 12 and older)

    Adler, David A. and Michael S. Adler. A Picture Book of Harry Houdini. Illustrated by Matt Collins.
    Holiday House, 2009. 32 pages (978-0-8234-2059-9)

    Vivid color illustrations accompany the story of the rise of illusionist Harry Houdini from a poor shoe shiner to one of history’s most celebrated escape artists. (Ages 5-10)

    Anderson, William. Laura's Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    HarperCollins, 1998. 80 pages (0-06-027842-0) CCBC CHOICE

    This biographical narrative is arranged in chapters covering ten-year increments beginning with the decade when Laura Ingalls Wilder's parents first met and married in Wisconsin in the 1850s and ending with Laura's death in 1957. The album is laid out on pages that are decorated with photographs of Laura and her family, greeting cards, letters, postcards and other memorabilia related to her life and the times in which she lived. (Age 9 and older)

    Anderson, William. Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Illustrated by Dan Andreasen.
    HarperCollins, 1998. 32 pages (0-06-027243-0)

    This picture book recounts the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, from her birth in Pepin, Wisconsin, to her many travels across the Great Plains as a child, to her life as a wife and mother, to her years as a writer in Mansfield, Missouri. (Ages 6-8)

    Anderson, William. Prairie Girl: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Illustrated by Renée Graef.
    HarperCollins, 2004. 74 pages (0-06-028974-0)
    A biography of author Laura Ingalls Wilder highlights experiences from her autobiographical books and also some of the life events not included in her well-known accounts of her childhood and adolescence in Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota during the mid-1800s. The author tells of Laura's adulthood in Missouri and her career as a writer. (Ages 7-11)

    Andrews, Elain. Dick Cheney: A Life in Public Service.
    Millbrook, 2001. (A Gateway Biography) 48 pages (0-7613-2306-6)

    A formula biography of the vice president who attended the University of Wisconsin for a year and worked briefly for Wisconsin Governor Warren P. Knowles. (Ages 7-10)

    Apps, Jerry. Tents, Tigers, and the Ringling Brothers. (Badger Biographies)
    Wisconsin Historical Society, 2007. 114 pages (0-87020-374-6)
    A biography of the Ringling brothers, who realized their childhood dream of owning a circus. This book tells how they started the business in Wisconsin and went on to gain nationwide fame. Nearly every page is illustrated with a black-and-white photograph or handbill. A timeline, glossary, and reading guide are provided at the end of the volume. (Ages 9-13)

    Atkins, Jeannine. Girls Who Looked Under Rocks. Illustrated by Paula Conner.
    Dawn Publications, 2000. 63 pages. (1-584690-11-9) CCBC CHOICE

    Profiles of six women who were eager and enthusiastic observers of nature from the time they were children, and who all grew up to be naturalists who made significant contributions to science. From the time she was young, each woman had a passion she ultimately could not ignore, despite the obstacles that gender, class, and family expectations cast in her way. The profiles in this paperback collection, illustrated in black and white, are arranged chronologically. They include Maria Sibylla Merian (17th century); Ann Botsford Comstock (19th century); and four women of the 20th century: Frances Hamerstrom (who spent most of her adult life studying birds in Wisconsin and documenting the causes of extinction), Rachel Carson, Miriam Rothschild, and Jane Goodall. (Ages 8-11)

    Barnes, Pete. Richard Bong: World War II Flying Ace.
    (Badger Biographies) Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2009. 113 pages (978-0-87020-434-0)

    This Badger Biography from the Wisconsin Historical Society is about Richard Bong, a northern Wisconsin native who flew a P-38 Lightning for the Army Air Force in World War II. His flying skills earned him the nickname “Ace of Aces.” (Ages 8-12)

    Bausum, Ann. Dragon Bones and Dinosaur Eggs: A Photobiography of Roy Chapman Andrews.
    Photographs from the American Museum of Natural History.
    National Geographic Society, 2000. 64 pages (0-7922-7123-8) CCBC CHOICE

    An objective account of the compelling life of naturalist and adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews who was born in Beloit in 1884, where he lived until he graduated from Beloit College in 1906. The man who made history himself because of his intrepid spirit, unparalled explorations, and subsequent fossil discoveries in Mongolia between 1922 and 1930 is widely believed to have been the model for the movie hero, Indiana Jones (Age 8 and older)

    Bausum, Ann. Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg
    on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement.

    National Geographic Society, 2006. 79 pages (0-7922-4173-8)
    CCBC CHOICE
    Ann Bausum focuses on John Lewis and Jim Zwerg, two young men involved in the Freedom Rides as part of the Civil Rights Movement in 1961. Jim Zwerg grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin, and a portion of the book is devoted to his early years there. (Ages 11-15)

    Blum, Hallie Lou Whitefield. Hallie Lou's Scrapbook: Memories of Madison.
    Historic Madison (P.O. Box 2721, Madison, WI 53701), 1996. 92 pages

    Hallie Lou's memoir for a young audience begins when she was born in 1916 in Madison. Abundantly illustrated with archival photographs, this handsomely produced booklet can serve as one model for the many personal stories that might be told and published as outcomes of the state's sesquicentennial. (Ages 8-11)

    Bradley, James. Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima. Written by James Bradley with Ron Powers.
    Adapted for young people by Michael French. Delacorte, 2001. 211 pages (0-385-72932-4)

    Originally written for an adult audience, Flags of Our Fathers has been adapted for young adult readers. The author tells of the six men immortalized in the famous photo of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during World War II, including the author's father who grew up in Antigo and Appleton, telling briefly of their lives before the war and then focusing on the military events in the Pacific in February, 1945, and their aftermath. (Age 14 and older)

    Bryant, Jen. Georgia's Bones. Illustrated by Bethanne Andersen.
    Eerdmans, 2005. 32 pages (0-689-83267-2)

    This picture book biography of artist Georgia O'Keefe describes her lifelong fascination with the shapes of common objects, including the flowers, leaves, sticks, and stones found on the Wisconsin farm of her childhood. (Ages 6-10)

    Burleigh, Robert. The Secret of the Great Houdini. Illustrated by Leonid Gore.
    Atheneum, 2002. 40 pages (0-689-83267-2)

    What is Harry Houdini's secret? A small boy wonders as he waits with nervous anticipation for the great escape artist to perform his latest feat. Young Sam wonders how Houdini can possibly escape from the trunk in which he's locked at the bottom of a river. But he does escape, emerging triumphant. In search of answers, Sam turns to his Uncle Ezra, who says, "maybe you shouldn't worry so much about his secet...What's really important is finding your secret–something that becomes like a seed inside you–that will grow as you grow up." Author Robert Burleigh also offers Houdini's feats as a metaphor for more than just physical freedom in in text meant to represent Houdini's own thoughts: "I am Houdini. I am the one who nothing can contain. I free myself." (Ages 7-10)

    Byrnes, Patricia. Environmental Pioneers. (Profiles)
    Oliver Press, 1998. 160 pages (1-881508-45-5)

    Provides a brief overview of the American environmental movement, and profiles eight figures who played major roles in that movement, including John Muir and Aldo Leopold. (Ages 11-14)

    Cha, Dia. Dia's Story Cloth: The Hmong People's Journey to Freedom.
    Story cloth stitched by Chue and Nhia Thao Cha.
    Denver Museum of Natural History/Lee & Low (95 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016), 1996. 24 pages (1-880000-34-2) CCBC CHOICE

    From a refugee camp in Thailand, Dia Cha's aunt and uncle, Chue and Nhia Thao Cha, sent her the story cloth that is the inspiration and the centerpiece for this important book about the Hmong. The cloth they stitched depicts the history of the Hmong, whose culture reaches back thousands of years to China, and stretches from Asia to North America, where over 100,000 Hmong have settled in the years since the Vietnam War (including many in Wisconsin). Hmong means "free people," Dia writes in her introduction. Dia's Story Cloth includes a discussion of Hmong history, culture and artistic traditions by the Curator of Ethnology at the Denver Museum of Natural History. (Ages 8-11)

    Cohen, Sheila. Mai Ya's Long Journey. (Badger Biographies)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2005. 80 pages. (0-87020-365-7)
    CCBC CHOICE
    Born in a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand in 1980, Mai Ya and her family came to the United States-settling in Madison-in 1987. The narrative touches on ways Mai Ya, her family, and other Hmong have adapted many traditional customs and practices to life in the United States. Mai Ya has worked to balance her roles as a Hmong daughter and American teen. She continues that balancing act in her adulthood. She is the first girl in her family to attend and finish college, consciously rejecting the cultural practice of marrying young, but as an adult Mai Ya has also dedicated significant time to helping Hmong children and teens feel connected to and proud of their culture. (Ages 8-12)

    Cohen, Sheila Terman. Gaylord Nelson: Champion for Our Earth. (Badger Biographies)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2010. 109 pages. (978-0-87020-443-2)

    This biography of former Wisconsin governor Gaylord Nelson focuses on his childhood and his political drive during the 1950s to protect the environment with efforts such as clean air laws and the creation of Earth Day on April 22. Large text with liberally applied pictures, as well as a timeline, glossary, and reading discussion guide make Nelson's life easily accessible for young readers. (Ages 8-12)

    Cohen, Shelia Terman. Sterling North and the Story of Rascal. (Badger Biographies)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2015. 119 pages (978-87020-735-8)

    Sterling North and the Story of Rascal from the Badger Biographies Series from the Wisconsin Historical Society tells the story of this famous Wisconsin author and his unusual raccoon pet. North spent most of his life in Edgerton, Wisconsin, developing a strong connection to the natural world that would influence his writing throughout his life. This end matter includes discussion questions, glossary, and detailed index while bolded vocabulary in the text is accompanied by footnote definitions. (Ages 7-12)

    Collins, Carolyn Strom and Christina Wyss Eriksson. Inside Laura's Little House: The Little House on the Prairie Treasury.
    Illustrated by Garth Williams and Cathy Holly. HarperCollins, 2000. 104 pages. (0-06-027827-7)

    What was life on the prairie really like? This book offers insight into the Little House series, providing historical context, recipes, crafts, and songs. Readers will learn about food, dress, and lifestyle of the quintessential pioneer girl. Includes a biography of Laura with photographs, plus a bibliography and index. (Ages 8 and up)

    Collins, Carolyn Strom and Christina Wyss Eriksson.The World of the Little House. Illustrations by Deborah Maze and Garth Williams.
    HarperCollins, 1996. 150 pages (0-06-024422-4)

    This helpful compendium contains background information about life in each of the houses occupied by Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family as well as recipes and other activities related to each book. Family trees are included as is information about the real Laura for contrast with the stories she wrote about herself. A fine bibliography is included along with a time line showing events during the decades in which the books are set. (Ages 9-adult)

    Conn, Kathe Crowley. Juliette Kinzie: Frontier Storyteller. (Badger Biography Series)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2015. 126 pages (978-0-87020-701-3)

    In 1830, at the age of 24, Juliette Kinzie left her comfortable Connecticut home for the Northwest Territory, where her husband, John Kinzie, was the Indian Agent at Fort Winnebago, in what would become the state of Wisconsin. From a young age, Juliette had a thirst for adventure, and she embraced her new life, getting to know both the Ho-Chunk Indians who lived nearby and the non-Indian settlers moving to the area. She recorded her observations and experiences in letters to family and friends, and in her drawings; years later, having settled in Chicago, she wrote a first-person account of her frontier experience, Wau-Bun: The Early Day in the North-West. A bestseller when it was published, her memoir preserved the stories of the early settlers and the Indians for future generations. It also inspired her granddaughter, Juliette Gordon Low, to found the Girl Scouts of America, an organization dedicated to encouraging girls to be self-sufficient, resourceful, and community-minded. (Ages 8-12)

    Cornell, Joseph. John Muir: My Life with Nature. (A Sharing Nature with Children Book)
    Dawn Publications, 2000. 79 pages. (pbk. 1-58469-009-7)

    A narrative based on the writings of John Muir captures his enthusiasm and appreciation for the natural world. Author Cornell, himself a naturalist, has written his biographical narrative in Muir's first-person voice. "I have told his story as if he were alive, using his own words and colorful expressions as often as possible," Cornell writes. Lyrical descriptions reflect Muir's celebration of and respect for nature. A series of suggested activities written directly to children at the end of the book invite them to read, write, think and observe. (Ages 8-11)

    Cox, Clinton. Houdini: Master of Illusion.
    Scholastic Press, 2001. 194 pages (0-590-94960-8)

    This biography of the famous magician Harry Houdini chronicles his life from his Wisconsin childhood to his death in 1926, highlighting his famous escape acts and his crusade to debunk fraudulent spiritualists of the era. (Ages 9-12)

    Davis, Frances A. Frank Lloyd Wright: Maverick Architect.
    Lerner, 1996. 128 pages (0-8225-4953-0) CCBC CHOICE

    This straightforward account of Wright's life focuses on his innovative work as an architect but it doesn't shy away from describing the ups and downs of his personal and professional life. Numerous black-and white photographs of the man and his work accompany the well-researched text. Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, grew up in Madison, and established a working residence in Spring Green. (Ages 11-16)

    Ehlert, Lois. Under My Nose. Photographs by Carlo Ontal. (Meet the Author)
    Richard C. Owen, 1996. 32 pages (1-57274-027-2) CCBC CHOICE

    Children acquainted with artist Lois Ehlert's books realize she loves color, flowers, color, birds, color, being out of doors, color, the changing seasons, color....This slim little book allows a peek at some of Ehlert's childhood family pictures. Color photos show Ehlert at work in her studio and outside in Milwaukee, where she lives near Lake Michigan, and much more. The steps involved in creating a book are shown and summarized. They learn about Ehlert's interest in Latin American folk art, her advice to young artists and writers, and her love of children and books for children. Organized like other books in the same series, Under My Nosecontains an inviting format, easy reading and an inside view of a popular artist and author. (Ages 7-12)

    Fifield, Lisa. Bears Make Rock Soup. Paintings by Lisa Fifield. Written by Lise Erdrich.
    Children's Book Press, 2002. 32 pages (0-89239-172-3) CCBC CHOICE

    Artist Lisa Fifield, an enrolled member of the Wisconsin Oneida Nation, shares paintings that reflect her "vision of people and animals helping each other." Her work features Native peoples interacting with creatures of the natural world in scenes that reflect the sense of balance that occurs when the two are in harmony. Writer Lise Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Plains Ojibway, has written brief, single-page stories to accompany each of Fifield's paintings. (Ages 7-10)

    Fleischman, Sid. Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini.
    Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2006. 210 pages (0–06–085094–9) CCBC CHOICE

    Sid Fleischman’s energetic, enthusiastic narrative style in this biography of Harry Houdini cleverly makes use of hyperbole to suggest the showmanship that had a large part to do with making Houdini famous. Fleischman describes the illusions that Houdini created both on and off the stage as he packaged his life for public consumption while carefully guarding truths he felt wouldn’t sell, or were nobody’s business. Fleischman, a fellow magician, approaches his subject with great appreciation and understanding. Occasionally inserting himself into the narrative, he makes it a point to never reveal the secrets behind Houdini’s on-stage magic, while illuminating his subject’s life with relish. The result is an engaging, informative biography with a smoke-and-mirrors feel that some readers will find irresistible. Black-and-white photographs and playbill reproductions illustrate the volume. (Ages 10–14)

    Fortin, Donna. A Wild Flight of Imagination: The Story of Jane Addams, Julia Grace Wales, and the First International Women's Congress at the Hague, Holland in 1915.
    Bread and Peace Publishing, 2008. 249 pages (978-1-4196-8251-3)

    The story of Julia Grace Wales, English instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her friendship and political partnership with Jane Addams, peace activist and founder of Hull House. Uses letters, newspaper articles, diary entries, and reconstructed conversations to recount Wales’ work for the First International Women’s Congress at Hauge, Holland, in 1915. (Ages 12-16)

    Giblin, James Cross. The Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy.
    Clarion / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. 294 pages (978-0-618-61058-7)

    This biography by award-winning author James Cross Giblin tells the story of Wisconsin Republican Joe McCarthy, his rise to political power, his controversial push to remove suspected Communists from positions of authority, and his ultimate downfall at the hands of the United States government. (Age 14 and older)

    Gibson, Karen Bush. The Potawatomi. (Native Peoples)
    Bridgestone Books / Capstone Press, 2003. 24 pages (0-7368-1368-3)

    Part of a formulaic series, this book briefly examines Potawatomi history; people; home, food and clothing; government; family; religion; "The Three Fires"; and gatherings. Each two-page spread features a full-page photograph and one page of text devoted to one of the topics. (Ages 5-8)

    Gormley, Beatrice. Laura Ingalls Wilder: Young Pioneer. Illustrated by Meryl Henderson.
    (Childhood of Famous Americans) Aladdan, 2001. 221 pages (pbk. 0-689-83924-3)

    A biography of author Laura Ingalls Wilder for older elementary school readers relates her life story, from her childhood years in Kansas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and the Dakota Territory through her adulthood. The book highlights her life's similarities and differences to its portrayal in the Little House books. (Ages 9-12)

    Hintz, Martin. Wisconsin Portraits: 55 People Who Made a Difference.
    Trail Books (P.O. Box 317, Black Earth, WI 53515), 2000. 113 pages (0-915024-80-2)

    From explorer to artist (Jean Nicolet, Georgia O'Keeffe), writer to warrior (Edna Ferber, Black Hawk), actor to astronaut (Spencer Tracy, Jim Lovell), this eclectic gathering features brief profiles of 55 individuals born and raised in Wisconsin or who lived and worked in the state over the past 400 years. The focus is primarily on people who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries and many, such as Harry Houdini, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, are widely known within the state and beyond as standouts in their fields. Others, such as former Circuit Court Justice and Secretary of State Vel Phillips and activist Ada Deer, are less well known in broader circles but no less outstanding in their accomplishments. From the noteworthy (Zona Gale, Aldo Leopold, Al Jarreau) to the occasionally notorious (Joseph McCarthy), this trip through state history provides plenty of interesting points–or rather people–along the way. (Ages 10-14)

    Hitzeroth, Deborah. The Importance of Golda Meir.
    Lucent, 1998. 111 pages (1-56006-090-5)

    The struggle to establish Israel as the Jewish homeland and the nation's early years are woven into this portrait of the Israeili prime minister who spent much of her childhood and early adulthood in Milwaukee after her family emigrated from Russia. Includes black-and-white photographs, notes, and index. (Ages 9-13)

    Holliday, Diane Young. Mountain Wolf Woman: A Ho-Chunk Girlhood. (Badger Biographies)
    Wisconsin Historical Society, 2007. 78 pages (0-87020-381-9)
    This biography follows Mountain Wolf Woman’s life from birth to death while providing background information on her family and the Ho-Chunk nation. Boxed captions also give brief explanations of various aspects of Ho-Chunk culture, such as clans, medicine, and mat-making. Black-and-white drawings and photos accompany the text. A timeline, glossary, and reading guide are included at the end of the book. (Ages 9-12)

    Hunt, Nancy Nye. Aldo Leopold's Shack: Nina's Story. (Center Books on American Places)
    Center for American Places, 2011. 81 pages (978-1-935195-17-7)
    In 1935, Aldo Leopold and his wife purchased a run-down 80-acre farm near Baraboo, Wisconsin, and with their five children undertook the work of restoring the land to health. Told from the perspective of Leopold's oldest daughter, Nina, Hunt's nonfiction narrative describes how the family spent weekends and holidays living in the farm's one remaining building – an old chicken coop they fixed up and fondly called "the Shack." Their experiences and the close observations of nature they recorded in the "Shack Journals" would become the basis for Leopold's classic work on conservation, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There. Throughout the book, historic black-and-white Leopold family photographs are juxtaposed with images of the Shack as it is today. Includes a chronology of Aldo Leopold's life and short essays on his concepts of the land ethic and phenology. (Age 9 and older)

    Hunter, Sally M. Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition. Photographs by Joe Allen.
    (We Are Still Here)
    Lerner, 1996. 40 pages (0-8225-2658-1) (pbk: 0-8225-9741-1) CCBC CHOICE

    Planting in the spring; tending in the summer; harvesting, storing and giving thanks in the fall; food throughout the winter. These are the four seasons of corn for the Winnebago, or Hochunk, people. Twelve-year-old Russell, a member of Hochunk Nation, is learning about the importance of corn from his grandfather, who takes Russell, his brothers, sisters and cousins to the country each year to plant and care for a field. But the corn is more than food for the Hochunk, it is also considered a gift from the spirits. As Russell and his family give attention to the corn every season in the midst of their busy city lives, they reaffirm ties to their heritage and knowledge of the ways of their people. Text and color photographs comprise another welcome portrayal of contemporary American Indian lives. (Ages 7-11)

    Ito, Tom. John Muir. (The Importance of)
    Lucent Books, 1996. 111 pages (1-56006-054-9)

    Although the author must conform to the formula for each book in the "Importance of..." series, Ito is able conveys a vast amount of information about the 19th century immigrant boy from Scotland known now as the "Father of National Parks." The internationally prominent conservationist showed great promise as an inventor during his early years and is a University of Wisconsin - Madison alumnus. (Ages 11-14)

    Jacobson, Bob. Les Paul: Guitar Wizard.
    (Badger Biographies) Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2012. 112 pages (978-0-87020-488-3)

    Born Lester William Polsfuss in 1915, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Les Paul had a lifelong fascination with both music and technology: a guitarist and songwriter, he was also the inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, the first commercial amplifier, and a pioneer of multitrack recording. Short chapters in this Badger Biography are illustrated with many black-and-white photographs; back matter includes a time line, discography, and glossary, as well as discussion questions and suggested activities. (Ages 8-12)

    Jacobson, Bob. Ole Evinrude and His Outboard Motor.
    (Badger Biographies) Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2009. 67 pages (978-0-87020-420-3)

    This Badger Biography from the Wisconsin Historical Society tells the story of Ole Evinrude, the man who invented the motor now commonly used on small boats throughout Wisconsin and elsewhere. Includes photos and newspaper clippings. (Ages 8-12)

    Judge, Lita. One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II. Hyperion, 2007. 32 pages ( 1-4231-0008-5) CCBC CHOICE
    The terrible postwar shortages in Europe after World War II led many people in the United States to send care packages of food and clothing overseas. One such effort to provide relief was spearheaded by noted ornithologists (and longtime Wisconsin residents) Frances and Frederick Hamerstrom. It was a letter from friends of the Hamerstroms in Germany that alerted them to the difficult circumstances of people in that country and across Europe. This lovely, compelling volume details an extraordinary outpouring of support from the perspective of the Hamerstroms' young daughter, who describes her parents' work to assist an ever-expanding number of families. Letters from Europe arrived and out would fall the tracings, or outlines, of feet. People needed shoes to get through winter, or to get to work each day. The Hamerstroms spread the word among their colleagues and donations-of shoes, of clothes, of food-poured into their home. Author/illustrator Lita Judge is the Hamerstroms' granddaughter. Her spare, restrained narrative beautifully captures the voice of a young child (her mother) who doesn't fully comprehend the reasons behind the need, but who does understand, with the help of her mother, the need for caring and compassion. Judge's stunning illustrations incorporate letters, photographs, and the actual tracings sent to her grandparents, all of which she found in her grandmother's attic. An author's note provides more information on the Hamerstroms' efforts, and on the Kramer family, their German friends whose letter inspired their efforts. (Ages 6-10)

    Kann, Bob and Caroline Hoffman. Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion. (Badger Biographies)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2010. 88 pages (978-0-87020-456-2)
    A Badger Biography following the life of Special Olympian Cindy Bentley. A Milwaukee native born with an “intellectual disability,” Cindy was placed in the Southern Wisconsin Center (an institution for disabled people). When she takes the advice of a teacher to compete in the Special Olympics she discovers it changes her life in amazing ways. (Ages 8-13)

    Kann, Bob. Cordelia Harvey: Civil War Angel. Badger Biographies)
    Wisconsin Historical Society, 2011. 119 pages (978-0-87020-458-6)
    A biography of Cordelia Harvey, the widow of Governor Louis Harvey, who was called "the Wisconsin Angel" for her role in taking care of sick and wounded soldiers during the Civil War. (Ages 8-12)

    Kann, Bob. A Recipe for Success: Lizzie Kander and Her Cookbook. (Badger Biographies)
    Wisconsin Historical Society, 2007. 127 pages (0-87020-373-8)
    Lizzie Kander, who wrote the most successful fundraising cookbook in history to help the poor of Milwaukee. This biography follows Kander through her childhood and schooling, and then describes her impact as an educator and activist. The pages are illustrated with copies of historical photographs and documents. A glossary, index, and reading guide are also included, along with a selection of Kander’s recipes. (Ages 10-14)

    Kimmel, Eric A. A Spotlight for Harry. Illustrated by Jim Madsen.
    (A Stepping Stone Book) Random House, 2009. 104 pages (978-0-375-85869-7)
    Growing up in Appleton, Wisconsin, young Harry Houdini convinces his brother to help him set up their own neighborhood circus, which leads to all sorts of problems. (Ages 7-10)

    Koehler-Pentacoff, Elizabeth. John Muir and Stickeen: An Alaskan Adventure.
    Millbrook Press, 2003. 32 pages (0-7613-2769-X) CCBC CHOICE

    A childhood resident of Wisconsin, conservationist John Muir traveled as an adult to Alaska in 1880. This picture book details one of his legendary glacier hikes, accompanied only by a Stickeen, a friend's dog whose adventurous spirit matched that of Muir. (Ages 5-9).

    Kügler, Tina, and Carson Kügler. In Mary's Garden.
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. 32 pages (978-0-544-27220-0)

    As a child, Mary Nohl helped her father build a house along the shore of Lake Michigan just north of Milwaukee and was “happiest when her hands were busy making, building, creating things.” Mary grew up to travel all over the world and was captivated by the art in the places she visited. When she came back home to the house she’d helped build, she began to collect found objects on the beach, with the help of her dogs Sassafras and Basil. The things she gathered were part of something bigger—a creature she could see her in imagination and soon set about bringing into being. From cement and supports, “odds and ends, bits and bobs,” a “magnificent creature” emerged in her yard. Wisconsin natives Tina and Carson Kügler introduce young children to an unusual and brilliant artist in this engaging picture book look at one dimension of Nohl’s immense creative outpouring. A note provides additional information about Nohl’s extraordinary art --her home and her yard were her canvas--and efforts to preserve it. (Ages 4-8).

    Krull, Kathleen. Houdini: World's Greatest Mystery Man and Escape King.
    Illustrated by Eric Velasquez.
    Walker & Company, 2005. 32 pages (0-8027-8953-6)

    This picture book biography of magician Harry Houdini is formatted like a show in several acts. Descriptions of his famous stunts are each followed by information about his life and career, including his early years in Appleton. (Ages 5-10).

    Lakin, Patricia. Harry Houdini: Escape Artist. Illustrated by Rick Geary.
    Aladdin, 2002. 32 pages (pbk. 0-689-84815-3)

    " Magician! Escape artist! Super-human stunt man! Who was that and more? Harry Houdini!" This easy beginning reader focuses on the hard work and commitment the famous magician put into his work. (Ages 6-8)

    Lalicki, Tom. Spellbinder: The Life of Harry Houdini.
    Holiday House, 2000. 88 pages (0-8234-1499-X) CCBC CHOICE

    Appleton-native Ehrich Weiss reinvented himself in 1892 at age 18 as Harry Houdini and began traveling the vaudeville circuit as a magician. He soon established himself as an escape artist who attempted increasingly daring feats, many of which remain a mystery to contemporary magicians. Houdini also mastered the art of publicity and promotion in a time when mass media was developing on an international level, and his fame spread rapidly throughout the world. A lively, well-researched biography, generously illustrated with archival photographs, brings the man and his times to life. (Ages 8-14)

    Lasky, Kathryn. John Muir: America's First Environmentalist.
    Candlewick Press, 2006. 41 pages (0-7636-1957-4)

    This picture book biography of John Muir opens with his early years in Scotland, but soon moves on to his childhood at his family's Wisconsin farm, named Fountain Lake. Short chapters track John Muir's life, as he moves from inventing mechanical devices to his eventual devotion to the natural world, and his commitment to conservation issues. (Ages 7-11)

    Locker, Thomas. John Muir: America's Naturalist.
    Fulcrum Publishing, 2003. 32 pages (1-55591-393-8)

    Born in Scotland, John Muir spent much of his childhood living at Fountain Lake Farm in Wisconsin's Marquette County. Full-page oil paintings depicting Muir in the landscapes he loved are accompanied by a text which focuses on his adulthood travels in Yosemite, his founding of the Sierra Club, and his activism for the preservation of natural areas. (Age 8 and older)

    Loew, Patty. Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal.
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2001. 148 pages (0-87020-335-5); pbk. (0-87020-332-0)
    CCBC CHOICE

    This unprecedented published history of Wisconsin's Indian nations for the general public is a wonderful resource for older teens and for teachers of any grade. Patty Loew, an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, writes in her introduction, "This is by no means an exhaustive study of the tribes in the state. It is my earnest attempt, however, to explore Wisconsin's rich native heritage in a collection of compact tribal histories. . . . I confined my discussion to the twelve Indian nations . . . whose presence predated Wisconsin statehood and who have maintained a continuous residence here." Those nations are the Ho-Chunk, the Menominee, the Potawatomi, the Oneida, the Mohican, the Brothertown, and the six bands of Ojibwe. An opening chapter examines the early history of native peoples in the state, including the Effigy Mound Builders and the Mississippians, noting the connections of these cultures to contemporary Wisconsin native peoples. The book documents the impact of European arrival in a general way in the second chapter. Subsequent chapters discuss individual tribes and their histories, including the too-often-tragic impact of white settlement, but also the richness of tribal cultures and traditions. Loew emphasizes the uniqueness of each nation. She also addresses the challenge of documenting a chronological "history" of peoples who organize their pasts thematically and for whom "stories unfold in a circular fashion." This important work fills a void in the histories of many of Wisconsin's native peoples. (Age 14-adult)

    Loew, Patty. Native Peoples of Wisconsin. (The New Badger History Series)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2003. 168 pages (0-87020-348-7)
    CCBC CHOICE
    Loew's adapation of her adult work Indian Nations of Wisconsin follows the same format of that publication (see previous entry), but the text has been modified to make it accessible to chlidren. Additional information in this welcome and essential papberback volume includes brief profiles of several contemporary Native children and adults in Wisconsin. (Ages 9-12)

    Lorbiecki, Marybeth. Things Natural, Wild, and Free: The Life of Aldo Leopold.
    (Conservation Adventurers) Fulcrum, 2011. 106 pages (978-1-55591-474-5)

    A biography tracing Aldo Leopold's development as a conservationist -- from the child who showed an early interest in observing nature (by the age of eleven a notebook listed the thirty-nine species of birds he had seen), to professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and author of A Sand County Almanac. Back matter includes a school resource section with a conservation time line, list of places to visit, suggested outdoor activities, and round-up of Internet and print resources related to Leopold. (Ages 8–12)

    Lutes, Jason, and Nick Bertozzi. Houdini: The Handcuff King. Introduction by Glen David Gold.
    The Center for Cartoon Studies. Hyperion, 2007. 81 pages (0-7868-3902-3) CCBC CHOICE
    On May 1, 1908, Harry Houdini, locked into handcuffs and leg irons, leapt from the Harvard Bridge in Cambridge, Massachusetts, into the frigid water of the Charles River. This book’s graphic novel format is perfectly suited to capture the tension of Houdini’s escape, as a series of panels visually draw out the suspense as the seconds tick by. Apprehension, doubt, and anticipation on the spectators’ faces contrast with scenes of the magician working alone in inky water to unlock the handcuffs before his breath gives out. For those who speculate about Houdini’s methods, the authors suggest a possibility: a lock pick passed to Houdini in a kiss from his wife, Bess. A thoughtful closing discussion offers additional information about Houdini and Bess, and relates fascinating details under headings such as “Locks of the Day and How Houdini Prepared to Pick Them” and “In the Early Part of the Twentieth Century Everybody Wore Hats.” Glen David Gold’s Introduction places the magician within the framework of the early 1900s and outlines the character traits that carried him to fame: obsession, energy, loyalty, and the inability to refuse a challenge. With few words and many images, readers will be caught up in a dramatic moment of magical showmanship (Age 10 and older)

    McCully, Emily Arnold. Squirrel and John Muir.
    Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004. 40 pages (0-374-33697-0)
    CCBC CHOICE
    John Muir spent his childhood and adolescence in Wisconsin, before he left the state to study and write about the natural environment of the western states and Alaska. This picture book offers a fictionalized account of Muir's actual 1868 meeting with Floy Hutching in Yosemite, when Muir worked for Floy's father while studying his theories of glacial formation. Six-year-old Floy was intrigued by Muir's unusual lifestyle, and he in turn shared with her his unique appreciation of nature. (Ages 5-8)

    McDonough, Yona Zeldis. Little Author in the Big Woods: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    Illustrations by Jennifer Thermes. Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt, 2014. 156 pages (978-0-8050-9542-5)

    Many details of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life as a “pioneer girl” are known to fans of the Little House books, but McDonough’s biography fills young readers in on other aspects of Wilder’s life—including the early life of her mother; her long marriage to Almanzo, with its many ups and downs, especially in the early years as they struggled to establish a prosperous farm; and how she eventually found her voice as a writer, first as a columnist for a farm journal, and then, at the age of sixty-five, as an author of children’s books. McDonough points out some of the differences between Laura’s actual life and the fictionalized account readers are familiar with from the Little House books, and also touches on the controversy that surrounds the series’ authorship, outlining the role Laura’s daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, may have played in their creation. Illustrated with pencil drawings throughout. A final section on pioneer games, crafts, and recipes rounds out the volume. (Ages 8-12)

    McElroy, Lisa Tucker. Meet My Grandmother: She's a Children's Book Author.
    By Lisa Tucker McElroy with Abigail Jane Cobb. Photographs by Joel Benjamin.
    Millbrook, 2001. 32 pages (0-7613-1972-7)

    Nine-year-old Abby Cobb introduces readers to her grandmother, Vicki Cobb, a former Wisconsin resident and author of over 80 science books for children. Using the first-person voice of Abby, who lives in Racine, the book tells how Vicki Cobb researches her books' subjects, writes the books, receives editorial direction, and makes school presentations. (Ages 5-8)

    MacLeod, Elizabeth. Harry Houdini. Illustrated by John Mantha. (Kids Can Read)
    Kids Can Press, 2009. 32 pages (978-1-55453-298-8)

    Simple text and illustrations tell the life of magician Harry Houdini. Part of the Kids Can Read series. (Ages 7-10)

    MacLeod, Elizabeth. Harry Houdini: A Magical Life. Kids Can Press, 2005. 32 pages (1-55337-769-9)
    Born in Budapest, Hungary, Harry Houdini moved with his family to Appleton, Wisconsin in 1878, at age four. This easy biography uses a scrapbook design, with many photographs supplementing the brief text. (Ages 8-11) (Ages 9-13)

    McLernon, Carol March. Samuele: A Man with Many Names. Oxen Books, 2002. 71 pages (0-9713773-1-6)
    Born in Italy in 1806, Samuele Mazzuchelli became a priest and worked as a missionary among Native Americans in the upper Midwest, including Wisconsin, at Green Bay, Mineral Point and other points in between. (Ages 9-13)

    Malnor, Bruce, and Carol L. Malnor. Champions of the Wilderness. Dawn Publications, 2009. 143 pages (9781-58469-116-7)
    Short biographies of historical and contemporary naturalists, detailing their childhoods and their work to protect the environment. Illustrated with photographs and pencil sketches. Includes a look at Wisconsin-native environmentalists John Muir and Aldo Leopold. (Ages 10-14)

    Manger, Barbara, and Janine Smith. Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art. (Badger Biography Series) Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2013. 126 pages (978-0-87020-577-4)
    A biography of Wisconsin artist Mary Nohl, whose most notable work of art may be her home in the Milwaukee suburb of Fox Point, which she decorated and embellished over many years with paintings, sculptures, and other objects of her own making. (The property is currently maintained by the Kohler Foundation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.) Back matter includes a "Gallery of Mary's Art" with color photographs, a timeline, glossary, discussion questions, and suggested activities. (Ages 8-12)

    Marrin, Albert. Secrets from the Rocks: Dinosaur Hunting with Roy Chapman Andrews.
    Dutton, 2002. 64 pages (0-525-46743-2)

    Beloit native Roy Chapman Andrews's work unearthing dinosaur bones in the Gobi desert of Mongolia led to new understanding about the Age of Dinosaurs on earth. Andrew's five Gobi expeditions are chronicled in this handsome, highly visual volume that includes a number of sepia-toned photographs of the explorer/scientist at work. (Ages 9 -14)

    Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table.
    Illustrated by Eric-Shabazz Larkin. With an afterword by Will Allen.
    Readers to Eaters, 2013. 32 pages (978-0-9836615-3-5)
    CCBC CHOICE
    As a child, Will Allen hated working in his family's garden. "He planned to quit on planting, picking, pulling weeds, leave those Maryland fields for basketball or white-shirt work." It turns out he did both, playing professional basketball in Belgium, then getting "white-shirt" work in Wisconsin. But while helping a Belgian friend dig potatoes during his basketball days, he made a life-changing discovery: He "loved digging in the dirt." Living in Milwaukee after playing ball, Will noticed how few people, especially in poor neighborhoods, had access to fresh vegetables. He bought an inner city lot that included six greenhouses, got friends to donate fruit and vegetable waste to create compost, added red wiggler worms and figured out—through trial and error, and with hands-on help from neighborhood kids—how to gradually transform the polluted soil to grow healthy food. Will devised ways to use every inch of space, growing food in the ground, and also in pots and baskets and buckets and boxes. He added hoophouses for more growing room, and vats of water to raise fish. He named his venture "Growing Power," and not only began feeding people in the city, but teaching people in his neighborhood, around the country, and around the world how to be urban farmers. This lively introduction to Will Allen's groundbreaking work features a buoyant narrative by Jacqueline Briggs Martin set against Eric-Shabazz Larkin's energetic illustrations. It's impossible not to be inspired by their account of the creativity of Will's venture and the hope inherent in its success. (Ages 5-14)

    Mayo, Gretchen Will. Frank Lloyd Wright. (Trailblazers of the Modern World)
    World Almanac Library, 2004. 48 pages (0-8368-5101-3)

    Known as "the Father of American Architecture," Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center in 1867 and in later childhood lived in Madison. As a young man, he briefly attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in 1955 was awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the UW. Taliesin, built near Spring Green, served as both Wright's home and the site of the Taliesin Fellowship, his architectural school. This seven chapter volume contains photographs of Wright, his family and friends, and many of his architectural projects. (Ages 9-12)

    Moser, Elise. What Milly Did: The Remarkable Pioneer of Plastics Recycling. Illustrated by Scot Ritchie.
    Groundwood Books, 2016. 48 pages (978-1-55498-893-8)

    Appalled by the amount of plastic buried in landfills in the United States, in 1978 Milly Zantow took it upon herself to figure out how to recycle the material. She purchased her own supplies, encouraged her community to drop off their used bottles and cans, and began preparing plastic, metal, and paper for recycling. Her determination sparked a nationwide movement, and it was her idea to use numbers on the bottoms of containers to denote plastic type that allows plastics to be easily recycled today.
    (Ages 8-11)

    Niven, Penelope. Carl Sandburg: Adventures of a Poet. With poems and prose by Carl Sandburg.
    Illustrated by Marc Nadel. Harcourt, 2003. 32 pages (0-15-204686-0) CCBC CHOICE

    In this picture book biography, each two-page spread examines a different "role" that Carl Sandburg had in his life, from "new American" to vagabond, minstrel to journalist, historian to poet, and more. Penelope Niven's short essays about Sandburg are accompanied by a poem or prose excerpt from Sandburg's own writing, and a color illustration by Marc Nadel. (Ages 7-11)

    Noyes, Deborah. The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead.
    Viking, 2017. 152 pages (978-0-8037-4018-1)

    This biography about Harry Houdini focuses on his exploration of spiritualism – “Are ghosts real? Can we communicate with them? Catch them in photographs?” or are mediums using tricks like Houdini did in his great escapes? (Age 10 and older)

    Pardini, Priscilla. On Her Own: The Life of Betty Brinn. Illustrated by Joanne Scholler Bowring.
    Elizabeth Brinn Foundation, 2001. 32 pages (0-9711188-0-9)

    This picture book biography tells the life story of Betty Brinn, from her childhood in the Milwaukee County Children's Home through her years in foster care, to her adulthood as a successful businesswoman with a family of her own. Betty Brinn's adult philanthropy helped to fund the Milwaukee children's museum and the children's room at the Milwaukee Public Library. (Ages 6-9)

    Pferdehirt, Julia. Blue Jenkins: Working for Workers. (Badger Biography Series)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011. 150 pages (978-0-87020-427-2)

    As an African American union leader in Racine in the 1950s and 60s, William "Blue" Jenkins fought for the rights of both workers and minorities. Pferdehirt's biography is based largely on hours of taped interviews conducted by a historian from the Wisconsin Historical Society, and the reader can hear Jenkins in his own words describe what it was like to live through many of the twentieth century's great social changes, from the Great Migration to the Great Depression to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. (Ages 8-12)

    Pferdehirt, Julia. Freedom Train North: Stories of the Underground Railroad in Wisconsin.
    Illustrated by Jerry Butler. Living History Press (7426 Elmwood Ave., Middleton, WI 53562), 1998.
    116 pages (0-9664925-0-1) CCBC CHOICE Second edition: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011. 126 pages (978-0-87020-474-6)

    This black-and-white illustrated volume introduces the Underground railroad and the abolitionist movement of America's Civil War period, while telling the stories of escaping slaves and the Wisconsin people who played a role in their escape. Told in narrative form, these stories include real and imagined stories, and weave in actual quotes of real historical figures. Includes an annotated bibliography. Winner of the 1999 Elizabeth Burr Award. (Ages 9-12)

    Pferdehirt, Julia. They Came to Wisconsin. (The New Badger History Series)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2003. 127 pages (0-87020-328-2)

    Stories of immigrants to Wisconsin during the 19th and 20th centuries is presented, with each of the experiences broken down into three components: leaving home, making the journey and settling. The author drew on materials from the archives of the Wisconsin Historical society and personal interviews as the basis for the book. European settlers, African Americans, Latinos and Hmong are among the immigrant groups included. (Ages 8-12)

    Piehl, Janet. Harry Houdini. (History Maker Bios)
    Lerner, 2009. 48 pages (978-1-58013-705-8)

    This History Maker Bio focuses on magician Harry Houdini’s life and achievements with photos, illustrations, and a timeline. (Ages 8-11)

    Ralph, LeAnn R. Christmas in Dairyland: True Stories From a Wisconsin Farm.
    LeAnn R. Ralph, 2003. 153 pages (0-59113-366-1)

    LeAnn Ralph relates Christmas memories from her childhood growing up on a small dairy farm in west central Wisconsin in the 1960s and 1970s in 20 short stories. She offers recipes for favorite holiday foods, including lefse, julekake and sugar cookies. (Age 12 and older)

    Ralph, LeAnn R. Give Me a Home Where the Dairy Cows Roam: True Stories From a Wisconsin Farm.
    LeAnn R. Ralph, 2004. 173 pages (0-59113-592-3)

    Following up her Christmas book (above), LeAnn Ralph recalls year-round memories from her childhood on a Wisconsin dairy farm. (Age 12 and older)

    Reischel, Rob. Leaders of the Pack: Starr, Favre, Rodgers, and Why Green Bay's Quarterback Trio is the Best in NFL History.
    Triumph Books, 2015. 258 pages (978-1-62937-104-7)

    Describes the history of the Green Bay Packer quarterback dynasty of Bart Starr, Brett Farve, and Aaron Rogers and what it means to be a Packer on and off the field. Includes brief examinations of the quarterback trios from other major franchises, allowing Reischel to highlight what makes the Packers stand out so distinctly. (Age 12 and older)

    Rendon, Marcie R. Powwow Summer: A Family Celebrates the Circle of Life.
    Photographs by Cheryl Walsh Bellville. Carolrhoda, 1996. 48 pages
    (0-87614-986-7) (pbk: 1-57505-011-0) CCBC CHOICE

    Marcie Rendon's text and Cheryl Walsh Bellville's many color photographs look at some of the ways in which one Anishinabe family celebrates the circle of life: by opening their arms and their hearts to welcome foster children into their family, by keeping close ties among the generations, by grieving together in the aftermath of a death. The Downwind family--parents, children, foster children--is profiled over the course of a summer, during which time they go on the powwow trail, attending two gatherings where they become part of a larger community. (Ages 7-11)

    Rosinsky, Natalie M. The Ojibwe and Their History. (We the People)
    Compass Point, 2005. 48 pages. (0-7565-0843-6)

    An overview of the Ojibwe people historically and in contemporary times includes brief discussion of AIM and 20th century leaders such as Winona LaDuke. The narrative is accompanied by both black-and-white and color photographs. (Ages 7-11)

    Saemann, Karyn. Electa Quinney: Stockbridge Teacher. (Badger Biographies Series)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2014. 120 pages (978-0-87020-641-2)

    A biography of Electa Quinney, a Stockbridge Indian who, in 1828, became Wisconsin's first public school teacher. With maps and photographs, a timeline, glossary, and suggestions for activities and further reading. (Ages 8-12)

    Sandler, Michael. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. (Super Bowl Superstars)
    Bearport Publishing, 2012. 24 pages (978-1-61772-309-4)

    A formula biography of the Green Bay Packers quarterback focusing on Rodgers' performance in the 2011 Super Bowl game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Ages 7-10)

    Savage, Jeff. Aaron Rodgers. (Amazing Athletes)
    Lerner Publications, 2012. 32 pages (978-0-7613-8223-2)

    This formula biography traces the career of the Green Bay Packers quarterback from his years playing high-school and college football in California to the Packers' victory in Super Bowl XLV. (Ages 7-11)

    Schier, Mary Larh. Strong-Minded Woman: The Story of Lavinia Goodell, Wisconsin's First Female Lawyer.
    Midwest History Press, 2001. 104 pages (0-9671787-3-8)

    The daughter of Transcendentalist parents, Lavinia Goodell defied traditional gender roles to become the first female lawyer in Wisconsin. Active in the temperance movement and supportive of women's suffrage, Lavinia studied law independently and insisted on taking the bar exam in 1874, despite strong opposition from local lawyers and judges. She opened her own practice in Janesville, and specialized in representing women and practicing criminal law until her death in 1880 at age forty. (Ages 9-12)

    Schubert, Leda. Ballet of the Elephants.
    Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker.
    A Deborah Brodie Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2006. 32 pages (1-59643-075-3)
    CCBC CHOICE
    John Ringling North, a Wisconsin native, combined his cirus elephants with the talents of choreographer George Balanchine and composer Igor Stravinsky, to create the Circus Polka. Fifty elephants and fifty human ballet dancers performed the show 425 times during 1942. (Ages 5-8)

    Sherrow, Victoria. Joseph McCarthy and the Cold War.
    Blackbirch Press, 1999. 79 pages (1-56711-219-6)

    Part of the Notorious Americans and Their Times series, this biography of the infamous Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy recounts his childhood, his early years as a young lawyer and judge, the deceptions he undertook to become a senator, and the anti-Communist hysteria he stirred up during his time as a United States Senator. Includes a timeline, glossary, bibliography, and index. (Ages 10-13)

    Smith, Donna L. Like Sheep. Illustrated by Gary J. Smith.
    Leroy Images, 2013. 102 pages. (978-0-61592-750-3)

    When she was in her mid forties, Donna L. Smith moved to her husband’s family farm on Washington Island and fulfilled a childhood dream by establishing a flock of sheep. In short chapters, she tells the sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, often surprising stories of her life with the sheep, dogs, and occasional goat or cow on her farm. With color illustrations, a map of Washington Island, and a glossary of sheep-related terms. (Age 9 and older)

    Stone, Amy. Oneida. (Native American Peoples)
    Gareth Stevens, 2005. 32 pages (0-8368-4220-0)

    An introduction to the Oneida peoples includes chapters on history, traditions, and contemporary life. A description of the Oneidas relocation from New York State to Wisconsin in the 1800s is included. (Ages 7-10)

    Stories of Our Elders by the Youth of the Mohican Nation.
    Muh-He-Con-Neew Press (N9136 Big Lake Road, Gresham, WI 54128-8955), 1999. 21 pages (0-93579-06-3) $10.00

    Brief biographical portraits of fourteen elders living in the Stockbridge-Munsee (Mohican) community were gathered was part of an oral history project with Mohican teenagers. Each entry is accompanied by a photograph of the elder, as well as a photo documenting the interview itself. The original voices of the teen narrators have been retained throughout. (Age 9 and up)

    Stotts, Stuart. Father Groppi: Marching for Civil Rights.
    (Badger Biographies Series) Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2013. 144 pages (978-0-87020-575-0)

    A biography of the Milwaukee priest Father James Groppi, a leader in the civil rights movement in Wisconsin. In addition to telling the story of Father Groppi's life and his fight against racism in Milwaukee, there is abundant background material about the civil rights movement in other parts of the United States. With timeline, glossary and reading group guide and activities. (Ages 8-12)

    Stotts, Stuart. Books in a Box: Lutie Stearns and the Traveling Libraries of Wisconsin.
    Big Valley Press, 2005. 94 pages (0–9765372–0–6) CCBC CHOICE

    Lutie Stearns is a name that most Wisconsinites probably don’t know. But she is a woman to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude for her enduring work to establish libraries for citizens across Wisconsin in the early 1900s. In this fictionalized biography, Madison author Stuart Stotts introduces young readers to this passionate and compassionate woman who was a crusader and advocate for libraries, books, and, above all, people. Working as one of the first two staff members of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission, Lutie established traveling libraries—trunks packed with a variety of reading materials for small communities that had no public library. Traveling in the sticky heat of summer or the frigid cold of winter, she went from town to town. Lutie spoke with lumberjacks and miners, farmers and store owners, men and women and children, offering each place she visited a traveling library: a revolving collection of books for anyone to borrow and return—at no cost. Stuart Stotts has imagined vivid scenes to convey aspects of Lutie’s childhood in Milwaukee, when she first developed the stutter that she had all of her life, as well as scenes of her professional life, when she traveled Wisconsin and worked toward the ideal of free public libraries for all. In an author’s note for young readers, Stotts talks about the questions he faced in writing a fictionalized biography, inviting children to contemplate the challenges of balancing fact and fiction. And at the story’s end, he writes, “Next time you go into a library, remember Lutie Stearns. Whisper her name.” Occasional archival photographs illustrate this lively volume. (Ages 8–11)

    Sullivan, George. Quarterbacks! Eighteen of Football's Greatest.
    Atheneum, 1998. 60 pages (0-689-81334-1)

    This album provides brief biographies of eighteen great NFL quarterbacks, including Packers Brett Favre and Bart Starr. Photos and vital statistics accompany each entry. (Ages 9-13)

    Tupper, Susan. Fran and Frederick Hamerstrom: Wildlife Conservation Pioneers.
    (Badger Biography Series) State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 2016.
    123 pages (978-0-87020-732-7)

    The story of Fran and Frederick Hamerstrom: Wildlife Conservation Pioneers is the latest addition to the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Badger Biography Series. It documents the life of these famous wildlife conservationists through their education, friendship with Aldo Leopold, and dedication to preserve native species of Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin prairie chicken. Back matter includes timeline, glossary, index, and discussion questions and activities. (Ages 7-12)

    Vandenburgh, Anne. Lindbergh's Badger Days: Life as a Student at the University of Wisconsin 1920-1922.
    Goblin Fern Press, 2003. 48 pages (0-9722099-0-5)

    Aviator Charles Lindbergh's two-year career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and subsequent visits he made to the city, are highlighted in text and photographs. (Age 10 and older)

    Weaver, Janice. Harry Houdini: The Legend of the World’s Greatest Escape Artist. Illustrated by Chris Lane. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011. 48 pages (978-4197-0014-9)
    Short chapters describe Harry Houdini’s rise from humble beginnings in a Hungarian ghetto to become one of the most famous entertainers of the early twentieth century. Sidebars provide background information about social conditions of the time, as well as insight into the magician’s trade; of special interest to budding magicians will be the tips from Houdini’s own “Helpful Hints for Young Magicians under Eighty.” Original artwork is supplemented by archival photographs, playbills, posters, and letters, and a list of books and websites about Houdini is included at the back of the book. (Ages 8-12)

    Wilder, Laura Ingalls. A Little House Christmas Treasury: Festive Holiday Stories.
    HarperCollins, 2005. 139 pages (0-06-076918-1)

    A collection of six holiday stories from the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder includes one set in Wisconsin, excerpted from Little House in the Big Woods. (Ages 8-12)

    Wilder, Laura Ingalls. A Little House Reader: A Collection of Writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    Edited by William Anderson. HarperCollins, 1998. 196 pages (0-06-026358-X)

    A collection of stories, poems, essays, and articles from throughout her life showcases the writing talent of Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Ages 8-12)

    Winter, Jeanette. My Name Is Georgia: A Portrait.
    Silver Whistle/Harcourt Brace, 1998. 48 pages (0-15-201649-X) CCBC CHOICE

    Told in the first person, this picture book chronicles how her surroundings inspired twentieth-century painter Georgia O'Keeffe. The world-famous artist was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and spent her childhood there. (Ages 5-8)

    Wojahn, Rebecca Hogue. Dr. Kate: Angel on Snowshoes.
    (Badger Biographies) Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2009. 94 pages (978-0-87020-421-0)

    The Wisconsin Historical Society’s Badger Biography Series continues with this biography of Kate Pelham, the woman who served as the only doctor in northern Wisconsin in 1913. By using any means necessary to reach her patients—including car, snowmobile, canoe, and snowshoe—Pelham endeared herself to the community, which helped her pull together $10,000 to build a new hospital through the Million Penny Parade. (Ages 8-12)

    Yannuzzi, Della. Aldo Leopold: Protector of the Wild.
    Millbrook, 2002. 48 pages (0-7613-2465-8)

    This biography of the famed naturalist who spent most of his adult life in Wisconsin is illustrated with black-and-white and color photographs. The book includes a chronology, bibliography and index. (Ages 7-10)

    Zimm, John. John Nelligan: Wisconsin Lumberjack. (Badger Biographies)
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2015. 95 pages (978-0-87020-698-6)

    A new addition to the Badger Biographies Series from the Wisconsin Historical, John Nelligan by John Zimm chronicles the life of this Wisconsin lumberjack, from frontier lumberjack cook to owner of this own logging company. Much of what we know about logging in Wisconsin comes from Nelligan’s accounts. This end matter includes discussion questions, glossary, and detailed index while bolded lumberjack vocabulary in the text is accompanied by footnote definitions. (Ages 7-12)

    Wisconsin Places

    Addy, Sharon Hart. In Grandpa's Woods. Trails
    Custom Publishing, 2004. 32 pages (1-931599-42-4)

    While visiting Grandma and Grandpa, Chad and Amy discover the many ways they enjoy the woods surrounding their grandparents' Wisconsin home. At the same time, they learn how the forest is used by people and wildlife. (Ages 4-7)

    Addy, Sharon Hart. Kidding Around Milwaukee: What To Do, Where To Go, and How To Have Fun in Milwaukee.
    John Muir, 1997. 134 pages (1-56261-362-6)

    This travel guide for children provides fun and practical facts, puzzles, and games about Milwaukee's cultural attractions and activities. (Ages 8-12)

    Anderson, William. The Little House Guidebook. Photographs by Leslie A. Kelly.
    Revised edition: HarperTrophy, 2002. 96 pages. (0-06-446177-7)

    This guidebook to Laura Ingalls Wilder historic sites throughout the Midwest, including the Little House in the Big Woods located in Pepin, Wisconsin, is designed for those who want to visit the sites, or who want to learn more about them. Information on the history of each site and its connection to the Wilder family is provided for each location, along with accommodation, restaurant, and other travel information. This book has been newly updated for 2002. (Ages 8 and older)

    Ball, Jacqueline A. Wildfire! The 1871 Peshtigo Firestorm.
    (Extreme Disasters that Changed America).
    Bearport, 2005. 32 pages. (1-59716-011-3)

    A brief description of the Peshtigo Fire of October 8, 1871, includes illustrations depicting the disaster and photographs of the area today. (Ages 8-10)

    Danczyk, Ken. Grandpa's Farm.
    Illustrated by Natasha Flatoff.
    Lulu Publishing, 2008. 32 pages. (978-1-4357-4021-1)

    Photographs juxtaposed with oil pastel paintings tell the author’s story about growing up on a farm in Wisconsin with his parents and grandparents. (Ages 4-8)

    Geisert, Bonnie and Arthur Geisert. Prairie Town.
    Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 32 pages (0-395-85907-7) CCBC CHOICE

    A grain elevator connected to the outside world by the sky and a pair of railroad tracks has homes, a few businesses, a school, a post office, a couple of churches, and a cemetery surrounding it. This small town located somewhere in the Great Plains of North America during the mid-20th century has all that--and there's more, much more. Evidence of people's routines is everywhere. They do indoor and outdoor work, run their machines, handle errands, and raise seasonal crops. There are occasional changes: a house fire, painting of the water tower, and modifications to a tree house. Puppies are born. The water tower is repainted, a new tombstone appears, and the school playground gets improved. There's a weekly livestock sale, and--sometimes--a visiting carnival. The weather dominates just about everything that happens: winter can be particularly fierce, and the sunsets are sensational. (Ages 5-9)

    Gladitsch, Mary Rufledt. Remember When: A Tribute to the Vanishing Rural Landscape.
    The Guest Cottage, 2001. 107 pages (1-930596-06-5)

    Vintage and contemporary photographs of rural scenery and architecture are accompanied by poems paying tribute to agricultural life of the past century. (Age 11 and older)

    Jackson, Jacqueline Dougan. More Stories from the Round Barn.
    Triquarterly Books / Northwestern University Press, 2002. 287 pages (0-8101-5135-9)

    Jacqueline Dougan Jackson relates 46 short stories revolving around her childhood family farm, Dougan Dairy of Beloit, from the year 1906 to her father's retirement in 1971. A sequel to Stories from the Round Barn (Northwestern University Press, 1997), the author focuses on events remembered by family and friends, ranging from the dramatic to the humorous. Many black-and-white photographs accompany the stories. (Age 10 and older)

    Kapolnek, Kate. ABC Door County.
    Kate Kapolnek, 2014. 56 pages (978-1-4951-043-4)

    Featuring a cast of animal characters and rhyming text, this alphabet book takes young readers on a tour of favorite Door County places and pastimes. (Ages 2-6)

    Knickelbine, Scott. The Great Peshtigo Fire: Stories and Science from America's Deadliest Firestorm.
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2012. 80 pages (978-0-87020-499-9)

    On October 8, 1871, the Great Peshtigo Fire burned more than 1.5 million acres of forest in northeastern Wisconsin and killed more people than any U.S. wildfire before or since. This historical account considers the conditions that led to the fire, and tells the stories of some of those who lost their lives in it (and some who survived), while also delving into the science behind firestorms. (Ages 8-12)

    Malone, Bobbie. Back to Beginnings: The Early Days of Dane County.
    Produced by the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission for the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial.
    Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission (210 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Room 421, Madison, WI 53709), 1998. 60 pages (0-9638068-0-7)

    The history of the Dane County region is chronicled from the time the area was occupied by Paleo-Indians and, later, members of Woodland Indian nations through the western develpment of the 19th century. Numerous reproductions of archival photographs and artwork illustrate the child-centered text of this soft-covered volume. (Ages 9-12)

    Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. On Sand Island. Illustrated by David Johnson.
    Houghton Mifflin, 2003. 32 pages (0-618-23151-X)

    A boy named Carl, living on Sand Island in Lake Superior in the early 1900s, wants a boat of his own. By bartering with his island neighbors, Carl is able to secure the supplies and help he needs to build his rowboat. This fictional picture book was inspired Carl Dahl, who spent his childhood and part of his adult life living on Sand Island. (Ages 5-9)

    Peterson, P. Nuzum, author. The Lucky Kickapoo: A River Tells Its Story.
    Mill Pond Press, 1997. 55 pages (0-942495-69-1)

    The Kickapoo River of southwestern Wisconsin's driftless area speaks to two young boys and a little girl through a mysterious tape recorder, teaching them about its location, origin, and history, in addition to facts about rivers in general. (Ages 6-8)

    Pferdehirt, Julia. Wisconsin Forest Tales. Illustrated by Pamela Harden.
    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources/Trails Custom Publishing, 2004. 152 pages (1-931599-47-5)

    Short stories with Wisconsin forest settings--both historical and contemporary--are combined with information about Wisconsin's woodlands. (Ages 8-11)

    The School Forest Guidebook by 4th Grade Students of Room 18, Lincoln Elementary School,
    Madison Wisconsin. Schoolastic (Lincoln School, 909 Sequoia Trail, Madison, WI 53713), 1998. 51 pages

    Since 1958 the Madison Metropolitan School District has been the owner of a large plot of undeveloped land in Dane County so that school children can engage in environmental field studies. The experienced and enthusiastic young naturalists in fourth grade at Lincoln School share the results of their extensive research related to the School Forest, and offer tips to other students who are planning expeditions of their own. This remarkably well-produced booklet includes a history of the school forest, information about plants and animals, and creative writing inspired by the children's experiences, as well as original drawings and photographs. In addition, it serves as an excellent model for integrating all aspects of the curriculum into a single project. (Ages 7-14)

    Vogel, Carole Garbunny. Nature's Fury: Eyewitness Reports of Natural Disasters.
    Scholastic, 2000. 126 pages (0-590-11502-2)

    A summary of 13 natural disasters in the United States includesthe Peshitigo [WI] Fire of 1871. What led up to these tragedies? How many people were affected, and what has happened since? Curious readers will gain newfound respect for nature's awesome power after reading these vivid descriptions. Includes personal accounts by those who experienced these tragedies as well as black & white photographs. (Ages 8-14)

     

    Wisconsin Topics

    Adler, David A. Mama Played Baseball. Illustrated by Chris O'Leary.
    Gulliver / Harcourt, 2003. 32 pages (0-15-202196-5) CCBC CHOICE

    Amy's father is a soldier during WWII, and her mother must find work. She tries out for, and is accepted as a member of a team in the All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League. This fictional story is based on the women's baseball league which existed from 1943 to 1954, with teams in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. (Ages 5 to 8)

    Allen, Terese, and Bobbie Malone. The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2012. 192 pages (978-0-87020-493-7)
    Both a cookbook and a historical introduction to the state's foodways, with a chapter for each of five distinct environments from which our food comes: forests; waters and wetlands; fields and orchards; meat and dairy farms; backyards and gardens. A final chapter considers how Wisconsin's immigrant communities and families continue to shape the state's food traditions. In each chapter an examination of the topic is followed by a selection of related recipes. Generously illustrated with both historic and contemporary photographs; includes a general index and separate recipe index. (Ages 8-12)

    Allison, R. Bruce. If Trees Could Talk: Stories About Wisconsin Trees.
    Introduction by Paul DeLong.
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2009. 68 pages (978-0-87020-419-7)

    Stories about native Wisconsin trees, including information on tree types and histories of specific trees and their appreciators, such as the locust which fascinated John Muir, Aldo Leopold’s favorite oak, and the hickory passed by Chief Black Hawk and his people during the Black Hawk War. (Ages 8 to 12)

    Apps-Bodilly, Susan. One Room Schools: Stories from the Days of 1 Room, 1 Teacher, 8 Grades.
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2013. 145 pages (978-0-87020-615-3)

    Through photographs, memories of former teachers and students, and original documents (a page from the Chain O'Lake School treasurer's book, for instance, shows the expenses for the year 1939), Susan Apps-Bodilly gives readers a sense of what it was like to attend a one-room school house in Wisconsin, and invites them to compare their own school experiences with those of earlier generations. (Ages 8-12)

    Arnold, Caroline. The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers.
    Illustrated by John Sandford.
    Boyds Mills Press, 2006. 32 pages (1-59078-166-X)

    With the "head of an ox, feet of a bear, back of a dinosaur, and tail of an alligator," the forty-foot Hodag looked scary, but was a good friend to the lumberjacks of the Wisconsin north woods. When animal catchers from the city show up, hoping the trap the Hodag and put him a zoo, the lumberjacks help their monstrous friend escape capture. Black-and-white illustrations accompany this picture book version of a favorite Wisconsin myth. (Ages 4 to 8)

    Buhle, Paul. Comics in Wisconsin.
    Borderland Books, 2009. 118 pages (978-0-9815620-3-2)

    Paul Buhle depicts the life of comic art in Wisconsin from the early nineteenth century to the present. He describes the many large and small contributions Wisconsin artists have made throughout the years to comic strips, comic books and other art forms. (Ages 13 and up)

    Carney, Margaret. At Grandpa's Sugar Bush. Illustrated by Janet Wilson.
    Kid's Can Press, 1998. 32 pages (1-55074-341-4) CCBC CHOICE

    A boy spends a February week with his grandpa learning how to make maple syrup, from tapping trees to filtering the boiled sap. He also discovers wonders of the winter wilderness in the process. (Ages 5-7)

    Carney, Margaret. The Biggest Fish in the Lake. Illustrated by Janet Wilson.
    Kids Can Press, 2001. 32 pages (1-55074-720-7)

    A girl and her grandfather enjoy fishing together, especially when they take a vacation to fish for bass on the lake at their summer cabin. (Ages 5-8)

    Fleming, Diane Bresnan. Simply Wright: A Journey into the Ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture.
    Castleconal Press (1517 National Avenue, Madison, WI 53716), 2001. 36 pages (0-9677348-0-0)

    This visual introduction to the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright is organized by the principles and ideas he followed in his design process: harmony, lights, space, nature, materials, shapes, creativity, and beauty. Many color photographs of his well-known work illustrate the book, including Taliesin in Spring Green, the Unitarian Meeting House and Monona Terrace in Madison, Wingspread in Racine, and the Seth Peterson Cottage in Lake Delton. (Age 10 and older)

    Gibbons, Gail. Soaring with the Wind: The Bald Eagle.
    Morrow, 1998. 32 pages (0-688-13731-8)

    Describes the physical characteristics and the hunting, mating, nesting, and hatching processes of the bald eagle. The importance of bald eagle as a symbol and conservation efforts are also presented. (Ages 6-8)

    Granfield, Linda. Circus: An Album.
    DK Ink, 1998. 96 pages (0-7894-2453-3)

    From ancient Egypt to Medieval Europe to modern-day America, this album traces the history of the circus. Along with history, this volume offers glimpses into the daily life of circus performers and presents difficult ethical issues such as the morality of sideshows and performing animals. Includes many color photos and illustrations. (Ages 9-13)

    Green, Catherine M., Jefferson J. Gray, and Bobby Malone. Great Ships on the Great Lakes.
    Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2013. 136 pages (978-0-87020-582-8)

    Between them, Wisconsin and Minnesota have more than four thousand miles of Great Lakes shoreline. This volume explores their rich maritime history, from the Native Americans who fished, hunted, and gathered plants in birchbark canoes and dugouts, to the sailors and lighthouse keepers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who kept goods and people moving through the region. A final chapter on underwater archaeology brings the story up to the present day, describing the methods used to locate, explore, and conserve the Great Lakes' many shipwrecks. With archival and contemporary photographs, a timeline, and lists of resources and places to visit. (Ages 8-12)

    Luckhurst, Matt. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: The Great Pancake Adventure.
    Abrams, 2012. 40 pages (978-1-4197-0420-8)

    Bright colors and bold typography enliven Matt Luckhurst's version of the classic tall tale, with Paul and his blue ox, Babe, leaving their home on the banks of the St. Lawrence in search of pancakes. Paul can't get enough of them, so he and Babe travel the country, logging forests from Wisconsin to California in exchange for all the pancakes they can eat. The pair have many outsize adventures, including helping to create the Grand Canyon and the Rocky Mountains, but eventually they sicken (literally) of pancakes and return home, having learned an important lesson: eat your veggies! With author's note and bibliography. (Ages 4-8)

    Martin, Wayne R. Cranberries Revealed.
    Martin PhotoMedia, 2015. 84 pages (978-0-9908129-0-6)

    A striking visual introduction to the cranberry and the process that brings them from the fields of Wisconsin to your kitchen table told in large, high gloss photographs of the autumn Wisconsin landscape. Learn about the distinct cranberry growing region, where their name originated, and how they are grown and harvested. Complete with a glossary of tasty cranberry recipes to try at home. (Age 10 and older)

    Martino, Joe. Bucky Badger: A Children’s Story. Illustrated by Patrick Bochnak.
    Badgerland Books, 2005.
    Book 1: Becky Gets a Brother. 16 pages (0-9765510-0-4)
    Book 2: The Storm. 20 pages (0-9765510-3-9)
    Book 3: Yard Sale. 20 pages (0-9765510-1-2)
    Book 4: Treasure. 28 pages (0-9765510-2-0)

    Family events and childhood adventures of the Badgers—Mama, Papa, Grandpa, big sister Becky, and young Bucky—are told in this short series by a former student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who served as the beloved mascot Bucky. (Ages 2-6)

    Pennington, Rochelle M. The Christmas Tree Ship: The Story of Captain Santa. Illustrated by Charles Vickery.
    The Guest Cottage, 2002. 32 pages (1-930596-19-7)

    In 1912, the schooner Rouse Simmons set sail from Northern Michigan to deliver its annual load of freshly cut Christmas trees to the docks in Chicago. A winter storm caught the ship en route, and it sank with all hands off the coast of Two Rivers, Wisconsin. The story of the Christmas Tree Ship is illustrated with oil paintings and archival photographs. (Age 8 and older)

    Peterson, Cris. Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More. Photographs by David R. Lundquist.
    Boyds Mill Press, 2007. 32 pages (1-59078-310-7)
    CCBC CHOICE

    Meet Clarabelle, a Holstein who lives on a farm called Norswiss. This book explains how cows like Clarabelle help produce not only dairy products, but also electricity, fertilizer, and bedding. The pages are illustrated with bright full-color photographs, and a glossary is included at the end. (Ages 5-8)

    Peterson, Cris. Fantastic Farm Machines. Photographs by David R. Lundquist.
    Boyds Mills Press, 2006. 32 pages (1-59078-271-2)

    Twelve pieces of farm machinery are introduced to young readers in text and photographs. Farming practices from earlier, pre-machinery times are compared to the work done on contemporary farms using tractors, combines, mower-conditioners, and other equipment. (Ages 5-8)

    Rappaport, Doreen and Lyndall Callan. Dirt on their Skirts: The Story of the Young Women Who Won the World Championship.
    Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Dial, 2000. 32 pages (0-8037-2042-4) CCBC CHOICE

    It's the Racine Belles vs. the Rockford Peaches in the final game of the 1946 championship. We join the game in the bottom of the 14th inning, where the score is tied 0-0. A young fan, Margaret, is at the game with her parents and brother to cheer her home team, the Belles, to victory. From Margaret's perspective, we see the tense final moments of the game. Although Margaret and her family are fictional, the details of the game itself are all true, culled from news articles and interviews with former team members, who are pictured in photographs on the book's endpapers. (Ages 4-8)

    Rendon, Marcie R. and Cheryl Walsh Bellville. Farmer's Market: Families Working Together.
    Written by Marcie R. Rendon and Cheryl Walsh Bellville. Photographs by Cheryl Walsh Bellville.
    Carolrhoda, 2001. 48 pages (1-57505-462-0) CCBC CHOICE

    A Hmong family whose first members came to the United States in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and a family whose German and Polish ancestors first came to this country in the 1890s are profiled as part of a series about families who work together. Both farm families raise flowers and product that they sell at the St. Paul, Minnesota, farmer's market. For both families, farming involves multiple generations, with everyone from children to elders sharing in the year-round work. The text affirms the strong sense of cooperation and commitment present in each of the farming families. Information about farm equipment and techniques is a part of the narrative, accompanied by color photographs. (Ages 7-11)

    Wargin, Kathy-jo. The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell. Illustrated by Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen.
    Sleeping Bear Press / Gale, 2003. 48 pages (1-58536-126-7)

    Amidst gale force winds, and a loss of radar and radio beacon guidance, the Edmund Fitzgerald and all 29 men aboard sank to the bottom of Lake Superior in November, 1975. Accompanied by full-color paintings, this picture book version of the disaster tells of the ship's mounting problems during its last hours and final moments. A brief epilogue describes the 1995 recovery of the ship's bell and the following tribute to the lost sailors.

    Wargin, Kathy-jo. Little Wisconsin. Illustrated by Michael Glenn Monroe.
    Sleeping Bear Press / Gale, 2012. 20 pages (978-1-58536-209-7)

    Rhyming riddles and colorful paintings in this board book introduce young readers to the animals, flowers, and agricultural products of Wisconsin. (Ages 3-6)

    Young, Patrick. Old Abe, Eagle Hero: The Civil War’s Most Famous Mascot.
    Illustrated by Anne Lee. Kane Miller, 2010. 48 pages (978-1-935279-23-5)

    During the time of the Civil War, the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry had a mascot accompany them on many battles. His name was Old Abe and he was a majestic bald eagle. He embodied hope and inspired many of the Northern Soldiers in his company throughout the war. This “biography” of Old Abe is illustrated with watercolors and ink which visually portray his adventures from a farm in Wisconsin, to the battlefield, and back to the Wisconsin State Capitol building. (Ages 4-8)

    Fiction Set in Wisconsin


    For Younger Readers


    Arnold, Marsha Diane. Prancing, Dancing Lily. Illustrated by John Manders.
    Dial, 2004. 32 pages (0-8037-2823-9)

    A Wisconsin cow that yearns to dance travels the world looking for the perfect venue, before returning home to the Dairy State. (Ages 4-8)

    Balcziak, Bill. Paul Bunyan. Illustrated by Patrick Girouard.
    Compass Point Books, 2003. 32 pages (0-7565-0459-7)

    The legend of Paul Bunyan, giant lumberjack of the North Woods, is presented in a picture book format, telling of Paul's childhood and life with his companion, Babe the Blue Ox. (Ages 5-8)

    Bowe, Julie. Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd).
    Kathy Dawson Books, 2017. 228 pages (978-0-8037-3693-1)

    In northern Wisconsin, nine-year-old Wren Jo Byrd is struggling through some big changes. Her parents are getting divorced, Wren is about to spend the summer with her grandparents, and her best friend suddenly has a new best friend. Wren tries to keep her parents’ divorce a secret at school, but when the truth comes out, Wren learns a few lessons about the meanings of family and friendship. (Ages 7-10)

    Eccles, Mary. By Lizzie.
    Dial, 2001. 128 pages (0-8037-2608-2)

    After discovering her Mom's old typewriter, nine-year-old Lizzie writes one story each month about her day-to-day life with her Wisconsin family. (Ages 8-11)

    Geisert, Arthur. The Giant Ball of String.
    Walter Lorraine Books / Houghton Mifflin, 2002. 32 pages (0-618-13221-X) CCBC CHOICE

    The fictional mining town of Rumpus Ridge, Wisconsin, populated by pigs, has one claim to fame: the collected effort of generations of young piglets has resulted in the largest ball of string in the world. The giant ball is a popular tourist destination until a thunderstorm floods the town creek, washing the string downstream to the town of Cornwall. The Cornwallians decide to run with this stroke of luck, and claim the string as their own. However, the youngsters of Rumpus Ridge are determined to regain what is rightfully theirs, and an elaborate plot involving a sluice, water wheel, windmill, and meticulous timing is enacted. (Ages 5-10)

    Gregg, Andy. Paul Bunyan and the Winter of the Blue Snow. Illustrated by Carolyn R. Stich.
    River Road Publications (830 E. Savidge Street, Spring Lake, MI 49456), 2000. 56 pages (0-9383682-58-X)

    What really happened during the legendary Winter of the Blue Snow in the North Woods? Author Andy Gregg weaves a tall tale of lumberjacks, fantastic creatures, and the geography of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Big Paul and his blue ox, Babe, do their best, but sometimes they create more trouble than help. At the end of the story, the author reveals connections between these tall tales and realities. (Ages 7-11)

    Heath, Kristina. Mama's Little One.
    Muh-He-Con-Neew Press (N9136 Big Lake Road, Gresham, WI 54128-8955), 1998. 32 pages $10.00

    Mohican cultural values are lyrically expressed through a question-and-answer conversation between a mother and and her young son who is learning what's expected of him in the community at large. Based on 18th century traditional family life in which it was the custom for the head of a family to orally transmit cultural values to children each morning, the story not only gives young readers insight into Mohican traditions, but will also have meaning for today's children and their parents. (Ages 4-7)

    Horner, William. The Buried Treasure of Appleton, Wisconsin. Illustrated by Claude Schneider.
    Badger House (1272 Parkview Road, Green Bay, WI 54304), 2001. 32 pages (1-931765-00-6)

    When a miserly farmer stores his hoard of gold coins in an old well, it remains hidden until years later when a cat stuck in the well is rescued with a gold coin in her mouth. The new farm owner is thrilled with his find, until an unscrupulous banker steals his treasure. (Ages 5-8)

    Horner, William. Gene Shepard's Wisconsin Hodag. Illustrated by Robb Mommaerts.
    Badger House (1272 Parkview Road, Green Bay, WI 54304), 2001. 32 pages (1-931765-03-0)

    Gene Shepard toured Wisconsin cities with her ferocious Hodag, a vicious creature that breathed fire, until closer inspection revealed that the monster was a fake. (Ages 5-8)

    Horner, William. Snyder & Baldy: Wisconsin Circus Elephants. Illustrated by Claude Schneider.
    Badger House (1272 Parkview Road, Green Bay, WI 54304), 2001. 32 pages (1-931765-01-4)

    Snyder and Baldy were two of the elephants with the Ringling Brothers' Circus of Baraboo, Wisconsin. Small Snyder was famous for the elaborate tricks he could perform. Baldy, a large work elephant, rescued a child from an attacking circus bear. (Ages 5-8)

    Horner, William. Wisconsin's Ridgeway Ghost. Illustrated by Beth Harrison Schneider.
    Badger House (1272 Parkview Road, Green Bay, WI 54304), 2001. 32 pages (1-931765-02-2)

    For years, the residents of Ridgeway described the pranks of their local ghost, until he finally left town via the newly built railroad. (Ages 5-8)

    Jacobs, Lily.The Littlest Bunny in Wisconsin. Illustrated by Robert Dunn.
    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2015. 32 pages. (978-1-4926-1240-7)

    When May and Joe picked out their new pet rabbit, they knew Flop was special, but they had no idea he was actually the real Easter Bunny for the whole state of Wisconsin. Follow Flop on this rhyming adventure as he delivers eggs across the state with stops at Miller Field and the Madison Public Library, but still makes it home in time to celebrate Easter morning with his new family. (Ages 4-7)

    James, Eric. A Halloween Scare in Wisconsin. Illustrated by Marina Le Ray.
    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2014. 32 pages. (978-1-4926-0642-0)

    Monsters have taken over Wisconsin! A young boy looks out his window to see zombies, vampires, and mummies having a wild Halloween party in the streets, and gets quite a scare when he realizes the party has reached his own living room. Filled with Wisconsin details, including a nod to the Packers and Wisconsin’s love of cheese, this rhyming book ends as the narrator realizes that his human “costume” is just as spooky to monsters as their fangs and claws are to him. (Ages 4-7)

    Joosse, Barbara. Lewis & Papa: Adventure on the Santa Fe Trail. Illustrated by Jon Van Zyle.
    Chronicle, 1998. 32 pages (0-8118-1959-0) CCBC CHOICE

    When an old traveler spends the night at Lewis's family's cabin near the Wisconsin River, he fills their heads with stories of adventure and the profits to be made in Santa Fe by selling goods from the East. After giving it some thought, Lewis's father decides to fill up his own wagon with goods such as nails and calico and head west on the Santa Fe Trail to sell them. And, best of all, he decides Lewis is old enough to be of help. Much as he misses Mama and his Wisconsin home, Lewis loves the time he gets to spend with Papa and the other traders in their wagon train. Every other double-page spread includes a small map that shows their progress, as the wagon train face challenges such as heat, river crossings and a buffalo stampede. Through it all, Lewis and Papa grow closer in this story of a warm father-and-son relationship. (Ages 5-9)

    LaMarche, Jim. The Raft.
    HarperCollins, 2000. 42 pages (0-688-13977-9) CCBC CHOICE

    At first Nicky isn't excited about spending the summer with his grandma in the Wisconsin woods, but he changes his mind after discovering an old raft in the water near her cottage. He soon realizes that his grandparent is marvelously unconventional in unexpected ways. Being a solitary artist among her other gifts and talents as an independent spirit, Grandma allows Nicky to ease into what he will enjoy in his own way. When he learns to pole the raft, Nicky notices faded images of birds and animals on it. He begins to realize the variety of wildlife moving nearby in the water and along the shore by day and also by night. Later on, his grandma provides art materials so the boy can sketch what he observes. LaMarche grew up in Wisconsin and had the pleasure of a similar experience while he was a boy. His exquisite paintings illustrating this handsome, singular story evoke a quiet, secluded Wisconsin river during summertime and encourage more than one type of observation. (Ages 5-9)

    Liebig, Nelda Johnson. Carrie and the Apple Pie.
    Midwest Traditions, 1999. 122 pages (1-883953-30-8)

    Following the Peshtigo Fire of 1871, Carrie and her little brother are taken to nearby Oconto, where a wealthy couple offer them a home. With the help of her new friend Fawn, a Menominee Indian girl, Carrie learns to move on with her life. This is the second book about Carrie, whose story began in Carrie and the Crazy Quilt. (Ages 9-12)

    Liebig, Nelda Johnson. Carrie and the Boarding House.
    Midwest Traditions, 2005. 127 pages (1-883953-35-9)

    A year after the Peshtigo Fire of 1871, 13-year-old Carrie moves back to Peshtigo with her family and helps her mother open a boarding house. This continues the series which includes Carrie and the Crazy Quilt and Carrie and the Apple Pie. (Ages 9-12)

    McLernon, Carol March. Overlooking Stoneybrook. Story and photos by Carol March McLernon.
    Carol March McLernon (N4738 Bowers Road, Lake Geneva, WI 53147), 1998. 71 pages (1-57502-864-6)

    Ten-year-old Annie shares everything with her new friend Jenny: her frustrations with her stepmother, "women's work," and not being able to care for animals, her first love. Things change when Annie's brother becomes ill and Annie's father asks her to help him with his mail route. A sudden rain storm that hits while she is driving her father's wagon back home alone allows her to discover her own strength. An easy-to-read historical story about a family living in the Cornish mining community of New Diggins, Wisconsin. (Ages 6-8)

    McLernon, Carol March. String of Hope.
    Oxen Books, 2006. 72 pages (0-9713773-1-6)

    In 1830, Louisa, an African American slave, lives at Forst Winnebago, where she becomes friends with a Native American girl called Prairie Flower. After being accused of stealing, Louisa attempts to escape from the fort with the help of her friends. (Ages 8-12)


    Oliver, Andrew. Scrambled (A Sam & Stephanie Mystery).
    Adams Pomeroy Press, 2007. 271 pages (0-9661009-8-0)

    The funds for the school Halloween party are stolen one day, but that’s just the first of odd events in the rural Wisconsin village of South Fork. Next, a bank robber escapes; milk cans go missing; a stranger is found in Grandpa’s barn; and there’s a fire in an abandoned house. Two determined twelve-year-olds, Sam and Stephanie, set out to unscramble these mysteries with their proven detective skills. (Ages 9-12)


    Schaefer, Laura. The Secret Ingredient.
    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011. 230 pages (978-1-4424-1959-9)

    The summer before starting high school, Annie is working at her grandmother's Madison teashop and blogging about her efforts to develop a scone recipe that will win the grand prize in a baking competition – an all-expenses-paid trip to London, England. Includes Annie's blog posts with recipes for scones and other teatime treats. (Ages 9 – 12)


    Schatz, Ellie. Color Me Purple. Illustrated by Donna J. Parker.
    Ellie Books, 2016. 53 pages (978-0-9842251-1-8)

    Intended to help children and their caregivers to embrace their intelligence, this book is about fictionalized children involved in the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth program. Upset that her friend Kennedy is being teased for winning the spelling bee, Angie brings her concerns to her grandma, who helps Angie identify the different ways in which her classmates are smart. Text boxes interspersed throughout the story provide information about the psychological theory of multiple intelligences. (Ages 7-adult)


    Smith, Jennifer E. The Storm Makers. Illustrated by Brett Helquist.
    Little, Brown. 374 pages. (978-0-316-17958-4)

    Twelve-year-old Ruby isn't happy that a year ago her parents gave up their "perfectly good jobs" in Chicago to move to a farm in Wisconsin and pursue their dream careers (Dad's always wanted to be an inventor, and Mom an artist). Now money's tight, Ruby doesn't quite fit in at her new school, and, worst of all, her twin brother Simon, with whom she's always been close, is growing increasingly distant. Then a mysterious stranger named Otis appears one day in the family's barn and Simon learns that he is a Storm Maker, one of a secret international community whose members have the ability to influence the weather –although not all of them, it becomes apparent, use their power to do good. As the worst drought in 100 years grips the Midwest, Simon, with Ruby's help, must use his new-found powers to avert a climate catastrophe. (Ages 8-12)


    Waboose, Jan Bourdeau. Morning on the Lake. Illustrated by Karen Reczuch.
    Kid's Can Press, 1998. 32 pages (1-55074-373-2) CCBC CHOICE

    When an Ojibway boy spends a day in the company of Mishomis (grandfather), the two of them both claim morning, noon, and night as their favorite time of day. In the morning on the lake in a birchbark canoe, they see a family of loons; hiking up a cliff at noon, they see an eagle; and walking through the forest at night, they see a pack of wolves. The boy is initially frightened by each sight but he follows the example of his grandfather and stays perfectly quiet and still. After each animal has passed, Mishomis interprets cultural messages for the boy, thereby teaching him about his heritage. (Ages 5-8)

    For Older Readers


    Akervik, Caroline. White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat.
    Fire and Ice / Mélange Books, 2014. 119 pages (978-1-61235-826-0)

    The sights, sounds, tastes, and smells, the back-breaking labor and the occasional good times of a Northwoods logging camp are described by fourteen-year-old Sevy Anderson of Eau Claire who, following an accident, takes his father’s place as a sawyer, determined to earn the wages that will support his family. (Ages 11-14)


    Anderson, Jodi Lynn. The Vanishing Season.
    HarperTeen / HarperCollins, 2014. 247 pages. (978-0-06-200327-0)

    Maggie and her parents move to the small town of Gill Creek just as the last summer visitors are leaving and the first body of a murdered teen is found floating in Lake Michigan, in this mystery/romance set in a wintry Door County. (Age 12 and older)


    Banash, Jennifer. Silent Alarm.
    Putnam, 2015. 297 pages (978-0-399-25789-6)

    In the fictional town of Plainewood, Wisconsin, seventeen-year-old Alys witnesses her brother kill fifteen students and then himself in the school library. Having survived the shootings, she must then face the terrible aftermath, including her parents’ struggle to cope with their grief and feelings of guilt, and the reaction of a devastated community that blames her family for the tragedy. (Age 14 and older)

    Bauer, Joan. Hope Was Here.
    Putnam, 2000. 186 pages. (0-399-32142-0)

    Sixteen-year-old Hope loves being a waitress, especially when her customers are friendly and the tips are good. Together, Hope and her aunt Addie have traveled all over the country to work in different diners, where Addie cooks delicious food and Hope serves it. After an exciting stint in Brooklyn, N.Y., their next move is to rural Wisconsin, where Hope and Addie will help a man with cancer run his beloved diner. Hope doesn't know what to expect, but like always, she looks forward to the adventure. (Ages 12-18)


    Bauer, Marion Dane. An Early Winter. Clarion Books, 1999.
    120 pages (0-395-90372-6) CCBC CHOICE

    Eleven-year-old Tim looks forward to time with Granddad. Tim and his mother have lived with his grandparents in their Wisconsin home, so he's always been close to his grandfather. Recently Tim and his mom moved to Minneapolis with his new stepfather. Now that his mother and Paul are married, Tim is making the best of the changes, but he loves to go Ahome.He's overheard the whispers about Granddad, and he's overheard the word Alzheimer'ss. Tim refuses to believe that Granddad's forgetfulness is symptomatic of something serious until they go fishing, or try to. The two move into increasing danger, one step at a time, and then very swiftly. Along with developing one of her trademark fast-paced short novels featuring genuine dialogue and people about whom readers care, Bauer pictures the realistic denial and grief associated with Tim's anguish. (Ages 9-12)

    Bick, Ilsa J. Draw the Dark.
    Carolrhoda, 2010. 338 pages (978-0-7613-5686-8)

    Christian Cage is a seventeen-year-old living in Winter, Wisconsin, who draws many things. He evokes on paper images from his dreams and what he remembers of his parents who disappeared years ago. His dreams and paintings collide when he begins to dream through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy, David, who lived in Winter during the 1940s. Through David, Christian learns of a mysterious murder and the potential connection to a place where Christian believes his parents are trapped called “the sideways place.” (Ages 14 and up)

    Bick, Ilsa J. Drowning Instinct.
    Carolrhoda Lab, 2012. 346 pages (978-0-7613-7752-8)

    Following a breakdown and brief stay in a psychiatric hospital, Milwaukee area teen Jenna Lord enrolls in a new high school and becomes involved with a teacher, Mr. Anderson, who tires to help her cope with the many stresses in her life: an abusive father, alcoholic mother, and a brother serving in Iraq. (Ages 14-18)

    Bjornson, Nancy. Jesse and Cash and the Illegal Trappers.
    Monarch Tree, 2008. 118 pages (978-0978569884)

    A mystery set on Madeline Island, in Northern Wisconsin during the winter. On their first dog-sled run two boys, Jesse and Cash, come across a suspicious looking trapper. They soon realize they have uncovered illegal trapping on the Island and must decide how to bring the criminals to justice. (Ages 10-15)

    Brown, Anne Greenwood. Deep Betrayal.
    Delacorte Press, 2013. 335 pages (978-0-385-74203-0)

    Anne Greenwood Brown returns to the Lake Superior setting of Lies Beneath for another installment in the romance between teenage Lily and merman Calder. (Ages 12-18)

    Brown, Anne Greenwood. Lies Beneath.
    Delacorte Press, 2012. 306 pages (978-0-385-74201-6)

    A family of mermaids living in Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wisconsin, seeks revenge on the man who killed their mother. (Ages 12-18)

    Brown, Anne Greenwood. Promise Bound.
    Delacorte Press, 2014. 355 pages (978-0-385-74383-9)

    The concluding book in the Lies Beneath trilogy explores family relationships and power struggles among the mermaids of Lake Superior. (Age 12 and older)

    Bushnell, Jack. Farm Crossing: The Amazing Adventures of Addie and Zachary.
    Illustrated by Laurie Caple. Chippewa Valley Museum Press, 2004. 96 pages. (0-9636191-5-2)

    While visiting a farming exhibit in a contemporary museum, Addie and Jack are transported through time to a 1950s Wisconsin farming community. (Ages 9-12)

    Cameron, Ann. The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods.
    Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998. 201 pages (0-374-36702-7) CCBC CHOICE

    At 11, Amanda Woods feels plain, undistinguished, and uncertain. Perhaps because her mother thinks she is "average." But Amanda's feelings start to change the day her best friend, Lyle, moves away. Amanda's family owns a historic hotel in the small, northern Wisconsin community in which they live in this novel set in the 1950s. (Ages 10-13)

    Carter, Alden. Crescent Moon.
    Holiday House, 2000. 153 pages. (0-8234-1521-X)

    This historical novel is set in and around Eau Claire during the late 1800's. It's a time of invention and innovation, and Jeremy Callahan can't wait to leave his old logging-town ways behind and join the race to the twentieth century. His Uncle Mac, however, wants to pay tribute to the past and insists on Jeremy's help in carving a statue from a log to commemorate the "final log drive ever held on the Chippewa River." Will Jeremy resent the task, or will he gain a newfound respect for his heritage and the past? (Age 12 and older)

    Cavanaugh, Nancy J. Just Like Me.
    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2016. 246 pages. (978-1-4926-0427-3)

    Julia and her "Chinese sisters," who were all adopted from the same orphanage, head to the fictional Camp Little Big Woods in northern Wisconsin to bond over their shared heritage. Although Julia doesn't feel very Chinese, her cabin mates help her to learn more about who she is and where she belongs in the world. (Ages 9-13)

    Clark, Catherine. Wurst Case Scenario.
    HarperCollins, 2001. 311 pages (0-06-029525-2)

    Courtney, a vegan, animal-rights activist, suffers from culture shock as she begins her freshman year at a small Wisconsin college. Not only does she miss her Colorado boyfriend, she feels overwhelmed by meat and dairy products. (Age 15 and older)

    Erdrich, Louise. The Birchbark House.
    Hyperion, 1999. 235 pages (0-7868-2241-4) CCBC CHOICE

    A novel that moves with grace and certainty through the seasons ties the cycle of life, death, and renewal to a seven-year-old Objiwa girl and her family during the mid-19th century. The continued advance of white traders and settlers into lands once inhabited exclusively by Native peoples is bringing change to the lives of the Ojibwa, including those on the Lake Superior island (today know as Madeleine Island) where Omakayas and her family live. Still, Omakayas's world is defined by the daily and seasonal details of life with her family. When two white traders who arrive in the middle of winter bring smallpox to her village, Omakayas is physically untouched, but emotionally devastated. Louise Erdrich's moving historical novel is an important chronicle of Ojibwa culture and U.S and American-Indian history. This lyrically told story never strays from a child's emotional understanding--of grief and heartbreak, as well as joy and wonder. (Ages 8-12)


    Erdrich, Louise. The Game of Silence.
    HarperCollins, 2005. 256 pages. (0-06-029789-1)
    CCBC CHOICE

    In The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich introduced young readers to Omakayas, a seven-year-old Ojibwe girl in the mid-19th century living on what is now called Madeleine Island. That lyrical novel chronicled one year in the life of Omakayas, through seasons marked by both harmony and hardship. Now Omakayas is nine winters old. As summer starts, a worn-out group of elders, women and children from far-off villages arrive on the shores of their island. They were forced from their homes by the chimookomanag, the white people. Even as they seek refuge within Omakayas’s community, they warn the adults in the village that they will soon face the same fate. Omakayas cannot begin to comprehend the idea of leaving the land she has always called home. As the cycles of the seasons turn and turn again, the villagers await word from the small group of men who’ve gone off in search of news, and answers. Meanwhile, they continue with the rhythm of their lives. For Omakayas, that means working and playing within the context of her immediate family, and the larger family that her community represents. From mischievous Pinch, Omakayas’s younger brother; to spirited, unruly Two-Strike Girl; to fierce, independent Old Tallow; to loving, wise Nokomis, Omakayas’s grandmother, the characters live and breathe in a story that is full of humor, richness and heart. Through it all, Erdrich never strays from the center, where a young girl’s growing awareness of change—in herself and in the world around her, and —both complicate and facilitate her understanding of what is happening as she faces a future filled with uncertainty. (Ages 8-12)

    Farrey, Brian. With You or Without You.
    Simon Pulse, 2011. 348 pages (978-1-4424-0699-5)

    Evan is a talented young painter who, the summer after graduating from high school, faces a difficult decision: whether to move to California to pursue his art and a promising relationship with a new boyfriend, or stay in the Midwest where he can look out for his best friend, Davis, who has joined a cult-like group of gay teens and is on a path to self-destruction. Set in Madison, Wisconsin against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic; information about where readers can find out more about HIV and AIDS appears at the back of the book. (Ages 14-18)

    Fixmer, Elizabeth. Saint Training.
    Zonderkidz, 2010. 239 pages (978-0-310-72018-8)
    CCBC CHOICE

    Mary Clare O’Brian is the oldest daughter in a large Catholic family living in fictional Littleburg, Wisconsin, in 1967. She bears much of the responsibility for caring for her younger siblings, and with her parents tense because money is tight, Mary Clare bargains with God: if he’ll help provide, she’ll strive to become a saint. This inspires her ongoing correspondence with the Mother Superior of a Minnesota convent--Mary Clare intends to become a nun and eventually take over the Mother Superior’s post, figuring this is good positioning for future sainthood. Issues of the era--Mary Clare’s mother is reading The Feminine Mystique, her oldest brother is registering for the draft as a Conscientious Objector, and Father Groppi’s involvement in civil rights in Milwaukee is a point of debate among Catholics--are seamlessly woven into a story by first-time Wisconsin author Elizabeth Fixmer that is first and foremost about a smart, spirited, take-charge girl coming of age during tumultuous times. This account of Mary Clare’s gradually maturing perspective on her family, her religion, and the wider world is often hilarious but also deeply moving. (Ages 10-13)

    Garfield, Henry. Tartabull's Throw.
    Atheneum, 2001. 257 pages (0-689-83840-9)

    Nineteen-year-old Cyrus Nygerski plays second base for a minor league ball team based in Beloit, until the manager announces that he has been released. With a parting gift of tickets to a Red Sox game, Cyrus heads to Comiskey Park, where he meets a werewolf who draws him into a mystery involving murder and time travel. (Age 15 and older)

    Giedd, Jennifer Brengle. Wind Along the Water. Illustrated by Frank Mittelstadt.
    Booksurge, 2006. 219 pages (1-866-308-6235)

    Marie and Lori Finley volunteer at the nursing home where their mother works. They meet a new resident called Miss Hattie, who teaches them a song: “Wind along the water, water on your right, Wind your way toward the star all through the night.” The sisters assume it’s just nonsense, but then they realize the lyrics hint that their hometown, Fort Atkinson, was a station on the Underground Railroad. The book includes a bibliography and information on the Underground Railroad in Wisconsin.(Ages 10-14)

    Gorzelanczyk, Melissa. Arrows.
    Delacorte Press, 2016. 231 pages. (978-0-553-51044-7)

    Aaryn has only one more test before he is a full time Cupid, but his match-making visit to Lakefield, Wisconsin goes awry when he discovers too late he only has one working arrow. A year, a pregnancy, and a lost dance scholarship later, talented dancer Karma’s unrequited love for Danny is becoming unbearable. Aaryn returns to Wisconsin to try and fix his mistake, but ends up falling for Karma and learns a thing or two about hopeless love. (Age 14 and older)

    Grow, Mary L., author. Chester Meets the Walker House Ghost.
    Illustrated by Jean Marc Richel. Studio 17, 2000. 60 pages. (0-97007770-X)

    Chester the orange cat has an unwanted adventure when he must leave the comforts of his home at the cottage on Shake Rag Street in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, and liberate a ghost from the Walker House Inn. This chapter book is based on the local folklore of Mineral Point. (Ages 8-12)

    Hale, Kathleen, author. No One Else Can Have You.
    HarperTeen / HarperCollins, 2014. 382 pages. (978-0-06-221119-4)

    A darkly comic novel set in the fictional small town of Friendship, Wisconsin, where sixteen-year-old Kippy Bushman is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered her best friend. (Age 14 and older)

    Hannigan, Katherine. Ida B.
    Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins, 2004. 246 pages (0-06-073024-2)
    CCBC CHOICE

    Nine-year-old Ida B. Applewood adores her parents, and her best friends are the apple trees in her family ’s Wisconsin orchards. A good heart-to-heart with the trees usually leaves her feeling fine. But one day the trees warn that change is coming, and not long after, Ida B’s mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. Homeschooled since kindergarten, Ida B. is dismayed when she’s sent to public school because her mother is too sick to teach her. Then her parents must sell some of the orchard land—and her beloved trees--in order to pay medical bills. Katherine Hannigan’s smart, sensitive, funny protagonist is precocious without being precious. Unwilling to forgive her parents for what she sees as one betrayal after another, Ida B. closes her heart. She shuts everyone out, only to discover that causing pain in others is worse than anything she has endured. Ida B.’s loving parents (who exhibit realistic frustration and anger at Ida B.’s behavior) and her terrific fourth grade teacher give her the time and space she needs to figure out where things went wrong, and how to begin to make them right again. Hannigan’s quiet story hums with lyrical descriptions of the natural world, and of human nature, too. (Ages 9-11)

    Hapka, Catherine. Jingle Bells. (Horse Diaries)
    Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson. Random House, 2014. 171 pages (978-0-385-38484-1)

    The year is 1915 and the “horseless carriage” is becoming a familiar sight, even on the country roads around the Wisconsin farm where Jingle Bells, a Clydesdale horse, lives with a Norwegian American family. There’s plenty of work for Jingle Bells—he pulls the plow, and the wagon, and the carriage on trips to town, and he enjoys a special bond with the family’s youngest daughter, Kari. But when older brother Martin, who works for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, arrives home for a Christmas visit driving a new Model T, Jingle Bells and Kari begin to wonder if horses are still needed on a farm, in this novel told from Jingle’s point of view. Back matter includes more information about the Clydesdale breed, the Model T Ford, and Scandinavian traditions, as well as suggestions for activities related to the story. (Ages 7-11)

    Henkes, Kevin. Bird Lake Moon. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2008.
    179 pages (978-0061470769)

    When 12-year-old Mitch’s parents divorce, he and his mother go to spend the summer with his grandparents in their cottage on Bird Lake. Mitch feels angry, sad, and lonely, and he retreats into his imagination where he pretends the long-vacant cottage next door belongs to him. He sweeps the front porch, cleans out the bird bath, and carves his initials into the porch’s wooden railing. He even resolves to keep the splinter he gets from the railing so the house will be a part of him. Mitch’s future plans are disturbed, however, when another family shows up to spend a week at the cottage. From his position in the crawl space underneath the front porch, he learns that they own the house and he decides he will try to scare them away by making them think the house is haunted. What Mitch doesn’t know is that 10-year-old Spencer and his family haven’t been to the lake for years because it was the site of his older brother’s drowning when he was four and Spencer was just two. And every small thing Mitch does to make them think the house is haunted, Spencer reads as a sign from his dead brother. Masterfully told with alternating points of view, Henkes shows the developing friendship between two boys who are both withholding information from each other. Only the reader knows the full story, and the dramatic tension builds as each boy gets closer to finding out the truth. (Ages 8-12)


    Henkes, Kevin. Sun & Spoon.
    Greenwillow, 1997. 135 pages (0-688-15232-5) CCBC CHOICE

    Although the rest of his family seems to have adjusted to Gram's death, ten-year-old Spoon continues to grieve quietly two months later. His fear that he will begin to forget his grandmother becomes almost an obsession with him as he searches for the perfect memento, something private that will always remind him of her. He thinks he has just the right thing when he takes her favorite deck of playing cards from the bottom drawer in her dining room cabinet, the one with a picture of a sun on the back of each card. And, at first, things seem perfect: sleeping with the deck under his pillow inspires dreams of Gram and sharpens his memory. But when his grandfather announces that the deck is missing, Spoon is filled with remorse and worry. Set in Madison, Wisconsin. Winner of the 1998 Elizabeth Burr Award (Ages 9-12)



    Hijuelos, Oscar. Dark Dude.
    Atheneum, 2008. 439 pages. (1-4169-4804-X)

    Fleeing his alcoholic father, abusive mother, and the bullies in his Cuban neighborhood of New York City, 15-year-old Rico runs away to a friend’s farm in Wisconsin, where he figures his light skin will blend in rather than earn him the Harlem sneer “Dark Dude.” It’s the 1960’s, and the living is easy in his new commune-like setting: no school, plenty of beer and pot, a girlfriend, and free room and board in exchange for farm work. Eventually, though, Rico begins to realize two things: that family problems and neighborhood violence can happen anywhere, and that he misses the cubano part of his identity. (Ages 12-15)

    Hilmo, Tess. Cinnamon Moon.
    Margaret Ferguson Books, 2016. 247 pages (978-0-374-30282-5)

    After their parents and sister die in the Peshtigo Fire of 1871, Ailis and Quinn move into a Chicago boardinghouse and befriend a fellow orphan, Nettie. Ailis plans to find work that will allow the three children to begin a life on their own, but soon Nettie goes missing. The two siblings put their plans on halt to search for their friend. (Ages 9-12)

    Kokie, E.M. Personal Effects.
    Candlewick, 2012. 341 pages (978-0-7636-5527-3)

    After seventeen-year-old Matt Foster's brother T.J. is killed in Iraq, Matt's father refuses to discuss his death. Matt takes his anger and frustration out on a classmate who is vocal in his opposition to the war, and is suspended for a week for fighting. Then, searching through T.J.'s things, Matt finds a packet of photographs and letters that reveal a life his family knew nothing about. A search to find out more about his brother takes Matt to Madison, Wisconsin. (Age 14 and older)

    Kornblatt, Marc. Understanding Buddy.
    Margaret K. McElderry, 2001. 113 pages (0-689-83215-X) CCBC CHOICE

    Silent, withdrawn Buddy White, a new kid in Sam Keeperman's school, is an easy target for the other kids' teasing. But Sam won't join in. He knows Buddy's mom died over the summer in a car accident. Buddy's mother worked for his family as a cleaning woman. Sam can't imagine what it would be like to lose his mom, and he is not sure what to say to Buddy. But his first awkward gestures toward Buddy slowly blossom into friendship. At the same time, Sam's relationship with his own best friend--who doesn't like Buddy--is jeopardized. This novel set in Madison features a contemporary Jewish American child (and, in Buddy, a contemporary child whose family members are Jehovah's Witnesses) whose questions about death, life, religion, and the meaning of friendship are explored with honesty and sensitivity. Winner of the 2001 Elizabeth Burr Award. (Ages 9-12)

    LaFaye, A. Edith Shay.
    Viking, 1998. 183 pages (0-670-87598-8)

    Sixteen-year-old Katherine dreams of experiencing life outside her small Wisconsin logging town, but her family just doesn't understand. One day in 1865, however, Katherine gets the opportunity. She sets off to Chicago with a few coins in her pocket, a satchel, and a suitcase she finds in the train station with a tag reading Edith Shay. Katherine discovers that building a life for herself will be a lot of work, but more rewarding than she ever imagined. (Ages 10-14)

    Lone Tree, Spencer G. Night Sun and the Seven Directions.
    Prell Books & Multimedia, 2004. 375 pages (1-889406-45-7)

    Night Sun is a twelve-year-old boy who is destined to become a medicine man in his tribe. However, the white men's school is threatening the Winnebago way of life. Faced with continued abuse and cruelty, Night Sun decides to run away with three friends. No one has ever successfully escaped before. Will Night Sun find freedom? The black-and-white illustrations are the author's own. (Ages 13 and older)

    Lowden, Stephanie Golightly.  Jingo FeverCrickhollow Books,  2011.  127 pages (978-193398716-3)

    In the summer of 1918, with the United States at war with Germany and her brother serving in the Army overseas, twelve-year-old AdelleKlein moves with her mother from Milwaukee to Ashland, Wisconsin. In Milwaukee, the family lived in the midst of a large and supportive German-American community, but in Ashland their German heritage suddenly makes them suspect. Over the course of the summer, Adelle experiences first-hand the anti-German sentiment that took hold of America during the First World War, as patriotism turned into a dangerous mistrust of all things foreign. (Ages 9-12)

    Lowden, Stephanie Golightly. Time of the Eagle: A Story of an Ojibwe Winter.
    Blue Horse Books, 2004. 127 pages (1-883953-34-0)

    Thirteen-year-old Autumn Dawn Leaf and her little brother, Coyote Boy, are on their own in and in after smallpox strikes their village in a novel set on the shores of Lake Superior in the 18th century. (Ages 10-14)

    LeClair, Vic, III. Nick Faber's Touch.
    PublishAmerica, 2003. 113 pages (1-59286-545-3)

    Thirteen-year-old Nick Faber is living in the Wisconsin town of Neshotah when he is visited by an unusual stranger. The stranger leaves Nick with a highly developed sense of touch, a gift that proves both helpful and disturbing. While searching for an explanation behind this unusual meeting, a retired priest discovers information that suggests the stranger may be a descendant of an ancient people. (Age 10-14)

    McLernon, Carol March, author. Foreward the Women.
    Carol March McLernon, 2001. 91 pages (0-9713773-0-8)

    In 1826, Sarah Doty and her new husband boarded a steamboat in Buffalo, New York, and traveled to Mackinac Island. Sarah tells about the women she meets in her location, including Native American women, a twelve-year-old African American slave and other white pioneer women. This fictionalized account of life in early 19th century Wisconsin is based on real people and actual events. (Ages 10-14)

    McLoughlin, Jane, author. At Yellow Lake.
    Frances Lincoln, 2012. 358 pages (978-1-84780-287-3)

    Set in the lake country of northern Wisconsin, this novel is told from the alternating viewpoints of three teens seeking shelter in an old cabin who find they have stumbled into a crime scene. (Ages 14-18)

    Meaney, Flynn, author. The Boy Recession.
    Poppy / Little, Brown, 2012. 246 pages (978-0-316-10213-1)

    Kelly and Hunter have been just friends for years. But when a number of the most popular boys at their Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin high school transfer to other schools and, in the ensuing "boy shortage," Hunter finds himself suddenly attractive to the female population, each, separately, begins to wonder about their true feelings for the other. Chapters alternate between Kelly's and Hunter's point of view. (Age 14 and older)

    Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Dairy Queen: A Novel.
    Houghton Mifflin, 2006. 275 pages (0-618-68307-0)
    CCBC CHOICE

    D.J. is a 16 year old girl growing up on a dairy farm in Red Bend, Wisconsin. Her family has a lot of communication problems, including the fact that her father doesn't speak to her two older college-age brothers, who are both gifted football players. Her father also has had a hip replacement, leaving D.J. to assume primary responsibility around the farm. Her Dad's best friend, the coach of the rival high school football team, sends his star quarterback, Brian, to help D.J. with the farm work, to toughen him up. Knowing how her brothers used to train for football when they were in high school, D.J. begins working as Brian's trainer and, over the course of the summer finds that she, too, is skilled at football. D.J. is so good, in fact, that she decides to try out for her high school team. She also grows to like Brian - a lot. But her inability to talk about her feelings and her skill on the football field combine to alienate Brian and force D.J. to think hard about what she wants and what she's willing to do to get it. Murdock's cast of characters, from major to minor, show depth and credibility, never relying on stereotype. In a novel both funny and moving, the author tackles themes of love, friendship, family, gender and athletics. The strong Wisconsin setting is an added bonus - it is hard to believe that the author has never lived here. (Ages 13-16)

    Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Front and Center.
    Houghton Mifflin, 2009. 256 pages (978-0-618-95982-2)

    In this sequel to Dairy Queen and The Off Season, high school basketball player D.J. Schwenk, who lives on a Wisconsin dairy farm, deals with college scouts, her own social awkwardness, and the aftermath of her breakup with her boyfriend. (Ages 13-16)

    Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Heaven Is Paved with Oreos.
    Houghton Mifflin, 2013. 201 pages (978-0-547-62538-6)
    CCBC CHOICE

    Sarah Zorn is the best friend of Curtis Schwenk, younger brother of DJ Schwenk of Dairy Queen (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) fame. Sarah is a very analytical, logical kid in a small Wisconsin town and doesn't see why people can't accept that she and Curtis are just friends. But now, in the summer before eighth grade, she's a little unsettled by the fact that Curtis seems to like another girl. Sarah is trying to not think about this as she heads off to Rome with her grandmother, Z. Sarah's always known Z had her dad out of wedlock and turned him over to her parents to raise while she went off to find herself in California. But on their trip together Sarah learns more than she thinks she wants to know or is ready for about the rest of the story. She's really angry by the time they return. Why did Z share her pain and sadness? What is she supposed to do with this new information? Catherine Gilbert Murdock explores the tension and unease that kids can face as they mature and find out new things about the adults in their lives in a novel that is funny and warm and at times surprising. Murdock explores the complexities of relationships and the resilience of love through a girl whose mind is wired for organization and order and routine, and who is facing the challenge of learning to be a little more flexible and open. (Ages 10-13)

    Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Off Season.
    Houghton Miffline, 2007. 288 pages
    (0-618-68695-9) CCBC CHOICE

    It looks like it’s going to be a fantastic junior year for D.J. Schwenk, who’s back in this sequel to Dairy Queen. She’s the first girl linebacker in northern Wisconsin; she’s on good terms again with her best friend, Amber; and she’s dating Brian Nelson, the popular quarterback of the rival team. But then, everything turns upside down. She gets injured and has to choose between basketball, which might get her a college scholarship, and the football she loves. On top of that, her romance is thrown into the public spotlight with unexpcted results; Amber runs off with her girlfriend; and she finds out that her family farm is in financial trouble. Worst of all, her brother Win breaks his neck during a football game. They say it never rains but it pours; however, slowly but surely, D. J. works her way through obstacle after obstacle and ultimately emerges triumphant. (Age 13 and older)

    Oliver, Andrew. Beyond the Enchanted Bridge: A Visit to Scarecrow Land.
    Adams-Pomeroy Press, 2002. 126 pages (pbk. 0-9661009-3-X)

    Set in rural southern Wisconsin, this story told in rhyming verse recounts the adventures of 10-year-old Martha and her younger brother, when they journey into Scarecrow Land. (Ages 8-11)

    Oliver, Andrew. If Photos Could Talk. (A Sam & Stephanie Mystery)
    Adams-Pomeroy Press, 2005. 259 pages (pbk. 0-9661009-6-4)

    Best friends Sam and Stephanie search for a missing neighbor in this contemporary adventure story set in a fictional southern Wisconsin town. (Ages 9-12)

    Pellowski, Anne. First Farm in the Valley: Anna's Story. Illustrated by Wendy Watson.
    St. Mary's Press (702 Terrace Heights, Winona, MN 55987), 1998, c1982. 191 pages (0-88489-537-8) CCBC CHOICE

    Pellowski, Anne. Stairstep Farm: Anna Rose's Story. Illustrated by Wendy Watson.
    St. Mary's Press, 1998, c1982. 175 pages (0-88489-536-8) CCBC CHOICE

    Pellowski, Anne. Willow Wind Farm: Betsy's Story. Illustrated by Wendy Watson.
    St. Mary's Press, 1998, c1982. 176 pages (0-88489-525-4) CCBC CHOICE

    Pellwoski, Anne. Winding Valley Farm: Annie's Story. Illustrated by Wendy Watson.
    St. Mary's Press, 1998, c1982. 192 pages (0-88489-538-6) CCBC CHOICE

    This series of novels about four generations of a Polish American family has at long-last been brought back into print. First Farm in the Valley features the first family to settle in the Latsch Valley near the Trempealeau River. Although Anna was born in Wisconsin, she longs to leave her birthplace and the chores expected of her to return to the Poland she imagines from her parents' stories. Winding Valley Farm focuses on the next generation and young Annie's disbelief that her family is considering moving to town in 1908. Though she has a way of making farm work and household chores (like caring for her new baby sister) fun, Annie's daughter Anna Rose in Stairstep Farm dreams of going to school. In Willow Wind Farm, Anna Rose's niece Betsy learns to appreciate her warm and loving family when relatives from all over the country gather for a family reunion at Grandma and Grandpa's. These four episodic short novels trace parallel Polish-American seasonal and holiday activities and customs, as well as farm techniques as they change (or don't change) over the years. All four books contain a pronunciation guide. (Ages 8-11)

    Qualey, Marsha. Thin Ice.
    Delacorte, 1997. 261 pages (0-385-32298-4)

    For the ten years since her parents died in a plane crash, seventeen-year-old Arden has been raised in northern Wisconsin by her brother Scott. Then one day, Arden learns that Scott's snowmobile has been found in the bottom of the nearby river. Despite the insistence of those around her, Arden refuses to believe her brother is dead. She sets out on a search for her brother, and uncovers truths about herself and her need for a sense of family in the process. (Ages 12-adult)

    Rosengren, Gayle. What the Moon Said.
    Putnam, 2014. 217 pages (978-0-399-16352-4)

    It's the Depression, and when ten-year-old Esther's father loses his job, her family moves from Chicago to a small farm in Wisconsin where they hope to make a better life. Esther must adjust to the new conditions--a house without running water or electricity, lots of chores, a new school--but what really troubles her is her mother's lack of affection: noticing that she does not give kisses and hardly ever hugs, Esther fears her mother does not love her. Over the course of a year in which the family faces mounting hardships, Esther tries to be the perfect daughter, hoping to win her mother's love by always being helpful and obedient. (Ages 8-11)

    Rylant, Cynthia. Old Town in the Green Groves. (Laura Ingalls Wilder's Lost Little House Years)
    Illustrated by Jim LaMarche. HarperCollins, 2002. 164 pages (0-06-029561-9)

    Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books know that there are two years unaccounted for between On the Banks of Plum Creek and By the Shores of Silver Lake. Here, author Cynthia Rylant worked from Wilder's unpublished notes and her own imagination to create a story that chronicles the Ingalls' family life during that time in Burr Oak, Iowa. (Ages 8-11)

    Sales, Leila. Once Was a Time.
    Chronicle Books, 2016. 324 pages (978-1-4521-4009-4)

    In 1940’s England, Charlotte and her best friend Kitty are inseparable, nearly sisters. Charlotte’s father is a scientist working on a top secret plan for time travel during the war. When Charlotte and Kitty find themselves in danger, Charlotte is able to escape through a time travel portal and wakes up alone in 2013 in the fictional town of Sutton, Wisconsin. Navigating modern life, Charlotte seeks to find any news of Kitty and the life she left behind. (Ages 8-12)

    Sinykin, Sheri Cooper. A Matter of Time.
    Marshall Cavendish, 1998. 207 pages (0-7614-5019-X)

    Sixth-grader Joey Anderson fills his life with television to help him forget his worries about his family's recent move to Wisconsin and the lack of time his father has to give. A trip back in time allows Joey to get to know his father as a boy and learn how to get to know his father in the present. (Ages 10-14)

    Stanton, Angie. Waking in Time.
    Switch Press / Capstone, 2017. 352 pages (978-1-63079-070-7)

    Abbi's arrival on the UW-Madison campus for her freshman year comes just after the death of her beloved grandmother, an alum of the University. Her room in Elizabeth Waters Hall, where the sounds of the nearby Carillon Tower can be heard, becomes the constant when she finds herself traveling through time, uncovering a family secret, falling in love with another time traveler, and a witness to the changing social and political climates on campus, especially for women, from the mid-20th-century through present day. (Age 12 and older)

    Timberlake, Amy. One Came Home.
    Knopf, 2013. 257 pages (978-0-375-86925-9)

    The largest passenger pigeon nesting on record happened in South Central Wisconsin in 1871. Millions of birds spanned an area of at least 850 square miles. Amy Timberlake's novel sets a compelling human tale against this fascinating history of the natural world. Thirteen-year-old Georgie lives in a small Wisconsin town in the nesting area. She likes working in the family store and likes being known as the best shot in town. Georgie's older sister, Agatha, longs to attend college at the university in Madison. Weeks before Agatha ran away with a group of pigeoners—people who follow the pigeons for economic opportunity. Now, the badly decomposed body of a young woman has been found in the woods outside a neighboring town. The dress on the body is Agatha's. So, too, is the color of the woman's hair. Georgie refuses to believe Agatha is dead, and flashbacks reveal their sometimes prickly but deeply loving bond. Determined to find Agatha, Georgie runs away on a borrowed mule (she wanted a horse) and reluctantly accepts the company of Billy McCabe, Agatha's former suitor. Georgie's fresh, lively, and surprisingly funny voice propels a narrative rich with language and metaphors suited to the setting and the time period. Nothing is predictable, from Georgie's relationship with Billy McCabe to what the two of them discover in a tale about women and girls and decency and deceit that is full of humor and tenderness. Timberlake provides more information about her research, the nesting, and the tragedy of the now extinct passenger pigeon in an author's note. (Ages 11-14)

    Wiemer, Liza. Hello?
    Spencer Hill Press, 2015. 428 pages (978-1-63392-037-8)

    This debut novel from Wiemer tells the lives of five Door County teens in a moment of transition with family, loss, and love. Each character tells the story from their own perspective in their own format (narrative, screen play, poetry, or images) as their lives connect as they seek healing and hope. (Age 14 and older

    An early frost, a Christmas celebration, her fifth birthday and the first day of school are some of the events depicted in childhood of Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother, Caroline Quiner, who spent her early years in the frontier town of Brookfield, Wisconsin. (Ages 8-11)

    Wilkes, Maria D. Little Clearing in the Woods. Illustrated by Dan Andreasen.
    (The Caroline Years) HarperCollins, 1998. 315 pages (0-06-026997-9)

    In this second book from the Little House: The Caroline Years series, the young Caroline Quiner, Laura Ingalls' mother, journeys through the forest from Brookfield, Wisconsin, to their new log cabin home in the towering trees of Concord, Wisconsin. (Ages 8-12)

    Wilkins, Celia. Little City by the Lake. Illustrated by Dan Andreasen.
    (The Caroline Years) HarperCollins, 2003. 309 pages (0-06-027006-3)

    Caroline Quiner leaves her family farm in Concord, Wisconsin, to live with relatives in Milwaukee while she attends the Milwaukee Female College. This is the sixth book in the fiction series featuring the mother of Wisconsin author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Celia Wilkins based the series on letters written to Laura Ingalls Wilder from her Aunt Martha Quiner Carpenter, about Martha and Caroline's Wisconsin childhood during the 1840s and 1850s. (Ages 8-12)


    Wilkins, Celia. A Little House of Their Own. Illustrated by Dan Andreason.
    (The Caroline Years) HarperCollins, 2005. 320 pages (0-06-027009-8)

    Caroline Quiner finishes teaching school in Milwaukee and returns home to begin her career. She loves teaching, but she also finds herself drawn to neighbor Charles Ingalls, whose future plans may take Caroline far far from home in the final book of the Little House Caroline Years series. (Ages 8-12)


    This bibliography may be reproduced as long as credit is given to the Cooperative Children's Book Center for its creation. It was created by the CCBC professional staff, and periodically updated with the assistance of our graduate reference assistants. Contributors include Merri V. Lindgren, Megan Schliesman, and Fumiko Osada.


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