Suggested Readings for Children on Rural Life in Wisconsin
from the Wisconsin Library Association
By Svetha Hetzler, Contributing Librarian
Svetha Hetzler, head of Children's Services at Middleton Public Library in Middleton, Wis., suggests books on Wisconsin farming and rural life. Her picks are geared for children 4-12 years old.
- In Grandpa’s Woods, 2004. While going on a walk with Grandpa, Chad and Amy discover the wonders of Wisconsin’s woods and forests. (32 pages)
- Caddie Woodlawn, 1973. Chronicles the adventures of eleven-year-old Caddie growing up with her six brothers and sisters on the Wisconsin frontier in the mid-nineteenth century. (242 pages)
- Georgia’s Bones, 2005. A picture book biography chronicling the life of artist Georgia O'Keeffe. Georgia O'Keefe was interested in the shapes she saw around her which began as a child, growing up on a Wisconsin farm. (32 pages)
- Planting a Rainbow, 1988. Wisconsin author Lois Ehlert's picture book portrays a mother and child planting a rainbow of flowers in the family garden. (22 pages)
- Thimble Summer, 1938. Garnet is sure a silver thimble she found by the river was full of magic because the whole summer on the farm in Wisconsin has been full of exciting adventures. (124 pages)
- Life in a Farming Community, 2009. A look at the village of Monticello, Wisconsin--a community famous for its dairy farming and cheese. (32 pages)
Gard, Robert Edward.
- My Land, My Home, My Wisconsin, 1978. Describes the history of Wisconsin’s farm and agricultural life. (97 pages)
- Ida B: ... and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, 2004. Ida B spends happy hours being home-schooled and playing in her family's Wisconsin apple orchard, until her mother begins treatment for breast cancer and her parents must sell part of the orchard and send her to public school. (246 pages)
Judson, Clara Ingra.
- Sod-House Winter, 1957. A Swedish family comes to America in the middle of the nineteenth century, settles in a cabin on a small Wisconsin farm, then moves to a Minnesota homestead where they live in a sod house. (213 pages)
- Scrambled, 2007. A mystery set in South Fork, Wisconsin. When money is stolen at their middle school, Sam and Stephanie investigate. With Grandpa's help, they also discover clues to the lost money at a nearby farm.
- Willow Wind Farm: Betsy’s Story, 1981. Follows a year in the life of seven-year-old Betsy and her large family on their Wisconsin farm. (176 pages)
- Century Farm: One Hundred Years on a Family Farm, 1997. The story of a 100 year old family farm is told through photos and anecdotes. (32 pages)
- Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More, 2007. Describes what life is like for a dairy cow on a Wisconsin farm. (32 pages)
- Wisconsin Forest Tales, 2004. A collection of forest and forestry tales set in the woods of Wisconsin. (152 pages)
- Dairy Country, 1993. An introduction to the dairy farming industry of Wisconsin. (32 pages)
- Clarissa, 1992. Clarissa, a plain, quiet, and shy brown Wisconsin cow helps a group of lost domestic animals find their way to the fair and demonstrates that she is bright, brave and creative. (32 pages)
- Across the Rolling River, 2001. Part of the Caroline Years series. This story follows the experiences of Caroline Quiner, who will become Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother, and her family on their farm on the Wisconsin frontier during the year in which Caroline turns twelve. (254 pages)