Geographic Theme (United States) (Grades 4-6)

Alabama 
Warner, Gertrude Chandler.  The Mystery of the Midnight Dog.  J FIC Warner
While visiting a small town in Alabama, the Aldens hear mysterious howls at midnight, leading them to wonder if an old local legend about a ghost dog is true.

Alaska
Dagg, Carole Estby.  Sweet Home Alaska.  J FIC Dagg
In 1934, eleven-year-old Terpsichore’s father signs up for President Roosevelt’s Palmer Colony project, uprooting the family from Wisconsin to become pioneers in Alaska, where Terpsichore refuses to let rough conditions and first impressions get in the way of her grand adventure.

O’Dell, Scott.  Black Star, Bright Dawn.  J FIC O’Dell  // Y PB O
Bright Dawn must face the challenge of the Iditarod dog sled race alone when her father is injured.

California
Beatty, Patricia.  Eight Mules from Monterey.  J FIC Beatty
During the summer of 1916 thirteen-year-old Fayette and her brother accompany their widowed mother on a mule trip into the California mountains, where she is to establish library outposts in isolated communities.

Beatty, Patricia.  Lacy Makes a Match.  J FIC Beatty
A 13-year-old living in a turn-of-the-century California mining town determines to marry off her adoptive brothers and discover the identity of her real parents.

Bertman, Jennifer Chambliss.  Book Scavenger.  J FIC Bertman
Just after twelve-year-old Emily and her family move to San Francisco, she teams up with new friend James to follow clues in an odd book they find, hoping to figure out its secrets before the men who attacked Emily’s hero, publisher Garrison Griswold, solve the mystery or come after the friends.

Cheaney, J.B.  I Don’t Know How the Story Ends.  J FIC Cheaney
Twelve-year-old Isobel is unhappy about spending the summer of 1918 at her aunt’s home in Hollywood with her mother and sister until her cousin, Ranger, involves the girls in creating the perfect film and, when her father returns from the war, his serious injury becomes their inspiration.

Snyder, Zilpha Keatley.  Cat Running.  J FIC Snyder
When eleven-year-old Cat Kinsey builds a secret hideout to escape her unhappy homelife, she slowly gets to know a poor family who have come to California after losing their Texas home to the dust storms of the 1930s.

Colorado
Beatty, Patricia.  Melinda Takes a Hand.  J FIC Beatty
In the years 1893, sensible thirteen-year-old Melinda, finding herself stranded in the Colorado town of Goldendale, promptly becomes involved in the townspeople’s lives and assorted problems.

Steiner, Barbara A. Oliver Dibbs and the Dinosaur Cause.  J FIC Steiner
Immersed in studying his favorite topic, dinosaurs, Oliver involves his fifth grade class in a campaign to make the stegosaurus the Colorado state fossil and runs afoul of an interfering bully.

Connecticut
Estes, Eleanor.  The Moffat Museum.  J FIC Estes
Jane Moffat decides to open a family museum in the barn behind the little grey house at Twelve Ashbellows Place in Cranbury, Connecticut.

Florida
DiCamillo, Kate.  Because of Winn-Dixie.  JPB D
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

DiCamillo, Kate.  Raymie Nightingale.  J FIC DiCamillo
Hoping that if she wins a local beauty pageant her father will come home, Raymie practices twirling a baton and performing good deeds as she is drawn into an unlikely friendship with a drama queen and a saboteur.

Konigsburg, E. L.  T-Backs, T-Shirts, Coat, and Suit.  J FIC Konigsburg
Spending the summer in Florida with her stepfather’s sister who operates a “meals-on-wheels” van, twelve-year-old Chlo  and her aunt become involved in a controversy surrounding the wearing of T-back bathing suits.

Georgia
O’Connor, Barbara.  Moonpie and Ivy.  J FIC O’Connor
Twelve-year-old Pearl feels hurt, confused, and unwanted when her wild, irresponsible mother leaves her with Aunt Ivy in a little country house in Georgia and then disappears.

Hawaii
Slepian, Jan.  The Broccoli Tapes.  J FIC Slepian
During a stay of several months in Hawaii with her family, Sara reports her experiences by tape back to her sixth grade class in Boston, detailing her “adoption” of a wild cat, a friendship with a troubled Hawaiian boy, and the death of a beloved grandmother.

Warner, Gertrude Chandler. The Black Pearl Mystery.  J FIC Warner
While visiting their cousin’s pineapple plantation in Hawaii, the Aldens hear a local legend about a black pearl with a curse on it and investigate mysterious incidents on and around the plantation.

Indiana
Wyman, Andrea.  Red Sky at Morning.  J FIC Wyman
In Indiana in 1909, Callie finds that she must grow up quickly when death and other hardships leave her alone on the family farm with her ailing grandfather Opa.

Iowa
Lowry, Lois.  Switcharound.   J FIC Lowry
Forced to spend a summer with their father and his “new” family, Caroline, age eleven, and J.P., age thirteen, are given unpleasant responsibilities for which they are determined to get revenge.

Kansas
Vanderpool, Clare.  Moon Over Manifest.  J FIC Vanderpool
Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past

Louisiana
Holt, Kimberly Willis.  Dear Hank Williams.  J FIC Holt
In Rippling Creek, Louisiana, in 1948, eleven-year-old Tate writes letters to her favorite country singer, sharing her dreams of becoming a singer and revealing that her mother is in prison.

Rhodes, Jewell Parker.  Sugar.  J FIC Rhodes
In 1870, Reconstruction brings big changes to the Louisiana sugar plantation where spunky ten-year-old Sugar has always lived, including her friendship with Billy, the son of her former master, and the arrival of workmen from China

Maine
Irwin, Hadley.  The Original Freddie Ackerman.  J FIC Irwin
Twelve-year-old Trevor Frederick Ackerman refuses to spend another summer with his extended family of divorced parents, step-parents, and step-brothers and step-sisters, so he is sent up to Maine to stay with two eccentric great aunts and there gets involved with some interesting people and an unexpected mystery.

Carbone, Elisa Lynn.  Starting School With an Enemy.  J FIC St. George
What seems a harmless enough trip to the family’s ancestral home on a Maine island turns into something much more dangerous for thirteen-year-old Kim.

Maryland
Carbone, Elisa Lynn.  Starting School With an Enemy.  J FIC Carbone
Worried about finding friends when she moves from Maine to Maryland, ten-year-old Sarah gets off to a bad start by making an enemy of a boy.

Hahn, Mary Downing.  Anna All Year Round.  J Fic Hahn
Eight-year-old Anna experiences a series of episodes, some that are funny, others sad, involving friends and family during a year in Baltimore just before World War I.

Massachusettes
Avi.   Blue Heron.  Y FIC Avi
While spending the month of August on the Massachusetts shore with her father, stepmother, and their new baby, almost thirteen-year-old Maggie finds beauty in and draws strength from a great blue heron, even as the family around her unravels.

Harlow, Joan Hiatt.  Joshua’s Song.  J FIC Harlow
Needing to earn money after his father’s death during the influenza epidemic of 1918, thirteen-year-old Joshua works as a newspaper boy in Boston, one day finding himself in the vicinity of an explosion that sends tons of molasses coursing through the streets.

Minnesota
Bellairs, John.  The Dark Secret of Weatherend.  J FIC Bellairs
Fourteen-year-old Anthony Monday of Hoosac, Minnesota, and his friend Miss Eells, the Hoosac librarian, try to stop an evil wizard from turning the world into an icy wasteland.

Nixon, Joan Lowery.  Land of Dreams.  Y FIC Nixon
In 1902 sixteen-year-old Kristin travels with her family from Sweden to a new life in Minnesota, where she finds herself frustrated by the restrictions placed on what girls of her age are expected or allowed to do.

Paulsen, Gary.  The Winter Room.  J FIC Paulsen // J PB P
A young boy growing up on a northern Minnesota farm describes the scenes around him and recounts his old Norwegian uncle’s tales of an almost mythological logging past.

Missouri
Clements, Bruce.   I Tell a Lie Every So Often.  JPB C
In 1848 a fourteen-year-old Missourian, although not a habitual liar, tells two lies that start off an unusual chain of events.

MacBride, Roger Lea.  Little Farm in the Ozarks.  J FIC MacBride
Laura and Almanzo Wilder and their eight-year-old daughter Rose continue to work to make Rocky Ridge farm in Missouri their new home.

MacBride, Roger Lea.  Little House on Rocky Ridge.  J FIC MacBride
In 1894 Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband, and her seven-year-old daughter Rose leave the Ingalls family in Dakota and make the long and difficult journey to Missouri to start a new life.

Montana
Yep, Laurence.  When the Circus Came to Town.  J FIC Yep
An Asian cook and a Chinese New Year celebration help a ten-year-old girl at a Montana stage coach station to regain her confidence after smallpox scars her face.

Nebraska
Conrad, Pam.  My Daniel.  Y FIC Conrad
Ellie and Stevie learn about a family legacy when their grandmother tells them stories of her brother’s historical quest for
dinosaur bones on their Nebraska farm.

Cross, Gillian.  Great American Elephant Chase.  J FIC Cross
In 1881 fifteen-year-old Tad helps a girl in her attempt to get a mighty Indian elephant to friends in Nebraska, while pursued by two unscrupulous villains who wish to take the elephant from her.

New Hampshire
Miles, Betty.  Sink or Swim.  J FIC Miles
An eleven-year-old boy from New York City goes to New Hampshire on a Fresh Air program for two weeks and has many new experiences in a small country town.

New Jersey
Myers, Walter Dean.  Me, Mop, and the Moondance Kid.  J FIC Myers
Although adoption has taken them out of the New Jersey institution where they grew up, eleven-year-old T.J. and his brother Moondance remain involved with their friend Mop’s relentless attempts to become adopted herself and to wreak revenge on their baseball rivals the obnoxious Eagles.

Robertson, Keith.  Henry Reed’s Baby-Sitting Service.  J FIC Robertson
Back in Grover’s Corners, N.J., for the summer, Henry and his partner Midge establish a baby sitting service and find a disappearing child and a peacock among their charges.

New Mexico
Hulme, Joy N.  Through the Open Door.  J FIC Hulme
Nine-year-old Dora, who has been kept out of school because of her speech impediment, dreams of learning to speak normally as her family joins a group of other Mormons journeying from Utah to New Mexico in 1910.

New York
Avi.  Don’t You Know There’s A War On?  Y FIC Avi
In wartime Brooklyn in 1943, eleven-year-old Howie Crispers mounts a campaign to save his favorite teacher from being fired.

Blume, Judy.  Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great.  J FIC Blume/ JPB B
A summer in Tarrytown, N.Y., is a lot of fun for ten-year-old Sheila even though her friends make her face up to some self-truths she doesn’t want to admit.

Giff, Patricia Reilly.  All the Way Home.  J Fic Giff
In 1941, circumstances bring together Brick, a boy from New York’s apple country, and Mariel, a young girl made shy by her bout with polio, and the two make a journey from Brooklyn back to help Brick’s elderly neighbors save their apple crop and to help Mariel learn about her past.

Hurwitz, Johanna.  Dear Emma.  J Fic Hurwitz
In her letters to a Vermont friend, eighth grader Dossi, a Russian, Jewish immigrant living in the Lower East Side of New York City in 1910, shares her thoughts about her new brother-in-law, the diphtheria epidemic, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

Konigsburg, E.L.   From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.   J Fic Konigsburg/J PB K
Two runaway children make their home in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Martin, Ann M.  Rain Reign.  J FIC Martin
Struggling with Asperger’s, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.

Sawyer, Ruth.  Roller Skates.  J FIC Sawyer
Liberated for a year from her parents’ restrictions, ten-year-old Lucinda discovers true freedom in the care of her temporary guardians as she roller skates around the streets of turn-of-the-century New York.

Taylor, Sydney.  All-Of-A-Kind Family.  JPB T
The adventures of five sisters growing up in a Jewish family in New York in the early twentieth century.

North Carolina
Draper, Sharon M.  Stella By Starlight.  J FIC Draper
When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

Tolan, Stephanie S.  Applewhites At Wit’s End.  J FIC Tolan
Great changes are in store for the highly creative and somewhat eccentric Applewhite family when money problems force them to open a summer camp for gifted children, who almost immediately begin to rebel, while a mysterious interloper watches from the woods.

Turnage, Shelia.  Three Times Lucky.  J FIC Turnage  (SERIES)
Washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, now eleven, and her best friend Dale turn detective when the amnesiac Colonel, owner of a café and co-parent of Mo with his cook, Miss Lana, seems implicated in a murder.  SEQUELThe Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (2014).

Ohio
Zinnen, Linda.  The Truth About Rats, Rules, and Seventh Grade.  J FIC Zinnen
Eleven-year-old Larch has depended on her own rules to help her cope with the life she and her mother share in a trailer in a small Ohio town, but her rules do not help her deal with a rat-catching dog, her best friend’s crush, and the truth she learns about her father’s death.

Oklahoma
Myers, Anna.  Red-Dirt Jessie.  J FIC Myers
Jessie, a young girl living in the Oklahoma dust bowl during the Depression, tries to tame a wild dog and help her father recover from a nervous breakdown.

Porter, Tracey.  Treasures in the Dust.  J FIC Porter
Eleven-year-old Annie and her friend Violet tell of the hardships endured by their families when dust storms, drought, and the Great Depression hit rural Oklahoma.

Oregon
Arnold, Elana K.  The Question of Miracles.  J FIC Arnold
Unhappy about moving from sunny California to rainy Corvallis, Oregon, and grieving over the death of her best friend, sixth-grader Iris looks for a miracle and may find one in new friend Boris. 

Avi.  The Barn.  J Fic Avi // J PB A
In an effort to fulfill their dying father’s last request, nine-year-old Ben and his brother and sister construct a barn on their land in the Oregon Territory.

Pennsylvania
Fritz, Jean.  The Cabin Faced West.  J FIC Fritz
Ten-year-old Ann overcomes loneliness and learns to appreciate the importance of her role in settling the wilderness of western Pennsylvania.

Moore, Robin.  The Bread Sister of Sinking Creek.  J FIC Moore
Fourteen-year-old Maggie Callahan, who has a special talent for making bread, struggles to survive on the Pennsylvania frontier in the late 1700s.

Skurzynski, Gloria.  Goodbye, Billy Radish.  J FIC Skurzynski
In 1917, as the United States enters World War I, ten-year-old Hank sees change all around him in his western Pennsylvania steel mill town and feels his older Ukrainian friend Billy drifting apart from him.

Puerto Rico
Mohr, Nicholasa.  Felita.  J FIC Mohr
The everyday experiences of an eight-year-old Puerto Rican girl growing up in a close-knit, urban community.

Mohr, Nicholasa.  Going Home.  J FIC Mohr
Feeling like an outsider when she visits her relatives in Puerto Rico for the first time, eleven-year-old Felita tries to come to terms with the heritage she always took for granted.

Rhode Island
Manes, Stephen.  Some of the Adventures of Rhode Island Red.  J FIC Manes
A diminutive red-haired man no bigger than a hen’s egg, Rhode Island Red leaves his home among the chickens and travels throughout Rhode Island, becoming a legendary figure through his many heroic exploits.

South Carolina
Tate, Eleanora E.  The Secret of Gumbo Grove.  YPB Tate
While helping restore the cemetery of the old Baptist church, eleven-year-old Raisin solves the mystery surrounding the founding of her home town and gains pride in her family’s past.

South Dakota
Love, D. Anne.  A Year Without Rain.  J FIC Love
Her mother’s death and a year-long drought has made life difficult for twelve-year-old Rachel and her family on their farm in the Dakotas, but when she learns that her father plans to get married again, it is almost more than Rachel can bear.

Turner, Ann Warren.  Grasshopper Summer.  J FIC Turner
In 1874 eleven-year-old Sam and his family move from Kentucky to the southern Dakota Territory, where harsh conditions and a plague of hungry grasshoppers threaten their chances for survival.

Tennessee
Schwabach, Karen.  The Hope Chest.  J FIC Schwabach,
When eleven-year-old Violet runs away from home in 1918 and takes the train to New York City to find her older sister who is a suffragist, she falls in with people her parents would call “the wrong sort,” and ends up in Nashville, Tennessee, where “Suffs” and “Antis” are gathered, awaiting the crucial vote on the nineteenth amendment

Texas
Beatty, Patricia.  Behave Yourself, Bethany Brant.  J FIC Beatty
A preacher’s daughter with lots of curiosity and a penchant for getting into trouble has an eventful year and a half, as all the predictions of a fortune-teller at a Texas county fair in 1898 come true.

Gipson, Fred.  Old Yeller.  Y Fic Gipson/ Y PB G
The narrator looks back to his boyhood in Texas and the time when an ugly stray dog came to stay. The ending is sad, but the values are enduring and the impact unforgettable.

Vermont
Blakemore, Megan Frazer.  The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill.  J FIC Blakemore
Hazel Kaplansky and new student Samuel Butler investigate rumors that a Russian spy has infiltrated their small Vermont town amidst the fervor of Cold War-era McCarthyism, but more is revealed than they could ever have imagined.

Hurwitz, Johanna.  Yellow Blue Jay.  J FIC Hurwitz
Happy to spend his summer vacation at home in the city, eight-year-old Jay is horrified by his parent’s plan to spend two weeks in the Vermont woods sharing a house with another family.

Peck, Robert Newton.  Soup 1776.  J FIC Peck
Rob is caught up in his friend Soup’s plan to help their town of Learning, Vermont, celebrate the Fourth of July with a suitable pageant that sets the record straight about several of the town’s citizens.

Virginia
Paterson, Katherine.  Bridge to Terabithia.  J FIC Paterson //  J PB P
The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.

Wisconsin
Brink, Carol Ryrie.  Caddie Woodlawn.  J FIC Brink //  J PB B
The adventures of an eleven-year-old tomboy growing up on the Wisconsin frontier in the mid-nineteenth century.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls.  Little House in the Big Woods.  J FIC Wilder
A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father’s stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.

Wyoming
Ehrlich, Gretel.  A Blizzard Year.  J FIC Ehrlich
For one year, thirteen-year-old Timmy records in her journal the changes she sees in the natural world and her family’s activities on their Wyoming ranch as they fight to save it from financial ruin.

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