Education Guide

ResourcesSuggested Student Reading

Suggested Student Reading​​

This bibliography suggests leisure reading and supplementary trade books for students in grades 4 through 12 to complement the Masters of Traditional Arts website. The titles below offer many possibilities for making connections to material outlined in the guide. Suggested age levels (indicated following imprint information) are broad and may be extended upward or downward depending on particular school situations. In addition, several resources from the Folklore in Education Bibliography, such as Jan Harold Brunvand’s American Folklore: An Encyclopedia, are also appropriate for high school students. Librarians and teachers should add books from their own collections, using this list as a beginning point for recommendations rather than a finite product. Every effort has been made to ensure that the titles are still in print, although those that may not be available for purchase should be housed in many school and public libraries. The original dates of publication and imprint information are given. Many of these books are available in other editions.

  • Abelove, Joan. Go and Come Back. New York: DK Inc./Richard Jackson, 1998. 176 p. Middle School, High School
  • Akin, S. Beth. Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories. Illus. with photographs by the author. Boston: Little Brown, 1993. 96 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Appelt, Kathi and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer. Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky. New York: HarperCollins, 2001. 58 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Ashbranner, Brent K. and Paul Conklin. To Live in Two Worlds: American Indian Youth Today. Illus. with photographs by Paul Conklin. New York: Dutton, 1984. 149 p. Intermediate, Middle School, High School
  • Astroth, Kirk A. Spurrin’ the Words: 4-H Cowboy Poetry Youth Guide (78 p.) and Leader’s Guide (66 p.). Montana 4-H Center for Youth Development, 2004. Order with accompanying CD from All grades
  • Belton, Sandra. From Miss Ida’s Porch. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. New York: Four Winds, 1993. 40 p. Intermediate
  • Bial, Raymond. Cajun Home. Illus. with photographs by the author. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 48 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Blum, Joshua, Bob Holman, and Mark Pellington, compilers. The United States of Poetry. New York: Abrams, 1996. 176 p. High School
  • Branch, Muriel Miller. Juneteenth: Freedom Day. Photographs by Willis Branch. New York: Cobblehill/Dutton, 1998. 54 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Bridgers, Sue Ellen. Home Before Dark: A Novel. New York: Knopf, 1976. 192 p. Middle School, High School
  • Calhoun, Dia. Aria of the Sea. New York: Winslow, 2000. 264 p. Middle School, High School
  • Carmi, Daniella. Samir and Yonatan. New York: Scholastic, 2000. 183 p. Middle School
  • Chapman, Richard. The Complete Guitarist. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1993. 92 p. High School
  • Cheung, Shu Pui, Shuyuan Li, Aaron Chau, and Deborah Wei. Walking on Solid Ground. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Folklore Project, 2004. 64 p. In English and Chinese. Elementary, Intermediate
  • Congdon, Kristin. Uncle Monday and Other Florida Tales. Kitty Kitson Petterson, illus. University of Mississippi Press, 2001. 195 p. Intermediate, Middle School, High School
  • Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War. New York: Knopf, 1974. 272p. Middle School, High School
  • Cuyler, Margery. From Here to There. Illus. by Yu Cha Pak. New York: Holt, 1999. 32 p. Intermediate
  • Doney, Meryl. Baskets. New York: Watts, 1997. 32 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Doucet, Sharon Arms. Fiddle Fever. New York: Clarion, 2000. 164 p. Middle School
  • Dyson, Michael Eric. Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. 218 p. High School
  • Erdrich, Louise. The Birchbark House. Illus. by the author. New York: Hyperion, 1999. 244 p. Intermediate
  • Ellis, Rex M. With a Banjo on My Knee: A Musical Journey from Slavery to Freedom. New York: Franklin Watts, 2001. 160 p. Middle School, High School
  • England, Linda. The Old Cotton Blues. Illus. by Teresa Flavin. New York: Margaret K. McElderry, 1998. 32 p. Intermediate
  • Garza, Carmen Lomas. Family Pictures. Illus. by the author. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1990. 32 p. Intermediate
  • Glover, Savion, and Bruce Weber. Savion: My Life in Tap. New York: Morrow, 2000. 79 p. Intermediate, Middle School, High School
  • Gordon, Ruth, selector. Pierced by a Ray of Sun: Poems About the Times We Feel Alone. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. 105 p. Middle School, High School
  • Goss, Linda, and Clay Goss, editors. Jump Up and Say! A Collection of Black Storytelling. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995. 301 p. High School
  • Govenar, Alan. African American Frontiers: Slave Narratives and Oral Histories. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2000. 551 p. Middle School, High School
  • Govenar, Alan. Extraordinary Ordinary People: Five American Masters of Traditional Arts. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2006, 86 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Govenar, Alan, editor. Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper’s Daughter. Illus. by Shane W. Evans. New York: Hyperion, 2000. 64 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Govenar, Alan, ed. Stompin’ at the Savoy: The Story of Norma Miller. Illus. by Martin French. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2006, 56 p.Intermediate, Middle School
  • Granfield, Linda. 97 Orchard Street, New York. Illus. with photographs by Arlene Alda. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2001. 56 p. Intermediate, Middle School, High School
  • Grimes, Nikki. Aneesa Lee and the Weaver’s Gift. Illus. by Ashley Bryan. New York: Lothrop, 1999. Unpaged. Intermediate
  • Haas. Jessie. Will You, Won’t You? New York: Greenwillow, 2000. 167 p. Middle School
  • Hamill, Pete. Snow in August. Boston: Little, Brown, 1997. 327 p. High School
  • Hart, Elva Trevion. Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child. Tempe, Arizona: Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingue, 1999. 236 p. High School
  • Haskins, James. Black Dance in America: A History Through Its People. New York: Crowell, 1990. 232 p. Middle School, High School
  • Hicks, Ray, as told to Lynn Salsi. The Jack Tales. Illus. by Owen Smith. New York: Calloway, 2000. 40 p. Intermediate
  • Hinton, S. E. The Outsiders. New York: Viking, 1967. 188 p. Middle School, High School
  • Hurmence, Belinda, editor. Slavery Time When I Was Chillun. New York: Putnam, 1997. 96 p. Middle School, High School
  • Jabar, Cynthia, selector. Shimmy Shake Earthquake: Don’t Forget to Dance Poems. Illus. by the selector. Boston: Little Brown, 1992. Unpaged. Intermediate
  • Jiménez, Francisco. The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997. 134 p. Middle School, High School
  • Jones, Bill T. Dance. Illus. with photographs by Susan Kuklin. New York: Hyperion, 1998. 32 p. Intermediate, Middle School, High School
  • Landau, Elaine. Slave Narratives: The Journey to Freedom. Illus. with archival photographs. New York: Franklin Watts, 2001. 96 p. Intermediate, Middle School, High School
  • Lau, Barbara. From Cambodia to Greensboro: Tracing the Journeys of New North Carolinians. Greensboro: Greensboro Historical Museum, 2004. 36 p. Intermediate
  • Left Hand Bull, Jacqueline. Lakota Hoop Dancer. Illus. with photographs by Suzanne Haldane. New York: Dutton, 1999. 32 p. Intermediate
  • Lester, Julius. The Blues Singers: Ten Who Rocked the World. Illus. by Lisa Cohen. New York: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2001. 48 p. Intermediate
  • Lord, Bette Bao. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. Illus. by Marc Simont. New York: Harper Trophy, 1986. 169 p. Intermediate
  • Lyon, George Ella. Basket. Illus. by Mary Szilagyi. New York: Orchard, 1990. 32 p. Intermediate
  • Lyons, Mary E. Catching the Fire: Philip Simmons, Blacksmith. Illus. with photographs by Mannie Garcia. Boston: Houghton, 1997. 48 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Lyons, Mary E. Painting Dreams: Minnie Evans, Visionary Artist. Boston: Houghton, 1996. 84 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Lyons, Mary E. Starting Home: The Story of Horace Pippin, Painter. New York: Scribners, 1993. 42 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Lyons, Mary E. Stitching Stars: The Story Quilts of Harriet Powers. New York: Scribners, 1993. 42 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Lyons, Mary E. Talking with Tebé: Clementine Hunter, Memory Artist. Boston: Houghton, 1998. 48 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • MacLachlan, Patricia. All the Places to Love. Illus. by Mike Wimmer. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. 32 p. Intermediate
  • Medearis, Angela Shelf and Michael Medaris. Dance. New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 1997. 80 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Meyer, Carolyn. White Lilacs. New York: Gulliver/Harcourt, 1993. 242 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Meyer, Carolyn. Where the Broken Heart Still Beats. New York: Gulliver/Harcourt, 1992. 197 p. Middle School, High School
  • Myers, Walter Dean. Monster. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. 281 p. Middle School, High School
  • Nance, Susanna. Sights. New York: Delacorte Press, 2001. 216 p. Middle School, High School
  • Oates, Eddie Herschel. Making Music: Six Instruments You Can Create. Illus. by Michael Koelsch. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. 32 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Orgill, Roxane. Shout, Sister, Shout! Ten Girl Singers Who Shaped a Century. New York: Atheneum, 2001. 144 p. Middle School, High School
  • Paker, Josephine. Beating the Drum. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 1992. 48 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Paterson, Katherine. Jacob Have I Loved. New York: HarperCollins, 1980. 216 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Peck, Richard. Long Way from Chicago. New York: Dial, 1998. 148 p. Middle School, High School
  • Pellowski, Anne. Hidden Stories in Plants. Illus. by Lynn Sweat. New York: Macmillan, 1990. 93 p. Intermediate, Middle School, High School
  • Press, David Paul. A Multicultural Portrait of America’s Music. Boston: Marshall Cavendish, 1994. 80 p. High School
  • Ray, Mary Lyn. Basket Moon. Illus. by Barbara Cooney. Boston: Little Brown, 1999. 32 p. Intermediate
  • Reagon, Bernice Johnson. We’ll Understand It Better By and By: Pioneering African American Gospel Composers. Washington: Smithsonian, 1992. 84 p. High School
  • Salisbury, Graham. Blue Skin of the Sea. New York: Delacorte, 1992. 215 p. Middle School, High School
  • Santiago, Esmeralda. Almost a Woman. Reading, Mass.: Perseus/Merloyd Lawrence, 1998. 313 p. High School
  • Shusterman, Neal. The Dark Side of Nowhere. Boston: Little Brown, 1997. 185 p. Middle School, High School
  • Slatta, Richard W. The Cowboy Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 1994. 474 p. Middle School, High School
  • Stewart, Sarah. The Gardener. Illus. by David Small. New York: Farrar, 1997. 32 p. Intermediate
  • Sullivan, Missy, Deborah Schwartz, Dawn Weiss, and Barbara Zaffran. The Native American Look Book: Art and Activities from the Brooklyn Museum. New York: The New Press, 1996. 46 p. Intermediate, Middle School, High School
  • Tamar, Erika. Blues for Silk Garcia. New York: Knopf, 1983. 155 p. Middle School, High School
  • Trice, Dawn Turner. Only Twice I’ve Wished for Heaven. New York: Crown, 1997. 304 p. High School
  • Voigt, Cynthia. Seventeen Against the Dealer. New York: Atheneum, 1989. 181 p. Middle School, High School
  • Waldman, Carl, and Molly Braun. Word Dance: The Language of Native American Culture. New York: Facts on File, 1994. 290 p. High School
  • Wells, Ken. Meely LaBauve: A Novel. New York: Random House, 2000. 244 p. High School
  • Williams, Sherley Anne. Working Cotton. Illus. by Carole M. Byard. San Diego: Harcourt, 1992. 32 p. Intermediate
  • Yee, Paul. Tales from Gold Mountain: Stories of the Chinese in the New World. Illus. by Simon Ng. New York: Macmillan, 1999. 64 p. Intermediate, Middle School
  • Yep. Laurence. Dragonwings. New York: HarperCollins, 1975. 248 p. Intermediate
  • Yin, Chamroeun. In My Heart, I Am a Dancer. Illus. by René J. Marquez. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Folklore Project, 1996, 32 p. Find the online Teacher’s Guide at Elementary, Intermediate

Vermont Folklife Center Children’s Book Series

For more than twenty years, the mission of the Vermont Folklife Center has been to gather and record the voices and stories of Vermonters. An archive of more than 4,000 oral tales inspired the Vermont Folklife Center Children’s Book Series, which captures the color and spontaneity of the most unforgettable stories and preserves them for learning and enjoyment. Regional in origin, universal in nature, these true stories feature real people and real places, create history readiness for ages 6 to 12, stimulate discussion with background information and learning activities, offer intergenerational appeal and encourage families to pass on their own stories.

Bruchac, Marge. 2005. Malian’s Song. Illus. William Maughan. August House.

Jaspersohn, William. 2002. The Scrimshaw Ring. Illus. Vernon Thornblad. August House.

Jaspersohn, William. 2000. The Two Brothers. Illus. Michael A. Donato. August House. NCSS Notable Book.

Lange, Willem. 2001. John and Tom. Illus. Bert Dodson. August House. Storytelling World Honor Book.

Medearis, Michael. 2000. Daisy and the Doll. Illus. Larry Johnson. University Press of New England. AFS Aesop Accolade.

Milord, Susan. 2003. The Ghost on the Hearth. Illus. Lydia Dabcovich. August House.

Walter, Mildred Pitts. 2004. Alec’s Primer. Illus. Larry Johnson. August House. NCSS Carter G. Woodson Honor Book.