Indiana Connections

Many writers have lived in the Hoosier state, and if there is any one thing that they have in common, it's drawing inspiration from their friends and neighbors.

Compiled by:
Ellen Arnholter
13: A Novel

Jason Robert Brown, Dan Elish
(Juvenile Fiction - J Brown)

Almost 13-year-old Evan Goldman learns what it means to be a man when his parents separate and he and his mother move from New York City to Appleton, Indiana, right before his bar mitzvah.

The Beef Princess of Practical County

Michelle Houts
(Juvenile Fiction - J Houts)

12-year-old Libby, the daughter of an Indiana cattle farmer, raises two calves in hopes of winning the annual steer competition at the county fair, but fails to follow her father's warning about developing a bond with animals that are destined to be sold at auction.

The Best At It

Maulik Pancholy
(Juvenile Fiction - J Panchol)

Rahul Kapoor is heading to middle school with advice from his grandfather: find one thing you’re really good at and become the BEST at it! With his best friend at his side, he's ready to tackle the challenge, but what if he can't find that one thing after all? Will the bullies keep coming after him? Will he finally be able to stop staring too long at his crush in class?



Christmas After All: The Diary of Minnie Swift

Kathryn Lasky
(Juvenile Fiction - J Dear Las)
Series: Dear America

In her fictionalized journal, 11-year-old Minnie Swift recounts how her family dealt with the difficult times during the Depression and how the arrival of an orphan from Texas changed their lives in Indianapolis just before Christmas 1932.

The Dark Didn’t Catch Me

Crystal Thrasher
(Juvenile Fiction - J Thrashe)

Able to find beauty in the hills of southern Indiana, Seeley withstands the work, troubles, and sorrows that encompass her family during the depression.

Finding Home

Karen Kingsbury, Tyler Russell
(Juvenile Fiction - J Kingsbu)

For Ashley, moving to Bloomington, Indiana, is especially hard but with time, prayer, a few surprises, and especially the love of her family, she finally feels at home.

Good night, Indiana University

Joey B. Lax Salinas
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 917.72 Rat)

A perfect bedtime book for Indiana University alumni and their young ones, take a stroll through IU Bloomington's campus as the sun sets to visit Sample Gates, Dunn's Woods, Memorial Stadium, and many more campus landmarks. IU fans will enjoy this simple story while sharing a little bit of the campus memories with each other!

Here Lies the Librarian

Richard Peck
(Juvenile Fiction - J Pe)

14-year-old Eleanor “Peewee” McGrath, a tomboy and automobile enthusiast, discovers new possibilities for her future after the 1914 arrival in her small Indiana town of four young librarians.


Sarah Weeks
(Juvenile Fiction - J Weeks)

When she suspects that her father has a girlfriend, Melody and her best friend are determined to figure out who it is and why it is a secret.

Mail Order Ninja Vol. 1

Joshua Elder
(Juvenile Manga - J-MANGA Mailord v. 1 Elder)

When fifth-grader Timmy McAllister decides to order a ninja through the mail, his town of Cherry Creek, Indiana may never be the same again.

A Place Called Freedom

Scott Sanders
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Sa)

After being set free from slavery in 1832, young James Starman and his family journey from Tennessee to Indiana to start a new life and eventually, a new town.


Cynthia Rylant
(Juvenile Fiction - J Rylant)

In 1972, 9-year-old Flora Smallwood copes with her parents' separation with the help of her friends, Yury and Nessie, a new pet, and the familiar routines of life in Rosetown, Indiana.

Running Out of Time

Margaret Peterson Haddix
(Juvenile Fiction - J Haddix)

When a diphtheria epidemic hits her 1840 village, 13-year-old Jessie discovers it is actually a 1995 tourist site under unseen observation by heartless scientists, and it's up to Jessie to escape the village and save the lives of the dying children.

Ruthie’s Gift

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
(Juvenile Fiction - J Br)

Just before the beginning of World War I, 8-year-old Ruthie, who lives with her parents and six brothers on a farm in Indiana, wishes for a sister and tries to behave like the lady her mother wants her to be.

Salt: A Story of a Friendship in a Time of War

Helen Frost
(Juvenile Fiction - J Frost)

12-year-olds Anikwa, of the Miami village of Kekionga, and James, of the trading post outside Fort Wayne, find their friendship threatened by the rising fear and tension brought by the War of 1812.

The School at Crooked Creek

Laurie Lawlor
(Juvenile Fiction - J Lawlor)

Living on the 19th-century Indiana frontier with his parents and irritable older sister Louise, 6-year-old Beansie dreads his first day of school, but his resilience surprises even his sister.

The Season of Styx Malone

Kekla Magoon
(Juvenile Fiction - J Magoon)

Caleb Franklin and his big brother, Bobby Gene, spend an extraordinary summer with their new, older neighbor, Styx Malone, a foster boy from the city.

The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts

Richard Peck
(Juvenile Fiction - J Pe)

In rural Indiana in 1904, 15-year-old Russell's dreams of quitting school and joining a wheat threshing crew are disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean old Myrt Arbuckle "hauls off and dies."

Tracking Daddy Down

Marybeth Kelsey
(Juvenile Fiction - J Kelsey)

Daredevil 11-year-old Billie has an exciting summer, in spite of her overprotective stepfather, when she figures out where her father and uncle are hiding after robbing a bank and enlists her cousin's help in convincing them to surrender.