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
Christmas After All: The Diary of Minnie Swift

Kathryn Lasky
Juvenile Fiction - J Dear Las

In her fictionalized journal, eleven-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.

Helen Ketteman
Juvenile Holiday – Ej Ke

Old Maynard Jenkins tells about the terrible blizzard that occurred one Christmas when he was a boy, when the weather was so cold in Lizzard, Indiana, that Santa Claus moved his workshop there and it snowed for two weeks straight.

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.

A Girl of the Limberlost

Gene Stratton-Porter
Juvenile Fiction – J St

Deeply wounded by her embittered mother's lack of sympathy for her aspirations, Elnora finds comfort in the nearby Limberlost Swamp, whose beauty and rich abundance provide her with the means to better her life. This Indiana classic was first published in 1909.

Scott Sanders
Juvenile Fiction – J Sa

The Goodwin family's pioneer home in Indiana is visited by the traveling peddler, who brings wondrous things and amazing tales from far away.

Here Lies the Librarian

Richard Peck
Juvenile Fiction – J Pe

Fourteen-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.

Mail Order Ninja. Vol. 1

Joshua Elder
Juvenile Graphic Novels – J 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.

Running Out of Time

Margaret Peterson Haddix
Juvenile Fiction – J Haddix

When a diphtheria epidemic hits her 1840 village, thirteen-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, eight-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

Twelve-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, six-year-old Beansie dreads his first day of school, but his resilience surprises even his sister.

The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts

Richard Peck
Juvenile Fiction – J Pe

In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-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."

The Year of No More Corn

Helen Ketteman
Juvenile Picture Books – EJ Ke

Beanie's grandfather tells him about the failure of the corn crop in 1928 and how he was able to make corn trees grow from whittled corn kernels.