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Michigan Authors and Stories For Kids

 

Explore this selection of books either about Michigan or written by authors with ties to Michigan. Grade levels are suggested, but remember that each Reader is different and might find something interesting at another level. Under each grade is a link for even more titles.

Kindergarten

In 1925, a sailboat named Bernida wins the inaugural Port Huron to Mackinac Race. She wins again in 1927. But then for decades the boat is neglected and passed from owner to owner. In 2012 with new owners, the ship once more enters the race and wins.

The day the Great Lakes drained away by Charles Ferguson Barker

Explore what would happen if all of the water drained from the Great Lakes and what their lake floors might look like under all that water.

Island magic by Martha Bennett Stiles

When Grandad comes to live with David and his family on the island of Grosse Ile, he and David enjoy sharing the wonders of the natural world.

Each letter of the alphabet is presented in association with something related to the state of Michigan, from "apple blossom" to "Detroit Zoo."

Up, up, up dear dragon by Margaret Hillert

A boy and his pet dragon play basketball with friends and learn about good sportsmanship.

First Grade

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka

Alex hijacks a story about Birthday Bunny on his special day and turns it into a battle between a supervillain and his enemies in the forest, who, in the original story, are simply planning a surprise party.

Big chickens go to town by Leslie Helakoski

Having inadvertently traveled to the big city, four chickens are frightened by the strange noises, strange food, and strange animals they encounter.

Brewster the rooster by Devin Scillian

When Brewster, a prize-winning rooster, suddenly begins crowing at the most unexpected times, the family tries to figure out what is causing his problem.

Frankenfreddie! by Johnathan Rand

Freddie, Chipper and Darla visit a brand-new costume shop that just opened down the street. But when Freddie tries on a special magical costume, he is transformed into a Frankenstein monster! Will the gang be able to get themselves out of this terrifying trouble? 

Monkey monster truck by David Anthony and Charles David Clasman ; illustrations by Lys Blakeslee

A monster truck rally turns into a real barrel of monkeys. Abigail, Andrew, and Baby Zoe had better peel out before everyone goes bananas.

Second Grade

Arnie the doughnut by Laurie Keller

Arnie the talking doughnut convinces Mr. Bing that not all doughnuts are meant to be eaten.

The art of Miss Chew by Patricia Polacco

Inspired by the author's memories of her art teacher, this story describes how a teacher named Miss Chew encouraged individuality, and accepted learning differences, and helped a young student with academic difficulties get extra time to take tests and permission to be in advanced art classes. 

As best friends Mole and Mouse try to solve the problem of Mole's moth-eaten clothes, they also find new uses for old things.

Grace for president by Kelly DiPucchio

When Grace discovers that there has never been a female U.S. president, she decides to run for school president.

Never glue your friends to chairs by Katherine Applegate

Roscoe Riley, upset with the notion that his teacher could get in trouble, comes up with a plan to keep the bee antennae on the first graders' heads, and help the drummers stay in their seats for the open house play.

Third Grade

Akiko on the planet Smoo by Mark Crilley

Ten-year-old Akiko has an unexpected adventure when she is whisked away to a distant planet and put in charge of the rescue mission that must search for the kidnapped Prince Froptoppit.

Eleven-year-old Ellie McDoodle illustrates her sketchbook with chronicles of her adventures and mishaps while camping with her cousins, aunt, and uncle.

Mr. Chickee's funny money by Christopher Paul Curtis

Flint Future Detective Club members Steven Carter, his friend Russell, and Russell's huge dog Zoopy solve the mystery of a quadrillion-dollar bill with the image of James Brown on it.

Next spring an oriole by Gloria Whelan

This pioneer story, narrated by 10-year-old Libby Mitchell, chronicles her journey from Virginia to Michigan in 1837.

Richie and his younger sister Trisha face off in a contest to see whose hobby is more challenging.

Fourth Grade

The Danger Box by Blue Balliett

In small-town Michigan, twelve-year-old Zoomy and his new friend Lorrol investigate the journal found inside a mysterious box and find family secrets and a more valuable treasure, while a dangerous stranger watches and waits.

The mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Deza Malone, the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, accompanies her mother and older brother on a trip to find her father, an African American man who left to find work after the Great Depression hit. They end up in a Hooverville outside of Flint, Michigan, and her brother attempts to be a performer while Deza and her mother search for a home.

In 1895, twelve-year-old Stan decides to find his long-lost father in the logging camps of Michigan, documenting in his scrapbook his travels and encounters with troublesome relatives, his mother's suitors, lumberjacks, and more.

Poltergeists of Petoskey by Johnathan Rand

Twins Alex and Adrian move into an old house in Petoskey, Michigan, which is inhabited by a poltergeist.

Spaceheadz: SPHDZ. bk.1 by Jon Scieszka

On his first day at Brooklyn's P.S. 858, fifth-grader Michael K. is teamed with two very strange students, and while he gradually comes to believe they are aliens who need his help, he has trouble convincing anyone else of the truth.

Need more? Check out Suggested Michigan Stories For Fourth Grade.

Fifth Grade

Chu Ju's house by Gloria Whelan

In order to save her baby sister, fourteen-year-old Chu Ju leaves her rural home in modern China and earns food and shelter by working on a sampan, tending silk worms, and planting rice seedlings, while wondering if she will ever see her family again.

Just in time, Abraham Lincoln by Patricia Polacco

When two brothers visit a museum in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, with their grandmother, they find themselves in a very realistic Civil War setting where they see the Antietam battlefield and meet historical figures from the aftermath of that momentous battle.

The one left behind by Willo Davis Roberts

Mandy's life changes forever when her ten-year-old twin sister eats a hamburger tainted with E. coli bacteria and dies.

To gain leadership skills needed to run a cupcake-baking empire when she grows up, Brianna runs for president of the fifth grade--expecting little competition--until a new girl enters the race.

Superkid in training by Jennifer Allison

Just as Daniel is adjusting to sharing his room with his little brother, Iggy, a strange boy with a big interest in bugs moves into their neighborhood, providing Daniel with a new friend but Iggy with some mutated DNA.

Sixth Grade

The batboy by Mike Lupica

Even though his mother feels baseball ruined her marriage to his father, she allows fourteen-year-old Brian to become a bat boy for the Detroit Tigers, who have just drafted his favorite player back onto the team.

Kyle's island by Sally Derby

Kyle, almost thirteen, spends much of the summer yearning to explore a nearby island, striving to be a good brother, fishing with an elderly neighbor, and fuming at his parents over their separation that is forcing his mother to sell the family's cabin on a Michigan lake.

Brianna Justice is the president of her Detroit middle school's sixth grade, but she is finding the position a real headache.  Beside the normal troubles of being in a new school and the sudden coldness of her old friends, there is a class trip to Washington, D.C. coming up and she needs to figure out how to raise the rest of the money so that the class can go.

Spitting image by Shutta Crum

In the small town of Baylor, Kentucky, twelve-year-old Jessie K. Bovey and her friends confront some of life's questions during their summer vacation in the late 1960s.

In the woods near his home in Michigan, thirteen-year-old Lewis Barnavelt stumbles upon an ancient grave and silver whistle that draw him, his best friend Rose Rita Pottinger, his uncle Jonathan, and their friend Mrs. Zimmermann into a battle with an ancient evil.

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