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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

ABC Michigan by Anne Margaret Lewis

While traveling through Michigan, this book introduces young readers to the shapes and sounds of the letters of the alphabet in a fun jaunt through the mitten state.

The dance of the violin by Kathy Stinson

As a young student of the violin, Joshua Bell learns about an international competition to be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He chooses a piece of music, which his teacher suggests may be too difficult, but Joshua is determined.

Rosa's bus by Jo S Kittinger

Follows the history of the bus Rosa Parks was riding on when she refused to give up her seat to a white man from the streets of Montgomery, Alabama, to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Mommies say shhh by Patricia Polacco

Animals make many different noises, but when they make too much noise their mommies quiet them down.

Following the alphabet, this book uses poetry and expository text to explore the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

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.

The day the Great Lakes drained away by Charles Ferguson Barker

What would happen if there was no water left in the Great Lakes? What would we find on our lake floors? With global warming and the receding waters in our lakes and water rights and protection so important for us, this important book teaches children in a fun way to respect and protect our Great Lakes.

I love you just enough by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen

A young girl finds a wood duckling separated from his family and teaches him to swim, hunt for bugs, and how to fly. She loved him just enough so that he could find his place in nature and return to his family.

Second Grade

Describes the voyage and sinking of the giant transport ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald, which was caught in a raging storm while crossing Lake Superior in November, 1975.

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.

Kelly of Hazel Ridge by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen

Inspired by a school writing assignment, Kelly takes a fresh look at her family's Michigan farm and notes the ways in which her parents have chosen to nurture the land and the wildlife living on it.

Lulu & Rocky in Detroit by Barbara M Joosse

Lulu and her cousin Rocky are visiting the city of Detroit, the Motor City! There are so many fun things to see and do, like visiting Campus Martius to make sand castles, eating cherries at the Eastern Market, riding the carousel at the Riverfront, and seeing the works of Diego Rivera at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

While on a family camping trip to Isle Royale, Allie and Shoo meet Bloodaxe, a Viking who has come back through time by the beam of the island lighthouse. In search of his stolen runestones that tell of possible Viking exploration in the area over a thousand years ago, he is sure that Allie and Shoo know where the stones are.

Third Grade

Although it will mean that their father can no longer make a living running a ferry boat, Mark and his brother Luke are excited about the building of a five-mile bridge across the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan in 1957.

Mr. Chickee's funny money by Christopher Paul Curtis
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

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.

Mrs. Mack by Patricia Polacco

The author remembers the summer when she was ten years old and staying with her father in Michigan, where she took riding lessons and became best friends with a perfect horse.

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.

In 1854, a group of children who come from different circumstances to the Children's Aid Society in New York come under the care of Reverend Charles Brace, who eventually finds homes for them in Michigan.

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
Also available in: e-book

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.

With its cookie-cutter houses, welcoming committees, and all-town competitions, Normal, Michigan, seems like a perfect fit for nine-year-old new resident Molly, the only non-magical person in her family.

Willow Run by Patricia Reilly Giff
Also available in: e-audiobook

During World War II, after moving with her parents to Willow Run, Michigan, when her father gets a job in the B-24 bomber-building factory, eleven-year-old Meggie learns about different kinds of bravery from all of the people around her

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

Fifth Grade

American as paneer pie by Supriya Kelkar
Also available in: e-book

When a racist incident rocks her small Michigan town, eleven-year-old Lekha must decide whether to speak up or stay silent, even as she struggles to navigate her life at home, where she can be herself, and at school, where she is teased about her culture.

Also available in: e-audiobook

Ten-year-old Zoe Elias, who longs to play the piano but must resign herself to learning the organ, instead, finds that her musicianship has a positive impact on her workaholic mother, her jittery father, and her school social life.

Hidden by Helen Frost

Years after Darra Monson's father stole a minivan with Wren Abbott hiding in the back, the girls come face to face at summer camp and together they try to work through what happened to them and the impact it had on their lives.

Never stop singing by Denise Lewis Patrick

In 1964, Melody learns that leadership can be difficult when she tries to fix up her neighborhood playground but then gets to help her brother by singing on a recording in a real Motown studio.

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.

Sixth Grade

The batboy by Mike Lupica
Also available in: e-audiobook

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.

Betty before X by Ilyasah Shabazz
Also available in: audiobook

Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.

Copper magic by Julia Mary Gibson

The year is 1906, and twelve-year-old Violet Blake unearths an ancient talisman—a copper hand—beside the stream where her mother used to harvest medicine. Violet’s touch warms the copper hand and it begins to reveal glimpses of another time. Violet is certain that the copper hand is magic—and if anyone is in need of its powers, it’s Violet.

No cream puffs by Karen Day

Madison is not your average 12-year-old girl. She doesn't use lipgloss, but she loves to play sports, and joins baseball for the summer--the first girl in Southern Michigan to play on a boys' team. The press call her a star and a trailblazer, but Madison just wants to play ball. Who knew it would be so much pressure?

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.