More Homework Help – Indiana
A Girl of the Limberlost takes place in and around Limberlost swamp or in the fictional Indiana town of Onabasha. In it, Elnora Comstock has to choose between her dreams of attending high school or staying home to help her widowed mother’s struggle to keep their farm. At the time this story was written in 1909, it was not the custom for girls to automatically continue their education into high school. Elnora is helped by a mentor, Mrs. Porter, who shares Elnora’s interest in nature and photography and encourages Elnora to reach her goals.
The Limberlost was a vast wetland area that existed in northeastern Indiana at the time this story was written and was home to many insects and migrating birds. Gene Stratton-Porter, the author of this book pictured at right, lived in this area for almost 20 years. Gene was a naturalist and accomplished photographer and writer, like Mrs Porter in the book!
According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Limberlost included an area known as Loblolly Marsh, a name from the Miami language. The Indiana State Museum explains the name Limberlost as a reference to a man named Limber who became lost in the swamp, “Limber’s lost!” Over time the Limberlost area was drained for agricultural purposes. In recent years, wetland restoration efforts have begun, many of which honor Gene Stratton-Porter and her work. Today, you can visit the Limberlost State Historic Site. You can walk where Elnora walked and see what she saw.
Listed below are more chapter books set in Indiana. Sometimes the story takes place in a fictional Indiana town like Onabasha, but sometimes the author sets the story in a real town referencing the streets, parks, schools and landmarks you would see if you visited.
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Alone – While working on a road-building crew in Indiana in 1833, orphan Joshua Sims is sent by himself to fetch supplies in Detroit, and along the way, his encounters with Indians, runaway slaves, and the dangers of the unknown open his eyes to a reality he did not previously know existed.
The Bears of Blue River – Little Balser, a pioneer boy growing up in early nineteenth-century Indiana, has many adventures and dangerous encounters with bears while learning the ways of the woods.
The Beef Princess of Practical County – Twelve-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. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2011-2012, 6-8 Nominee.
Bernie Magruder the Bats in the Belfry – Bernie Mcgruder and the Bats in the Belfrey Many residents of Middleburg, Indiana, are already going crazy from the ever-ringing church bells and now, after a bat is spotted in the hotel run by Bernie’s family, they worry that the dangerous Indiana Aztec bat has finally arrived. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2007-2008, 4-6 Nominee
Blossoms on the Roof – Ten-year-old Ben and eight-year-old Polly are used to their parents’ struggle to make ends meet on their Indiana farm in the 1890s and look forward to a better life in North Dakota where they will be homesteaders, but the windswept prairie will provide new challenges.
By Freedom’s Light – Unhappy after moving from North Carolina to Indiana in 1842, twelve-year-old Sarah does not share the abolitionist views of her new stepmother until she meets a young slave named Polly.
Chasing Orion – In 1952, when Georgie is eleven years old, her family moves to a new Indiana neighborhood where her teenaged neighbor has polio and is in an iron lung.
Chig and the Second Spread – Despite her small stature, eight-year-old Chig makes large contributions to her southern Indiana community during the Great Depression. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2006-2007, 4-6 Nominee.
Christmas After All – 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. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2004-2005, 6-8 Nominee.
A Clearing in the Forest – A biographical novel about Elijah Fletcher, a settler boy growing up in Indianapolis during the 1830s. Based on an unpublished manuscript by Elijah Fletcher and on the diaries of Calvin Fletcher, his father.
The Dark Didn’t Catch Me – The story of the Robinson family during the Great Depression in Greene County, Indiana. Tenacious Seely, her two siblings, and her parents relocate to the hills of southern Indiana. There they face a struggle to survive, as Seely’s father works to control his anxieties and temper, and Seely’s mother labors to raise her family.
The Gift of Indiana – A tale of three birthdays and one grand adventure. Endorsed by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission as an official Bicentennial Legacy Project.
A Girl of the Limberlost – 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.
Going Over Home – Maddie’s life changes the day she learns her true birth date: not 1990 as she had always believed, but 1820. As she begins to dig into her family’s past and trace their journey from Indiana in the 1830s to today, she realizes she has a difficult decision to make: stay here, or return to the past?
Going Over Jordan – Ellie Fox is a product of the 1990s and 2000s: headstrong, outspoken, and independent. She grew up in the Indianapolis suburbs & started her college life at Indiana University. When she suddenly has to start life over in the 1840s, her mind is left reeling.
Help! I’m Prisoner in the Library – Two girls spend an adventurous night trapped inside the [Indianapolis] public library during a terrible blizzard.
Here Lies the Librarian – 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.
Honey – Melody has lived in Royal, Indiana, for as long as she can remember. It’s been just her and her father, and she’s been okay with that. But then she overhears him calling someone Honey — and suddenly it feels like everyone in Royal has a secret. It’s up to Melody and her best friend, Nick, to piece together the clues and discover why Honey is being hidden.
Izzy’s Place – While spending the summer at his grandmother’s Indiana home, ten-year-old Henry Stone gets help from a new friend in coping with the recent death of his grandfather and the possibility of his parents getting divorced. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2006-2007, 4-6 Nominee.
The Mighty Miss Malone – With love and determination befitting the “world’s greatest family,” twelve-year-old Deza Malone, her older brother Jimmie, and their parents endure tough times in Gary, Indiana, and later Flint, Michigan during the Great Depression.
My Brother Abe – Forced off their land in Kentucky in 1816, nine-year-old Sarah Lincoln, known as Sally, and her family, including younger brother Abe, move to the Indiana frontier.
One-of-a-Kind Mallie – Living in Indiana during World War I, ten-year-old Mallie longs to be seen as different from her identical twin and finds an example of individuality in the gypsies who moved into her community.
A Place Called Freedom – 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 over the years they are joined by so many blacks that they start their own town. Indiana Authors Award, National winner, 2010.
Rookie Bookie – When seventh-grader Mitch Sloan moves to Jonasburg, Indiana, he uses his exceptional skills in math, money, and sports statistics to make friends–but gets in over his head when he starts a football betting ring.
Running Out of Time – Clifton, Indiana, in 1840 — or so she believes. When a diphtheria epidemic hits, 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 – 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 – 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. Indiana Authors Award, Regional winner, 2011.
The School at Crooked Creek – 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.
Tall Tales – Sixth-grader Meg Summers and her family move to a new state every few years as her alcoholic father tries to get a fresh start, but when they land in Indiana and Meg finally makes a real friend and begins to talk about her family’s problems, they all find the strength to try to change their destiny.
The Teacher’s Funeral – 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.” Young Hoosier Book Award, 2006-2007, 4-6, 6-8 Nominee.
13 – Almost thirteen-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.
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