Children’s & Young Adult Fiction Set in Connecticut

Historical titles are in red.

PICTURE BOOKS

Emma and the Night Dogs by Susan Bivin Aller. A. Whitman, 1997. With the help of her aunt’s special dogs, Emma finds a young boy who is lost in the woods near her house. [Involves the Connecticut Canine Search and Rescue, Inc.]

Wilhelmina Goes Wandering by John-Manuel Andriote. Self published, 2014.

Solomon Grundy by Susan Ramsay Hoguet. Dutton, 1986. The author creates her own Solomon Grundy, child of English immigrants to the United States, who lives a pleasant life as a baker in nineteenth-century Connecticut. Includes the original nursery rhyme

Ferryboat by Betsy & Giulio Maestro. HarperCollins, 1987. A family crosses a river on a ferryboat and observes how the ferry operates.

My Heart Glow: Alice Cogswell, Thomas Gallaudet, and the Birth of American Sign Language by Emily Arnold McCully. Hyperion, 2008. The true story of how one little girl inspired a whole new language–American Sign Language–as well as the founding of a school where it could be taught.

Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson. Scholastic, 2009. As a testament to his courage, Jackie Robinson’s daughter shares memories of him, from his baseball career to the day he tests the ice for her, her brothers, and their friends. [Stamford]

The Onion Maidens by A. K. Roche. Prentice-Hall, 1968. The young maidens of colonial Wethersfield,  Connecticut, weeded and wept in the town’s famous onion fields, but they  became the best-known cooks of the region. [Wethersfield]

The Pumpkin Heads by A. K. Roche. Prentice-Hall, 1968. In colonial New Haven all men and boys had their hair cut around a special cap–until the day the cutting cap disappeared and a replacement had to be found. [New Haven]

The Birds of Killingworth: Based on a Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Robert D. San Souci. Dial, 2002. When her father persuades their colony to kill all the birds because they are eating the crops, Almira joins the schoolmaster in trying to prove that the birds are both beautiful and useful. [Killingworth]

Aurora Means Dawn by Scott R. Sanders. Bradbury, 1989. After traveling from Connecticut to  Ohio in 1800 to start a new life in the settlement of Aurora, the  Sheldons find that they are the first family to arrive there and realize  that they will be starting a new community by themselves.

Warm as Wool by Scott R. Sanders. Bradbury, 1992. When Betsy Ward’s family moves to Ohio from Connecticut in 1803, she brings along a sockful of coins to buy sheep so that she can gather wool, spin cloth, and make clothes to keep her children warm.

Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha. Simon & Schuster, 1992. Seven-year-old Mark helps his grandmother and other family members run their seaside hot dog stand and then has a surprise at the end of the day. [shoreline]

Sybil’s Night Ride by Karen B. Winnick. Boyds Mills, 2000. A sixteen-year-old girl rides through the Putnam County, New York countryside like Paul Revere to alert Patriots that the British have burned Danbury and are headed their way. [en route to Danbury]

MIDDLE GRADE FICTION

Alex, Who Won His War by Chester Aaron. Walker, 1991. In the final months of World War II fourteen-year-old Alex, worried about the fate of his brother fighting in Europe, falls into the hands of two Nazi spies intent on sabotage.

Down the Rabbit Hole : An Echo Falls Mystery by Peter Abrahams. Laura Geringer, 2005. Like her idol Sherlock Holmes, eighth grader Ingrid Levin-Hill uses her intellect to solve a murder case in her home town of Echo Falls [Echo Falls – fictional].

Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora. Dial, 2006. When sixteen-year-old Dulcie’s father dies, her mother makes a decision to move them to California, where Dulcie makes an equally radical decision to steal her dad’s old truck and head back home [to Connecticut].

Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face by Paul Acampora. Roaring Brook, 2011. When fourteen-year-old Zachary and his father move to Falls, Connecticut, he spends a summer falling in love, coming to terms with his mother’s absence, and forming eclectic friendships. [Falls – fictional]

Lost in the War by Nancy Antle. Dial, 1998. Twelve-year-old Lisa Grey struggles to cope with a mother whose traumatic experiences as a nurse in Vietnam during the war are still haunting her. [New Haven & Washington, D. C.]

Frozen Summer by Mary Jane Auch. Holt, 1998. Sequel to: Journey to nowhere. In 1816, twelve-year-old Mem’s new home in the  wilderness of western New York is disrupted when the birth of  another baby sends her mother into “spells” that disconnect  her from reality. [Mem moves from Connecticut to New York. The family plans to return to Connecticut]

Journey to Nowhere by Mary Jane Auch.  Holt, 1997. In 1815, while traveling by covered wagon to settle in the wilderness of western New York, eleven-year-old Mem experiences a flood and separation from her family. Frontier and pioneer life. [Connecticut to New York, 1815]

A Sudden Change of Family by Mary Jane Auch. Holiday House, 1990. The sudden and shocking revelation that Katy’s mother was adopted estranges the two of them from the Whitmarsh family and sends them on a search for their “real” family, forcing Katy to adjust to bizarre but intriguing new relatives. [Whitmarsh Point – fictional town]

Windcatcher by Avi. Bradbury, 1991. While learning to sail during a visit to his grandmother’s at the Connecticut shore, eleven-year-old Tony becomes excited about the rumors of sunken treasure in the area and starts following a couple who seem to be making a mysterious search for something.

Sophia Scrooby Preserved by Martha Bacon. Little, Brown, 1968. A six-year-old African chieftain’s daughter, sole survivor of her tribe, begins wanderings that take her into slavery in America, into the company of pirates in New Orleans, to fame and fortune in London, and finally to Canada and the only family she’s ever known. From flap copy: “At six she was nameless and the sole survivor of her tribe… by the time she arrived in New Haven aboard a slave ship, she had been given her first name, Pansy.”

Mending Horses by M. P. Barker. Holiday House 2014. Free and on his own, Daniel Linnehan is nearly sixteen in 1839 when he joins Jonathan Stocking and Billy, a girl hiding from her abusive father, in peddling goods in New England. Basketball (Or Something Like It) by Nora Raleigh Baskin. HarperCollins, 2005. Hank, Nathan, Jeremy, and Anabel deal with the realities of middle school basketball, including family pressure, a series of coaches with very different personalities and agendas, and what it means to be a team–and a friend.

About Love by Nora Raleigh Baskin. Candlewick, 2008. Natalie, almost sixteen, sneaks away from her Connecticut home and takes the bus to Florida, looking for the mother who abandoned her father and her when she was ten years old.

Tim and the Purple Whistle by Julie Forsyth Batchelor. Harcourt, 1955. [Northtown – a fictional town]

Thwonk by Joan Bauer. Delacorte, 1995. A cupid doll comes to life and offers romantic assistance to A.J., a teenage photographer suffering from unrequited love. [Crestport – a fictional town]

Coverup: A Novel by Jay Bennett. Franklin Watts, 1991. Teenage Brad is tormented by confused memories of a drunken ride with his best friend Alden, during which they may have hit and killed a man. [Elmont – a fictional town]

The Wavering Flame: Connecticut 1776 by Erick Berry. Scribner, 1953. Historical fiction. From flap copy: “Jason Reeves, a young peddler in Connecticut, comes to Litchfield where he becomes apprenticed to a printer, and learns the trade. It is a fascinating and honorable trade, carrying greeat responsibility… most dramatic scene – the printing by Jason of the Declaration of Independence. We see also the famous melting down of the statue of George II, which actually took place in Litchfield. “ [Litchfield]

My Name Is Brain/Brian by Jeanne Betancourt. Scholastic, 1993. Although he is helped by his new sixth grade teacher after being diagnosed as dyslexic, Brian still has some problems with school and with people he thought were his friends. [Sharon]

Winterbound by Margery Williams Bianco (Viking, 1936) With their parents away, city-bred teenaged sisters Kay and Garry take charge of their younger siblings during a severe winter in rural 1930s Connecticut.

Nick’s Mission by Claire H. Blatchford. Lerner, 1995. Nick, a deaf sixth grader, is upset about having to go to speech therapy over the summer, until he and his dog stumble on some dangerous smugglers and he learns the importance of being able to communicate. (BWI)

Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson by Judy Blume. Orchard, 1993. Expelled from boarding school, Charles’ presence at home proves disruptive, especially for sister Rachel, a gifted seventh-grader juggling friendships and school activities. (BWI) [Palfrey’s Pond – a fictional town]

Just as Long as We’re Together by Judy Blume. Orchard, 1987. Stephanie’s relationship with her best friend, Rachel, changes during her first year in junior high as she tries to conceal a family problem and meets a new girl from California.

Connecticut Low by Bruce Boehm. Houghton, 1980. A 14-year-old boy who feels he has been a disappointment to his family proves himself by his heroic action during a great flood in the Connecticut River Valley.

The Mystery Candlestick by Jean Bothwell. Dial, 1970. Historical fiction. From flap copy: “Pliny Barstow expects the summer of 1775 to be a dull one in Webbs Landing, Connecticut… discovers a strange candlestick containing a secret message that involves him in the spy network of the Colonial underground.”

Goodness and Mercy Jenkins by Bianca Bradbury. Washburn, 1963.

Long River by Joseph Bruchac. Fulcrum, 1995. Young Hunter, who earlier led the Only People in a battle for survival against the Ancient Ones, has enjoyed a time of peace since the victory that apparently wiped out those ancient enemies. But the peace is about to be broken. One lone Ancient One survived. Now he has forged an alliance with Walking Hill, a wooly mammoth similarly bent on revenge against Young Hunter and the Only People. Once again, Young Hunter must be prepared to go out and hazard his life to save his people. (From “What Do I Read Next?”) The Universe of Fair by Leslie Bulion. Peachtree, 2012. Eleven-year-old Miller Sanford has tried to prove himself mature enough to be on his own at the annual fair, but instead he is handed responsibility for his six-year-old sister and her friends, leading to a series of mysteries and mishaps.

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea. Delacorte, 2010. Seven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut relate how their lives are changed for the better by “rookie teacher” Mr. Terupt. [and sequels]

Attack of the Turtle by Drew Carlson. Eerdmans, 2007. During the Revolutionary War, fourteen-year-old Nathan joins forces with his older cousin, the inventor David Bushnell, to secretly build the first submarine used in naval warfare.

Stealing Bradford by Melody Carlson. Zonderkidz, 2008. DJ’s efforts to make sense of Christianity, prayer, and the Bible only seem to make it harder for her to deal with the inability of the girls in her grandmother’s boardinghouse to get along, especially after Taylor begins flirting with Rhiannon’s boyfriend.

Bless This House by Anne Laurel Carter. Penguin, 2002. When ten-year-old Elizabeth Brightman and her parents move from Connecticut to Nova Scotia in 1762 to farm the land left vacant after the expulsion of the Acadians, she is troubled that their new home looks just like the one in her recurring dream of a house on fire.

A Patriot Lad of Old Connecticut by Russell Gordon Carter. Penn, 1935.

Amistad Rising: A Story of Freedom by Veronica Chambers. Harcourt, 1998. A fictional account of the 1839 revolt of Africans aboard the slave ship Amistad and the subsequent legal case argued before the Supreme Court in 1841 by former president John Quincy Adams.

Anywhere Else But Here by Bruce Clements. Farrar 1980. When her father’s printing business goes broke, 13-year-old Molly wants to leave Schenectady, New York, and start over in Connecticut, but matters are complicated by two selfish, conniving people.Single-parent families.

The Bloody Country by James Lincoln Collier. Four Winds 1976. In the mid-eighteenth century a family moves from Connecticut to Pennsylvania and becomes involved in the property conflict between the two states.

The Clock by James Lincoln Collier. Delacorte 1992. In 1810 in Connecticut, trapped in a gruelling job in the local textile mill to help pay her father’s debts, fifteen-year-old Annie becomes the victim of the cruel overseer and plots revenge against him.

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier. Simon & Schuster 1984. Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution, when one son joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town. [A Connecticut farm in the 1770’s]

War Comes to Willy Freeman by James Lincoln Collier. Delacorte 1983. A free thirteen-year-old black girl in Connecticut is caught up in the horror of the Revolutionary War and the danger of being returned to slavery when her patriot father is killed by the British and her mother disappears.

What Katy Did at School by Susan Coolidge. Roberts Brothers, 1874. Katy and her sister Clover dread being sent away to boarding school, but discover that being away from home isn’t so bad after all.

Burning Up by Caroline B Cooney. Delacorte 1999. When a girl she had met at an innercity church is murdered, fifteen-year-old Macey channels her grief into a school project that leads her to uncover prejudice she had not imagined in her grandparents and their wealthy Connecticut community.

Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney. Delacorte, 2007. The Finches, a Connecticut family, sponsor an African refugee family of four, all of whom have been scarred by the horrors of civil war, and who inadvertently put their benefactors in harm’s way.

If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney. Delacorte, 2009. Torn apart by tragedies and the publicity they brought, siblings Smithy, Jack, and Madison, aged fourteen to sixteen, tap into their parent’s courage to pull together and protect their brother Tris, nearly three, from further media exploitation and a much more sinister threat.

They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney. Delacorte 2010. When fifteen-year-old Cathy decides to carpool from Norwalk to tony Greenwich, Connecticut, to study Latin in summer school, she does not expect the shocking events that occured five years earlier to suddenly come flooding back into her relatively settled life.

Groover’s Heart by Carole Crowe. Boyds Mills 2001. When eleven-year-old Charlotte locates her long-lost uncle, she discovers the truth about her parents’ death and forges a new life for herself.

A Little Maid of Old Connecticut by Alice Turner Curtis. Applewood 1997. In 1776 a young Connecticut girl, unaware that her hat box contains a mysterious package from a Tory prisoner, travels by stagecoach to visit her grandmother.

Free Souls by Mary Dahl. Houghton Mifflin, 1969. A fictional account of the mutiny of free African crewmen against an unjust commander and their subsequent apprehension and trial in Connecticut. 

The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh. Scribner, 1954. An eight-year-old girl finds courage to go alone with her father to build a new home in the Connecticut wilderness, and to stay with the Indians when her father goes back to bring the rest of the family.

26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie de Paola. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999. Children’s author-illustrator Tomie De Paola describes his experiences at home and in school when he was a boy. [Meriden] Also sequels: Here We All Are (2000), On My Way (2001), What a Year (2002), Things Will Never Be the Same (2003), I’m Still Scared (2006), Why? (2007), and For the Duration (2009).

The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1996. After his family dies of consumption in 1849, twelve-year-old Lucas becomes a doctor’s apprentice. [Southwick]

Liberty Boy by Maxine Drury. McKay 1967.

Hearts of Iron by Kathleen Benner Duble. Margaret McElderry, 2006. In early 1800s Connecticut, fifteen-year-old Lucy tries to decide whether to marry her childhood friend who unhappily toils at the Mt. Riga iron furnace or the young man from Boston who has come to work in her father’s store.

Magic or Not? by Edward Eager. Harcourt 1999. When the family moves to Connecticut, twins James and Laura make new friends and begin a series of unusual adventures after discovering an old well that seems to be magic in their backyard.

Seven-Day Magic by Edward Eager. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962. A seven-day book of magic proves to be fractious for five children, who must learn the book’s rules and tame its magic. [Butterfield – fictional town]

Willy: The Little Jeep Who Wanted to Be a Fire Truck by Don Estes. Attic Studio Press 2003 Willy’s lifelong dream of becoming a fire truck comes true and sends him on a journey from Clinton Corners, New York, to Clinton, Connecticut, and back home. Based on a true story.

The Moffat Museum by Eleanor Estes. Harcourt 1983. Jane Moffat decides to open a family museum in the barn behind the little grey house at Twelve Ashbellows Place in [Cranbury – a fictional town]

The Moffats by Eleanor Estes. Harcourt 1969. The adventures of the four Moffat children before they move away from their big yellow house on New Dollar Street in [Cranbury – a fictional town]

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg. Point, 2011. For Lizzie Bennett, a music scholarship student at Connecticut’s exclusive, girls-only Longbourn Academy, the furor over prom is senseless, but even more puzzling is her attraction to the pompous Will Darcy, best friend of her roommate’s boyfriend.

The Forgotten Flag: Revolutionary Struggle in Connecticut by Frances Y. Evan. White Mane Kids 2003. In 1779, when British and Hessian troops invade Fairfield, Connecticut, the town militia resists, resulting in a crisis for Ben and Thomas Middleton’s family and their neighbors.

McBroom Tells the Truth by Sid Fleischman. Price Stern Sloan 1998. After leaving their rocky Connecticut farm to seek their fortunes in the West, Josh McBroom, his wife Melissa, and their eleven redheaded children stop in Iowa where they become the owners of a small but very unusual piece of property.

The Homeschool Liberation League by Lucy Frank.  Dial, 2009. Thirteen-year-old Katya convinces her parents to try homeschooling her for a month, but while she is finally excited about learning–and about Milo, the violin prodigy who lives nearby–not everything works out as she had hoped.

The Other Half of Me by Emily Franklin. Delacorte, 2007. Feeling out of place in her athletic family, artistic sixteen-year-old Jenny Fitzgerald, whose biological father was a sperm donor, finds her half sister through the Sibling Donor Registry and contacts her, hoping that this will finally make her feel complete.

Temping Fate by Esther Friesner. Dutton, 2006. Ilana is temping for the extraordinary Greek mythological goddesses, the Fates, who spin, measure, and cut the life-threads of every human being on the planet. (BWI)

The Secret Diary of Jeb & Abigail: Growing Up in America, 1776-1783 by Jean Fritz. Readers Digest 1976. Diary of two children describing everyday life on a Connecticut farm in 1776.

The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante.  Bloomsbury, 2008. When her grandmother takes fourteen-year-old Agnes, her younger brother, and best friend Honey and escapes Mount Blessing, a Connecticut religious commune, Agnes clings to the faith she loves while Honey looks toward a future free of control, cruelty, and preferential treatment.

Hope’s Crossing by Joan E. Goodman. Houghton 1998. During the Revolutionary War, thirteen-year-old Hope, seized by the band of Tories who attack her Connecticut home, finds herself enslaved in a Tory household on Long Island and uses all her resources to escape from her captors and make her way home.

When JFK Was My Father by Amy Gordon. Houghton 1999. Feeling neglected by her father in Brazil and her mother in Washington, D.C., Georgia Hughes tries to cope with life at a boarding school in Connecticut by imagining relationships with John Kennedy and Miss Beard, the ghost of the former headmistress of the school.

The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein. Random House, 2008. When eleven-year-old Zack Jennings moves to Connecticut with his father and new stepmother, they must deal with the ghosts left behind by a terrible accident, as well as another kind of ghost from Zack’s past.

The Hanging Hill by Chris Grabenstein. Random House, 2009. While working at a summer stock theater, eleven-year-old Zack and his stepmother encounter the ghost of one of Connecticut’s most notorious criminals.

The Smoky Corridor by Chris Grabenstein. Random House, August 2010 With the help of his stepmother, his dog Zipper, and new friend Malik, Zack Jennings faces ghosts and zombies at his new middle school, which is said to house a lost Confederate treasure.

My Summer of Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald. Amulet, 2013. ather than a summer of fun transforming her family’s pharmacy into an eco-spa, Lucy Desberg must face her sister Claudia’s new boyfriend Bean, investor Gary’s irritating daughter Bevin, and a spa coordinator who is put in charge of the plans.

The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight. Delacorte, 12/2015. When eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow and her family move from Manhattan to the infamous Begonia House in the quiet country town of Ashpot, Connecticut, weird clues could lead to big trouble for Fairday and the rest of the Detective Mystery Squad.  [Ashpot – a fictional town]

Beneath Another Sun by Marjory Hall. Westminster 1970. When her father joins the Confederates in the Civil  War, a sixteen-year-old girl, her little sister, and mother unwillingly  move from Connecticut to Richmond.

You’ve Been Away All Summer by Sheila Hayes. Dutton 1986. After a summer spent away in Connecticut,  twelve-year-old Fran looks forward to resuming her usual activities  with her best friend Sarah, but Sarah has a new friend that seems to  claim all her time and attention.

Fourth of July Raid by Wilma Pitchford Hays. Coward-McCann, 1959. Pemba’s Song : A Ghost Story  by Tonya Hegamin & Marilyn Nelson. Scholastic 2008. As fifteen-year-old Pemba adjusts to leaving her Brooklyn, New York, home for small-town Connecticut, a Black history researcher helps her understand the paranormal experiences drawing her into the life of a mulatto girl who was once a slave in her house.

The Ten-Speed Babysitter by Alison Cragin Herzig. Dutton 1987. In a coastal  town in Connecticut, a fourteen-year-old babysitter’s job is filled with  suprises when his employer jets off to the Caribbean for the weekend and  leaves him in charge of a toddler.

Strawberry Hill by Mary Ann Hoberman. Little, Brown, 2009. Ten-year-old Allie’s family moves from urban New Haven to rural Stamford, Connecticut, in the midst of the Great Depression.

The Purple Car : A Novel of Mystery and Adventure by Robert Holland. Frost Hollow Publishers, 1998. Maria, Peter, and Brian are drawn into a mystery surrounding the 1940 shooting and disappearance of a gangster on the farm they’ve just moved to in Connecticut.

Ride for Freedom: The Story of Sybil Ludington by Judy Hominick and Jeanne Spreier. Silver Moon 2001. In 1777, on a cold and stormy night in the New York Colony, sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington makes a dangerous and difficult ride to warn the local militiamen that the British Army is looting and burning nearby Danbury, Connecticut.

Cassandra: Live at Carnegie Hall! by Nancy J. Hopper. Dial 1998. Moving with her parents and younger sister from Connecticut to her father’s studio in Carnegie Hall during World War II is difficult for thirteen-year-old Cassandra.

New Boy by Julian Houston. Houghton Mifflin, 2005. As a new sophomore at an exclusive boarding school, a young black man is witness to the persecution of another student with bad acne.

Open Ice by Pat Hughes. Wendy Lamb 2005. Hockey has been Nick Taglio’s life since he was five years old, so when a massive concussion benches him–possibly for good–everything seems to fall apart, including his schoolwork, his family relationships, his friendships, and his love life.

Five 4ths of July by Pat Hughes. Viking, 2011. On July 4th, 1777, fourteen-year-old Jake Mallory and his friends are celebrating their new nation’s independence, but over the next four years Jake finds himself in increasingly adventurous circumstances as he battles British forces, barely survives captivity on a prison ship, and finally returns home to Connecticut, war-torn and weary, but hopeful for America’s future.

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012. After heartbreaking betrayal, Carley is sent to live with a foster family and struggles with opening herself up to their love.

Through the Lock by Carol Otis Hurst. Houghton 2000. Etta, a twelve-year-old orphan in nineteenth-century Connecticut, meets a boy living in an abandoned cabin on the New Haven and Northampton Canal and has adventures with him while trying to be reunited with her siblings.

Worlds Afire: The Hartford Circus Fire of 1944 by Paul Janeczko. Candlewick 2004. In this novel written as a collection of eyewitness poems, the excitement and anticipation of attending the circus on July 6, 1944 in Hartford, Connecticut, turns to horror when a fire engulfs the circus tent, killing nearly 180 people, mostly women and children.

Pocket Change by Kathryn Jensen. Macmillan, 1989. When her father’s behavior becomes erratic and violent, sixteen-year-old Josie suspects that it may be connected to his wartime experiences in Vietnam. [Groton]

Stubby by Kate Klimo. Random House, 2015. Stubby the war dog narrates the story of his life, from his birth on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut, through his time spent in Europe with the American Expeditionary Force, to his eventual hero’s welcome back in the U.S.

Horrible Harry Goes to Sea! by Suzy Kline. Viking 2001. The students in Miss Mickle’s third-grade class enjoy a boat trip on the Connecticut River after a class discussion of ancestors reveals that Sidney and Ida both have connections to the sea.

Orp and the Chop Suey Burgers by Suzy Kline. Putnam 1990. Eleven-year-old Orville enters a cooking contest, which he has high hopes of winning with his recipe for chop suey burgers. [Orp lives in Connecticut]

A Place to Call Home by Jackie French Koller. Atheneum, 1995. Caring for her two younger siblings after their unreliable mother abandons them, fifteen-year-old Anna discovers the difficulties of trying to be a parent.

Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson. Viking, 1944. The wild animals living on Rabbit Hill learn that “new folks” are moving into the house that has been empty so long. The animals soon learn the people are kind and are willing to share their garden with the animals.

Horseback on the Boston Post Road, 1704 by Laurie Lawlor. Pocket 2000. As war with the French and Indians begins in 1704, Madame Sarah Kemble Knight is instructed to bring twin servant girls Hester and Philena on a perilous journey by horse from Boston to New Haven, Connecticut.

Also Known as Harper by Ann Haywood Leal. Henry Holt, 2009. Writing poetry helps fifth-grader Harper Lee Morgan cope with her father’s absence, being evicted, and having to skip school to care for her brother while their mother works, and things look even brighter after she befriends a mute girl and a kindly disabled woman.

An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Farrar 1989. Polly’s  visit to her grandparents in Connecticut becomes an extraordinary  experience as she encounters old friends and mysterious stangers and  finds herself traveling back in time to play a crucial role in a  prehistoric confrontation.

Blueberry Corners by Lois Lenski. Lippincott 1940. Flood Friday by Lois Lenski. Lippincott 1956.

We Live in the Country by Lois Lenski. Lippincott, 1960. Stories of the way of life on four farms where  there are neither cows nor hay: a chicken farm in Connecticut; a cotton  farm in Arkansas; a sheep farm in Texas; and a tree farm in Louisiana.

The Spinner’s Daughter by Amy Littlesugar. Pippin, 1994. When Elspeth,  a hardworking Puritan girl, receives a cornhusk doll from a Pequot  Indian, her mother fears that Elspeth will become idle.

Alibi Junior High by Greg Logsted. Aladdin, 2009. After thirteen-year-old Cody and his father, an undercover agent, are nearly killed, Cody moves in with his aunt in Connecticut, where he is helped with his adjustment to the trials of attending public school for the first time and investigating a threat in nearby woods by a wounded Iraq War veteran.

Drawing the Ocean  by Carolyn MacCullogh. Roaring Brook, 2006. A gifted artist, Sadie is determined to fit in at her new school, but her deceased twin brother Ollie keeps appearing to her.

Swoon by Nina Malkin. Simon Pulse, 2009. In rural Connecticut, when seventeen-year-old Dice tries to exorcise a seventeenth-century man who is possessing her cousin Pen, she inadvertently makes him corporeal–and irresistible.

Gianna Mia by Virginia J. Marangell.  Dood, Mead,  1979. The youngest of the Dellesantos chronicles the lives of the family in their Italian community of New Haven from 1937-1953.

Dawn on the Coast by Ann M. Martin (Baby-Sitters Club). Scholastic, 1989. Since her parents’ divorce, Dawn lives in Connecticut with her mother while her brother and father are in California, but after a week’s vacation in sunny, healthy southern California, Dawn isn’t sure she wants to return to the East Coast.

My Tiki Girl by Jennifer McMahon. Dutton, 2008. Fifteen-year-old Maggie, still grieving the loss of her mother in an accident that also gave her a limp, has turned her back on old friends but connects with a new student, Dahlia, who makes her part of her quirky family and plans their future together as roving musicians and lovers.

Junebug by Alice Mead. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1995. An inquisitive young  boy who lives with his mother and younger sister in a rough housing  project in New Haven, Connecticut, approaches his tenth birthday with a  mixture of anticipation and worry. [New Haven]

Jubilee Journey by Carolyn Meyer. Harcourt, 1997. Emily Rose has always felt comfortable growing  up in Connecticut with her African American mother and her “French  American” father, but when they spend some time with her  great-grandmother in Texas, Emily Rose learns about her black heritage  and uncovers some new and exciting parts of her own identity.

Juggling Act by M. C. Millman. Judaica Press, 2003. When a rabbinical student is called upon to ghostwrite his wife’s newspaper column in order to save her job following the birth of their third child, his columns create quite a stir.

The Secret of the Sachem’s Tree by F. N. Monjo. Coward McCann, 1972. The Wadsworth children must abandon their plans for Halloween mischief to help prevent the King’s representative from taking away Connecticut  Colony’s charter.

Jude by Kate Morgenroth. Simon & Schuster, 2004. Still reeling from his drug-dealing father’s murder, moving in with the wealthy mother he never knew, and transferring to a private school, fifteen-year-old Jude is tricked into pleading guilty to a crime he did not commit. [Jude lives in Hartford with his father. After his father is murdered, he moves to West Hartford, where his mother runs for Mayor. The Hartford Courant is mentioned often]

Spy!  by Anna Myers. Walker, 2008. In 1774, twelve-year-old Jonah becomes a pupil of Nathan Hale, who inspires him to question his beliefs about the impending revolution, and two years later, Jonah makes a decision that leads to Nathan’s execution.

The Beast by Walter Dean Myers. Scholastic, 2003. A visit to his Harlem neighborhood and the discovery that the girl he loves is using drugs give sixteen-year-old Anthony Witherspoon a new perspective both on his home and on his life at a Connecticut prep school.

Jasmine and Maddie by Christine Pakkala. Boyds Mills, 2014. To grieving Jasmine, Maddie’s a rich kid with no problems. To lonely Maddie, Jasmine is all cavalier cool in their tame Connecticut town. True friends they are not. Yet each hopes the other might save her. Can Maddie give Jasmine what she needs? Could Jasmine rescue Maddie from the outskirts of the crowd? When Jasmine steals Maddie’s heirloom ring, just how far will she go to keep it? In alternating chapters, Maddie and Jasmine take turns weaving their story about friendship and coming of age. [Clover – a fictional town]

The Red Petticoat by Joan E. Palmer. Lothrop, 1969. In 1777 a thirteen-year-old Connecticut girl gets a chance to help the Revolutionary forces.

Hold Fast to Dreams by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Morrow, 1995. Twelve-year-old Deirdre, whose passion for photography has earned her the nickname “Camera Dee,” feels uncomfortable being the only black student at her new school. [Wexford – a fictional town]

Abby Carnelia’s One and Only Magical Power by David Pogue Roaring Brook 2010 After eleven-year-old Abby discovers that she has a completely useless magical power, she finds herself at a magic camp where her hope of finding others like herself is realized, but when a select group is taken to a different camp, a sinister plot comes to light.

The Education of Mary: A Little Miss of Color, 1832 by Ann Rinaldi. Hyperion, 2000. In 1832, Prudence Crandall begins admitting black girls to her exclusive Connecticut school, scandalizing white society and eventually causing her arrest and the closing of her school.

The Fresh Air Kid by Brigette Roux-Lough. Viking, 1990. Leigh, a  street-smart teenager living in a tenement building in the Bronx, spends  the summer in suburban Connecticut.

The Silent Spillbills by Tor Seidler. HarperCollins, 1998. Thirteen-year-old bird-lover Katerina, plagued by stuttering and lack of self-confidence, stands up to her cantankerous grandfather, head of Farnsworth Aeronautics, to save the unique Connecticut wetland birds which inspired the design of the latest Farnsworth airplane.

Tucker’s Countryside by George Selden. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1969. The adventures of a city bred cat and mouse when they go to the country in Connecticut to visit their friend, Chester Cricket. Sequel to: The Cricket in Times Square.

Blister by Susan Shreve. Scholastic, 2001. When a family tragedy occurs, ten-year-old Alyssa “Blister” Reed changes schools, moves to an apartment with her depressed mother while her father gets his own place, and tries to believe her grandmother, who tells her she is “elastic” and can handle it all. [New Haven & Meadowville – a fictional town]

Secret of the Three Treasures by Janni Lee Simner. Holiday House, 2006. While pretending to be the heroine of her father’s adventure novels, Tiernay discovers new friends, buried Revolutionary War treasure, and answers to a long-ago mystery.

The Stratford Devil by Claude Clayton Smith. Walker, 1984. A fictionalized account of the  struggles of a Puritan settlement and events leading to the historical  hanging of Goody Bassett for witchcraft in Stratford, Connecticut, in  the spring of 1651.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Houghton Mifflin, 1958. In 1687 in Connecticut, Kit Tyler, feeling  out of place in the Puritan household of her aunt, befriends an old  woman considered a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself  standing trial for witchcraft.

Tory Hole by Louise Hall Tharp. Little, Brown, 1940.

Matty’s War by Caroll Thomas. Smith & Kraus, 1999. Two cousins share their experiences during the  Civil War, both in the Simsbury, Connecticut, home of one girl, and  through the letters the other writes when she goes, disguised as a boy,  to fight in Virginia.

The Tamarack Tree by Betty Underwood. Houghton Mifflin, 1971. Community reaction toward a local school for black girls in 1833 makes a fourteen-year-old white orphan re-examine her feelings toward higher education, abolition, blacks, and the meaning of womanhood.

Hannah of Fairfield by Jean Van Leeuwen. Dial, 1999. In 1779 in Fairfield, Connecticut, Hannah and her family try to maintain a sense of normalcy as the Revolutionary War rages around them, threatening to destroy their way of life. Sequels : Hannah’s Helping Hands (1999)and Hannah’s Winter of Hope (2000).

The Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. Atheneum, 1981. Abandoned by their mother, four children begin a search for a home and an identity. [Rt. 15 from Rhode Island to Yale, including Hammonasset Beach]

Same Scene, Different Place by Amelia Elizabeth Walden. Lippincott, 1969. A Spanish Harlem girl living on  probation in a wealthy Connecticut town cannot seem to escape the  influence of her old environment.

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman. Walker Books, October 2010 Eighteen-year-old Emily, whose father is headmaster of a Connecticut boarding school, suffers from nightmares, and when she meets and falls in love with the handsome Del Sugar, pieces of her traumatic past start falling into place.

Jordan Freeman Was My Friend by Richard White. Four Walls, 1994. Billy, son of  Captain Latham, an American patriot, describes his friendship with a  former slave in the days leading up to and including the British attack  on Fort Griswold.

Switched by Jessica Wollman. Delacorte, 2007. Laura and Willa, born the same night seventeen years ago on opposite sides of Darien, Connecticut, are both unhappy with their lives and when they discover they look remarkably alike, they decide to try out one another’s lives for four months. [Darien]

How I Found the Perfect Dress by Maryrose Wood. Berkley Jam, 2008. Sixteen-year-old half-goddess Morgan is wrapped up in normal concerns, such as junior prom and parental problems, when she learns that Colin, her Irish love, is the victim of a fairy curse and she must make a deal with a leprechaun to save him.

Maizon at Blue Hill by Jacqueline Woodson. Delacorte, 1992. After winning a scholarship to an academically challenging boarding school, Maizon finds herself one of only five blacks there and wonders if she will ever fit in. [Canton]

Jared’s Blessing by Hildegard Woodward. Scribner, 1942.

When the Black Girl Sings by Bil Wright. Simon & Schuster, 2008. Adopted by white parents and sent to an exclusive Connecticut girls’ school where she is the only black student, fourteen-year-old Lahni Schuler feels like an outcast, particularly when her parents separate, but after attending a local church where she hears gospel music for the first time, she finds her voice.

Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen. Henry Holt, 2014. In 1965, a year after Arianne thinks she sees a shooting star land in the fields surrounding her family’s horse farm, a baby centaur is born and the family, already under scrutiny because Arianne’s six-year-old brother has birth defects, struggles to keep the colt a secret.

Sybil Ludington: Revolutionary War Rider by Karen Romano Young. Feiwel & Friends, February 2016.
A fictionalized account of the sixteen-year-old girl, trained to handle a musket, who rode alone over forty miles in Connecticut to bring out the militia before the Battle of Ridgefield.

YOUNG ADULT

Red Girl, Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-Logsted. Bloomsbury, 2015. As Katie’s father and Drew’s mother vie for the Presidency, the sixteen-year-olds start–and end–a romance, but the press finds out, both candidates’ poll numbers rise, and the two are asked to flaunt their former relationship.

Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt. Delacorte, 2010. When Shannon Card, a sixteen-year-old high school honors student, lies about her age to get a job at a Connecticut casino so she can earn money for her college tuition, she becomes involved in a secret poker society and falls deeper into a web of deceit.

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt. Simon Pulse, 2013. Told in their separate voices, seventeen-year-old Peyton convinces eighteen-year-old Jace to drive her from a Florida wedding toward her Connecticut home with the intention of staying in North Carolina rather than face her parents’ marital and financial problems, while both avoid the obvious attraction they have felt since they met at Christmas. [road trip]

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. Katherine Tegen, 2016. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson descendants, Charlotte and Jamie, students at a Connecticut boarding school, team up to solve a murder mystery.

Freaked by J. T. Dutton. HarperTeen, 2009. In the mid-1990s, Grateful Dead fan Scotty Loveletter must wade through the privileged world of his East Coast prep school while dealing with his absent mother, a famous sex therapist.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Dial, 2014. 17-year-old Gwen Castle is a working-class girl determined to escape her small island town, but when rich-kid Cass Somers, with whom she has a complicated romantic history, shows up, she’s forced to reassess her feelings about her loving, complex family, her lifelong best friends, her wealthy employer, the place she lives, and the boy she can’t admit she loves.  (Publisher) [Seashell – a fictional beach town]

Girls for Breakfast by David Yoo. Delacorte 2005. As he reflects back on his life in upscale Renfield, Connecticut, on his high school graduation day, Nick Park wonders how much being the only Asian American in school affected his thwarted quest for popularity and a girlfriend. [Renfield – a fictional town]

The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely. McElderry, 2014. Managing the challenges of his fractured family by taking Adderall, sneaking drinks, and confiding in an abusive priest, Aidan finds support from new friends including a crush, a wild girl, and a swim-team captain with his own secrets. [an affluent town]

Want to go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman. Scholastic, 2011. Insecure about the changes high school brings, Abby ignores advice from her parents and her only friend to “make an effort” and, instead, withdraws from everyone but with Luke, who she met online.

Without Annette by Jane B. Mason. Scholastic, 2016. osie Little and her girlfriend Annette Anderson have traveled halfway across the country to attend Brookwood Academy, a prestigious boarding school in Connecticut, and get away from Annette’s abusive mother, but as soon as they get there things begin to unravel–the undercurrents in the school are poisonous, Annette seems more interested in drinking with the in-crowd, and a boy declares that he is in love with her.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. Simon & Schuster, 2014. Quiet Emily’s sociable and daring best friend, Sloane, has disappeared leaving nothing but a random list of bizarre tasks for her to complete, but with unexpected help from popular classmate Frank Porter, Emily gives them a try.

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski. HarperTeen, 2011. Sixteen-year-old April, a high school junior, and her friend Vi, a senior, get a crash course in reality as the list of things they should not do becomes a list of things they did while living parent-free in Westport, Connecticut, for the semester.

I’m From Nowhere by Suzanne Myers. Soho Teen, 2016. A few weeks into her sophomore year at Ventura High School in California, Wren Verlaine is shipped off to Hardwick Hall, a prestigious boarding school in Connecticut, where clues begin appearing about the one secret her mother has ever kept from her.

The Innocents by Lili Peloquin. Razorbill, 2012. After moving to Serenity Point for the summer, sisters Charlie and Alice draw apart from each other after their mother remarries their stepfather, Richard, a rich and lonely man with a previous life of which he seldom speaks–and that haunts him still.

The Secret Language of Sisters byLuanne Rice. Scholastic, 2016. Mathilda (Tilly), fourteen, and Ruth Anne (Roo), sixteen, are sisters and best friends in Connecticut, but when Roo crashes her car while texting she is confined to a hospital bed with “locked-in syndrome,” aware of her surroundings, but apparently comatose–and Tilly must find a way to communicate with her sister, while dealing with her own sense of guilt.

The Beetle and Me: A Love Story by Karen Romano Young. Greenwillow, 1999 When 15-year-old Daisy Pandolfi falls in love for the first time, the object of her affection is a 1957 purple Volkswagen Beetle slowly rusting away in the icehouse on the family farm. Daisy wants to restore the car, even though her father, uncle, and aunt–experienced mechanics all–tell her it can’t be done. Daisy persists and prevails after six months of obsessive work, but her first drive leads to disaster. Set in a small town along Route 44 in western Connecticut. (author annotation)

Outside In by Karen Romano Young. Greenwillow, 2002 Cherie is the newspaper girl in her Connecticut shoreline town in 1968 — a year in which the news from the outside world is full of turmoil.  How it gets to Cherie, and how she saves herself from losing hope, is the subject of this story. [shoreline]

Video by Karen Romano Young. Greenwillow, 1999 A bully of a girl who doesn’t understand the changes in her social circle, a boy flooded with disappointment, a video camera, and a handsome stranger — these elements are woven together in a believable suburban setting (Connecticut) that is immediately recognizable. (author annotation)  

 

This is list is always a list in progress. Please email or call Linda Williams at the Willimantic Library Service Center, 800-253-7944 with corrections, additions, or comments. Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.