Vermont Children’s Books – Kids Books About Vermont

Vermont books for kids - Children's Books about Vermont

The Ultimate List of Books about Vermont for Children

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Children’s Books about Vermont

Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

A children’s book about Wilson Bentley, the snowflake photographer in Vermont. This book is featured in the curriculum Five in a Row, volume 4, while poetry by Robert Frost (of New Hampshire) is included in Five in a Row volume 1.

Champ and Me By the Maple Tree: A Vermont Tale, by Ed Shankman, illustrated by Dan O’ Neill

A story of a Lake Champlain ‘monster’ named Champ, and his friend, as they do Vermont activities like sit under a maple tree.

 

 

Vermont Books for Older Children

 

Counting on Grace, by Elizabeth Winthrop

This book is set in a cotton textile mill of Vermont, in 1910. It describes the mill worker system: working 6 days a week, only to get paid to repay your rent to the company and purchase goods from the company store. Making mistakes at work deducted money from the worker’s own pay.

Grace begins working at age 12, using a lie about her age. She’s doing unsafe work in the mill, called doffing. Doffing the bobbins seems like exciting work, until she realizes she must miss all of school to attend her 6-day-a-week job.

In the novel, a person comes to inspect the mill, and it is Lewis Hine of the Child Labor Board. The theme of the book is on the lack of safety and the hard working conditions for children workers in the early 1900s. 

The photo on the book cover is a picture of a girl who did work in the mills at age 12, named Addie Card.  Counting on Grace is a read-aloud for age 8, or an independent reader for ages 10 and up.

 

Return to Sender, by Julia Alvarez

This book is about a family saving a Vermont farmhouse from foreclosure.

It was awarded the Pura Belpre Award in 2010, and it goes through a year in the life of a farm, as told from two perspectives. Justin is the son of the owner of the farm, and Mari, the daughter of one of the workers.

This book makes excellent usage of Spanish words interwoven into the story. 

 

Hidden Roots, by Joseph Bruchac

This book is a boy living in the early 1960s in upstate New York (near Vermont), and a key part of the book is him learning about his family’s story, including from his Uncle Louis in Vermont. The Vermont Eugenics Program is talked about, the forced sterilization that was performed on indigenous people in Vermont in the 1920s and 30s. The book discusses how Native people worked to survive that portion of United States history, and how they assimilated or passed into mainstream American society to surive. 

This book is well-designed for 5th and 6th grade readers, as well as middle school readers. It also discusses environmental problems and workplace abuses that the character’s father faces at the papermill in New York.

Joseph Bruchac is Abenaki, lives in the Adirondacks, in Greenfield Center, New York (near Albany), and this book is #OwnVoices.

Darkness Under the Water, by Beth Kanell

This story tells of a dark time in Vermont history. In 1929, there was a project for the forced sterilization of natives, led by Vermont’s governor.

The author Beth Kanell is not native, this is not an Own Voices novel. However, it covers a forgotten piece of American history, and was drawing from the information of an Abenaki neighbor who experienced this himself. 

Overall, this book is a tale of a girl who lives in Vermont, in the Upper Valley on the Connecticut River, in the Northeast Kingdom, near Waterbury. This girl meets a boy she likes, experiences the pregnancy of her mother and then loss of that sister. She loses part of her town underwater, due to the building of a dam. She witnesses eugenics being performed to her state. The main character being half-Abenaki and half-French Canadian, she realizes the affects of assimilation, of not knowing where you came from as you become engulfed in the majority culture. 

This book is for 7th grade and up. People rate it as a very accurate portrayal of Vermont, which makes sense since the author is a resident of the area she is writing. 

The Day of the Pelican, by Katherine Paterson

This book is written by the author most famous for Bridge to Terebithia. The Day of the Pelican focuses on an Albanian family as they leave Kosovo to flee from the Serbian forces that were committing a genocide.

They settle in a small Vermont town as refugees. Not many years after, 9/11 happens – and the Muslim identity of this Albanian family becomes a point of prejudice and suspicion as they live in their Vermont community.

While the book’s bigger focal points are the conflict in Kosovo (another book recommendation for the Bosnian conflict: Zlata’s Diary, a firsthand account in Sarajevo – a town about 7 hrs away from Kosovo), being a refugee to the United States, and anti-Muslim sentiment and prejudice following September 11th, the book is set in Vermont so it will get included on this list. 

Justin Morgan Had a Horse, by Marguerite Henry

This novel set in Vermont covers the Morgan horse, a horse type, and is firmly set in New England. This is the origin story of this type of horse.

 

 

Vermont Historical Vocabulary:

Samuel de Champlain’s “Verd Mont” (Green Mountain)

Missiquoi Abenaki (a group of Abenaki), also known as Sokoki Abenaki nation

Wabanaki Confederacy / King Philip’s War

Battle of Hubbardton (only American Revolution battle in the state) happened during retreat of Fort Ticonderoga in nearby New York, July 1777

Vermont forms statehood, 1777

Vermont outlaws slavery from its founding, 1777. Becomes the first state in the country to abolish slavery. (There were slight provisions still available. Discussion exists whether Vermont had 16 slaves in the 1791 census, or if it had 16 free persons of color. By the 1800 census there were no enslaved persons recorded in the state.)

Vermont admitted into the Union (United States) in 1791

Vermont passes a law protecting and freeing escaped slaves in 1858, making it a state important to the Underground Railroad efforts.

St. Albans Raid, 1864 – the northernmost action in the Civil War, 21 Confederates raided the banks of St. Albans, Vermont to gain money and divert Union attention

December 18, 1880 was when women first became eligible to vote in Vermont local elections

Vermont Eugenics Program / “Breeding Better Vermonters” (project from 1925 – 1936) was a dark moment in Vermont history

 

Vermont Geography:

Lake Champlain

Lake Memphremagog

Green Mountains

Connecticut River Valley

Burlington (largest city)

Montpelier (state capital)

Vermont is the 49th state in population. Burlington is the smallest “largest city in a state”, and Montpelier is the smallest state capital. 

Children’s Books about Vermont and all 50 states. Which state will you read about next!

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(districts, territories)

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Here you will find books about Vermont and all 50 states.