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Nature Writing by Nebraska Authors

Nebraska has nourished some of the most creative and influential nature writing in the English language. One measure of success in nature writing has been that—in the words of Nebraskan John Janovy—one “learns from nature… rather than [just] about nature.” This thought expresses the influence of a long literary tradition of romantic natural history writing reaching back to Emerson and Thoreau.

In that tradition, writing is personal and reflective, and engages the imagination. Writers in the romantic vein have often felt that contact with nature is a source of freedom and renewal. In presenting and dramatizing the natural world, romantic writers explore the fluid boundaries between human beings and nature, seeking to understand the limits of our perception of nature, and our growing responsibility for its fate. Of the three best known Nebraska nature writers, Loren Eiseley, John Janovy, and Paul Johnsgard, Eiseley felt the pull of this romantic tradition most strongly, but all three writers have acknowledged its influence in some manner.

In works gathered in this list, writers seek to change the context of our experience of the natural world. They use local knowledge, insight gained from lifetimes of observation or scholarship, and literary skill to make us look more closely at the world and our place in it.

This is a representative list, many of the authors included have written other works.

500 Bor
Borland, Hal. Hal Borland’s book of days. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1976.
Borland, born in Sterling, Nebraska, wrote more than 30 nature books and was for many years nature editor for the New York Times. This book is a nature diary that follows his observations through the year.

500.9 Bor
Borland, Hal. Homeland. A report from the country. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencott co., 1969.
Essays follow the seasons in this chronological collection of Borland’s essays that appeared in The Progressive. Borland received the John Burroughs Medal in 1968, the highest award for nature writing given in the United States.

B Ei7 1987
Eiseley, Loren. All the strange hours: The excavation of a life. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1975.
A fascinating book that presents itself as the autobiography of the distinguished anthropologist. It tells the reader something about Eiseley’s inner life of the mind, while the usual personal autobiographical memoir of events in family and career is absent. It helps us understand Eiseley the romantic nature writer better, while leaving Eiseley the man in shadow.

575 Eis 1957
Eiseley, Loren. The Immense Journey. New York: Random House, 1957.
This collection of essays gained Eiseley a wide audience and critical acclaim. Available in many editions. Includes “How flowers changed the world” and “The judgement of birds.”

500.9 Eis
Eiseley, Loren. The night country. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971.
In the view of some critics, this was Eiseley’s finest collection of essays. One characteristic theme is an exploration of how we study and perceive time in the natural world.

508 Gat
Gates, Doris B. Nature Trails by The Pine Ridge Naturalist., 2 Vols. Chadron: B&B Printing, 1991.
A collection of a decade of the author’s “Nature Trails” newspaper columns in western Nebraska newspapers. Chatty and heterogeneous tidbits convey the fruits of deep local knowledge of the Pine Ridge, as well as a naturalist’s view of travel and current events.

917.828 Jan
Janovy, John, Jr. Keith County Journal. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1978.
This book and its successor are considered to be among the finest works of American natural history. Insects, birds, plants and people in a single Nebraska county.

917.828 Jan
Janovy, John, Jr. Back in Keith County. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981.
Adds chapters to Janovy’s acclaimed Keith County Journal.

598.33 Jan
Janovy, John, Jr. Yellowlegs. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980.
An eccentric biologist follows a sandpiper on her migration all the way from her nesting ground in arctic Canada to South America and back.

574 Jan
Janovy, John, Jr. On becoming a biologist. (Harper and Row Series on the Professions) New York: Harper and Row, 1985.
From the introductory chapter on naturalists onward, this book conveys Janovy’s personal perspectives and his experience in the profession he chose, as well as advice for the student.

598.301 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul A. Crane Music: A natural history of American cranes. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991.
Distinguished ornithologist, educator, conservationist, and nature writer Johnsgard offers a brief survey of the natural history of American cranes focusing on their annual migration, their habitats, dancing and other behaviors, and conservation, in a world wide context of crane populations and concern for their conservation.

598 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul A. Earth, water, and sky. A naturalist’s stories and sketches. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999.
One of the world’s leading authorities on bird behavior, and the author of over forty books and countless professional publications, Johnsgard writes engaging personal essays about his encounters with birds, all illustrated with his own pen and ink drawings.

508.782 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul A. The nature of Nebraska: Ecology and biodiversity. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001.
The most comprehensive guide to the ecological regions, processes, and flora and fauna of the state. With some of Johnsgard’s pen and ink illustrations. An accessible and engaging work by a writer who knows the scholarship, the wildlife and the place itself.

598.2 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul A. Prairie birds: Fragile splendor in the Great Plains. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001.
In this work, dedicated to the memory of Aldo Leopold and to Annie Dilliard, Johnsgard offers a handbook to the behaviors, ecology, and conservation of prairie birds. Johnsgard gives careful attention to the history of landscape conservation, offers his personal observations of bird behavior, and includes his own pen ink drawings.

578.74 Joh Johnsgard, Paul A. Prairie dog empire: A saga of the shortgrass prairie. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.
An introduction to the ecological history of the short grass prairie and this key species. Moves from behavior and habitat of the prairie dog and its associates to the destructive effects of human domination and prospects for conservation.

508.782 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul A. This Fragile Land. A Natural History of the Nebraska Sandhills. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995.
The most thorough guide available to the natural history and regional ecology of the Sandhills, a place where travel is difficult and population sparse. This book explores the regions, habitats, ecology and plants, birds, wildlife and insects of the Sandhills. With line drawings, maps, and habitat profiles. By a world renowned ornithologist who loves the Sandhills.

917.82 Kno
Knopp, Lisa. The nature of home: A lexicon and essays. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.
Knopp’s essays have won critical acclaim for their intertwining explorations of ecology and personal perception. These essays relate Knopp’s thoughts about nature in and around Lincoln, Nebraska.

978 San 1954
Sandoz, Mari. The Buffalo Hunters. New York: Hastings House, 1954.
The story of the buffalo and their slaughter by a great Nebraska writer who sought to recover, in the mind’s eye, the grandeur of a natural world destroyed, who understood the spiritual meaning of the destruction for the native tribes, and who could put events in a powerfully evoked historical context.

978 Sa51o
Sandoz, Mari. Love Song to the Plains. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1961.
This is a celebration of the natural world and of the way that history has revealed the character of the inhabitants of the plains. At the same time, Sandoz puts the exploitation of this natural region casually but accurately in global contexts that included European financial markets and world trade.

633.15 W66c
Will, George F. (senior) and George E. Hyde Corn Among the Indians of the Upper Missouri. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1967 (1917).
George Hyde of Omaha was an informant and researcher for George Bird Grinnell. In this book Will and Hyde give a broad comparative ethnographic account of farming practices by the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and other groups. The knowledge, the seeds, and the practices that conserved them had crossed a gulf of horrors beginning with disease, war, and dislocation in the 1830s, and yet were still recoverable. Using seeds and information passed to them by Myron Gilmore and tribal elders, Will and Hyde cultivated and passed strains of corn adapted to cold and aridity along to the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, making possible a 50 fold increase in Montana corn production between 1910 and 1924. This pioneering work sharpens our understanding of the interdependencies of culture and nature.

The work that Gilmore, Will, and Hyde undertook would now be called ethnobotany. A contemporary writer whose work in this field has been widely admired is Gary Nabhan. Nabhan recalls the efforts of Will and Hyde in the closing chapter of his Enduring Seeds: Native American agriculture and wild plant preservation (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1989).

641.63 You
Young, Kay. Wild Seasons: Gathering and Cooking Wild Plants of the Great Plains. Illustrated by Mark E Marcuson. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.

This compendium of botanical information and recipes offers a delightful alternative path to appreciating the natural world. Nebraskan Kay Young helps us find the wild foods of the Great Plains and better understand the natural history of where we live. How to cook nettle greens, make chokecherry jelly, cattail pollen pancakes, prickly-pear cactus dressing and many other good things.

dsc: 6-8-2006

Nebraska Authors Write for Children and Young Adults

Nebraska authors who have written works for, or of special interest to, children or young adults, listed by local community affiliation:

photo of book illustration

Original artwork for book illustration by children’s author and illustrator Ruth Rosekrans Hoffman

This list includes some authors not in our list of representative books. Authors are listed under more than one locale, if they have connections to more than one community. Authors’ birth and/or death dates are given where known to us.

Return to our listing of titles by representative Nebraska children’s authors

Agate Springs Ranch, upper Niobrara:
Cook, Harold J., 1887-1962;

Blatter, Dorothy, 1901- ;

DeGering, Etta, 1898- , also Lincoln;

Reichenberg, Monte, 1950-, also Ogallala, North Platte, Scottsbluff;

Atlanta, Phelps County:
Marshall, Helen Lowrie, 1904-1975;

Hammond, Earl; McDaniels, Preston;

Hogan, Bernice, 1929- , also Omaha, Kearney;

Neihardt, John G., 1881-1973;

Lynn, Tracy (pseudonym of Tracy Burney);

Dolezal, Margaret J., also Lincoln;

Hintz, Dorothy M., also Hebron;

Boys Town:
Chesire, Jimmy;

Amateis, Carole S., 1951- , also Gering;

Boellstorff, Ruth, 1909- ;

Brown, Marion Marsh, 1908-2001, also Omaha;

Stansbery, Karyn, also Ogalalla;

Butler County:
Frantz, Evelyn M.;

Central City:
Palmer, Bernard, 1914- , also Holdrege; Rydberg, Ernie [Rydberg, Ernest];

Brown, Elinor L., 1915-2008;

Hollingsworth, Leta Stetter, 1886-1939, also Valentine;

Hosford, Jessie, 1892- ;

Cherry County:
Sheldon, Addison Erwin, 1861-1943, also Lincoln;

Bromwell, Alice; Green, Ivah;

Welsch, Roger L., 1936- ;

David City:
Bro, Margueritte Harmon, 1894-1977; Douglass, Gladys S., 1901-1992, also Lincoln;

Hoffman, Ruth Rosekrans, 1926-2007, also Lincoln;

Aldrich, Bess Streeter, 1881-1954;

Falls City:
Barker, Mary Libal, 1910- , also Table Rock;

Kroll, Francis Lynde, 1904-1973, also Lincoln;

Bonham, Barbara, 1926- , also Naponee;

Bradford, Lois J.; Cook, Julia, also Lincoln; Grimes, Lee; Sharp, N.L. [pseudonym of Wagner, Nancy Sharp], also Valentine, Ponca; Stephens, Dan V., 1868-1939;

Hays, Wilma Pitchford, 1909- , also Lincoln;

Garden County:
Paulsen, Sharon K., 1939- ;

Kooser, Ted, 1939- , also Lincoln;

Heiderstadt, Dorothy, 1907- ;

Amateis, Carole S., 1951- , also Bridgeport;

Beath, Paul R., 1905- ;

Grand Island:
Anderson, Mary Elizabeth, 1939- , also Lincoln; Bartek, Ann Swanson, also Lincoln; Cunningham, Reba Pierce, d. 1991; Hamsa, Bobbie, 1944- , also Omaha, Ord; Jacks, L. V., 1896-1972; Lukesh, Jean A. ; Miller, Roselyn, 1936- , also Osceola; Pieper, Kathleen;

Hall County:
Converse, Caroline, 1878- ;

Alberts, Frances Jacobs, 1907-1989; Ruckman, Ivy, 1931- ; Osborne, Tom, 1937- , also Lincoln; Tibbets, Albert B., 1888- , also Lincoln; Warren, Andrea, 1946- , also Norfolk, Lincoln;

Hintz, Dorothy M., also Belvidere;

Palmer, Bernard, 1914- , also Central City;

Christensen, Alberta Maxon; Gage, Colleen, 1940- ; Hogan, Bernice, 1929- , also Axtell, Omaha; Jackson, George L., also Nelson; Lawhead, Stephen R., 1950- , also Lincoln;

Lee, Wayne C.;

Jackson, Charles Tenny, 1874- ;

Anderson, Mary Elizabeth, 1939- , also Grand Island; Bartek, Ann Swanson, also Grand Island; Bradley, Virginia, 1912- ; Bristow, David; Burr, Tim; Cartmill, Christopher John, 1962- ; Condra, G.E., 1896-1958; Cook, Julia, also Fremont; Cunningham, Reba Pierce, d. 1991; DeGering, Etta, 1898- , also Arcadia: Dick, Everett; Dittman, Susan Grace; Dolezal, Margaret J., also Bee; Douglass, Gladys S., 1901-1992, also David City; Eiseley, Loren, 1907-1977; Ferris, Jeri; Fine, Warren, 1943-1987; Fisher, Dorothy Canfield, 1879-1958; Forsberg, Michael; Frye, Tom; Greene, Gordon, 1931-1995; Harrington, Janice N., 1956- ; Hart, Mary; Hays, Hobe, 1926- ; Hays, Wilma Pitchford, 1909- , also Fullerton; Hoffman, Ruth Rosekrans, 1926-2007, also Denton; Janovy, John, 1937- ; Johnsgard, Paul, 1931- ; King, Kathleen; Kinscella, Hazel Gertrude, d. 1960; Kloefkorn, William, 1932- ; Kooser, Ted, 1939- , also Garland; Kristoffersen, Eva Margaret, 1901-1954; Kroll, Francis Lynde, 1904-1973, also Fairbury; Kurrus, Jeff; Lawhead, Stephen R., 1950- , also Kearney; Luebke, Frederick C., 1927- , also Seward; Magorian, James, 1942- ; McCabe, Marla, 1930- ; McPhee, Clare, 1872-1960; Marguerite McPhee d. 1970; Nicoll, Bruce Hilton, 1912-1983; Norman, Thelma Giddings; Olson, James C., 1917-2005; Osborne, Tom, 1937- , also Hastings; Owen, Ruth Bryan, 1885-1954; Pierce, Robert; Pike, Pat, 1929[?]-2007; Price, Willadene, 1914- ; Sack, Jill; Sandoz, Mari, 1896-1966, also Sheridan County; Sawicki, Mary, 1950- ; Scrimscher, Lila Gravatt, 1897-1974, also Talmage; Sheldon, Addison Erwin, 1861-1943, also Cherry County; Sheldrick, Peg; Shepard, Ray Anthony; Sprague, Gretchen, 1926-2003; Stover, Marjorie Filley; Taves, Isabella, 1915- ; Thomas, Cenethe [Kenetha]; Thomas, Dorothy, 1898-1990; Thompson, Eileen; Tibbets, Albert B., 1888- , also Hastings; Timm, Stephen A.; Warren, Andrea, 1946- , also Hastings, Norfolk; Wimberly, Lowry C., 1890-1959; Wunder, John R., 1945- ; Wunder, Susan A.;

Edwards, Leta Marguerite, 1900- ;

Bonham, Barbara, 1926- , also Franklin;

Nebraska City:
Rumsey, Marian;

Jackson, George L., also Kearney;

Daniel, Hawthorne, 1890- , also Omaha; Warren, Andrea, 1946- ,also Hastings, Lincoln;

North Platte:
Dick, Trella Lamson, 1889-1974; Reichenberg, Monte, 1950- , also Ogallala, Arthur, Scottsbluff; Shepherd, Rajean Luebs, 1955;

Reichenberg, Monte, 1950- , also Arthur, North Platte, Scottsbluff; Stansbery, Karyn, also Brule;

Beall, Pamela Conn; Bremmer, Patricia A., 1953- ; Brown, Marion Marsh, 1908-2001, also Brownville; Brown, May Sundell; Cavanaugh, Kate, 1947- ; Cunningham, Reba Pierce, d. 1991; Daniel, Hawthorne, 1890- , also Norfolk; Dobrin, Arnold, 1928- ;; Felton, Harold W., 1902- ; Ferris, Elmer Ellsworth, 1861-1951; Fleischman, Paul; Gibson, Bob, 1935- ; Hamsa, Bobbie, 1944- , also Ord, Grand Island; Hansen, Ron, 1947- ; Hess, Fjeril, 1892- ; Hogan, Bernice, 1929- , also Axtell, Kearney; Jacks, L. V., 1896-1972; Jaroch, F.A.; Kenny, Caris Y.; Livingston, Myra Cohn, 1926-1996; McCulloch, Bruce; Oneal, Zibby; O’Neill, Rose Cecil, 1874-1944; , 1874-1944; Parks, Gabe, 1921-2007; Parsons, Arthur H., d. 1959; Reilly, Robert T., 1922- ; Richoux, Pat; Secord, Frank A. [Pen name: “Uncle Ross”]; Solheim, James, 1959- ; Teal, Val [Teal, Valentine], 1902- ;

Hamsa, Bobbie, 1944- , also Omaha, Grand Island;

Miller, Roselyn, 1936- , also Grand Island;

McCleery, William, 1911-2000;

Platte River Valley:
Gage, Colleen, 1940- ;

Sharp, N.L. [pseudonym of Wagner, Nancy Sharp], also Fremont, Valentine;

Red Cloud:
Cather, Willa, 1873-1947;

Reichenberg, Monte, 1950- , also Arthur, North Platte, Ogallala; Strait, Treva Adams, 1909- ;

Luebke, Frederick C., 1927- , also Lincoln; Sylwester, Robert;

Sheridan County:
Sandoz, Mari, 1896-1966, also Lincoln;

MacKay, Margaret, 1907-1968;

Borland, Hal, 1900-1978;

St. Paul, Nebraska:
Scott, Lynn H., 1900- ;

Table Rock:
Barker, Mary Libal, 1910- , also Falls City;

Scrimscher, Lila Gravatt, 1897-1974, also Lincoln;

Black, Roe R., 1899- , (Dismal River valley);

Davis, Clyde Brion, 1894-1962;

Hollingsworth, Leta Stetter, 1886-1939, also Chadron; McKelvie, Martha Groves, 1886-1976, (By the Way Ranch, 17 miles south of Valentine); Sharp, N.L. [pseudonym of Wagner, Nancy Sharp], also Fremont, Ponca;

Rock, Gail;

Hickey, Donald R.;

Bothwell, Jean, d. 1977;


Dewey, Ariane;

Jensen, Pamela Jo, 1961- ;

Laughlin, Florence;

Lyon, David;

Mason, Miriam, 1899-1973 [Mason, Miriam E.];

Wilkerson, J.L.;

Works for Children and Young Adults by Nebraska Authors

photo of book illustration

Original artwork for book illustration by children’s author and illustrator Ruth Rosekrans Hoffman

This list was compiled by the staff of the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors. The list, classified by genre and reading level, offers a representative sample of authors and titles. Some authors listed here wrote many more books than appear in this list.

Table of Contents:

Young Adult Fiction, Poetry, and Plays:

Aldrich, Bess Streeter, 1881-1954, Elmwood:
Mother Mason, 1924
Spring Came on Forever, 1935
A Lantern in Her Hand, 1928
Journey into Christmas, 1949

Bonham, Barbara, 1926- , Franklin, Naponee:
Challenge of the Prairie, 1965
Bittersweet, 1984

Borland, Hal, 1900-1978, Sterling:
Wapiti Pete: The Story of an Elk, 1938

Bro, Margueritte Harmon, 1894-1977, David City:
Su-mei’s Golden Year, 1950

Brown, Marion Marsh, 1908-2001, Brownville, Omaha:
Frontier Beacon, 1953
Prairie Teacher, 1957
The Silent Storm, 1963

Cartmill, Christopher John, 1962- , Lincoln:
812 qCar La Chasse (the Hunt): A Play, 1994
812 qCar Laws, or, the Light before Darkness: A Play, 1993
812 qCar Light in Love: A Play, 1992
812 qCar Light on the Golden Slippers or Lavinia’s Story: A Play, 1997
812 qCar The Way Home: A Play, 1995

Cather, Willa, 1873-1947 Red Cloud:
O Pioneers!, 1913
My Antonia, 1918

Chesire, Jimmy, Boys Town:
Home Boy, 1989

Dolezal, Margaret J., 1920-2004, Bee, Lincoln:
Smokey’s Odysseys, 1998
Stories to Remember, 2000
Stories to Share and Riddles to Solve, 2000
Christmas Tales and Poems, 2000

Ferris, Elmer Ellsworth, 1861-1951 Omaha:
Jerry Foster, Salesman, 1942
Jerry of Seven Mile Creek, 1938

Fine, Warren, 1943-1987 Lincoln:
The Artificial Traveler, 1968
Their Family, 1972

Fisher, Dorothy Canfield, 1879-1958 Lincoln:
Understood Betsy, 1917, reissued 1999

Frye, Tom, Lincoln:
Scratchin’ on the Eightball, 1982 and 2000.

Gray, Dianne E., 1947, York:
Together Apart, 2002.

Jackson, Charles Tenny, 1874- , Lexington:
The Buffalo Wallow: A Prairie Boyhood, 1954

Kalkowski, John, Bassett, Omaha:
Red Cell, 2010

King, Kathleen, Lincoln:
Cricket Sings: A Novel of Pre-Columbian Cahokia, 1983

Kooser, Ted, 1939- , Lincoln, Garland:
811 Koo Delights and Shadows: Poems, 2004

Lawhead, Stephen R., 1950- , Lincoln, Kearney:
Taliesin, 1987; Merlin, 1988; Arthur, 1989; Pendragon, 1994; Grail, 1997; The Iron Lance, 1998; Hood, 2006

Lee, Wayne C., 1917- , LaMar:
Arikaree War Cry, 1992; Barbed-Wire War, 1983; The Buffalo Hunters, 1972; Die-Hard, 1975; Gun Brand, 1961; Gun Country, 1978; McQuaid’s Gun, 1980; Petticoat Wagon Train, 1978; Prairie Vengeance, 1954; The Violent Man, 1978; Mystery of Scorpion Creek, 1966

Lutton, Elizabeth Miller:
The Cracker Box School, 1917

MacKay, Margaret, 1907-1968, Stamford:
Homeward the Heart, 1944

Neihardt, John G., 1881-1973, Bancroft:
Indian Tales and Others, [1907], 1988

Pieper, Kathleen, Grand Island:
Summer Kisses, 1983
To Know Love, 1979

Richoux, Pat, 1927- , Omaha:
The Stardust Kid, 1973
Long Walk on a Short Dock, 1969

Ruckman, Ivy, 1931- , Hastings:
Who Invited the Undertaker?, 1991
In Care of Cassie Tucker, 1998
Night of the Twisters, 1986

Sandoz, Mari, 1896-1966, Sheridan County, Lincoln:
Story Catcher, 1963
Winter Thunder, 1954

Sheldrick, Peg, Lincoln:
812 She Loose End, (a play), 1983

Shepard, Ray Anthony, Lincoln:
Conjure Tales by Charles W. Chesnutt, (1899 tales retold by Shepard, 1973).

Sprague, Gretchen, [Sprague, Gretchen Burham], 1926-2003, Lincoln:
A Question of Harmony, 1965
White in the Moon, 1968

Thomas, Cenethe [Kenetha], Lincoln:
Michael’s Singing Sword, 1937

Thomas, Dorothy, 1898-1990, Lincoln:
Ma Jeeter’s Girls, 1933

Thompson, Eileen, Lincoln:
White Falcon, 1977

Children’s Intermediate Fiction

Alberts, Frances Jacob, 1907-1989, Hastings:
A Gift for Ghengis Khan, 1961

Anderson, Clarence William, 1891-1971, Wahoo:
Salute, 1940
The Outlaw, 1967
The Blind Connemara, 1974
Phantom, Son of the Gray Ghost, 1969
The Horse of Hurricane Hill, 1956

Anderson, Mary Elizabeth, Grand Island, Lincoln:
Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero, 2008

Barker, Mary Libal, 1910- , Table Rock, Falls City:
Milenka’s Happy Summer, 1961

Blatter, Dorothy, 1901- , Albion:
Cap and Candle, 1961

Bothwell, Jean, d. 1977 , Winside:
African Herdboy, 1970; The Borrowed Monkey, 1953; Dancing Princess, 1965; The Hidden Treasure, 1954; Lady of Roanoke, 1965; Defiant Bride, 1969; The Emerald Clue, 1961; The Empty Tower, 1948; Flame in the Sky, 1954; Golden Letter to Siam, 1953; The Holy Man’s Secret, 1967; Little Boat Boy, 1945; The Little Flute Player, 1949; Lost Colony, 1953; The Missing Violin, 1959; The Mystery Angel, 1963; The Mystery Box, 1967; The Mystery Candlestick, 1970; The Mystery Clock, 1966; The Mystery Key, 1961; The Mystery Cargo, 1962; The Mystery Cup, 1968; The Mystery Egg, 1965; The Mystery Gatepost, 1964; The Mystery Tunnel, 1969; Mystery at the House-of-the-Fish, 1968; Paddy and Sam, 1952; The Parsonage Parrot, 1969; Peter Holt, P.K. , 1950; The Promise of the Rose, 1958; Ranch of a Thousand Horns, 1955; The Red Barn Club, 1954; The Red Scarf, 1962; Ring of Fate, 1957; River Boy of Kashmir, 1946; Romany Girl, 1964; Search for a Golden Bird, 1956; The Secret in the Wall, 1971; The Silver Mango Tree, 1960; Star of India, 1947; Sword of a Warrior, 1951; The Thirteenth Stone, 1946; Tree House at Seven Oaks, 1957; White Fawn of Phalera, 1963; The Wishing Apple Tree, 1953

Bradley, Virginia, 1912- , Lincoln:
Bend to the Willow, 1979

Cook, Julia, Fremont:
The Worst Day of My Life Ever!, 2011

Dick, Trella Lamson, 1889-1974, North Platte:
Tornado Jones, 1953; Flag in Hiding, 1959; Bridger’s Boy, 1965; Tornado’s Big Year, 1956; Tornado Jones on Sentinel Mountain, 1955; Valiant Vanguard, 1960;

Foster, Doris E.:
The Soozabadootch, 1979

Frantz, Evelyn M.:
A Bonnet for Virginia, 1978

Gray, Dianne E., 1947, York:
Holding Up the Earth, 2000.

Greene, Gordon, 1931-1995, Lincoln:
A Star for Buster, 1994

Grimes, Lee, 1920- , Fremont:
Fortune Cookie Castle, 1990

Hays, Wilma Pitchford, 1909- , Fullerton, Lincoln:
The Apricot Tree, 1968; Cape Cod Adventure, 1964; The Scarlet Badge, 1963; Siege! The Story of St. Augustine in 1702, 1976

Hintz, Dorothy M., Hebron, Belvidere:
Treasure in the Deep Blue Sea, 1980

Hosford, Jessie, 1892-, Chappell:
You Bet your Boots, 1972
An Awful Name to Live Up To, 1969

Jacks, L. V., 1896-1972, Grand Island, Omaha:
Prairie Venture, 1959
Wires West, 1957

Jackson, George L., Nelson, Kearney:
Daddy, Tell me a Story, 1962

Kenny, Caris Y., Omaha:
The Hugging Machine, 1993

Kloefkorn, William, 1932- , Lincoln:
The Coldest Christmas, or, How Do You Start a Reindeer?, 1993

Kristoffersen, Eva Margaret, 1901-1954, Lincoln:
Cyclone Goes A-Viking, 1939; Hans Christian of Elsinore, 1937; A Bee in her Bonnet, 1944; The Merry Matchmakers, 1940

Kroll, Francis Lynde, 1904-1973, Fairbury, Lincoln:
Young Sand Hills Cowboy, 1953; Top Hand, 1965; Young Medicine Man, 1956; Young Sioux Warrior, 1952

Laughlin, Florence:
Seventh Cousin, 1966

MacKay, Margaret, 1907-1968, Stamford:
Dolphin Boy, 1965

Mason, Miriam, 1899-1973 [Mason, Miriam E.]:
A Pony Called Lightning, 1948

McCleery, William, 1911-2000, Pauline:
Wolf Story, 1947

McKelvie, Martha Groves, 1886-1976, Sandhills:
Fear and Mrs. Crusoe, 1962; The Restless Soul Finds Mrs. Crusoe, 1967; Belonging, [1964?]; Gold and Dross, 1970; The Fenceless Range, 1960

Oneal, Zibby, Omaha:
A Formal Feeling, 1982; In Summer Light, 1986; A Long Way to Go, 1990; The Language of Goldfish, 1982; War Work, 1971

O’Neill, Rose Cecil, 1874-1944, Omaha
Tomorrow’s House: or The Tiny Angel, 1930

Reilly, Robert T., 1922- , Omaha:
Rebels in the Shadows, 1962
Red Hugh, Prince of Donegal, 1957
Massacre at Ash Hollow, 1960

Richoux, Pat, Omaha:
Follow the Leader, 1971

Rock, Gail, Valley:
The House Without a Christmas Tree, 1974
A Dream for Addie, 1975
The Thanksgiving Treasure, 1974
Addie and the King of Hearts, 1976

Ruckman, Ivy, 1931- , Hastings:
Who Needs Rainbows?, 1969; The Hunger Scream, 1983; What’s an Average Kid Like Me Doing Way Up Here?, 1983; Night of the Twisters, 1984; This is Your Captain Speaking, 1987; In a Class by Herself, 1983; No Way Out, 1988; Melba the Brain, 1991 Melba the Mummy, 1991

Rumsey, Marian, 1928- , Nebraska City:
The Seal of Frog Island, 1961; High Country Adventure, 1967; Devil’s Doorstep, 1966; Carolina Hurricane, 1977 Shipwreck Bay, 1966

Rydberg, Ernie [Rydberg, Ernest], 1901- , Central City:
Conquer the Winds, 1957; Footsy, 1973; Sixteen is Special, 1965 The Yellow Line, 1969; The Shadow Army, 1976

Sanderson, Brandon, Lincoln:
Alcatraz Smedry series, 2007-

Scrimscher, Lila Gravatt, 1897-1974, Talmage, Lincoln:
The Pumpkin Flood at Harper’s Ferry, 1962

Shepard, Ray Anthony, Lincoln:
Sneakers, 1973

Stover, Marjorie Filley, 1914- , Lincoln:
Trail Boss in Pigtails, 1972; Chad and the Elephant Machine, 1975; Patrick and the Great Molasses Explosion, 1985; Midnight in the Dollhouse, 1990; When the Dolls Woke, 1985

Fiction, Picture Books and Poetry for Younger Readers

Anderson, Clarence William, 1891-1971, Wahoo:
Billy and Blaze, 1992; Blaze Finds Forgotten Roads, 1970; Blaze and Thunderbolt, 1955; Blaze and the Forest Fire, 1938 [1992]; Blaze and the Indian Cave, 1964; Blaze and the Mountain Lion, 1959; Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony, 1968

Bradford, Lois J., Fremont:
Here Come the Racing Ducks!, 1972

Brown, May Sundell, Omaha:
The Heart of Pak, 1960

Burr, Tim, Lincoln:
Old Nick, 1981

Cavanaugh, Kate, 1947- , Omaha:
Pete’s Lost, 1991
Pete Goes to Grand Island, 1991
I Can’t Sleep With Those Elves Watching Me, 1990

Children’s Television Workshop:
The Counting Book: A Sesame Street Pop Up, 1974

Cook, Julia, Fremont:
Personal Space Camp, 2007

Dewey, Ariane
Febold Feboldson, 1984

Dobrin, Arnold, 1928- , Omaha:
Jillions of Gerbils, 1973
Josephine’s ‘magination, 1973
Irish: The Story of a Girl and her Horse, 1976

Felton, Harold W., 1902- , Omaha:
Pecos Bill and the Mustang, 1965
Sergeant O’Keefe and his Mule Balaam, 1962
Big Mose, Hero Fireman, 1969

Fine, Warren, 1943-1987, Lincoln:
The Mousechildren and the Famous Collector, 1970

Gage, Colleen, 1940- , Platte River Valley:
Sandi, the Sandhill Crane, 1995
E.Z.’s Way Home, 1995

Hamsa, Bobbie, 1944- , Omaha, Ord, Grand Island:
Polly wants a Cracker, 1986

Hansen, Ron, 1947- , Omaha:
The Shadowmaker, 1987

Harrington, Janice N., 1956- , Lincoln:
Going North, 2004
Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County, 2007

Hart, Mary, Lincoln:
My Life: “Charlie,” the Quail, 1997

Hays, Hobe, 1926- , Lincoln:
The Adventure, 1965

Hays, Wilma Pitchford, 1909- , Fullerton:
Christmas on the Mayflower, 1956; Fourth of July Raid, 1959; The Goose that was a Watchdog, 1967; The Little Horse that Raced a Train, 1959; Little Lone Coyote, 1961; Little Yellow Fur, 1973; The Story of Valentine, 1956; Trouble at Otter Creek, 1978; Yellow Fur and Little Hawk, 1980

Heiderstadt, Dorothy, 1907- , Geneva:
A Bow for Turtle, 1960

Hoffman, Ruth Rosekrans, 1926-2007, Denton, Lincoln:
Anna Banana, 1975
Sweet Sister Ella, 1982
[Hoffman also illustrated many children’s books by other authors]

Hogan, Bernice, 1929- , Axtell, Omaha, Kearney:
Green Mittens from Grandma, 1996
My Grandmother Died, 1983

Jaroch, F.A., Omaha:
The Ghost of Gleason Mansion, 1978
The Tornado, 1977
Washout at Liberty Valley, 1978

Kooser, Ted, 1939, Garland:
Bag in the Wind, 2010
House Held Up By Trees, 2012

Kurrus, Jeff, Lincoln and photographs by Michael Forsberg, Lincoln:
Have You Seen Mary?, 2012

Livingston, Myra Cohn, 1926-1996, Omaha [titles are poetry for children]:
811 Liv A Song I Sang to You, 1984
811 Liv Monkey Puzzle, 1984
811 Liv Celebrations, 1985
811 Liv Higgledy-Piggledy, 1986
811 Liv Birthday Poems, 1989
811 Liv Let Freedom Ring: A Ballad of Martin Luther King, 1992
811 qLiv Sea Songs, 1986
811 qLiv Earth Songs, 1986
811 qLiv Abraham Lincoln: A Man for all the People, 1993

Lyon, David:
The Runaway Duck, 1985

McDaniels, Preston, Aurora, [Titles as author or illustrator]:
A Perfect Snowman, 2007
Phineas L. MacGuire … Erupts! The First Experiment [by Frances O’Rourke McDowell], 2006
The Turtle [by Cynthia Rylant], 2005
Whuppity Stoorie [by John Warren Stewig], 2004

Oneal, Zibby, Omaha:
Maude and Walter, 1985
Turtle and Snail, 1979

Parsons, Arthur H., d. 1959 [Parsons, Arthur H., Jr.], Omaha:
The Horn that Stopped the Band, 1954

Pierce, Robert, Lincoln:
The Day of the Wind, 1969; Look and Laugh, 1974; The Grin and Giggle Book, 1972; The Day of the Wind, Rain and Snow, 1978

Pike, Pat, 1929[?]-2007, Lincoln:
When Chloe comes to Tea, 2000

Reichenberg, Monte, 1950- , Ogallala:
Cheating Chet, 1991
Sam, Old Kate, and I, 1993

Sack, Jill, Lincoln:
The Prodigal Pig, 1983

Sawicki, Mary, 1950- , Lincoln:
My Backyard Giant, 1994

Sharp, N.L. [ Wagner, Nancy Sharp], Fremont:
Today I’m Going Fishing with my Dad, 1993
Effie’s image, 2004
The Flower Girl/The Ring Bear, 2010

Solheim, James, 1959- , Omaha:
Santa’s Secrets Revealed, 2004
Born Yesterday, Diary of Young Journalist, 2010

Teal, Val [Teal, Valentine], 1902- , Omaha:
The Little Woman Wanted Noise, [1943], 1967

Timm, Stephen A., Lincoln:
The Dragon and Mouse together again, 1981

Young Adult Non-Fiction

These non-fiction listings, while still intended to showcase the wide variety of works by Nebraska authors over time, focus more on Nebraska subjects and works that are frequently used or noticed.

Alberts, Frances Jacobs, 1907-1989, Hastings:
917.82 Sod Sod House Memories, 3 vols., 1972

Black, Roe R., 1899- , Dismal River valley near Thedford:
978.277 Bla Horseshoe-Bar Ranch. Remembering a Prairie Childhood. (Introduction by Robert Manley), 1985

Bristow, David L., Lincoln:
797.51 Bri Sky Sailors, 2010

Cook, Harold J., 1887-1962, upper Niobrara, Agate Springs Ranch:
B C769 Tales of the 04 Ranch. Recollections of Harold Cook, 1887-1909., 1968

Cunningham, Reba Pierce, d. 1991, Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island:
978.7 Cun Cowboys, Cooks & Catastrophes, 1985

Dick, Everett, Lincoln:
978 D55a Sod House Frontier, 1954, 1975
978.2 Dic Conquering the Great American Desert: Nebraska, 1975

Dittman, Susan Grace, Lincoln:
978.2 Dit Abraham Lincoln’s Shining Star, 2010

Douglass, Gladys S., 1901-1992, David City, Lincoln:
978.229 Dou Oh, Grandma, You’re Kidding: Memories of 75 Years in Lincoln, 1983

Edwards, Leta Marguerite, McCook:
B Ed92s Sauce for the Geese: The Story of a Nebraska Farm, 1949
B Ed92h Holi-daze on the Farm: A Sequel to Sauce for the Geese, 1952

Eiseley, Loren, 1907-1977, Lincoln:
575 Eis The Immense Journey, 1957
818 EisY1 The Loren Eiseley Reader (Loren Eiseley Society), 2009

Felton, Harold W., 1902- , Omaha:
398.21 F341 Legends of Paul Bunyon, 1947

Fisher, Dorothy Canfield, 1879-1958, Lincoln:
372.13 Fis A Montessori Mother, [1912], 1916
OUT ??
Frerichs, Robert, with Paul A. Olson:
970.3 SanYs A Few Great Stories of the Santee People: Told by Many Nineteenth Century Santee and by Edna Peniska and Paul Robertson of the Modern Santee, 1979

Gibson, Bob, 1935- , Omaha:
796.357 Gib Stranger to the Game, 1994

Hammond, Earl, Aurora:
636.9 Ham Elephants in the Living Room, Bears in the Canoe, 1977

Hickey, Donald R., Susan A. Wunder and John R. Wunder, Lincoln:
978.2 Hic Nebraska Moments: Glimpses of Nebraska’s Past, 2007

Janovy, John, 1937- , Lincoln:
796.092 Jan Fields of Friendly Strife. The Relationship of a Father, a Daughter, and Sport, 1987
574 Jan On Becoming a Biologist, 1974, 2004

Johnsgard, Paul, 1931- , Lincoln:
398.245 Joh Dragons and Unicorns: A Natural History, 1982
574.526 Joh The Platte: Channels in Time, [1984], 2008
598.3 Joh Those of the Gray Wind: The Sandhill Cranes, 1981
598.41 Joh Song of the North Wind: A Story of the Snow Goose, 1974, 1979

Kloefkorn, William, 1932- , Lincoln:
811 Klo A Go Big Red Poetry Extravaganza, 1972

Kooser, Ted, 1939- , Lincoln, Garland:
917.823 Koo Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps, 2002

Luebke, Frederick C., 1927- , Lincoln:
725.11 Lue A Harmony of the Arts: The Nebraska State Capitol, 1990
978.2 Lue Nebraska: An Illustrated History, 1995, 2005

Neihardt, John G., 1881-1973, Bancroft:
B N31a All is but a Beginning: Youth Remembered, 1881-1901, 1972, 1986

Osborne, Tom, 1937- , Hastings, Lincoln:
796.332 Osb Faith in the Game: Lessons on Football, Work, and Life

Parks, Gabe, 1921-2007, Omaha:
978.2 Par Nebraska Trivia, 1998

Pipher, Mary, 1947, Lincoln:
305.235 Pip Reviving Ophelia, 1994

Randolph, Ladette and Nina Shevchuk-Murray, ed.
810.098 Ran The Big Empty: Contemporary Nebraska Nonfiction Writers, 2007

Sandoz, Mari, 1896-1966, Sheridan County:
978 Sa5lob Love Song to the Plains, 1961

Sheldon, Addison Erwin, 1861-1943, Cherry County, Lincoln:
978.2 Sh4n Nebraska: The Land and the People, 1931

Stansbery, Karyn, Brule, Ogallala:
508.782 qSta Wild and Free on the High Plains, 1992

Starita, Joe, 1948, Lincoln
Biography Standing Bear, “I Am a Man,” Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice, 2009

Stephens, Dan V., 1868-1939, Fremont:
370.1 Ste Phelps and his Teachers, 1901

Strait, Treva Adams, 1909- , Scottsbluff:
B St8 Miss Adams, Country Teacher, 1991
B St8i The Price of Free Land, 1979

Welsch, Roger L., 1936- , Dannebrog:
917.82 Wel My Nebraska: The Good, the Bad, and the Husker, 2006
398.2 Wel Mister, You got Yourself a Horse, 1981

Children’s Intermediate Non-Fiction

Anderson, Mary Elizabeth, 1939- , Grand Island:
388.1 And Link across America: A Story of the Historic Lincoln Highway, 1997

Beath, Paul R., 1905- , Gothenberg:
398.21 B38fb Febold Feboldson, 1948, 1959

Bonham, Barbara, 1926- , Franklin:
B C279b Willa Cather, 1970

Borland, Hal, 1900-1978, Sterling:
970.1 Bor Rocky Mountain Tipi Tales, 1924

Brown, Elinor L., 1915-2008, Ceresco:
978.2 qBro Let’s Explore Nebraska, 1966

Brown, Marion Marsh, 1908-2001, Brownville, Omaha:
970.2 LaFYb Susette La Flesche: Advocate for Native American Rights, 1992
B C279bro Willa Cather: The Woman and her Works, 1970
B N31b Dreamcatcher: The Life of John Neihardt, (with Jane K. Leech), 1983
B Salbr Sacagawea: Indian Interpreter to Lewis and Clark, 1988

DeGering, Etta, 1898- , Arcadia, Lincoln:
B B6415d Wilderness Wife: The Story of Rebecca Bryan Boone, 1966
B B732d Seeing Fingers: The Story of Louis Braille, 1962

Ferris, Jeri, Lincoln:
B L1317f Native American Doctor. The Story of Susan LaFlesche Picotte, 1991

Gibson, Bob, 1935- , Omaha:
796.357 GibY From Ghetto to Glory, 1968

Green, Ivah, Crete:
574.5 Gre Partners with Nature, 1951
591.97 G82w Wildlife in Danger, 1960

Hays, Wilma Pitchford, 1909- , Fullerton:
917.9 Hay For Ma and Pa: On the Oregon Trail, 1844, 1972
B L58h The Meriwether Lewis Mystery, 1971

Heiderstadt, Dorothy, 1907- , Geneva:
940 Hei Knights and Champions, 1960
970.1 Hei Stolen by the Indians, 1968

Kinscella, Hazel Gertrude, d. 1960, Lincoln:
979.8 Kin Flag over Sitka: A Story of the Alaska “Transfer.”, 1947
780.15 Kin Conrad’s Magic Flight, (Kinscella Readers, Book 4), 1930

Lukesh, Jean A., Grand Island:
Biography Kuroki Lucky Ears, 2010

McCulloch, Bruce, Omaha:
636.2 McC Molly Whiteface: The Tale of a Cow, 1935

McPhee, Clare, 1872-1960, with Marguerite McPhee d. 1970, Lincoln:
782 McP George Washington’s Place, 1932
B W27m Our Washington,

Norman, Thelma Giddings, Lincoln:
636.088 Nor Norman’s Ark, 1971

Olson, James C., 1917-2005, Lincoln:
978.2 O18n Nebraska is my Home, 1965
978.2 Ols This is Nebraska, 1968

Parks, Gabe, 1921-2007 , Omaha:
978.2 Par Nebraska Trivia, 1998

Sandoz, Mari, 1896-1966, Sheridan County:
970.3 DakYs These were the Sioux, 1961, 1985

Scott, Lynn H., 1900- , St. Paul, Nebraska:
978 Sco The Covered Wagon and Other Adventures, (foreword by Charles Kuralt), 1987

Scrimscher, Lila Gravatt, 1897-1974, Talmage, Lincoln:
B P425s General Pershing, Strongman, 1965

Secord, Frank A. [Pen name: “Uncle Ross”], Omaha:
070.483 Unc Wonder Tales: Gabby Crow and Mud-and-Sticks Stories, 1933

Solheim, James, 1959- , Omaha: j641.3 Sol It’s Disgusting–and We Ate It! True Food Facts from around the World–and throughout History, 1998

Stephens, Dan V., 1868-1939, Fremont:
591.5 Ste Cottonwood Yarns: Being mostly stories told to children about some of the more or less wild animals that live at “The Cottonwoods” on the Elkhorn River in Nebraska, 1935

Sylvester, Robert, Seward:
599.3 Bra The Tale of Whitefoot, 1968

Warren, Andrea, 1946- , Norfolk, Lincoln, Hastings:
362.73 War Orphan Train Rider, 1996
978.2 War Pioneer Girl: Growing up on the Prairie, 1998
978.2 War 2009 Pioneer Girl: A True Story of Growing Up on the Prairie, 2009

Wilkerson, J.L. (Writes on Nebraska subjects, with Nebraska collaborators):
B N789p Fighting Statesman, Sen. George Norris, (with Christine Pappas), 2001
B Sa542w Scribe of the Great Plains: Mari Sandoz, 1998

Wimberly, Lowry C., 1890-1959, Lincoln:
398 W712 The Famous Cats of Fairyland, 1938

Non-Fiction for Younger Readers

Bartek, Ann Swanson, Lincoln:
796.342 Bar I want to Play Tennis, 1996

Goble, Paul, Lincoln:
970.1 BlaYg The Lost Children: The Boys who were Neglected, 1993

Hoffman, Ruth Rosekrans, 1926-2007, Denton, Lincoln [as author or illustrator]:
782.42 Mot Jane Yolen’s Mother Goose Songbook, [Jane Yolen, ed.] 1992
782.42 Yol Jane Yolen’s Old MacDonald Songbook, [by Jane Yolen] 1994
793.73 Ber Creepy, Crawly Critter Riddles [by Joanna E. Bernstein], 1986
793.73 Hop How do you Make an Elephant Float? [by Lee Bennett Hopkins], 1983

Kinscella, Hazel Gertrude, d. 1960 , Lincoln:
780.15 Kin The Man in the Drum, 1930

Owen, Ruth Bryan, 1885-1954, Lincoln:
398.2 Owe Picture Tales from Scandinavia, 1939

Pierce, Robert, Lincoln:
741.5 Pie How to Draw Cartoons, 1985
743 Pie How to Draw People and Animals, 1983
743.4 Pie How to Draw People, 1983
743.6 Pie How to Draw Animals, 1980
743.6 Pie How to Draw Baby Animals, 1986
743.89 Pie How to Draw Monsters, 1985
745.5 qPie Fold, Paste, Whittle, Paint and Hammer, 1974
793.73 qPie A Picture Puzzle Activity Book, 1976

Shepherd, Rajean Luebs, 1955- , North Platte:
j917.82 She C is for Cornhusker, 2004
j917.82 She Husker Numbers: A Nebraska Numbers Book, 2007

Solheim, James, 1959- , Omaha:
j641.3 Sol It’s Disgusting–and We Ate It! True Food Facts from around the World–and throughout History, 1998

Tibbets, Albert B., 1888- , Lincoln, Hastings:
595.799 T43f The First Book of Bees, 1952

Heritage Room staff would like to thank volunteer Anna Walter for her help in compiling this list.

The Nebraska Sandhills

The Nebraska Sandhills, despite their immeasurable natural and economic importance, their rare beauty, and their place in the conservation of migratory waterfowl and other birds, remain surprisingly unknown territory, even to the rest of Nebraska. The Nebraska Sandhills are the largest area of sand dunes in the western hemisphere. Over 50,000 square kilometers, or close to 20,000 square miles in extent (not counting some outliers), the Sandhills are fragile grasslands that are wild, sparsely settled, desolate, and beautiful in unexpected ways. The Sandhills are cattle country, not farm country. Sand-trap back roads and extremes of weather can be unforgiving even to knowing inhabitants.

The Sandhills have inspired some of Nebraska’s best writing, including memoirs, histories, and works of biography, natural history, fiction, and photography.

General Works:

917.828 Jan
Janovy, John, Jr. Keith County Journal. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1978.
Considered a classic work of American natural history, the focus is on the inhabitants of the edge of the Sandhills, of waterways and rock canyons.

507.782 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul A. This fragile land: A natural history of the Nebraska Sandhills. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995.
The most thorough guide to the regions, habitats, ecology and plants, birds, wildlife and insects of the Sandhills. With line drawings, maps, and habitat profiles. By a world renowned ornithologist who loves the Sandhills.

551.375 qCon
Bleed, Ann and Charles Flowerday, editors. An Atlas of the Sand Hills. Lincoln: Conservation and Survey Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1990 (Second Edition).
This is a collection of essays and maps by experts in a variety of fields, exploring natural features, geology, water and other natural resources, and human use.

978.2 q Mcl
McIntosh, Charles Baron. The Nebraska Sand Hills: The human landscape. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1996.
A scholarly work with many sketch maps, this is our most comprehensive guide to understanding and exploring the cultural history of the Nebraska Sandhills in geographical context.

978.273 Jon
Jones, Stephen R. The Last Prairie. A Sandhills Journal. Camden: Ragged Mountain Press/McGraw Hill, 2000.
A celebration of the history and natural history of the Sandhills in the form of a personal journal.

978.273 Owe
Owen, David A. Like no other place. Chicago: The Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago, 2010.
Photographs and observations of ranching and small-town life in the Nebraska Sandhills by an East Coast resident who immersed himself in ranching culture and the many activities that bind ranching communities together.

978.27 Mac
Mackichan, Margaret and Bob Ross. In the kingdom of grass. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1992.
A photo/text volume that accurately portrays ranch life in the Sandhills. A good description of the tasks performed by working ranch hands that are essential to successful ranching operations.

Biography qHaythorn, Harry
Lisa Norman. Haythorn land & cattle co: a horseman’s heritage. Kansas City: Trabon Printing, 2007.
A multi-generation history of the Haythorn family – founders, owners, and operators of the Haythorn Land and Cattle Company, accompanied by an outstanding collection of photographs. The Haythorn ranch is one of the great ranches in America and is located in Keith and Arthur counties in the heart of the Sandhills. Much of the work on the ranch is done from the back of a horse, as is accurately depicted by the photographs.

917.82 Ter
Terry, Keith. Nebraska’s cowboy trail. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008.
A useful guide for persons interested in learning more about the hiking/biking trail along the route of an abandoned railroad line from Norfolk to Valentine, (The intent is to extend it west to Chadron.) Administered by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the trail will eventually be 321 miles in length. The guide provides information about flora, fauna, historical events, communities, and services available along the trail.

338.176 Yos
Yost, Nellie Snyder. The Call of the Range: The Story of the Nebraska Stock Growers Association. Denver: Sage Books, 1966.
While not about the Sandhills as such, this book, written for the Nebraska Stock Growers Association, recounts much Sandhills history and introduces issues and events encountered in the Sandhills ranch memoirs.

Histories, biographies and memoirs:

B Sa54s
Mari Sandoz. Old Jules. Boston: Little, Brown, 1935.
Mari Sandoz’s portrait of her irascible but indomitable father established her as a great writer. Jules’ friendships with old mountain men and Indians, his land promotion, his feuds with the weather and his neighbors, and the conflict between ranchers and settlers make this, as Mari said “a biography of a community… the upper Niobrara country in western Nebraska.”

810.81 San 1992
Mari Sandoz. Hostiles and friendlies. Selected short writings of Mari Sandoz. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1959.
This collection includes “The Kinkaider Comes and Goes”, “Sandhill Sundays” and some short fiction about Sandhills life.

338.176 Ric
Richards, Bartlett, Jr. with Ruth Van Ackeren. Bartlett Richards: Nebraska Sandhills Cattleman. Lincoln: The Nebraska State Historical Society, 1980.
Bartlett Richards Sr. was probably Nebraska’s best known, or, to some, most notorious early, open range rancher. One of Old Jules Sandoz’s antagonists, he built the old Spade Ranch into one of the great Sandhills ranches. He fought impractical land laws and government regulations associated with the anti-fencing law of 1885 and the Kinkaid Act, feuded with Theodore Roosevelt—an undocumented story related that Roosevelt told Richards to his face that he would put him in a penitentiary—and died while serving a federal term in the Adams County jail. The book, mainly written by Richard’s son, documents important and controversial issues of Sandhills history.

B B55v
VanAkeren, Ruth and Robert M. Howard. Lawrence Bixby: Preserver of the Old Spade Ranch. Caxton Printers (and) The Nebraska State Historical Society, 1995.
Bixby, who began work on the old Spade Ranch while its founder was in jail, held the ranch together and made it a successful working ranch in the modern era. Bixby helped restore the reputation of the Spades’ founder, and saw the ranch entered on the National Register of Historic Places. Bixby died in 1982.

978.227 Bla
Black, Roe R. The Horseshoe-Bar Ranch: Remembering a Prairie Childhood. Introduction by Robert Manley, Foreward and Afterward by Jon Farrar. Lincoln: Media Publishing, 1985.
An autobiographical essay about growing up on a ranch that straddled the Dismal River in the years 1900-1912, with an introduction by the (then) Director of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

B C769
Cook, Harold J. Tales of the O4 Ranch. Recollections of Harold J. Cook, 1887-1909. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1968.
Harold Cook was the son of frontiersman James H. Cook, who established the 04 Ranch, later renamed the Agate Springs Ranch, on the eastern edge of the High Plains and the western edge of the Sandhills, on land containing perhaps the best fossil deposit of Tertiary (Miocene) mammals ever found. Harold grew up around Indians, old frontiersmen, cattlemen and famous paleontologists.

B B746
Bratt, John. Trails of yesterday. Lincoln, NE: The University Publishing Co. 1921.
John Bratt was an early-day ranching pioneer who was instrumental in the formation of stockgrower’s associations – organizations that were established to formulate and promote “ground rules” for use of the open range and to discourage rustling

978.292 qWad
Waddill, Olin. Saddle strings. Pierre, SD: The State Publishing Co. 1975.
This collection of stories and reminiscences of old-time ranchers and cowhands covers the adjoining areas of eastern Wyoming, southwest South Dakota, and northwest Nebraska, with a considerable amount of attention given to the Nebraska Sandhills. Included in this volume is an account of an early-day baseball game between two well-known Sandhill ranches (the Spade and the Diamond Bar) that has become part of the regional folklore.

978.273 And
Andersen, Theona Leonard. Ranching in the sandhills of Nebraska where seldom is heard a discouraging word. Kearney, NE: Morris Publishing, 1994.
A collection of anecdotes that ranges over a wide spectrum of everyday life experiences on a Sandhills ranch. Written by a Nebraska native who had lived on both coasts but returned to become the wife of a rancher.

978.273 Bee
Beel, Marianne. Sand in my shoes. Sioux Falls, SD: Pinehill Press, 2008.
Marianne Beel, a Cherry County rancher, writer, and photographer, wrote a weekly column for the North Platte Telegraph. This collection of columns spans four decades of observations of life in the Sandhills.

B M8122
Moreland, Bob. Sandhills satisfaction. Henderson, NE: Service press, 1994.
An intimate history of a successful ranching family in the northern Sandhills. It depicts a family existing in harmony with their natural surroundings and respectful of the environmental constraints necessary to preserve ranching as an extremely satisfying life style.

978.274 Spi
Spindler, Will Henry. Rim of the Sandhills: A True Picture of the Old Holt County Horsethief-Vigilante Days. Mitchell, S.D.: Educator Supply Co., 1941.
A family memoir and local history that includes local stories of assorted horsethieves and bad men, including Kid Wade and Doc Middleton and the vigilantes.

B D2853m
McKelvie, Martha. Sandhills Essie. Philadelphia: Dorrance and co., 1964.
The story of Essie Davis, a genuine Sandhills character, who, widowed after a few months of marriage, overcame many crises and built the OLO ranch into a successful modern ranch. An admiring biography by her neighbor Martha McKelvie, wife of the former governor.

B M8492
Moss, Ira. The Chosen Land: A Sandhills Life. Lincoln: Word Services, 1979.
An autobiography that recounts growing up on the old Sunnyside ranch, service in World War I, with personal perspectives on Sandhills life and travels elsewhere.

978.273 Mon
Monahan, Earl H. with Robert M. Howard. Sandhill Horizons: A Story of the Monahan Ranch and Other History of the Area. Alliance: Rader’s Place, 1987.
A family history of the Monahan ranch in Grant, Cherry and Hooker counties from the 1880s to the 1980s. An elegantly produced and especially well illustrated ranch history that includes the broader local history, the local community and its residents. It recounts social, legal and technological changes on the ranch.

More Natural History of the Sandhills Region

508.782 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul. The Niobrara: a river running through time. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007.
The Niobrara has a lengthy segment of its route included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System of the U.S. Often referred to as the “biological crossroads of North America,” the river is regarded as a unique ecological resource. Paul Johnsgard, a distinguished naturalist, provides readers with a comprehensive perspective of the river.

508.782 qJoh
Johnsgard, Paul. A guide to the natural history of the central Platte valley of Nebraska. Alda, NE: Sponsored by the Nebraska Bird Observatory, Crane Meadows Visitor Center. 2006.
This guide provides important information for persons interested in birdwatching along the central Platte valley. It is focused on birding opportunities in 11 counties in Nebraska. It also provides information on other flora and fauna of the region.

508.782 Sta
Stansbery, Karyn. Wild and free on the high plains. San Diego: Bay Port Press, 1992.
This volume is a series of Nebraska natural history essays aimed at the general reader. It covers a wide variety of animals, plants, and other natural phenomena likely to be encountered in western Nebraska.


This is just a sampling of works on the Sandhills and Sandhills life intended to provoke interest in the subject and to make people aware of the Heritage Room collection. There are many more works about the Sandhills, including fiction, memoirs, and County histories.


dsc/bm: 2-16-2011

Nebraska Travel: Guides and Histories

This list may interest anyone who plans to travel in Nebraska. Most books here are available for checkout in the circulating collections. Books whose call numbers begin with “Heritage” are available only in the Heritage Room, for use in the library only. Topics include roadside guides, guides to state and local history, nature guides, guides to the Sandhills region, and guides to literary Nebraska. The list offers a representative sample of works in this vein, to which many others could be added. The definition of what constitutes a “guide” has been interpreted broadly here, to include entertaining or illuminating books that were not originally written as guidebooks. Enjoy your trip!

Roadside Guides

917.82 Boy 1993
Boye, Alan. The complete roadside guide to Nebraska. Prefaces by Ron Hansen and Wright Morris. Second Edition. St. Johnsbury, VT: Saltillo Press, 1993.
A breezy wide-ranging roadside guide to the state with prefaces by two distinguished Nebraska authors.

917.82 Bre
Brevet Press. Brevet’s Nebraska Historical Markers and Sites. Sioux Falls, Brevet Press, 1974.
An illustrated listing of the familiar roadside markers with their texts.

917.82 Fed 1979
Federal Writer’s Project. Nebraska: A guide to the Cornhusker State. Compiled and written by the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Nebraska. (American Guide Series) New York: Hastings House, 1939 (1947 printing).
A guide to every aspect of the state when it was written, the book is still a mine of information on local history and lore. Later guidebooks draw on it. The depression-era American Guide Series, of which this is considered a distinguished example, has been called the most thorough survey of the cultural geography of the country ever undertaken. The guide is divided into three sections. The first introduces the state in a series of essays on geography, American Indians, history, government, agriculture and the farmer, industry, architecture, education, folklore, and other topics. This is followed by a survey of towns and cities that reviews the town history and places of interest. The book closes with 16 regional automobile tours pointing out local historical sites, interesting buildings and natural features.

917.82 McN 2003
McNally, Hannah. Nebraska: Off the beaten path. Guilford: Globe Pequot Press, 2003. 4th Edition.
A guide to cultural sites and events, parks, local events. Recommends the odd restaurant, hotel, or tavern as well.

917.82 Mou
Moulton, Candy. Roadside History of Nebraska. Missoula: Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1997.
A tour of Nebraska history, region by region. With highway maps and photographs.

917.82 Wil 1996
Wilson, D. Ray. Nebraska historical tour guide. Carpentersville: Crossroads, 1996. 3rd Edition.
A guide arranged as a series of mini-tours, including the Lewis and Clark “trail” , early European settlement and Indian wars, and different landscapes and areas of the state.

Exploring Nebraska History

Heritage/Reference 978.233 Daw
Dawson, Charles. Pioneer Tales of the Oregon Trail and of Jefferson County. Topeka: Crane and Co., 1912.
This book offers an interesting account, not accepted everywhere but based on local interviews and correspondence with witnesses, of William Butler Hickock’s murder of David McCanles at Rock Creek Station. Reading it may add to the interest of visiting Rock Creek Station State Historical Park near Fairbury.

910.452 Pet
Petsche, Jerome E. The Steamboat Bertrand. History, Excavation, and Architecture. Washington: National Park Service, 1974.
A thorough guide to the search, discovery, excavation, cargo, and reconstruction of the Steamboat Bertrand, which sunk at DeSoto Bend on April 1, 1865. The Bertrand was found on land belonging to DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge, in Nebraska. The museum at the site displays the surprisingly cosmopolitan cargo that was headed upstream to Fort Benton, Montana Territory.

978.2 qLee
Lee, Wayne C. Wild Towns of Nebraska. Caldwell: Caxton Printers, 1988.
A town by town account of wild goings on in early Nebraska. Reproduces early photographs of places and people. The author is Nebraska’s most prolific writer of “westerns.”

978.2 qLee
Lee, Wayne C. Bad Men and Bad Towns. Caldwell: Caxton Printers, 1993.
Local histories of Indian raids, murders, and lynching in Nebraska from the 1820s to the 1920s, organized by period and place. With many old photographs.

978.2 Mat 1987
Mattes, Merrill. The Great Platte River Road. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society Publications Vol. 25, 1969.
This book has won acclaim as a detailed, thoroughly researched, in-depth account of the pioneers’ experiences along the central part of the main route to Oregon and California. Winner of the Silver Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and many other awards. With maps.

978.2 qPot
Potter, James E. and L. Robert Puschendorf, ed. Spans in time: A history of Nebraska Bridges. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, 1999.
An illustrated history.

609 Rap
Rapp, William F. and Susan K. Beranek. The Industrial Archaeology of Nebraska. Crete, Nebraska: J.B. Publishing, 1984.
A survey of early industrial buildings and ruins includes foundries, railroad stations and roundhouses, the Great Western Sugar Company and other mills, and ice houses, breweries and oil refineries. With photographs.

385 Bar Bartels, Michael M. and James J. Reisdorff. Ghost Railroads of Nebraska—A Pictorial. David City: South Platte Press with Brueggenjohann/Reese, Inc. and J&L Lee Co., 2002.
A well illustrated history, with several maps, of abandoned railways and railroad facilities.

385.314 qRei
Reisdorff, James J. and Michael M. Bartels. Railroad stations in Nebraska. An era of use and reuse. 3rd Edition. David City: South Platte Press, 1987.
Explores all eras, with many pictures. The last two chapters review surviving buildings.

917.8 Sey
Seymour, Silas. Incidents of a trip through the Great Platte Valley to the Rocky Mountains and Laramie Plains in the fall of 1866… New York: Van Nostrand, 1867. (Facsimile)
This is Seymour’s account of his trip with government inspectors first to Kearney, then to the end of the tracks at North Platte in September and December of 1866. With interesting speeches by dignitaries and other incidents that reveal the attitudes of the time.

The Nebraska Sandhills

551.375 qCon
Bleed, Ann and Charles Flowerday, editors. An Atlas of the Sand Hills. Lincoln: Conservation and Survey Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1990 (Second Edition).
This is a collection of essays and maps by experts in a variety of fields, exploring natural features, geology, water and other natural resources, and human use.

507.782 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul A. This fragile land: A natural history of the Nebraska Sandhills. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995.
The most thorough guide available to the natural history and regional ecology of the Sandhills, a place where travel is difficult and population sparse. Explores the regions, habitats, ecology and plants, birds, wildlife and insects of the Sandhills. With line drawings, maps, and habitat profiles. By a world renowned ornithologist who loves the Sandhills.

978.273 Jon
Jones, Stephen R. The Last Prairie. A Sandhills Journal. Camden: Ragged Mountain Press/McGraw Hill, 2000.
A celebration of the history and natural history of the Sandhills in the form of a personal journal.

978.2 q Mcl (Gere Library)
McIntosh, Charles Baron The Nebraska Sand Hills: The human landscape. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1996.
A scholarly work with many sketch maps, this is our most comprehensive guide to understanding and exploring the historical geography of the Nebraska Sandhills.

More books about the Nebraska Sandhills are listed here.

Nature Guides

508.78 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul A. Lewis and Clark on the Great Plains. A Natural History. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003.
Follows the explorers’ route across the Great Plains, looking at the animals and plants that they were the first to describe. Includes a guide to Lewis and Clark sites that are still of botanical and zoological interest. With Johnsgard’s pen and ink illustrations.

508.782 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul A. The nature of Nebraska: Ecology and biodiversity. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001.
The most comprehensive guide to the ecological regions, processes, and flora and fauna of the state. With some of Johnsgard’s pen and ink illustrations.

978.2 qJoh
Johnsgard, Paul. The birds of Nebraska and adjacent plains states. (Occasional Papers of the Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union, No. 6) Lincoln: Fifth Printing by Author, 1996.
Describes residence, migration, breeding and habitats. Maps in appendix show breeding season ranges, residential ranges, and migratory or wintering areas. Spiral bound.

578.072 Lin
Lingle, Gary R. Birding Crane River: Nebraska’s Platte. William S. Whitney and Earnest V. Ochsner, illus. Grand Island: Harrier Publishing, 1994.
The essential tour guide for birders who plan to visit the area. Details public and private rainwater basin wetlands, and when and where to look for birds there. Includes maps, drawings, and lists of local organizations. Spiral bound.

598 Sha
Sharpe, Roger S., W. Ross Silcock and Joel Jorgensen. Birds of Nebraska: Their Distribution and Temporal Occurrence. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001.
Thorough handbook surveys residence, migration, breeding and residential ranges and habitats. Follows Johnsgard’s pioneering work.

582.13 Far
Farrar, Jon Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains. Lincoln: NEBRASKAland Magazine, 1990
A richly illustrated field guide that offers an introductory overview of the state’s wildflower regions. Individual entries include common names, flowering period, distribution, habitat, plant description and other interesting facts, such as Native American uses or ecological history.

582.13 Lom
Lommasson, Robert C. Nebraska Wild Flowers. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1973.
The standard reference work, with some 260 color plates, identification keys, a glossary of terms and index. Description often include typical locations or ecology.

557.82 Mah
Maher, Harmon D., Jr. et al. Roadside Geology of Nebraska. Missoula: Mountain Press, 2003.
A comprehensive guide to Nebraska’s roadside geology.

560 qNeb
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The cellars of time: Paleontology and Archaelogy in Nebraska. Special Issue of Nebraska History, Spring, 1994.
A well illustrated introduction to Nebraska’s paleontological and archaeological sites, many of which are world renowned.

More Nature Guides, with special themes.

Heritage 577.44 Joh
Johnsgard, Paul. A guide to the Tallgrass Prairies of Eastern Nebraska. Lincoln: Paul Johnsgard, 2006.
Begins with a brief survey of the ecology and history of the tall grass prairie. Offers checklists of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and butterflies of Eastern Nebraska typically found in the tall grass prairies. Includes maps of preserves, easements and relict prairies. Use maps with caution, some areas require owner permission to enter.

595.764 Rat
Ratcliffe, Brett C. The Scarab Beetles of Nebraska. (Illustrations by Mark E. Marcuson) Lincoln: Bulletin of the University of Nebraska State Museum, Vol. 12, 1991.
The author describes 197 species of scarab beetles known in Nebraska. He examined 42, 852 specimens in making this study. He discovered one new species and found 31 species in the state that had not previously been known to Nebraska.

557.823 qDif
Diffendal, R.F. et al. Field guide to the geology of the Harlan County Lake area, Harlan County, Nebraska—with a history of events leading to the construction of Harlan County Dam. Lincoln: Conservation and Survey Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2002.
Local history and geology with maps, diagrams and illustrations of fossils that have been found.

574.5 Whi
Whitney, William S. and Jan Whitney. Microcosm of the Platte: A guide to the Bader Memorial Park natural area. Aurora, Nebraska: Prairie/Plains Resource Institute, 1987.
Very informative and a small masterpiece of two color design and illustration.

Literary Nebraska

810.978 Cox
Cox, Gerry and Carol McDaniels. Guide to Nebraska Authors. Lincoln: Dageforde Publishing, 1998.
A guide that reveals something about the variety, imaginativeness and power of Nebraska’s literary tradition.

917.82 F58n
Fitzpatrick, Lillian. Nebraska Place Names. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1960.

917.823 Koo
Kooser, Ted. Local Wonders. Seasons in the Bohemian Alps. (American Lives, Tobias Wolff, editor) Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.
A seasonal study in short essays, and also a guide to the cultural landscape of a small part of the state, full of telling detail and sympathetic insight. The author has held two appointments as United States Poet Laureate.

398.097 Pou
Pound, Louise. Nebraska Folklore. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1976. (Greenwood Edition)
A pioneering survey of Nebraska folklore by a great scholar of both linguistics and folklore. Pound, Roger Welsch tells us, awakened the interest in folklore in Nebraska and “all subsequent work in the field has revolved around her.”

917.822 Wel
Welsch, Roger L. Inside Lincoln. 3rd edition. Lincoln: Plains Heritage, 1984.
A great humorist and folklorist’s guide to the city. The guide builds on an intimate knowledge of local lore and Welsch’s sharp eye and sparkling sense of humor.

398.097 Wel
Welsch, Roger L. A Treasury of Nebraska Pioneer Folklore. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1966.
Unofficial state humorist and folklorist Welsch offers an entertaining collection of Nebraska folklore.

dsc: 7-9-2006

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