Suggested Readings for Teens on Rural Life in Wisconsin
from the Wisconsin Library Association
By Betsy Bromley, Contributing Librarian
Betsy Bromley is the children's and teen librarian at the Oconomowoc Public Library, which is nestled in the Lake Country area of southeastern Wisconsin. Her picks, geared for young adult readers, are all set in rural Wisconsin.
- Hope Was Here, 2000. Hope is a pro at the waitressing game, and it's taken her to places far and wide with her aunt, who is a cook. Then she leaves the bustle of Brooklyn, New York, to run the Welcome Stairways Cafe in rural Mulhoney, Wisconsin. There, she helps the ailing café owner G.T. Stoop run for mayor despite his leukemia, and she and her aunt both find love.Â This one is as warm and satisfying as homemade apple pie.
Bick, Ilsa J.
- Draw the Dark, 2010. Christian Cage's parents disappeared when he was a young boy. Now, at 17, he has dreams that make him think he might be able to find them at last. His visions also lead him to wonder about the secrets hidden in his own small town of Winter, Wisconsin. Mix in World War II history, paranormal plot twists and a page-turning pace, and you're in for an engaging, thrilling read.
- Wurst Case Scenario, 2001. This is the diary-like story of a hip vegan who moves from Colorado to rural Dairyland for college.Â Her romantic foibles and culture shock will charm readers, who might want to check out the first book from this narrator, Truth or Dairy, set during the narrator's senior year of high school in Colorado.
Gilbert Murdock, Catherine. This trilogy is the coming-of-age tale of D.J. Schwenk, star football player and farm girl. The reader follows D.J. through three years of high school, as she learns to navigate athletic stardom, farm and family life, and romance. A winning, endearing and very funny narrator makes this series great.
Dairy Queen, 2007.
The Off Season, 2008.
Front and Center, 2009.
Godfrey, Linda S.
Weird Wisconsin: Your Travel Guide to Wisconsin's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets, 2005. You'll never know what a weird state you live in until you pick up this memorable collection of odd Wisconsin lore. Even if you never travel to the spots highlighted here, it's worth it just to know they exist.
The Summer I Got a Life, 2009. Andy is excited to spend his vacation in Hawaii--and then ends up spending it with his aunt and uncle in Wisconsin. Things start looking up when he meets the girl of his dreams, who happens to use a wheelchair. She enthralls him, and a romance blossoms. This is a funny, fast-paced read that will appeal to guys and girls alike.
- Wisconsin Starwatch, 2005. Learn all about the stars and other space spectacles we can see from our Midwestern spot in the galaxy!
The Island, 1988. Fifteen-year-old Wil moves with his parents from Madison to Northern Wisconsin. When he discovers a remote island he can make his own, Wil decides to stay there, writing, painting and pondering the big questions of life. A thought-provoking story from a leading writer of nature fiction for young people.