Rural Literature Library

In 1990, Rudine Sims Bishop gave us the enduring metaphor of books serving as mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors for readers. Like Bishop, we strongly believe that all students—including rural students—need to see themselves in books. Likewise, students in other communities should have the opportunity need to experience rural worlds through literature.

With that in mind, we have begun to build a collection of children’s literature titles that represent life in rural places. So far, we have a list of picture books, middle grade books, and books written for young adults. We hope to add poetry and nonfiction sections soon. Within each group of books, teachers and librarians can search by author name, year of publication, time period in which the story occurs (past/present), and place (state or country in which the story is set).

When reading or teaching books with rural settings, themes, or characters, we encourage you to ask critical questions that interrogate, examine, explore, and critique the use of place with the aim of dismantling unhelpful stereotypes about rural people and communities. Please click here for an infographic that we hope will help guide this process.

Picture Books

Middle Grade

Young Adult

YA books

For much more about YA books set in rural places, please see, a wonderful website featuring book reviews, videos, blog posts, and more!

Have a suggestion?

Please let us know what we are missing! As a collaboratory site, we look forward to incorporating your suggestions to make this a much stronger, more valuable resource for educators. Click here to suggest a title, or feel free to email us at