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Penn State University Libraries

Youth Development


Jan F. Scholl, PhD, CFCS
Associate Professor
4-H Specialist, FCS Programs
The Pennsylvania State University
Department of Ag and Extension Education
323 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-7444

Amy Paster
Associate Librarian
Life Sciences Library
408 Paterno
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802-1811
(814) 865-3708

4-H and FFA Fiction

Compiled by Jan F. Scholl, 4-H Curriculum Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences, Penn State University

Children's books with 4-H themes and sub-themes have been written in every decade since the 1920s. The National Agricultural Library (NAL) had a list of 4-H juvenile literature approved by Gertrude Warren but it was destroyed in the Beltsville tornado of 2001. This is an effort to restore and update that list and to encourage young people to read and reflect on their own 4-H experiences. A few of the books became educational films. Some even Hollywood films! Books written by Radford, McDonnell, and Porter encouraged youth to explore extension careers.

Take this list to your library. If you need to interlibrary loan them, NAL call numbers have been provided. Collectors may want to price these books online.

4-H Fiction

  • Allen, Adam (1942). Dynamo farm: A 4-H story. New York: J. B. Lippincott.
  • Allevato, Diane & Van den Bergh, Trish. (1998). Sausage patty. Vacaville, CA: Animal Place.
  • Anderson, Betty Baxter (1938). Adventures in 4-H. New York: Cupples & Leon. DNAL 275.2.
  • Bartlett, Arthur Charles. (1938). 4-H cowboy. Boston: W. A. Wilde. DNAL jPZ7-.B37-1938.
  • Bartlett, Arthur Charles (1937). Hustler, the farm dog. Boston: W. A. Wilde. DNAL 145.7 B28
  • Bialk, Elisa. (1952). Jill's victory. Cleveland: World Publishing Company.
  • Bradshaw, John H. (1961). That blizzard cow. New York: Hastings House.
  • Brenner, Barbara & Sweet, Melissa. (1999). The plant that keeps on growing. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens.
  • Case, John, F. (1927). Under the 4-H flag. Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott.(Lettish translation by John Case and Karlis Ulmanis (1937): J. F. Keisa Zem baltzala karoga. Several films were made with this title.
  • Chesson, Gail Smith. (1989). River's edge: A 4-H environmental science adventure. Raleigh: North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service.
  • Colver, Anne. (1960). Lucky four. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce.
  • Crowell, Thomas. (1985). A clown like me. New York: Thomas Crowell (Also published simultaneously in Toronto, Canada: Fitzhenry and Whiteside Limited.)
  • Distad, Audree. (1977). Come to the fair. New York: Harper & Row.
  • Dooley, Fern Pascoe & Woodson, Jack. (1982). Joey's ghost pumpkin. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.
  • Emery, Anne. (1953). County fair: A 4-H romance. Philadelphia: Macrae Smith. DNAL jPG3026.F3-E64-1953.
  • Emery, Anne (1955). Hickory hill. New York: Berkley Highland Book (paperback).
  • Emery, Anne (1956). Sweet sixteen. Philadelphia: Macrae Smith.
  • Ferry, Charles (2002). Royalty in the house. Rochester, MI: Daisy Hill Press.
  • Fisher, Aileen (1958). Skip. New York: Scholastic Book Services.
  • Frost, Marie (1994). Hattie's holidays. Colorado Springs, CO: Focus on the Family.
  • Gilbert, Nan. (1967). A Dog for Joey. New York: Harper and Row.
  • Gray, Patsey. (1958). 4-H Filly. New York: Coward-McCann.
  • Guillemette, Deborah, & Whalen, Darren. (2004). Imagine that! Clarenville, NL: Newfoundland and Labrador 4-H Provincial Council.
  • Heppner, Elizabeth P. (1957). Inky: Seeing eye dog. New York: Scholastic Books.(Original title: Inki).
  • Hoffine, Lyla. (1962). The eagle feather prize. New York: David McKay.
  • Kirk, Ruth L., & Degen, L. (2004). Charlie ate my hat! Charleston, WV: Shamrock Press.
  • Knowles, Wendell. (1979) Sweet skunks and sneaky butter: A laugh-happy story of zany animals and 4-H kids. Salina, KS: Chuckle & Nudge Publishing House. DNAL jS533.F66-K66-1979.
  • Larson, Carol & Faber, Carol. (2002). Helping hands, caring hearts. Ames, IA: Iowa 4-H Foundation.
  • Lide, Alice-Alison. (1941). Johnny of the 4-H club. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. DNAL jPZ7-.L54-1941.
  • Liffring-Zug (1956). Ray and Stevie on a corn belt farm. New York: Follett Publishing.
  • Martin, Chuck. (1953). Cowboy Charley, 4-H champ. New York: Viking Press, 1953. DNAL jPZ-.M37-1953.
  • McDonnell, Virginia B. (1968). County agent. New York: Julian Messner.
  • McMahan, Elizabeth A. (2001). Raising cane with Cammie. Bloomsburg, IN: First Books Library.
  • North, Sterling (1947). So dear to my heart. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.(Has been reprinted several times and published under Avon and made into a motion picture.)
  • Plowhead, Ruth Gipson. (1938). Josie and Joe. Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers.
  • Porter, Ella Williams. (1942). Sandra Kendall of the 4-H: The career story of a young home demonstration agent. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company.
  • Radford, Ruby L. (1958). Connie Dale 4-H leader. New York: Avalon Books.
  • Ross, M. I. (1943). Farm in the family. New York: Harper & Brothers.
  • Sharpe, Susan. (1992). Chicken bucks. New York: Bradbury Press; Toronto, Canada: Maxwell Macmillan.
  • Sherman, Harold Morrow. (1948). Call of the land: A novel of high adventure in 4-H club work. New York: M. A. Donohue & Company. DNAL: 145.3. SH5
  • Smith, Gene. (1979). The hayburners. (Book and film) New York: Learning Corporation of America.
  • Witty, Paul and Coomer, Anne. (1953). Salome goes to the fair. New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc.

FFA Fiction

  • Chapman, Paul W. (1931). The Green Hand: The story of the F.F.A. Chicago, IL: J. P. Lippincott.