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Rebecca Caudill

Born: February 2, 1899 in Poor Fork (now known as Cumberland), Kentucky (Harland County)
Died: October 2, 1985

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Caudill lived in Urbana, Illinois for nearly 50 years. She was a very active in the Champaign-Urbana community. She was the co-founder of the Champaign-Urbana Peace Council and served on the board of trustees for Urbana Free Library.

Biography: Caudill was born in Kentucky in 1899. Her parents, who were both teachers, instilled in Rebecca and her 10 brothers and sister a love for the written word. The Appalachian region where she grew up provided more than scenery for Rebecca. From the independent and hard-working people who lived there, she learned the importance of simplicity and something she called 'heart knowledge,' an understanding of pepole that comes through living. After working her way through college, Rebecca traveled worldwide, including Canada, Russia, and Brazil, before she married James Ayars who also wrote for children. They settled in Urbana, Illinois, where Rebecca carefully researched and wrote most of her books. Her books are known for their authentic depictions of settings and characters, and for evoking the lives of pioneers during the eighteenth-and nineteenth-century in America. Many of them won awards, and now the Young Readers' Choice Award in Illinois is named for her. Caudill was also as an educator and editor.

  • In, 1950, her book ''Tree of Freedom'', was a runner-up for the Newbery Medal. ''A Pocket Full of Crickets'', illustrated by Evaline Ness was named a Caldecott Medal Honor Book. Awarded ''Illinois Author of the Year'' by the Illinois Association of Teache

Primary Audience(s): Children; Children

Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Official Site :
Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Site sponsored by Bensenville, Illinois Community Public Library :
Rebecca Caudill on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

A certain small shepherd /
ISBN: 0613036069 OCLC: 1016117237

Eager to play a shepherd in the Christmas pageant, a mute Appalachian boy is dismayed when a blizzard prevents the performance.

A Certain Small Shepherd.
ISBN: 9781442014749 OCLC: 311751465

Paw Prints 2009.

A pocketful of cricket /
ISBN: 0805075240 OCLC: 174119

Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York : ©1964.

A boy takes his pet cricket to school where it first disturbs the class with its chirping, but then becomes the show-and-tell attraction.

  Come along!
ISBN: 0030885043 OCLC: 22567

Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York : [1969]

Thirty Haiku reflect a scene or thought about nature.

  Did you carry the flag today, Charley?
ISBN: 003089753X OCLC: 18410069

Dell, New York : 1988, ©1966.

Contemporary Appalachia is the setting for the activities of Charley, an irrepressibly curious kindergartner, who finally achieves the honor of carrying the school flag for his class. All the children in the Appalachian Mountains know that the highest honor at Little School is being chosen to carry the flag and lead the line to the school bus. It's the award given each day to the child who has been most helpful. When Charley Cornett begins school no one expects him to win the award. Charley's not exactly the helpful type, he's more the curious type. He has to climb out on a tree limb to see how the apple is attached. And he has to hold his hand over the water tap to see if running water can be stopped. Nothing can stop Charley. Then one special day, a day full of rocks and snakes and books, Charley surprises his family and the entire school!

Did you carry the flag today, charley?.
ISBN: 0805081410 OCLC: 939503343

Henry Holt, [Place of publication not identified] : 2012.

Schoolroom in the parlor /
ISBN: 1883937825 OCLC: 70116535

As winter arrives and the local school closes until summer, the Fairchild children continue their schooling in the parlor with the oldest, Althy, teaching.

The best-loved doll /
ISBN: 0805054677 OCLC: 25246196

H. Holt, New York : 1992.

For a doll contest at a party, a little girl chooses to enter a doll that seems least likely to win a prize.

Tree of Freedom.
ISBN: 1504025172 OCLC: 925284725

Open Road Media Teen & Tween, 2015.

A Newbery Honor Book: During the Revolutionary War, a courageous pioneer girl fights for freedom When thirteen-year-old Stephanie Venable moves with her family from North Carolina to a four-hundred-acre homestead in Kentucky, she knows they're in for a great adventure. The family sells whatever belongings they can't fit in their covered wagon, and begin the long journey west. But Stephanie has brought something special with her, an apple seed from their tree back home, just as her grandmother did when she moved from France to America. In Kentucky, the Venables must fell trees, build a cabin, and prepare the land for crops. Being a pioneer is a lot of work, but it's also very exciting: Stephanie and her family must grow, catch, or hunt everything they need to eat and survive. With the Revolutionary War also moving west, the family faces threats from British sympathizers and American rebels. Will freedom take root in America, like Stephanie's young apple tree, or will the Venable family succumb to the hardships of frontier life?