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4-H Novels Have a Popular History

4-H novels and children's books may not be well known in today's 4-H; however, starting in the 1920s... and, in every decade since then, new ones have appeared. Several dozen titles are documented and at one time Miss Gertrude Warren, from the 4-H USDA office, issued a listing of "approved" 4-H juvenile literature. While current research has not uncovered this listing, many of the titles are included in the 4-H novels segment of the 4-H books and printed archives section of the National 4-H History Preservation website.

Here is a short list of some of the titles:

  • 4-H cowboy by Arthur Charles Bartlett (1938)
  • 4-H Filly by Patsey Gray (1958)
  • A clown like me by Thomas Crowell (1985)
  • A Dog for Joey by Nan Gilbert (1967)
  • Adventures in 4-H by Betty Baxter Anderson (1938)
  • Call of the land: A novel of high adventure in 4-H club work by Harold Morrow Sherman (1948)
  • Charlie ate my hat! by Ruth L Kirk & Degen L (2004)
  • Chicken bucks by Susan Sharpe (1992)
  • Come to the fair by Audree Distad (1977)
  • Connie Dale 4-H leader by Ruby L Radford (1958)
  • County agent by Virginia B McDonnell (1968)
  • County fair: A 4-H romance by Anne Emery (1953)
  • Cowboy Charley, 4-H champ by Chuck Martin (1953)
  • Dynamo farm: A 4-H story by Adam Allen (1942)
  • Farm in the family by M I Ross (1943)
  • Hattie's holidays by Marie Frost (1994)
  • Helping hands, caring hearts by Carol Larson & Carol Faber (2002)
  • Hickory hill by Anne Emery (1955)
  • Hustler, the farm dog by Arthur Charles Bartlett (1937)
  • Imagine that! by Deborah Guillemette & Darren Whalen (2004)
  • Inky: Seeing eye dog by Elizabeth P Heppner (1957)
  • Jill's victory by Elisa Bialk (1952)
  • Joey's ghost pumpkin by Fern Pascoe Dooley & Jack Woodson (1982)
  • Johnny of the 4-H club by Alice-Alison Lide (1941)
  • Josie and Joe by Ruth Gipson Plowhead (1938)
  • Lucky four by Anne Colver (1960)
  • Raising cane with Cammie by Elizabeth A McMahan (2001)
  • Ray and Stevie on a corn belt farm by Liffring-Zug (1956)
  • River's edge: A 4-H environmental science adventure by Gail Smith Chesson (1989)
  • Royalty in the house by Charles Ferry (2002)
  • Salome goes to the fair by Paul Witty & Anne Coomer (1953)
  • Sandra Kendall of the 4-H: The career story of a young home demonstration agent by Ella Williams Porter (1942)
  • Sausage patty by Diane Allevato & Trish Van den Bergh (1998)
  • Skip by Aileen Fisher (1958)
  • So dear to my heart by Sterling North (1947)
  • Sweet sixteen by Anne Emery (1956)
  • Sweet skunks and sneaky butter: A laugh-happy story of zany animals and 4-H kids by Wendell Knowles (1979)
  • That blizzard cow by John H Bradshaw (1961)
  • The eagle feather prize by Lyla Hoffine (1962)
  • The hayburners by Gene Smith (1979)
  • The plant that keeps on growing by Barbara Brenner & Melissa Sweet (1999)
  • Under the 4-H flag by John F. Case & (1927)

If you have information about other titles or would like to donate a 4-H novel to the 4-H History Collection, please contact us at:

Special appreciation goes to Dr. Jan Scholl, The Pennsylvania State University, for her research in this area.

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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