Home > Literacy Resources > Articles > Choosing Good Books > Travel Reads: Selecting Books for Family Vacations > The South (AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV) and the Caribbean

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The South (AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV) and the Caribbean


The Alabama Angels and The Alabama Angels in Anywhere, L.A. by Mary Barwick.

Alabama, One Big Front Porch and 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey by Kathryn Tucker Windham.

The Charm of the Bear Claw Necklace and Ikwa of the Mound-Builder Indians
by Margaret Zehmer Searcy.
These are books about prehistoric Alabama Indians.

Mighty Close To Heaven by Faye Gibbons.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis.
In the midst of the civil rights movement, members of an African American family from Michigan visit their grandmother in Alabama during the violent summer of 1963.

Wiley and the Hairy Man by Judy Sierra.

With his mother's help, Wiley outwits the conjuring hairy man that lives in the swamp near their home. Molly Garrett Bang has also authored a version of this story.

The Caribbean

The Cay by Theodore Taylor.
Twelve-year-old Phillip and an elderly West Indian man named Timothy survive a fatal shipwreck during World War II. They learn to live on a small island, or cay, while they wait and hope for rescue. An exciting, moving adventure.


Come Morning by Leslie Davis Guccione.
This story is set in Wilmington, Del., and the nearby Pennsylvania countryside during the Civil War. The plot revolves around the free blacks and Quakers who helped runaway slaves. When 12-year-old Free's father is captured by bounty hunters, he must help ferry the runaways across the border to freedom—a job much more challenging than he had anticipated.


The Missing 'Gator of Gumbo Limbo by Jean Craighead George.
Until her mother can get a better-paying job and buy a house, Liza and her mother set up home temporarily in Gumbo Limbo Hammock. Liza goes to school nearby and fishes in Gumbo Limbo Hole, where an old, peaceful alligator protects the swampland. One day a government official appears with a gun, intending to kill the alligator. 

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
A young boy raises an orphaned fawn in the Florida backwoods.


Georgia Music by Helen V. Griffith.

A little girl and her grandfather spend the summer together. At night, he plays the mouth organ.

Ida Early series by Robert Burch.

A Month of Seven Days by Shirley Climo. 

Turn Homeward, Hannalee by Patricia Beatty.
Twelve-year-old Hannalee Reed must leave Georgia during the Civil War to work in a Northern mill.


Blackwater Swamp by Bill Wallace.

Having discovered the true nature of the old woman known as the bayou's Witch of Blackwater Swamp, 5th-grader Ted must decide whether to come to her rescue when she is accused of thefts in town.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. (Adult Fiction)

The Ghost of Bayou Tigre by Mary Alice Fontenot.
A story about a young girl in South Louisiana who visits relatives in the country and learns many of the area's customs.

The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci.
A Southern folktale in which kind Blanche, following the instructions of an old witch, gains riches while her greedy sister gets her just reward for making fun of the old woman.


Cassie: The Girl with the Hero's Heart by Myrtle Long Haldeman.

Historical fiction about a Maryland farm girl living near Antietam battlefield during the Civil War. The author is the girl's distant relative.

Chesapeake by James A. Michener. (Adult Fiction)

Crazy Lady! by Jane Leslie Conly.
Vernon comes to terms with his mother's death and finds peace in his friendship with neighborhood outcasts.

Hey-Ey-Ey, Lock! Adventure on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal by Morris Fradin


Good-bye, My Lady by James Street.

Good Old Boy by Willie Morris.

Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor.
In this story, a sequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, four children grow up in rural Mississippi during the Depression. The third book in this series is The Road to Memphis.

Mississippi Possum by Miska Miles.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.
An African American family living in the South in the 1930s face prejudice and discrimination.

North Carolina/Virginia

The Weirdo by Theodore Taylor. (Edgar Award winner)
A girl who lives by an eerie swamp on the border of North Carolina and Virginia meets a boy known as "the Weirdo."

West Virginia

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. (Newbery Medal winner)
After the death of a beloved aunt who raised her, 12-year-old Summer and Uncle Ob leave their West Virginia trailer in search of the strength to go on living.

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. (Newbery Medal winner)
Marty finds a lost beagle and tries to hide it from its cruel owner.

The Slopes of War by Norah Perez.
Buck Summerhill, a young West Virginia soldier, faces the horrors of the Battle of Gettysburg knowing that his two cousins may be fighting on the opposite side against him.

The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars. (Newbery Medal winner)
A teenage girl gains new insights when her mentally retarded brother becomes lost.

The South (AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV) and the Caribbean