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Children's Literature

Books for children and young readers about Swedish immigrants in North America and Swedish immigration history based on the collections of the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center.

Åberg, Alf. The people of New Sweden: our colony on the Delaware River, 1638-1655.
Roger Tanner, translator. (Stockholm: Natur och Kultur, c1988).
199 pages: illustrations, maps; 22 cm. Includes index and bibliography.

Cavanah, Frances. Jenny Lind's America
(Philadelphia, Chilton Book Co.,1969).
226 pages, 21 cm.
Summary: A biography of the "Swedish Nightingale" whose vocal range and tone quality made her one of the leading opera stars of the mid-nineteenth century.

Cosentine, Sherry, Bishop Hill: children's activity book
(Moline, Ill.: Illinois Writer's Guild, c1980).
32 pages: illustrations; 28 cm.
Summary: Creative activities and seat work.

Frank, Irene M., The Scandinavian-American heritage
(New York, N.Y.: Facts On File, 1988).
Series: America's ethnic heritage series.
148 pages: illustrations; 25 cm.
Summary: Explores the history, culture, and contributions of Scandinavian-Americans from colonial times to the present day.

Gunderson, Cory Gideon. Swedish Americans
(Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, c2003)
Series: Immigrants in America.
106 p. : color Illustrations, color map ; 25 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents: The Swedes in America -- The old country -- America fever -- Tamers of the frontier -- Social issues in industrial America -- Swedish identity across the Atlantic -- Into the melting pot : the Swedish-American influence.

Hopkins, M. Johnson. I, Amanda
(Bloomington, IN: 1st Books, 2003).
130 pages: 23 cm.
Includes recipes pages 125-28.

Hubalek, Linda K., Butter in the well series. 1992-1994.

Book 1. Butter in the well: a Scandinavian woman's tale of life on the prairie
(Hillsboro, Kan.: Hearth Pub., c1992)
128 pages: illustrations, maps; 23 cm. Includes bibliographical references (pages. 125-128).
Summary: This is a fictionalized account of Kajsa Svensson Runeberg's first 20 years on her Kansas farm.

Book 2. Prarieblomman: the prairie blossoms for an immigrant's daughter
(Hillsboro, KS: Hearth Pub., c1993).
On cover: Historical diary 1889-1900.
132 pages: illustrations; 23 cm. Bibliography: pages. 129-132.
Summary: The book starts in 1889 when Alma turns sixteen, and ends in 1900 when she marries at age twenty-seven and leaves Kansas.--Foreword

Book 3. Egg gravy: authentic recipes from the Butter in the well series
(Aurora, Colo.: Butterfield Books, c1994)
123 pages: illustrations; 22 cm.
Includes index.

Book 4. Looking back: the final tale of life on the prairie
(Aurora, Colo.: Butterfield Books, c1994).
123 pages: illustrations, maps; 23 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (pages. 121-122).

Hubalek, Linda K., Planting dreams series.
(Lindsborg, Kan.: Butterfield Books, c1997-1999)

Book 1, 1868-1869. Planting dreams: a Swedish immigrant's journey to America
111 pages: maps; 23 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (pages. 101-103).
Summary from the preface: This is a fictionalized account of Charlotta Johnson's journey from Sweden to Kansas in 1868.

Book 2, 1869-1886. Cultivating hope: homesteading on the Great Plains
119 pages: illustrations, maps ; 23 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (pages. 109-110).
Summary: This is a fictionalized account of Charlotta Johnson's life as she and her husband build a farmstead on the Kansas prairie.

Book 3, 1869-1886. Harvesting faith: life on the changing prairie.
99 pages: illustrations, maps; 23 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (pages. 109-110).
Summary: This is a mixture of fact and fiction of Charlotta Johnson's life of events that shaped this Swedish immigrant's family, join Charlotta as she reminisces about the important places and events in her past as she bids farewell to her mortal life on the Kansas prairie.

Immigration to Minnesota.
(St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society, 1983).
Series: Roots; vol. 12, no. 1 (fall 1983).
39 pages: illustrations; 28 cm.
Includes bibliography.

Johnson, Lois Walfrid. Adventures of the Northwoods series.
(Minneapolis, Minn.: Bethany House Publishers, c1990-1992).

Book 1. The disappearing stranger
144 pages. ; 21 cm.
Summary: When her mother marries Mr. Nordstrom, Kate moves to a farm in northwest Wisconsin, solves a mystery, and learns to adjust to her new stepfamily.

Book 2. The hidden message
144 pages. ; 21 cm.
Summary: When their father leaves to earn money away from home, Kate and Anders assume more responsibility at the farm and uncover a mystery.

Book 3. The creeping shadows
160 pages; 21 cm.
Summary: Kate plans a birthday party for her stepbrother Anders and gets involved in the mysterious disappearance of items from the Erickson household.

Book 4. The vanishing footprints
158 pages; 21 cm.
Summary: Kate, Anders, and Erik try to solve the mystery of the stolen creamery checks.

Book 5. Trouble at Wild River
160 pages: illustrations, map; 21 cm.
Summary: In 1907 in Wisconsin, Kate and her friends discover a timber swindler while visiting their Indian friend Running Deer and suspect that Kate's uncle, newly arrived from Sweden, may be involved.

Book 6. The mysterious hideaway.
158 pages. ; 21 cm.
Summary: Kate, Anders, and Erik investigate baffling clues that lead them to tunnels in the woodpile, stolen food, and a hidden ladder.

Book 7. Grandpa's stolen treasure
159 pages: illustrations; 21 cm.
Summary: Kate and Anders try to follow the guidance of God when his grandparents travel from Sweden to Wisconsin and Grandma vanishes under mysterious circumstances.

Book 8. The Runaway Clown
160 pages: 21 cm.
Summary: While working for the circus that is touring Wisconsin in 1907, Kate and her stepbrother Anders uncover a mystery.

Book 9. Mystery of the missing map
158 pages: 21 cm.
Summary: When thirteen-year-old Kate, her stepbrother Anders, and their friend Erik go to visit Kate's blind second cousin in Red Jacket, Michigan, in 1907, they decide to try to find a long-lost map that will supposedly lead to a fortune in silver.

Book 10. Disaster on Windy Hill
170 pages: 21 cm.
Summary: After Kate buys Windsong and Breeza, two horses with a mysterious past, someone sets the Nordstrom barn on fire and Windsong disappears.

Kyle, Elisabeth. The Swedish nightingale: Jenny Lind
(New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964)
223 pages: 22 cm.
Summary: This biographical novel, set in the mid 19th century, tells the dramatic story of Jenny Lind , who became an almost legendary singer despite intense timidity and formidable obstacles.

Malmberg, Carl. America is also Scandinavian.
(New York: Putnam, 1970).
126 pages. illustrations, 21 cm.
Summary: Traces the history and causes of Scandinavian immigration to the United States and explains the contributions of Danes, Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, and Icelanders to the culture and history of their adopted country.

McGill, Allyson. The Swedish Americans
(Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1997).
The immigrant experience series. 109 pages: illustrations (some color), maps; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.

Meyer, Carolyn, Kristina, the girl king: [Sweden, 1638]
(New York: Scholastic, 2003).
Royal diaries Series. 170 pages: illustrations, map, genealogy table; 19 cm.
Summary: A novel in diary form about Kristina, the young queen of Sweden. Kristina, Queen of Sweden, 1626-1689 --Fiction.

Montgomery, Kathy. The Kalmar-Nyckel: Johan's honor
(Baltimore: Publish America, 2002).
258 pages. 23 cm.
New Sweden, fiction.

Munson, Sammye. HEJ, Texas goodbye Sweden: a Swedish boy in early Texas
(Austin, Tex.: Eakin Press, 1994). 114 pages: illustrations; 23 cm.
Include bibliographical reference (pages. 113-114)
Summary: In 1880 fifteen-year-old Carl Olsson leaves Sweden to work on his brother's farm in Texas.

Nixon, Joan Lowery. Land of dreams.
(New York: Delacorte Press, 1994). 153 pages: 22 cm.
Ellis Island series.
Summary: In 1902 sixteen-year-old Kristin travels with her family from Sweden to a new life in Minnesota, where she finds herself frustrated by the restrictions placed on what girls of her age are expected or allowed to do.

North, Sterling. The wolfling: a documentary novel of the eighteen-seventies
(New York: Bantam Books, 1970, c1969)
182 pages: illustrations; 18 cm.
Documentary notes on pages 169-182.
Summary: In the nineteenth-century Midwest, a young boy adopts a wolf whelp and gains the attention and friendship of the Swedish-American naturalist Thure Kumlien.

Olson, Kay Melchisedech. Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish immigrants, 1820-1920
(Mankato, Minn.: Blue Earth Books, c2002).
Coming to America Series.
32 pages: illustrations (some color), color map; 21 x 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (pages. 31) and index.

Olson, Marianne. Over the waves
(Tucson: Rafter Five Press, 1999).
147 pages; 22 cm.
Summary: In 1914, 12 year-old Joel & his mother travel from Omaha to Sweden to visit family just before the war starts. There he finds his first love, learns to handle trolls, and what he wants to do with his life. Ages 9 and up.

Peterson, Melissa. Hanna's Christmas
Melissa Iwai, illustator.
(New York: Harper Collins, 2001).
27 pages: color illustrations; 24 cm.

Peterson, Tiffany. Swedish Americans
(Chicago: Heinemann Library, c2004)
Series: We Are America 32 p. : color illustrations ; 27 cm.
Includes glossary, bibliographical references and index.
Summary: An overview of the history and daily lives of Swedish people who immigrated to the United States.
Topics: Early Swedish immigrants, the journey, arriving in the United States, America fever, land and lumber, life in the cities, Swedish-American culture, celebrations, Swedish food and dining, arts and entertainment, a Swedish-American family, Swedish immigration chart.

Raatma, Lucia. Swedish Americans
(Chanhassen, Minn.: Child's World, c2003)
Series: Spirit of America: Our Cultural Heritage
32 pages: color illustrations; 25 cm.
Includes time line, glossary, list for further reading, and index.
Summary: A brief introduction to Swedish Americans, their historical backgrounds, customs and traditions, their impact on society, and life in the United States today.

Sandin, Joan. The long way westward
(New York, N.Y.: Harper & Row, c1989).
Series: An I can read book.
63 pages: color illustrations; 23 cm.
Summary: Relates the experiences of two young brothers and their family, immigrants from Sweden, from their arrival in New York through the journey to their new home in Minnesota.

Sandin, Joan. The long way to a new land
(New York, N.Y.: Harper & Row, c1981).
Series: An I can read history book.
63 pages: color illustrations; 22 cm.

Shaw, Janet Beeler. The American Girls Collection: 1854. Kirsten.
(Middleton, WI: Pleasant Co., 1986)

Book 1. Meet Kirsten, an American girl
61 pages: color illustrations; 23 cm.
Summary from the book jacket: "Kirsten Larson and her family arrive in America in the summer of 1854 after a long and dangerous journey on a small ship. They have come to begin a new life on the American frontier - a world of wilderness and prairie. Ages 7 and up."

Book 2. Kirsten learns a lesson: a school story
69 pages: color illustrations; 23 cm.
Summary from the book jacket: "Kirsten has a hard time in her new American school because she doesn't speak English very well. Ages 7 and up."

Book 3. Kirsten's surprise: a Christmas story
61 pages: color illustrations; 23 cm.
Summary from the book jacket: "Kirsten and her family celebrate their first Christmas in America, and Kirsten wants to keep some of their old Swedish traditions alive in the new country.

Book 4. Happy birthday, Kirsten!: a springtime story
58 pages: color illustrations; 23 cm.
Summary: On a Minnesota farm in the mid 1800's, the hard working members of the Larson family find time to celebrate Kirsten's tenth birthday.

Book 5. Kirsten saves the day: a summer story
66 pages: color illustrations; 23 cm.
Summary: Ten-year-old Kirsten is proud and excited when she finds a bee tree full of honey, one of the natural treasures of her Minnesota frontier world, but she exposes herself to great danger by trying to harvest the honey by herself.

Book 6. Changes for Kirsten: a winter story
64 pages: color illustrations; 23 cm.
Summary: A tough Minnesota winter brings many changes to Kirsten's frontier life, including the new responsibility of helping her brother Lars set his traps and a move into a new house for her family.

Sinnott, Susan. Welcome to Kirsten's world, 1854: growing up in pioneer America.
(Middleton, WI: Pleasant Co., 1999)
58 pages: many color illustrations, maps; 27 x 31 cm.
Summary: From the American Girls Collection. The story presents a look at daily life in pioneer America during the 1850s by following a family that emigrates from Sweden to Minnesota.

Tripp, Valerie. Kirsten's theatre kit : a play about Kirsten for you and your friends to perform. Home is where the heart is.
(Middleton, WI : Pleasant Co., c1994)
One portfolio: Envelope contains a Director's guide (15 p.) and four copies of the play Home is where the heart is, (32 p.) adapted by Valerie Tripp from Meet Kirsten, an American girl, by Janet Shaw.

Winter, Jeanette. Klara's new world.
(New York: Knopf, 1992).
42 pages: color. illustrations; 24 x 26 cm.
Summary:  A Swedish family faces many hardships when they immigrate to America in search of a better life. Books in English about Sweden. We find many Swedish customs, holidays and songs even in Swedish-American communities.

Larsson, Carl Olof. A home, text by Lennart Rudström; translated by Lone Thygesen-Blecher.
(New York: Putnam, 1974).
31 pages: color illustrations; 24 x 32 cm.
Summary: Sixteen of Carl Larsson's well known watercolors of his home, Sundborn, and family are accompanied by text explaining the pictures and something of the life of this great Swedish artist.  Larson and his wife Karin helped popularize a style of home decoration that we recognize today as classically Swedish.

Olsson, Kari. Sweden, a good life for all
(Minneapolis, Minn.: Dillon Press, c1983).
Series: Discovering our heritage. 144 pages: illustrations; 24 cm.
Bibliography: pages. 140. Includes index.

Sevig, Mike. Mike & Else's Swedish songbook
(Minneapolis, MN : Skandisk, c1997).
1 v. of music (unpaged): illustrations; 28 cm.
Folksongs, Children's songs, Christmas & Lucia songs, Hymns, Swedish, United States.

Unnerstad, Edith. The spettecake holiday.
Illustrated by Iben Clante.
Translation.from the Swedish, Farmorsresan, by Inger Boye.
(New York, Macmillan, 1958).
211 pages. illustrations, 21 cm.
Summary: Five-year-old Pelle-Göran goes unwillingly to visit grandmother while mama is recuperating from an accident. Adventures on the farm help his apprehensions to disappear and when he returns home he takes the doctor one of grandmother's fine spettecakes, promised if the doctor would make mama well.

Wiberg, Harald. Christmas at the Tomten's farm.
Written and illustrated by Harald Wiberg.
(New York, Coward-McCann, 1968). [92] pages, illustrations 22 x 27 cm.
Summary: The farm's watchful tomten lends a quiet helping hand during the two days of the Swedish Christmas celebration when the regular farm chores must be attended to in addition to holiday festivities.