12 Children’s Books About Indiana and the People Who Live Here

Indiana and the people who call this state home is a source of inspiration for many creative endeavors, and that includes children’s books. This great state has shown up as a backdrop in books, and its people have been the subject of books for children of all ages. Here’s a roundup of books — some about Indiana, and some about the people who have lived here — to share with your young Hoosier.


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Good Night Indiana

By: Adam Gamble
Ages: 0-3 years

Young readers will get a personal tour of Indiana’s most famous sights, landmarks, and attractions while being lulled into a peaceful night sleep.

H is for Hoosier

By: Cynthia Furlong Reynolds
Ages: 6-9 years

Indiana is called the Hoosier State and its people are known as Hoosiers, although historians don’t really know why. They do, however, have several ideas about the origins of the famous nickname. Children can learn these origins and other facts about the Hoosier state.

Good Boy, Blue!

By: Michael Kaltenmark
Ages: 5-6 years

An adorable book about Butler Blue, Butler University’s live bulldog mascot, and his quest to become a good boy during his first day on the job.

Curious Critters Indiana

By: David FitzSimmons
Ages: 0-3 years

Curious Critters Indiana brings young readers face-to-face with colorful, fascinating, and fun animals that are commonly found in the Hoosier State. 

Elena’s Big Move

By: Sarah M. Olivieri
Ages: 5-6 years

Elena loves her home in Puerto Rico, but she just found out she will be moving to a strange, new place she’s never seen before: Indiana. She’s worried that nothing will be the same again, so she takes pictures of her friends and favorite places and creates an album to remember them by. When she finally moves, she finds that Indiana is very different than her old home, but she soon discovers that new places can be just as interesting as old ones. With the help of her new friends, Elena starts another album to record memories from the many new places she will soon discover.

Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist

By: Lesa Cline-Ransome
Ages: 6-10 years

Discover the inspiring true story of extraordinary professional cyclist Major Taylor, who was born and raised in Indianapolis. In 1891, Marshall Taylor could ride his bike forward, backward, even perched on the handlebars. When his stunts landed him a job at the famous Indiana bike shop Hay and Willits, folks were amazed that a thirteen-year-old black boy could be such a crackerjack cyclist.

Riding to Washington

By: Gwenyth Swain
Ages: 6-9 years

Janie is not exactly sure why her daddy is riding a bus from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. She knows why she has to go-to stay out of her mother’s way, especially with the twins now teething. But Daddy wants to hear a man named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak and, to keep out of trouble, Janie is sent along. Riding the bus with them is a mishmash of people, black and white, young and old. They seem very different from Janie. As the bus travels across cities and farm fields to its historic destination, Janie sees firsthand the injustices that many others are made to endure. She begins to realize that she’s not so different from the other riders and that, as young as she is, her actions can affect change.

Dear America: Christmas After All

By: Kathryn Lasky
Ages: 8-14 years

To twelve-year-old Minnie Swift, Christmas is not going to be the time of bounty she’s used to. It is 1932 — the middle of the Great Depression — and jobs are scarce and Papa seems more worried each day. But when their orphaned cousin comes to live with them, the Swifts are quick to rearrange the beds and make room for her. Minnie, thrilled to have another youngster in the home, is resolved to make this Christmas memorable in spite of the hard times. Through her diary entries, Minnie captures the darkness of the Great Depression, the optimism of a small Midwestern family, the fortitude of the American spirit, and the magic of Christmas.

The Spectacle: Celebrating the History of the Indianapolis 500

By: Chris Workman
Ages: 5-9 years

The Spectacle Celebrating the History of the Indianapolis 500 is a mix of historical fact and entertainment for young readers and race fans to learn about The Greatest Spectacle in Racing – the Indianapolis 500. The book features a vast number of drivers, teams and race cars that have made an impact on the rich history of racing at the Brickyard.

Santa is Coming to Indiana

By: Steve Smallman
Ages: 4-8 years

It’s Christmas Eve, Have you been good? Santa’s packed up all the presents and is headed your way! With the help of a certain red-nosed reindeer, Santa flies over Indianapolis Historic Union Station, William H Natcher Bridge, Notre Dame University, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Solders and Sailors Monument, Evansville Greyhound Station, Santa Claus Town Hall, Indiana Statehouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse and Indiana Landmarks Center. “Ho, ho ho!” laughs Santa. “Merry Christmas, Indiana!”

A Halloween Scare in Indiana

By: Eric James
Ages: 4-8 years

It’s Halloween night, and creatures and critters from near and far are starting to gather outside the front door. And now here comes a whole army of monsters, on broomsticks, buses, and bikes, all clamoring in the darkness. What is it they want? Are they coming for you? A delightfully spooky Halloween adventure featuring iconic locations and landmarks in Indiana.

Trick or Treat in Indiana: A Halloween Adventure In The Hoosier State

By: Eric James
Ages: 4-8 years

An unexpected visitor arrives in town! But who is he? What is he? Where did he come from? Readers will learn the answers to all these questions as they watch the mysterious visitor travel through places they know and love in Indiana! 


Nicole Sipe
Nicole Sipe
Nicole Sipe is the editor of Indy's Child and Southwest Ohio Parent magazines. She has a BA in Journalism from California State University Northridge, and has been involved in the print and digital publishing world for most of her life. Born and raised in Southern California, Nicole traded the city and sun for corn and creeks, and now lives in central Indiana with her husband, two sons and Collie. Her latest book for children, “All About Me! Art Journal” was published in 2022 by Walter Foster Jr. In her spare time, she likes traveling with her family, enjoying good food and drink, volunteering at her children’s schools and around her community, and practicing yoga.

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