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CCFB News» December 2023

Hot Ag Reads from Kevin Daugherty

12/05/2023 @ 1:30 pm

Hot Ag Reads from Kevin Daugherty, Education Director, Illinois Center for Agricultural Engagement-Illinois Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom


Looking around for a great book for the holiday season?  Look no further! Check out these new to you books as reviewed by Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom.


The Pie That Molly Grew by Sue Heavenrich (978-1-53411-184-4).  If Jack can build a house, Molly can build a pie with an Illinois pumpkin.  From seed to pie, this book covers every part of pumpkin growth with outstanding back matter.


Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman (978-0451-47498-8).   Our theme for the 2023-24 school year is soil, and this is an excellent whimsical look at the importance of earthworms with our rich Illinois soil.


Josephine and her Dishwashing Machine by Kate Hannigan (978-1-63592-621-7).  Written by an Illinois author about a famous, but lesser known, Illinois inventor. Check out the importance of Shelby County and the 1894 World’s Fair.  (Kate is a Cook County Author)


Buzzing with Questions:  The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner by Janice N. Harrington (978-1-62979-558-4).  Another excellent Illinois author explores a pathbreaking entomologist.


My Grandpa, My Tree and Me by Roxanne Troup (9781-953458-55-1).  Multiple generations involved in a pecan farm.  This book will make you want to plant a pecan tree….or two.


Hopefully the Scarecrow by Michelle Houts (978-0-593-20690-4).  One of our favorite authors describes the importance of stories, how we relate to them and literally how they can carry us away. (Michelle is signing books at the December Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting)


It is Time: The Life of a Caterpillar by Lizzy Rockwell (978-0-8234-5079-4).   This guided reading book walks us through the life and times of a caterpillar, and an excellent month long experiment you can read over and over.


Rooting for Plants:  The Unstoppable Charles S. Parker, Black Botanist and Collector by Janice N. Harrington (978-1-6626-8019-9).   A look at the fascinating life of a botanist from the 1880s through WWI, the Great Depression, WWII and the Cold War.  Outstanding back matter.


Underground Fire: Hope, Sacrifice and Courage in the Cherry Mine Disaster by Sally M. Walker (978-1-5362-1240-2).  An adult read about a 1909 mine disaster in rural Bureau County.  Connections to agriculture?  Everything comes from the soil; we can grow it and mine it and the importance of rural communities.


Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman (978-1-4814-8197-7). Though not a new release, a high school to adult book that is needed.  What if the Colorado River runs dry?   A dystopian look at this event happening that you’ll read from cover to cover.


The Peach Pit Parade: A World War 1 Story by Shana Keller (978-1-5341-1138-7). An extraordinary story of how peach pits helped soldiers of the ‘War To End All Wars’.  The importance of all aspects of agriculture comes to life when you might not be able to do it all, but everyone can do a little. 


Farm Boots by Lisl Detlefsen (978-1-948898-11-9).  A can’t miss for children of all ages, you see how important boots are on the farm.


Editor’s note: Kevin Daugherty is a national leader in the area of Agricultural Literacy. Every year, he puts together a “best of” list of quality ag themed books. Kevin provided an early release of his list this year for Cook County Farm Bureau members to enjoy.



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