Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Rebecca Caudill  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Children; Children;

Born: February 2, 1899 in Poor Fork (now known as Cumberland), Kentucky (Harland County)

Died: October 2, 1985

-- Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Official Site --
-- Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Site sponsored by Bensenville, Illinois Community Public Library --
-- Rebecca Caudill on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Caudill lived in Urbana, Illinois for nearly 50 years. She was a very active in the Champaign-Urbana community. She was the co-founder of the Champaign-Urbana Peace Council and served on the board of trustees for Urbana Free Library.

Biographical and Professional Information

Caudill was born in Kentucky in 1899. Her parents, who were both teachers, instilled in Rebecca and her 10 brothers and sister a love for the written word. The Appalachian region where she grew up provided more than scenery for Rebecca. From the independent and hard-working people who lived there, she learned the importance of simplicity and something she called "heart knowledge," an understanding of pepole that comes through living. After working her way through college, Rebecca traveled worldwide, including Canada, Russia, and Brazil, before she married James Ayars who also wrote for children. They settled in Urbana, Illinois, where Rebecca carefully researched and wrote most of her books. Her books are known for their authentic depictions of settings and characters, and for evoking the lives of pioneers during the eighteenth-and nineteenth-century in America. Many of them won awards, and now the Young Readers' Choice Award in Illinois is named for her. Caudill was also as an educator and editor.

Published Works

  • Barrie and Daughter, Viking, 1943
  • Tree of Freedom, 1950
  • Susan Cornish, Viking, 1955
  • Schoolroom In the Parlor, Holt , 1959
  • The Best Loved Doll, Holt, 1962
  • A Pocketful of Cricket, Holt, 1964
  • A Certain Small Shepherd, Holt, 1965
  • Did You Carry the Flag Today, Charlie, Holt, 1966
  • My Appalachia: A Reminiscence, Holt, 1966
  • Come Along, Holt, 1969
  • Somebody Go and Bang a Drum, Dutton, 1974

Selected Titles At Your Library

Schoolroom in the parlor /
ISBN: 1883937825. OCLC Number:

. .

As winter arrives and the local school closes until summer, the Fairchild children continue their schooling in the parlor with the oldest, Althy, teaching.

The best-loved doll /
ISBN: 0805054677. OCLC Number:

H. Holt,. New York :. 1992.

For a doll contest at a party, a little girl chooses to enter a doll that seems least likely to win a prize.

A pocketful of cricket /
ISBN: 0805075240. OCLC Number:

Holt, Rinehart and Winston,. New York :. ©1964.

A boy takes his pet cricket to school where it first disturbs the class with its chirping, but then becomes the show-and-tell attraction.

A certain small shepherd /
ISBN: 0613036069. OCLC Number:

. .

Eager to play a shepherd in the Christmas pageant, a mute Appalachian boy is dismayed when a blizzard prevents the performance.

Did you carry the flag today, charley?.
ISBN: 0805081410. OCLC Number:

Henry Holt,. [Place of publication not identified] :. 2012.


In, 1950, her book

Tree of Freedom

, was a runner-up for the Newbery Medal.

A Pocket Full of Crickets

, illustrated by Evaline Ness was named a Caldecott Medal Honor Book. Awarded

Illinois Author of the Year

by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English in 1972.