Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Rebecca Caudill  

Pen Name: None


Audience: 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.


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.

Selected Titles At Your Library

A certain small shepherd /
ISBN: 0613036069. OCLC Number: 1016117237

. .

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

A Certain Small Shepherd.
ISBN: 9781442014749. OCLC Number: 311751465

Paw Prints. .

A pocketful of cricket /
ISBN: 0805075240. OCLC Number: 174119

Holt, Rinehart and Winston,. .

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.

Come along!
ISBN: 0030885043. OCLC Number: 22567

Holt, Rinehart and Winston,. .

Thirty Haiku reflect a scene or thought about nature.

Did you carry the flag today, Charley?
ISBN: 003089753X. OCLC Number: 18410069

Dell,. .

Contemporary Appalachia is the setting for the activities of Charley, an irrepressibly curious kindergartner, who finally achieves the honor of carrying the school flag for his class. All the children in the Appalachian Mountains know that the highest honor at Little School is being chosen to carry the flag and lead the line to the school bus. It's the award given each day to the child who has been most helpful. When Charley Cornett begins school no one expects him to win the award. Charley's not exactly the helpful type, he's more the curious type. He has to climb out on a tree limb to see how the apple is attached. And he has to hold his hand over the water tap to see if running water can be stopped. Nothing can stop Charley. Then one special day, a day full of rocks and snakes and books, Charley surprises his family and the entire school!

Did you carry the flag today, charley?.
ISBN: 0805081410. OCLC Number: 939503343

Henry Holt,. .

Schoolroom in the parlor /
ISBN: 1883937825. OCLC Number: 70116535

. .

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: 25246196

H. Holt,. .

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

Tree of Freedom.
ISBN: 1504025172. OCLC Number: 925284725

Open Road Media Teen & Tween,. .

A Newbery Honor Book: During the Revolutionary War, a courageous pioneer girl fights for freedom When thirteen-year-old Stephanie Venable moves with her family from North Carolina to a four-hundred-acre homestead in Kentucky, she knows they're in for a great adventure. The family sells whatever belongings they can't fit in their covered wagon, and begin the long journey west. But Stephanie has brought something special with her, an apple seed from their tree back home, just as her grandmother did when she moved from France to America. In Kentucky, the Venables must fell trees, build a cabin, and prepare the land for crops. Being a pioneer is a lot of work, but it's also very exciting: Stephanie and her family must grow, catch, or hunt everything they need to eat and survive. With the Revolutionary War also moving west, the family faces threats from British sympathizers and American rebels. Will freedom take root in America, like Stephanie's young apple tree, or will the Venable family succumb to the hardships of frontier life?