Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Raymond Bial  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children; Children;

Born: 1948 in Danville, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Bial was born in Danville, Illinois and currently resides in Urbana, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Raymond Bial is an acclaimed photoessayist for children. He has published over eighty books for children and adults. Four of his books were chosen as Notable Books in the Field of Social Studies by the NCSS.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Corn Belt Harvest (Paperback Plus Series)
ISBN: 0395811465

Houghton Mifflin. 1997

Shaker Home
ISBN: 0395640474

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994

In a Shaker community in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, displays and descriptions of authentic Shaker homes, furnishings, and handicrafts bring to life Shaker traditions and lifestyle. By the author of County Fair.

The Inuit (Lifeways)
ISBN: 0761412123

Benchmark Books. 2001

Describes the history, culture, daily life, beliefs, and customs of the Inuit people and discusses how they adapt to a changing world while holding on to traditions.

Ghost Towns of the American West (Historical and Old West)
ISBN: 0618065571

HMH Books for Young Readers. 2001

If it is abandoned by all or most of its inhabitants, a settlement becomes a ghost town. The buildings and dirt streets may remain, but the character and soul of the place change entirely. And so it was with mining camps, lumber camps, and cowboy towns scattered across America, particularly in the West: places with names like Gregory’s Diggings, Deadwood, Bodie, Calico, Goldfield, and Tombstone, some of the over 30,000 deserted towns in the United States.
Why did people come to these isolated places? Why did they leave? As Raymond Bial’s narrative explores the history of our ghost towns, his well-composed photo-graphs silently tell their stories: of bustling, muddy streets, of large mercantile stores, and, ultimately, of short-lived dreams of gold, fertile land, or simply a good place to call home.

A Handful of Dirt
ISBN: 0802786987

Bloomsbury USA Childrens. 2000

Soil may not be alive, but amazingly, multitudes of microscopic creatures live there, battling it out in an eat-or-be-eaten world. These tiny creatures, invisible to our eyes, provide food for the insects that in turn feed the reptiles and mammals that live in and above the soil. You'll never look at the ground you walk on in the same way after Raymond Bial, an award-winning photo essayist, takes you on this eye-opening, down-and-dirty tour of one of the earth's most precious resources.

One-Room School
ISBN: 0395905141

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1999

A nostalgic and evocative tour of old one-room schoolhouses recaptures the essence and charm of America's earliest schools, offering photographs and quotes from teachers and students from old times that realistically show the conditions of education in times past.

Cajun Home
ISBN: 0395860954

HMH Books for Young Readers. 1998

The Cajun people have a long history of