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

    Photo Essays for Children
  • County Fair, Houghton Mifflin, 1992
  • Shaker Home, Houghton Mifflin, 1994
  • Amish Home, Houghton Mifflin, 1995
  • Portrait of a Farm Family, Houghton Mifflin, 1995
  • With Needle and Thread, A Book About Quilts, Houghton Mifflin, 1996
  • Visit to Amish Country, University of Illinois Press, 1997
  • Corn Belt Harvest, Houghton Mifflin, 1997
  • Mist Over the Mountains: Appalachia and Its People, Houghton Mifflin, 1997
  • The Strength of These Arms, Life in the Slave Quarters, Houghton Mifflin, 1997
  • Cajun Home, Houghton Mifflin, 1998
  • The Underground Railroad, Houghton Mifflin, 1999
  • One-Room School, Houghton Mifflin, 1999
  • A Handful of Dirt, Walker Publishing, 2000
  • Frontier Home, Houghton Mifflin, 2001
  • Ghost Towns of the American West, Houghton, 2001
  • Building America, Benchmark Books, 2001
  • A Book Comes Together, Bound to Stay Bound Books, 2001
  • Tenement: Immigrant Life on the Lower East Side, Houghton Mifflin, 2002
  • The Long Walk: The Story of Navajo Captivity, Benchmark Books, 2002
  • Where Washington Walked, Walker Publishing, 2004
  • Navoo: Mormon City on The Mississippi River, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2006
  • The Super Soybean, Albert Whitman & Co,' 2007
  • Where Lincoln Walked, Walker Publishing, 2008
  • Ellis Island: Coming to The Land of Liberty, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009
  • Rescuing Rover: Saving America's Dogs, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011Ghost Stories and Mysteries
  • The Fresh Grave and Other Ghostly Stories, Face to Face Books, 1997 - written with Anna Bial
  • The Ghost of Honeymoon Creek, Face to Face Books, 1999 - written with Anna Bial
  • Shadow Island: A Story of Lake Superior, Blue Horse Books, 2006
  • Dripping Blood Cave and Other Ghostly Stories, Crickhollow Books, 2010Native American Books
  • The Iroquois, Marshall Cavendish, 1998
  • The Cherokee, Marshall Cavendish, 1998
  • The Navajo, Marshall Cavendish, 1998
  • The Sioux, Marshall Cavendish, 1998
  • The Comanche, Benchmark Books, 2000
  • The Seminole, Marshall Cavendish, 2000
  • The Pueblo, Benchmark Books, 2000
  • The Powhatan, Benchmark Books, 2000
  • The Ojibwe, Benchmark Books, 2000
  • The Apache, Benchmark Books, 2000
  • The Huron, Marshall Cavendish, 2000
  • The Haida, Benchmark Books, 2000
  • The Cheyenne, Benchmark Books, 2000
  • The Shoshone, Marshall Cavendish, 2001
  • The Inuit, Benchmark Books, 2001
  • The Nez Perce, Benchmark Books, 2002
  • The Mandan, Benchmark Books, 2002
  • The Choctow, Benchmark Books, 2002
  • The Tlingit, Benchmark Books, 2002
  • The Blackfeet, Benchmark Books, 2002
  • The Chumash, Benchmark Books, 2003
  • The Wampanoag, Benchmark Books, 2003
  • The Arapaho, Benchmark Books, 2003
  • The Shawnee, Benchmark Books, 2004
  • The Delaware, Marshall Cavendish, 2005
  • The Crow, Marshall Cavendish, 2005
  • The Menominee, Benchmark Books, 2006
  • The Cree, Benchmark Books, 2006Building America
  • The Houses, Benchmark Books, 2001
  • The Forts, Marshall Cavendish, 2001
  • The Mills, Marshall Cavendish, 2001
  • The Farms, Marshall Cavendish, 2001
  • The Canals, Benchmark Books, 2001American Community
  • Missions and Presidios, Children's Press, 2005
  • Longhouses, Children's Press, 2005
  • Frontier Settlements, Children's Press, 2005
  • Early American Villages, Children's Press, 2005
  • Cow Towns, Children's Press, 2005Photography Books
  • Ivesdale: A Photographic Essay, Urbana Free Library, 2002
  • Upon a Quiet Landscape: The Photographs of Frank Sadorus,Champaign County Historical, 1983
  • There is a Season, Champaign County Nursing Home, 1984
  • First Frost, Stormline Press, 1985
  • In All My Years: Portraits of Older Blacks in Champaign-Urbana, Champaign County, 1986
  • Common Ground: Photographs of Rural and Small Town Life, Stormline Press, 1986
  • Stopping By: Portraits from Small Towns, University of Illinois Press, 1988
  • The Carnegie Library in Illinois, University of Illinois Press, 1991
  • Looking Good: A Guide to Photographing Your Library, ALA, 1991
  • From the Heart of the Country, Sangamore Pub LLC, 1991
  • Townships, University of Iowa Press, 1992
  • Champaign: A Pictorial History, GBradley Publishing, 1994
  • Marcia Adams' Heirloom Recipes: Yesterday's Favorites Tomorrow's Treasures, Clarkson Potter, 1994
  • Zoom Lens Photography, Amherst Media, Inc., 1996
  • Champaign, Arcadia Publishing, 2008
  • The Shaker Village, The University Press of Kentucky, 2008Fiction
  • Chigger, MOTES, 2012 - written with Ann Bial

Selected Titles At Your Library

Corn Belt harvest /
ISBN: 0395811465. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. ©1997.

Text and photographs describe the United States Corn Belt region and its harvest season.

Shaker home /
ISBN: 0395640474. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1994.

Shaker traditions and lifestyle are brought to life through informative text and full-color photographs of authentic homes, furnishings, and handicrafts. The photographs were taken at The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, a community restored to its original pristine condition.

The Inuit /
ISBN: 0761412123. OCLC Number:

Benchmark Books,. New York :. ©2002.

Discusses the history, culture, social structure, beliefs, and customs of the Inuit people of the Arctic Circle.

Ghost towns of the American West /
ISBN: 0618065571. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 2001.

Text and photographs describe some of the thirty thousand deserted towns in the U.S. The author also examines why people settled in these places and why they left.

A handful of dirt /
ISBN: 0802786987. OCLC Number:

Walker,. New York :. 2000.

Discusses the nature and importance of soil and the many forms of life it supports.

One-room school /
ISBN: 0395905141. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin Co.,. Boston :. 1999.

Presents a brief history of the one-room schools that existed in the United States from the 1700s to the 1950s.

Cajun home /
ISBN: 0395860954. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1998.

Discusses the history and culture of the Cajuns, French-speaking people who settled deep in the woods and bayous of Louisiana.

Where Lincoln walked /
ISBN: 0802786316. OCLC Number:

Walker and Co.,. New York :. 1997.

Includes a brief biography of President Lincoln, a list of locations where he walked, and photographs of places, buildings, and objects significant in his life.

The strength of these arms :
ISBN: 0395773946. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1997.

Describes how slaves were able to preserve some elements of their African heritage despite the often brutal treatment they experienced on Southern plantations.

With needle and thread :
ISBN: 0395735688. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1996.

Examines quilts and quiltmaking as an artistic expression, handed down through generations of women.

Tenement :
ISBN: 0618138498. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. ©2002.

Presents a view of New York City's tenements during the peak years of foreign immigration, discussing living conditions, laws pertaining to tenements, and the occupations of their residents.

The Pueblo /
ISBN: 0761408614. OCLC Number:

Benchmark Books,. New York :. 2000.

Discusses the history, culture, beliefs, changing ways, and notable people of the Pueblo.

The underground railroad /
ISBN: 0395979153. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1995.

By ones, twos, and threes, in the years before the Civil War thousands of enslaved people slipped through the night on their way to freedom, riding the Underground Railroad. Hidden and hunted, the escape of southern slaves to the North remains a compelling event in American history. Within the pages of this book are documented, in prose and elegantly articulate photographs, examples of "stations" on the Railroad, along with images of the routes, lives, and hardships of both the "passengers" and "conductors."

Portrait of a farm family /
ISBN: 0395699363. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1995.

At five o'clock every morning and five o'clock every evening the fifty-five cows on the Steidinger farm are milked. Milking is one of the dozens of chores, day in and day out, that are part of life for a farm family. But it's not all work; there is the satisfaction of self-sufficiency and a life lived independently for Dennis and Jane Steidinger and their eight children. Telling the Steidingers' story in both words and spirited photographs, Raymond Bial portrays a way of life and the individual lives of the members of this farm family.

Amish home /
ISBN: 0395595045. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1993.

Text and photographs depict the way of life of the Amish.

First frost /
ISBN: 0935153004. OCLC Number:

Stormline Press,. Urbana, Ill. :. 1985.

The fresh grave and other ghostly stories /
ISBN: 1883953227. OCLC Number:

. .

Hank and his 'fraidy-cat sidekick Clifford explore old buildings and cemeteries around the central midwestern town of Myrtleville and encounter a number of ghosts.

The ghost of Honeymoon Creek /
ISBN: 1883953278. OCLC Number:

. .

Hank and his 'fraidy-cat buddy Clifford are chased by a host of ghosts through the countryside near Myrtleville and encounter a mysterious old lady who leads them to uncover the secret of the ghost of Honeymoon Creek.

Where Washington walked /
ISBN: 0802788998. OCLC Number:

Walker & Co.,. New York :. 2004.

A brief biography of President Washington, a list of locations where he walked, and photographs of places, buildings, and objects significant in his life.

Shadow Island :
ISBN: 1883953375. OCLC Number:

. .

When she is warned of ghosts inhabiting Shadow Island, twelve-year-old Amanda finds she is strangely drawn there and decides to explore it with her sister Sally and best friend Roxanne, but what they find surprises everyone.

Nauvoo :
ISBN: 0618396853. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston [Mass.] :. 2006.

Learn about this city that many Mormons consider the birthplace of their religion.

The super soybean /
ISBN: 0807575496. OCLC Number:

Albert Whitman,. Morton Grove, Ill. :. 2007.

A discussion of the history and uses of soybeans, and how they are planted and harvested.

Champaign /
ISBN: 0738551880. OCLC Number:

Arcadia Pub.,. Charleston, SC :. ©2008.

Ellis Island :
ISBN: 0618999434. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children,. Boston [Mass.] :. 2009.

Since opening in 1892, Ellis Island has come to symbolize the waves of immigrants from a list of countries that seems endless. In this work, Bial tells the story of Ellis Island itself.

Dripping Blood Cave & other ghostly stories /
ISBN: 1933987138. OCLC Number:

. .

A collection of ghost stories featuring the humorous adventures of young teen Hank Cantrell and his fleet-of-foot, 'fraidy-cat sidekick, Clifford Hopkins. together the two ghost magnets encounter a host of spooks, haunts, spectres, and just plain ornery folks who won't die and go away in the central midwestern town of Myrtleville, Indiana ... until Hank works out a solution.

Rescuing Rover :
ISBN: 0547341253. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. New York :. 2011.

Looks at the problem of dog overpopulation in America; discusses the role of puppy mills, pet stores, and independent breeders; and includes a profile of a local animal shelter.

Chigger :
ISBN: 1934894389. OCLC Number:

. .

"What happens when a mysterious 'new girl' moves into a quiet little town in southern Indiana? It's the late 1950s and folks aren't accustomed to change. The other kids don't know what to make of the scrappy newcomer who's "not even starting school right." She insists on being called Eddie-though Eddie is a boy's name, as everyone in school knows. From the very start this girl "already had a secret deep as her own name." Inspired by a true story and actual events, Chigger follows the struggles of the new girl as she raises "quite a ruckus at school." Impoverished, always hungry, she nonetheless refuses help and won't be pitied. Fiercely independent, with plenty of pluck, she is clearly a fighter-with her mouth and her fists. Will she ever make a single friend as she battles for respect and a safe place for herself and her mother in the pleasant town of Roscoe? Will anyone ever stand up for her? And will folks "do the right thing when they see it clearly," as the girl ultimately has to fight for her life? ..."--Page 4 of cover.


Rescuing Rover

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

, contact author Raymond Bial P. O. Box 593 Urbana, IL 61803