Here’s a list of juvenile and young adult fiction books that are set in or feature our beautiful state of Kentucky:
Kentucky Komodo Dragons by Johnathan Rand (book # 27 in the American Chillers series)
While hiking in the forest in Paducah, Kentucky, Jason Bradford and his sister, Jillian, spot a lizard in a tree. However, this is a species of lizard they’ve never seen before. It’s nearly two feet long–and vicious.
Something to Sing About by C.C. Payne
Ten-year-old Jamie Jo’s fear of bees keeps her inside most of the time, but a series of events that begins when her mother is excluded from the church choir brings about many changes, including new friendships and greater trust in God.
Gabriel’s Horses by Alison Hart (Racing to Freedom trilogy, book #1)
In Kentucky, during the Civil War, the twelve-year-old slave Gabriel, contends with a cruel new horse trainer and skirmishes with Confederate soldiers as he pursues his dream of becoming a jockey.
Underground by Jean Ferris
In 1839, Charlotte Brown is sold north to Kentucky, where she becomes a maid at Mammoth Cave Hotel, falls in love with one of the tour guides there, and gets involved in the Underground Railroad.
Midnight in Lonesome Hollow by Kathleen Ernst (An American Girl Mystery: Kit)
While staying with her Aunt Millie in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky in the summer of 1934, Kit tries to discover who is sabotaging a visiting folklore researcher.
Happy Birthday, Kit! by Valerie Tripp (An American Girl book)
On a visit to Cincinnati from rural Kentucky during the Great Depression, Aunt Millie impresses Kit with her money-saving cleverness. Includes information on life in America during the Great Depression.
Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech
Thirteen-year-old Zinnia Taylor uncovers family secrets and self truths while clearing a mysterious settler trail that begins on her family’s farm in Kentucky.
Spitting Image by Shutta Crum
In the small town of Baylor, Kentucky, twelve-year-old Jessie K. Bovey and her friends confront some of life’s questions during their summer vacation in the late 1960s.
Flying Free by Sharon Dennis Wyeth (My America series)
In 1858, nine-year-old Corey Birdsong and his family, fugitive slaves from Kentucky, build a new life in Amherstburg, Canada, while still hoping to help those they left behind.
The Beatinest Boy by Jesse Stuart
A hard-working, adventuresome boy in Appalachian Kentucky tries various ways to earn money to buy his grandmother a Christmas present.
In John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines, the main character and his friend pull into a rest stop near Paducah, Kentucky!