Children's Books set in southern Alberta

Over the past few months a notice I read in an old newspaper has led me to trying to create a list of all books set in southwestern Alberta. When I mentioned what I was working on to a few people, they asked about me about those written for children. One teacher told me that he often has students who attempt to write a story set in some far off place -- some place they have never been. So he asked if I would share the list -- as a way of showing students that good literature can be written set in southern Alberta.

So I drafted this list of children's books/comics/graphic novels. These are the books I've been able to find to date but there may be more out there. Some of the books on this list are out of print but I have managed to find copies of all of the books through various sources. So if you're interested in reading them, I know they're out there somewhere. Some can be purchased through the Galt Store.

It's my hope that this list will encourage people to read/learn more about southwestern Alberta. I also hope to inspire people to write even more books set here.

  • Prairie Colt (1947), Stephen Holt -- In trying to save his father's business, Leif has to decide which of his orphaned twin colts can win the stockman's race.

  • Phantom Roan, The (1949), Stephen Holt -- The book tells of a partnership between an outlaw horse and a boy that ends in the rodeo in New York's Madison Square Garden. Story takes place primarily around Fort Macleod and Cardston.

  • White Calf, The (1965), Cliff Faulknor -- The story of Eagle Child, a Piikani boy, who finds a white buffalo calf said to have been sent by the Above Ones.

  • Megan (1965), Iris Noble -- Megan is a 16-year-old orphan from Wales who moved to southern Alberta in the early 20th century looking for a better life in a new country.

  • White Peril (1966), Cliff Faulknor -- Five years have passed since Eagle Child's parting with the white buffalo calf. White men are now coming by hundreds and slaughtering buffalo in alarming numbers. To learn the strengths of the white man, Eagle Child and the scouts of the Blackfeet set out on an extensive reconnaissance.

  • Smoke Horse, The (1968), Cliff Faulknor -- The story of White Bull who sees and captures the spirited Smoke Horse. White Bull becomes a captive of the Kutenai but manages to escape and makes a risky journey back to his own people.

  • Sweetgrass (1984), Jan Hudson -- Sweetgrass, a 15-year-old Blackfoot girl, longs to be married like the other girls her age. Her father feels she is too young for marriage, but over a difficult year she proves her courage, intelligence and maturity.

  • Naomi's Road (1986), Joy Kogawa -- Adaptation of the novel Obasan. Story of a young girl during the Japanese Canadian internment.

  • Dawn Rider (1990), Jan Hudson -- Kit Fox, who describes herself as an ordinary middle child, is a 16-year-old Blackfoot girl in 1750 who is drawn to the first wild horse that the men have captured. Together she and Found Arrow, the horse's young guard, plot to keep her unapproved riding a secret.

  • Crystal Drop, The (1992), Monica Hughes -- Futuristic science fiction. Story starts near Fort Macleod and travels to Lundbreck Falls. Drought has destroyed Megan and Ian's world and now they have to find their uncle. The promise of water drives them on.

  • McIntyre Liar, The (1993), David Bly -- Kevin Winslow, 16, a Calgary teenager, is sent to spend the summer on the McIntyre Ranch.

  • Beneath the Faceless Mountain (1995), Roberta Rees -- Beneath the Faceless Mountain traverses time and space around Turtle Mountain, from the turn of the century through Frank Slide, the Hillcrest Mine Disaster and the Bellevue Fire.

  • Finders Keepers (1995), Andrea Spalding -- Danny Budzynski finds a strange object shaped like an arrowhead. Then Danny meets Joshue Brokenhorn, a boy from the Piikani Reserve, who tells him it's a lance head. With Joshua, Danny uncovers some clues about the lance head and begins to understand the history of the Piikani.

  • Billy and the Bearman (1996), David A. Poulsen -- A dramatic turn of events unites twelve-year-old Bill Gavin and seventeen-year-old John "Bearman" Redell, two boys from seemingly different backgrounds who discover that they in fact have a great deal in common. They are both runaways.

  • Breath of a Ghost (1996), Anita Horrocks -- Set in Lethbridge. Darien has to deal with the death of his little brothers.

  • Shadows of Disaster (2003), Cathy Beveridge -- Jolene and her grandfather step through a time crease and she finds herself in the coalmining town of Frank a century earlier. Can she pass as a boy in 1903? Can she and her grandfather safely return to the present?

  • Keeley Series (Our Canadian Girl, 2004-2007), Deborah Ellis -- Following Keeley's life from her arrival in Frank in 1901 until after her Father's death.

  • Terror at Turtle Mountain (2006), Penny Draper -- Thirteen-year-old Nathalie Vaughn lives in Frank in April 1903. Her cousin Helen is expected on the train the next day. When disaster strikes, Nattie has to find the strength and courage to help save her friends' lives.

  • March on Fort Whoop-Up, The (2007), Peter Brouwer -- Comic book depicting the formation of the North-West Mounted Police, forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

  • Chin Music (2007), Gregory Roberts -- Brook Gunderson is the star pitcher on his high-school baseball team in Lethbridge. He lives for the provincial tournament and the occasional, highly elaborate practical joke. But one last crazy stunt threatens to ruin his sporting ambitions -- permanently.

  • Danger in Dead Man's Mine (2009), David Glazer -- Mac Davis, his mom and little sister are visiting relatives in Lethbridge in 1912. Mac has to deal with rattlesnakes, a crazy oil sailor and deadly danger underground. Can he handle it all?

  • I Survived the Frank Slide: The Jessie Leitch Story -- Comic outlining the history of the Frank Slide and what happened to Jessie Leitch that day.

  • Big Charlie and the Frank Slide -- Comic outlining the history of Charlie, the horse who survived Frank Slide.

  • Sierra and Blue (2011), Deborah Yawney with Makai'stoo (Leo Fox) -- Travel with Sierra and Blue to the Blood Reserve as they learn about their extended family and the language of their people.