The Missouri Reader

Our Readers (also known as "primers") are modeled after the popular nineteenth-century McGuffey Readers, which were used to teach life lessons and reading skills to young children. Judy Young, the author of S is for Show Me: A Missouri Alphabet and Show Me the Number: A Missouri Number Book, pays homage to her home state in the entertaining and informative The Missouri Reader. Using colorful illustrations and a variety of writing forms, The Missouri Reader showcases the state's rich heritage and natural charms, as well as its place in American history. Poems, state symbols, and riddles engage beginning readers. Prose, biographies, and short stories challenge more advanced readers. Topics include a state pledge, early Native American culture, famous citizens, and a Reader Theater performance piece. A timeline listing major events in state history is also featured. Judy Young has written several books for Sleeping Bear Press, including R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet and The Hidden Bestiary of Marvelous, Mysterious, and (maybe even) Magical Creatures. Judy speaks at schools and educational conferences across the nation. She lives near Springfield, Missouri. K. L. (Kate) Darnell has illustrated all of the books in the Reader series, as well as a number of other books for Sleeping Bear Press. In addition to her work as an illustrator, Kate is an art instructor. She lives in East Lansing, Michigan.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$12.95 $12.95
$24.95 $24.95
Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 4
Reading Level
Dewey 810.8
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781585364374), PDF (9781534125827), Hosted ebook (9781534125988)
Copyright 2010
Number of Pages 96
Dimensions 5.5 x 7.5
Graphics Full-color illustrations

The Missouri Reader - Teaching Guide

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Author: Judy Young

Judy Young remembers writing a poem for her grandmother when she was about ten. Her grandmother encouraged her to keep writing, and Judy did! Judy is the author of over two dozen children’s picture books and novels, including, Promise, The Wild World of Buck Bray series and the Digger and Daisy series. Judy’s books are used extensively in the public schools and have received numerous awards and honors. One of her most cherished is hearing LeVar Burton read A Pet for Miss Wright for Reading Rainbow Storytime Video to celebrate National Reading Month. Another, was watching as R is for Rhyme, A Poetry Alphabet was performed by the University of Utah’s Creative Dance Program.

Judy received her MA in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Tulsa and formerly worked in the public schools for 20 years. Now, a frequent speaker at schools, children’s lit fests and professional educational conferences nationwide, Judy’s firsthand experience in the schools makes her programs not only entertaining, but directly related to school curriculum.

Judy resides in the mountains near Mink Creek, Idaho, with her husband, Ross, a professional artist, who illustrated two of Judy’s books. In her spare time, Judy enjoys hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, and gallivanting around the country in “Arlo,” the Young’s traveling studio. Read more about Judy, her books and author visits to schools at

Illustrator: K. L. Darnell

Artist Kate Darnell has been drawing for as long as she can remember and even after 20 years of doing it, is thrilled each day to be making her living at what she loves most to do—drawing pictures. She earned her BFA studying drawing and painting at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. In addition to her freelance career as an illustrator and calligrapher, she is a part-time instructor of art at Lansing Community College. Her art has been described as "making you want to slow down and look." Her intricate drawings are achieved through many layers of tiny colored pencil marks on vellum paper. She lives in East Lansing with her husband and daughter.

  • A Missouri Pledge
  • Missouri Backyard Bird Count
  • Molly the Mule
  • Hidden Symbols of Missouri
  • Thomas Hart Benton and the Missouri Mural
  • Sacred Sun
  • Performance Poetry: An Osage Legend
  • Day and Night Poems
  • The Missouri Bootheel
  • The Experiment
  • Fun at the Fair Riddles
  • Pony Express Mail
  • Traveling ’Round Missouri Song
  • Dogwood
  • Sonnet to the Gateway Arch
  • Reader Theater: A Time Machine
  • A Missouri Timeline
  • I’m From Missouri
Full-color illustrations