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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom


Agriculture-Related Books

Cowboys and Ranching

Strangers at the Stables
Bates, Michelle
Usborne, 2009
Grades 4-7
Mysterious things are happening at the stable when the owners have to leave for a while. There is even an attempt to put the stable on fire.
Gabriel's Story
Durham, David Anthony
Doubleday, 2001
Young Adult
Set in the 1870s, the novel tells the tale of Gabriel Lynch, an African American youth who settles with his family in the plains of Kansas. Dissatisfied with the drudgery of homesteading and growing increasingly disconnected from his family, Gabriel forsakes the farm for a life of higher adventure. Thus begins a forbidding trek into a terrain of austere beauty, a journey begun in hope, but soon laced with danger and propelled by a cast of brutal characters.
Black Cowboy: The Life and Legend of George McJunkin
Folsom, Franklin
Roberts Flinehart, 1992
Grades 5-8
George McJunkin was a very determined freedom-loving man who led a dramatic and adventure-filled life in the cattle-raising parts of the Wild West. The changing social structure during McJunkin's lifetime, especially the position of Blacks, is an underlying theme.
The Cowgirl Way: Hats Off to America's Women of the West
George-Warren, Holly
Houghton-Mifflin Books for Children, 2010
Grades 4-6
With dynamic photos and live quotes throughout, the author presents an overview of the history of cowgirls up to the present. Since women did much of the ranch work in the past, they helped break down social and economic inequalities, and the Western states often led the way in passing laws such as the right for women to own land and vote. Includes anecdotes about Oklahoma's own Lucille Mulhall, the first woman to be called a cowgirl in print. The book also includes an overview of fashion and a look at today's cowgirls.
Jack and the Giant: A Story Full of Beans
Harris, Jim
Rising Moon, 2000
Grades K-3
Jack and his mother, Annie Okey-Dokey, live on a ranch in Arizona. A giant has stolen all their cattle, and they're forced to sell their last cow - which Jack trades for beans. The magic beanstalk this time leads to an adobe castle in the sky, where Jack encounters the giant cattle rustler Wild Bill Hiccup; from then on, the story takes its predictable turns. Filled with puns and twists, this re-telling is fun, though the humor sometimes borders on the crass (rather than a goose laying golden eggs, there's a buffalo laying golden chips). The cartoon-style art is big and bright, though the exaggerated features and characteristics, reminiscent of political cartoons, might intimidate the younger ones. Still, those familiar with the original will enjoy Jack in this new setting, and adults will appreciate some of the more sophisticated and sly asides down on the range.
Little Red Cowboy Hat
Lowell, Susan, and Randy Cecil
Henry Holt, 2000
Grades K-3
Little Red Riding Hood gets a Wild West twist in a funny version of the familiar tale. This sticks pretty close to the plot, but with a tall-tale twang to the telling and a favorable ending in which Grandma comes in and saves Little Red.
Cowboy, Eyewitness Books
Murdoch, David Hamilton
DK Children, 2000
Grades 4-7
From ancient Mongolian herders, to the cowpokes of the American West, to South American gauchos, a photographic study that captures the history, lore, and lifestyles of the world's cowboys.
Bill Pickett, Rodeo-Ridin' Cowboy
Pinkney, Andrea D., and Brian Pinkney
Sandpiper, 1999
Grades PreK-3
This storybook biography traces Pickett's early life and eventual rise to the upper ranks of professional rodeo fame and provides historical information about black cowboys.
Born to Be a Cowgirl: A Spirited Ride Through the Old West
Savage, Candace
Tricycle, 2004
Grades 4-6
This survey highlights the vigorous horsewomen who helped shape the West. Savage focuses on the daring girls and women who defied convention to ride horses, lasso cattle and buck broncos. Sidebars present the cowgirls in their own words. Handsomely tinted vintage photos showcase the power of these frmale cowgirls, wrestling calves to the ground and jumping over everything from fences to cars.
A Campfire for Cowboy Billy (picture book)
Ulmer, Wendy K., and Kenneth Spengler
Rising Moon, 1997
Grades K-3
Grab your hats and ride along with Cowboy Billy on his mail run to 44th Street. Follow Billy on his adventurous journey as he weaves through an imaginary landscape where he dodges rustlers on bicycles, sheriffs directing stalled traffic, and chuck-wagon cooks dishing up hot dogs. Billy's imaginative journey will delight cowboys, cowgirls and tenderfeet of all ages.
I Want to Be a Cowgirl
Willis, Jean, and Tony Ross
Henry Holt, 2002
Grades K-2
In this playful ode to the Wild West, a small girl would gladly exchange her big city life for big sky country. Her three-piece-suited daddy seems bemused by her longings, patiently trying to reclaim his converted hat and the white shag rug (with a suspicious chaps-shaped hole cut out of it). But "I don't want to be a girly girl / Who likes to sit and chat. / I just want to be a cowgirl, Daddy, / What's so wrong with that?"