Prairie Visions

by Conrad, Pam. (HarperCollins, 1991 ISBN 0 06 021373 6) Nonfiction. 85 pages. Grades 3+.
This book was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.


This biography of the itinerant Nebraska plains photographer, Solomon Butcher, contains numerous examples of his work, much of which concerned the families and their houses on the plains of Nebraska in mid-nineteenth century and turn of the century. The variety of houses and people on the prairie during those years may come as a surprise to readers. This gives us a close look at both. Butcher himself is a fascinating man, part artist and part con man. Conrad's description of his activities makes for good biographical material. Butcher appears as a minor character in Conrad's novel Prairie Songs, see below.


Related Areas of Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site

  • Prairie Songs by Pam Conrad.
  • cover art The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. (2009, Holt. ISBN 9780805088410. Order Info.) Novel. 340 pages. Gr 4-8.
    Set in the same period in 1899 Texas this is the coming of age story of Calpurnia, the lone daughter in a family with six brothers. She longs to be a naturalist and is fascinated by the development of species while the gender roles set out for her continually thwart the discovery of her ambitions in science. Read More.
  • Keeper of the Doves by Betsy Byars. Also set at the Turn of the Century. Featured book with activities, related books and links.
  • Stotts, Stuart. Books in a Box: Lutie Stearns and the Traveling Libraries of Wisconsin (Big Valley Press, 2005 ISBN 0976537206. Order Info.
    This is a quiet, fictionalized biography about the work of Lutie Stearns. Around the turn of the century she traveled throughout Wisconsin providing boxed sets of books which circulated from town to town. Funded by state taxes these were the first free libraries for many communities. This is a good nonfiction companion to novels and picture books set in the time period.
  • Keeper of the Doves by Betsy Byars. Also set at the Turn of the Century. Featured Book with activities, related books and links.

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