Linworth Libraries Unlimited

The United States of Storytelling

Folktales and True Stories from the Eastern States

by Dan Keding


Mike Fink, the crackshot keelboater. Babe the blue ox. Davy Crockett and the raccoon. The cat with a wooden leg. Despite being one of the youngest nations, the United States has a rich tapestry of true stories, folk legends, and tall tales that will delight young learners.

Print Flyer
Cover image for The United States of Storytelling

July 2010

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 285
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Children's and Young Adult Programs/Storytelling, Resources and Collections

This diverse collection of American folktales and true stories showcases the history and lore of the eastern states.

Recounting folk legends like those about Johnny Appleseed and Br'er Rabbit or the events at Valley Forge and the Chicago Fire animates American history. Listening to or reading these tales allows students to experience a vibrant side of history that is rarely represented and communicated: the hopes, fears, joys, and trials of the people who came before us.

The United States of Storytelling: Folktales and True Stories from the Eastern States contains lore from all the states east of the Mississippi, covering early pioneers and settlers, Native Americans, and later immigrants. Each chapter focuses on an individual state and includes approximately six folktales, legends, or true stories from that state. Appropriate for students in third through eighth grade, this guide is specifically suited for children in grades four through six who are commonly studying the states, serving as a valuable storytime resource and springboard to learning for these age groups.


  • Features folklore presented by six nationally known storytellers
  • Each chapter/state includes a sub-bibliography that lists sources by title; there is also a general bibliography in the back of the book
  • Each chapter/state has its own glossary of terms


  • Gathers a wide range of stories about Native Americans, early pioneers, and later immigrants from all the eastern states and arranges them by state for easy use
  • Includes true stories, folktales, humorous anecdotes, ghost stories, legends, and myths
  • Extensive bibliographies and glossaries for each state simplifies finding sources and definitions of words
Author Info

Dan Keding is an award-winning storyteller, author, and musician who serves as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He received his masters of arts from the University of Illinois in the study of folktales and ballads. Keding has over a dozen recordings to his credit, including the 1999 ALA Notable Recording for Children "Rudy & the Roller Skate." His published works include Stories of Hope and Spirit: Folktales from Eastern Europe and English Folktales.



"These volumes will be useful as resources for storytellers and for U.S. history classes."Booklist Online

"The stories are short and easy to understand, making for a productive filler when learning about the states."Library Media Connection

"Each tale takes only a page or two, and mood ranges from tall-tale funny to ghost-story creepy to factually informative, with a useful variety in each section."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


Storytelling World Award, 2011 — Storytelling World

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