Arkansas… in books


As part of Read Yourself Happy’s America…In Books feature, here are some of the best books set in Arkansas.

Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High by Melba Pattillo Beals


The first time I read this book I was in my freshman year of college and studying American politics and history. It’s a book that is difficult to put down and focuses on the first integration of an American school.

A Sparrow Falls by Vicki Olsen


This novel takes place in Tolerance, Arkansas in the 1950s. To some people, this can be a disturbing book to read as it deals with sexual abuse, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about A Sparrow Falls.

The Little Rock Arsenal Crisis: On the Precipice of the American Civil War by David Sesser


In February 1861, there was a standoff between the pro-succession militia and federal troops. This non-fiction book tells the whole story.

A Painted House by John Grisham


A Painted House is set in rural Arkansas in the 1950s. It was inspired by Grisham’s own childhood.

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield


This historical fiction is set on a farm in rural Arkansas and follows a family who experiences a tragedy, and how an eleven-year-old girl tries to make things better.

The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks by Donald Harrington


Jacob and Noah Ingledew travel from Tennessee to Arkansas in this historical fiction with a touch of humor.

My Life by Bill Clinton


America’s 42nd president grew up in Arkansas, and his life there was very influential to his time in politics. This is his memoir about his life.

What are your favorite books set in Arkansas? Let me know in the comments!

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