LCHA Recommends Books About Maine For National Reading Month

By Louise T. Miller, Education Director of Lincoln County Historical Association

March is National Reading Month, and 2020, Maine’s bicentennial year, is a good time to seek out books about our state that will enrich your appreciation of the place that we call home. Books for all ages provide personal interpretations of Maine and the people who have populated its varied geography.

Young Girl Reading by Seymour Joseph Guy, 1877
Young Girl Reading by Seymour Joseph Guy, 1877

Maine’s coastline has been an important factor in the state’s heritage. The people who toiled in the heartland of Maine harvesting timber or farming the rocky soil left behind by glaciers displayed the same ruggedness of spirit as those who worked along the coastline in fishing and ship-building.

Visit a library and take a reading tour of the state. Your local library can provide materials for a fresh look at Maine’s past as well as the present.

Some titles for adults to consider include:
  • Collections of the Maine Historical Society (first published in the 19th century, they offer numerous first hand accounts of life in Maine)
  • 20,000 Years by Bruce Bourque, Maine – the Spirit of America by Edgar Allen Beem
  • Wabanaki Homeland and the New State of Maine (1820 journal of Joseph Treat) edited by Micah Pawling, Maine – A Narrative History by Neil Rolde
  • My Life in the Maine Woods: A Game Warden’s Wife in Allagash Country by Annette Jackson
  • Uncommon Threads, Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing and Costume by Bruce Bourque and Lareen Labar
  • The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier by Colin Woodard
  • French and Indian Wars in Maine by Michael Dekker,and Down East: An Illustrated History of Maritime Maine by Lincoln Paine.  
Stories that might interest young readers include:
  • Island Boy by Barbara Cooney
  • Stopping to Home by Lea Wait
  • One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  • Colors of Maine by Davene Fahy
  • ABC’s of Maine by Harry Smith
  • White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett

In addition to the wealth of books written about Maine, your library shelves will include books published about towns such as your own. Town histories generally record the beginnings and early happenings in the town, but one might also find records of contemporary history in stories and accounts of town meetings and local genealogy.  

The Lincoln County Historical Association is a nonprofit organization that provides stewardship for the 1754 Chapman-Hall House in Damariscotta, the 1811 Old Jail and Museum in Wiscasset, and the 1761 Pownalborough Court House in Dresden. For more information, please visit and FaceBook at Lincoln County Historical Association Maine.