Fifty States Of Fiction: Mississippi


We can’t always travel to the places on our bucket list. But we can go there with books! I started the Fifty States Of Fiction challenge with the aim of reading one book from every state in the country. Each week in 2017 I’ll be here to talk about a different state, share with you some geographical fun facts, and explore how a novel, play, or personal narrative captures the essence of the area. Want to follow along? Check out this free printable calendar I’ve created just for you! Let’s get started!


Today’s State: Mississippi

Nickname: Magnolia State

Motto: “By Valor and Arms”

Bird: Mockingbird

Flower: Magnolia

Entered the union in: 1817

Now, pack your bags everybody. We’re about to explore Mississippi as Phyllis Shalant portrays it in Bartleby Of The Big Bad Bayou.


After a journey fraught with peril, Bartleby and Seezer finally arrive in the Mighty Mississippi. But, when they realize an ancient beast has captured their bayou homeland and refuses to share, Bartleby the red-eared racing turtle and Seezer the alligator must find a new place to live. Thankfully, a friendly swamp rabbit arrives to show them the way. This new water place is filled with dark, glossy water and a forest of towering old trees. Cypress knees lurk beneath the surface along with a patch of leafy water lettuce, perfect for Bartleby to munch on. Other turtles spend their days atop fallen logs, basking in the warm light of the sun. When night falls, bullfrogs perform croaking concerts for the entire swamp. Fireflies light up the sky like fuzzy, blinking stars. Feathery cottonwoods and lush kudzu vines flower along muddy banks. With plenty of worms, greens, and mosquitos to eat, Bartleby could get used to this new bayou home! But a dry spell is coming. And when it hits, this lush paradise will disappear altogether. Suddenly, fate of an entire community depends on one reptile’s ability to dig.

Have you read any other books set in Mississippi? Have you traveled there yourself? Make sure to let me know what the Magnolia State means to you in the comments! Check back here next week to explore Missouri through literature.

And remember, if you want to keep up with our schedule as we travel the country, you can download my free printable calendar.

See you all next week!


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