Tales of Young Americans

A new picture book, titled A Fist for Joe Louis and Me, written by Trinka Hakes Noble and illustrated by Nicole Tadgell –  Set in 1938, the story follows two Detroit boys who are inspired by their hero, legendary boxer Joe Louis, as they face the hardships of the Great Depression, the rise of Nazi Germany, and a schoolyard bully.  For more details, click on the cover image of this new Tales of Young Americans book, published by Sleeping Bear Press.

“I can’t wait to read this!!  I know just where to fit it in with my Social Studies curriculum!” – Lisa Barry, 4th grade teacher, Frost Elementary School, East Brunswick, New Jersey

“Trinka Hakes Noble deserves recognition for introducing a time that sent people dancing in the streets–white and black–in recognition of our hero Joe Louis.” – Michigan Boxing Hall of Fame


Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade
Written by Trinka Hakes Noble
Illustrated by David C. Gardner
Sleeping Bear Press, September 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1-58536-960-7

In 1918, a deadly influenza pandemic was sweeping across America.  It ravaged families, leaving thousands of children orphaned.

But in the tenement apartments of New York City’s Lower East Side,  one young girl is determined to keep her family safe.  When her mother becomes sick, Loretta “Rettie” Stanowski does all the cleaning, washing, shopping, and cooking for her family.  To earn money, she cleans the apartment building’s halls, stairways 
and stoop, and washes rags for the ragpicker.  But Rettie is anxiously waiting for the Thanksgiving Day Ragamuffin Parade and penny scramble.  When children held out their hands and asked, “Have you anything for Thanksgiving?”, fancy uptown people would give them a penny.  Rettie was hoping to get lots of pennies. She wanted to buy something special for their Thanksgiving dinner.

But with the influenza outbreak, quarantines are ordered and large gatherings banned.  Rettie was worried.  Would the Ragamuffin Parade be cancelled too?

“Noble’s tale of parades and tenement life positively brims to overflowing with good cheer, culminating on Thanksgiving Day 1918. Gardner’s full-color illustrations depict a bustling community where good spirits overcome bad happenings.  All ends well in this parade filled with good spirits and optimism.” – Kirkus Review, July 2017

Available at Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and your local independent bookstore.


Written by Trinka Hakes Noble
Illustrated by Robert Papp
Sleeping Bear Press 2004 ISBN 1-58536-230-1

In the fall of 1777, Philadelphia sat twitching like a nervous mouse. The British were going to attack, but no one knew where or when.

Uncertainty settled over the city like soot. Suspicions skulked through the cobblestone streets like hungry alley cats. Rumors multiplied like horseflies. Spies were everywhere.

But one little spy moved through the streets unnoticed, even though she wore scarlet stockings. Her name was Maddy Rose and she lived with her mother and brother in the Leather Apron District, next to the harbor, where the city’s tradesfolk lived and worked in narrow brick row houses.

Even the smallest of citizens can play the largest of parts when the birth of a nation is at stake. A suspenseful tale of devotion, sacrifice, and patriotism during the American Revolution.

“There are very few hardback picture books that I would recommend you buy for your Revolutionary War history study, but this is one of them.” – The Old Schoolhouse

• North Carolina Children’s Book Award Nominee 2007
• Nebraska Golden Sower Award Nominee 2007-2008
• New York State Reading Association Selected Reading List
• Learning® Magazine 2007 Teachers’ Choice Award
• International Reading Association’s Teacher’s Choice Award 2005
• Chicago Book Clinic’s Crystal Book Award of Excellence 2005

Available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and your local independent bookstore.


Written by Trinka Hakes Noble
Illustrated by Robert Papp
Sleeping Bear Press 2006 ISBN 1-58536-253-0

Gettysburg, July 1863: Union and Confederate troops arrive, ready to face off. The stage is set for what becomes one of the pivotal battles of the Civil War.

Though he’s only eleven years old, Gabe is a bugler in the Union Army. There are over 60 battle calls for him to learn. But even more important to Gabe is watching over his older brother Davy, who is in the thick of the battle. Davy is Gabe’s last brother. But then Gabe meets Orlee, a young Confederate bugler. Now things aren’t so clear. Does one have to choose between service to country, to kin, or even to a new friend?

“This book held me spellbound. The story and paintings are a match made in publisher’s heaven.” – Frank Hodge – Hodge Podge Books

“Story resonates with courage and fear, love and loyalty. Will spark discussion about the Civil War and how people can be friends even if they have different beliefs.” – School Library Journal 

“A good choice to add to your children’s library shelf.” – The Old Schoolhouse 

• Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee 2009
• Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Nominee  2008-2009
• Missouri Show Me Readers Award – Preliminary Nominee 2008-2009
• South Carolina Young Reader’s Award Nominee 2008
• NYSRA Charlotte Award Committee Selected Reading List 2008
• IPPY Award Bronze 2007
• Pennsylvania Library Association – Carol Field Award – Honor Book 2007
• Storytelling Magazine 2007 Honor Award (featured in May/June issue)
• A Scholastic Book Club Selection

Available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and your local independent bookstore.


Stories written by Trinka Hakes Noble
Illustrated by Robert Papp
Sleeping Bear Press, April 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-58536-861-7
Paperback  88p.   U.S. $9.99

The American Adventures series features a trio of fictional stories highlighting moments in history, with content from the popular Tales of Young Americans series. The Battles contains three stories focusing on key American wars: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. The first is The Scarlet Stockings Spy, written by Trinka Hakes Noble.  The second is The Town that Fooled the British, written by Lisa Papp. The third is The Last Brother, written by Trinka Hakes Noble.

Artwork by noted illustrator Robert Papp heightens the drama, bringing to life these rich chapters of American history.

“This colorfully illustrated paperback from the American Adventures series presents stories in which children make contributions to American wars. Sometimes dramatic and occasionally poignant, the stories are always accessible. The title and cover art will help this short story collection find its audience.” (Grades 3–5)
Carolyn Phelan, Booklist Online, American Library Association, May 2013

Available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and your local independent bookstore.