Hog Music (Hardcover) by Mary-Claire Helldorfer; illustrated by S.D. Schindler. Viking Juvenile, 2000. ISBN: 0670871826. pp: 32.
Ages: 5-8, gr: k-4


Lucy’s family was moving to Illinois in the 1840s, traveling by covered wagon. Lucy didn’t want to leave Aunt Liza, but Aunt Liza didn’t want to go to Illinois. She said that Illinois was nothing but hog music. For her birthday, Aunt Liza sent Lucy a straw hat in a little, wooden box. The box and hat had many adventures, and it arrived many weeks later accompanied by many other gifts. When Aunt Liza received Lucy’s thank you note, she so wondered about the other gifts and the "wind music" that she, too, traveled to Illinois.


  1. Which gift in Lucy’s box would you have liked the best? Why?

  2. The National Public Road began in Maryland and ended in the Mississippi Valley. Trace the approximate route on an outline map of the United States. The Old Trails Highway established in 1912 followed much of the route of the National Public Road. Type "National Old Trails Highway" into the search window at the top of the page to see a map and list of cities on the route.

  3. Famous people, such as Abraham Lincoln, Davy Crockett, and Andrew Jackson all traveled the National Public Road. Find accounts about their travels on this road. What was it like to travel this muddy road in the 1840s?

  4. Put each sequence of events with the hatbox on a separate index card. Mix up the cards. Have a classmate put the cards back in their correct order.

  5. Read other books about traveling west in a covered wagon. Write two or three diary entries about adventures you might have had traveling west in a covered wagon.

  6. Aunt Liza had many adventures, too. Write a story about one of her adventures.

  7. What sequence of events happened in history that enabled Lucy’s father to purchase a farm in Illinois?

  8. On a recorder, create some "wind music." Play the piece for your class.

  9. Paint a watercolor picture of what you think Lucy’s farm looked like in Illinois in the 1840s. Look at other books to help you.

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About the Author

Hog Music
Accelerated Reader: Quiz #39567 EN; Book Level 4.6; Points= 0.5
Reading Counts: Level 3.5; Points= 2.0
Lexile Level 620
Guided Reading Level O
word count= 1201