Community Interest

Growing Up on the River added to the Library of Congress Center for the Book

Missouri Humanities serves as the new Missouri Affiliate for The Library of Congress Center for the Book.
undefinedMembers of the Book Advisory team, comprised of literary and literacy-based organizations, authors and educators from across the state of Missouri, have chosen, Growing Up with the River: Nine Generations on the Missouri by Dan and Connie Burkhardt. The submission is part of the 2022 “Great Reads from Great Places” book selection for the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, for the state of Missouri.

The list features books and authors representing the literary heritage of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Marianas.

On September 3rd, Missouri Humanities will participate in the National Book Festival’s “Roadmap to Reading” at the Washington Convention Center, where each Affiliate Center showcases its book selection.

Missouri Humanities will be handing out activity books created by the Burkhardt’s. The activity books were funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the NEH Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) initiative. The activity books display ready-to-color illustrations created by Bryan Haynes, Missouri artist and illustrator for Growing Up with the River, and includes information corresponding with the original book.

About the Book: Growing up with the River – Young readers will meet children from nine generations who grew up along the Missouri River from Hermann to St. Charles and observe the changes they see in the river valley. This includes visits from Lewis and Clark, the departure of Native Americans, the arrival of German immigrants, steamboats, trains, and the creation of the Katy Trail. These stories take place within the lifespan of one of the book’s recurring characters – a mythical Bur Oak tree that stands near the river and gets its start in 1806. The Bur Oak is one of the grandest of all Missouri oaks and one of the longest-lived trees in the state. The book is illustrated with nine original paintings by one of Missouri’s leading artists, Bryan Haynes.

About the Authors: The Burkhardt's – Dan and Connie Burkhardt founded the Katy Land Trust in 2010 and co-founded Magnificent Missouri in 2012. Both organizations work to connect Missourians to the value of the landscape along the Missouri River and the Katy Trail west of St. Louis. They have published books and magazines, saved historic buildings, created artwork, sponsored bluegrass music, created campaigns to eliminate invasive species, planted trees and hosted countless events— in their commitment to conservation efforts in Missouri.

About the Illustrator: Bryan Haynes – The commercial work of Bryan Haynes has graced the pages of national magazines, international advertising campaigns, CD covers, posters, and book covers from Agatha Christie to the cover of “Scarlett” the sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” Since graduating from the Art Center College of Design in 1983, his artwork has been represented by Bernstein & Andriulli in New York, Ron Sweet in San Francisco, and Foster Represents in St. Louis.

What is Humanities? Simply put, the humanities studies how people connect to the human experience through history, culture, and traditions. The Humanities allow us to explore stories from people who came before us, appreciate places that have changed with time, and learn from past ways of thinking to form a brighter future for generations.

Missouri Humanities programs remember the past by exploring Missouri’s Heritage, sharing Veterans' stories, preserving Native American and Civil War history, and cataloging archaeological artifacts and sites. We focus on the future by supporting statewide environmental sustainability, providing educational opportunities to adults, and promoting literacy development for youth throughout the state. Missouri Humanities is dedicated to enriching lives and strengthening communities by connecting Missourians with the people, places, and ideas that shape our society. Our vision is for a more thoughtful, informed, and civil society. For more information, visit