One great, forgotten Florida author is Elvira Garner. Garner, a native of Sanford, Florida, wrote two famous children’s books of the 1930s, Ezekiel Travels and Sarah Faith Anderson, Her Book.
Ezekiel was about an African-American boy in Sanford, Florida, who lived with Mammy, Pappy and his sister Emancipation. Sarah Faith Anderson was the daughter of a missionary to the Seminoles in St. Augustine.
Today, the Ezekiel book is out of print, most probably because its characterizations were extremely dated and terribly politically incorrect. The editions are prized collectables, not only because they are about African Americans, but because they were children’s books, and few survive. If you can find one, they are an excellent read.
If you can find one before a trip to Florida, you can get a sense of the state in the 1930s. And certainly, it will make a trip on Auto-Train much more memorable, as the Florida station is in Sanford, a small city north of Orlando.