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Who Wrote This? Quotation

"You have been my friend, that in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my web for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a while, we die.... By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle, Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that!" [Tell Me!]

Kids Read at the Library

United States, 1800's     View List as Printable PDF

California & Western Expansion

Chapter Books (J Fiction) -- Grades 3-8

ACROSS THE WIDE AND LONESOME PRAIRIE

ACROSS THE WIDE AND LONESOME PRAIRIE
Series Title: Dear America
by Gregory, Kristiana
J FICTION GRE
Subtitle: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, Oregon Trail, 1847
In her diary, 13-year-old Hattie chronicles her family's arduous 1847 journey from Missouri to Oregon on the Oregon Trail.

ALL THE STARS IN THE SKY

ALL THE STARS IN THE SKY
Series Title: Dear America
by McDonald, Megan
J FICTION BAR
Subtitle: The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder, The Santa Fe Trail, 1848
A girl's diary records the year 1848 during which she, her brother, mother, and stepfather traveled the Santa Fe trail from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe.

ARAMINTA'S PAINT BOX

ARAMINTA'S PAINT BOX
by Karen, Ackerman

When her family moves from Boston to California in 1847, Araminta and her paint box become separated, but through a series of new owners, the paint box finds its way to California.

BALLAD OF LUCY WHIPPLE

BALLAD OF LUCY WHIPPLE
by Cushman, Karen

In 1849, 12-year-old California Morning Whipple, who renames herself Lucy, is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a rough California mining town.

BANDIT'S MOON

BANDIT'S MOON
by Fleischman, Sid

12-year-old Annyrose relates her adventures with Joaquin Murieta and his band of outlaws in the California gold-mining region during the mid-1800s.

BARN

BARN
by Avi

In an effort to fulfill their dying father's last request, 9-year-old Ben and his brother and sister construct a barn on their land in the Oregon Territory in 1855.

BLACK STORM COMIN'

BLACK STORM COMIN'
by Wilson, Diane

12-year-old Colton, son of a black mother and a white father, takes a job with the Pony Express in 1860 after his father abandons the family on their California-bound wagon train, and risks his life to deliver an important letter that may affect the growing conflict between the North and South.

BY THE GREAT HORN SPOON!

BY THE GREAT HORN SPOON!
by Fleischman, Sid

The story of a young boy who lives with his proper Bostonian aunts and their very correct butler. When their money runs perilously low, the boy and the butler stow away on a ship bound for the gold fields of California in 1849 and have many adventures.

CABALLO LLAMADO LIBERTAD

CABALLO LLAMADO LIBERTAD
by Ryan, Pamela Munoz

A fictionalized account of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, posed as a boy, moved to California, and fooled everyone by her appearance. Also available in English as RIDING FREEDOM.

Case of the Deadly Desperados

Case of the Deadly Desperados
by Lawrence, Caroline
J FIC LAW
In 1862 Nevada Territory, after finding his foster parents murdered and scalped, 12-year-old Pinky Pinkerton, son of a railroad detective and a Sioux Indian, inherits a valuable deed and must hide from dangerous Whittlin Walt and his gang of desperados.

DESPERADO WHO STOLE BASEBALL

DESPERADO WHO STOLE BASEBALL
by Ritter, John
J FICTION RIT
In 1881, the scrappy, rough-and-tumble baseball team in a California mining town enlists the help of a quick-witted 12-year-old orphan and the notorious outlaw Billy the Kid to win a big game against the National League Champion Chicago White Stockings.
Prequel to BOY WHO SAVED BASEBALL

DRAGON'S GATE

DRAGON'S GATE
by Yep, Laurence

When he accidentally kills a Manchu, a 15-year-old Chinese boy is sent to America to join his father, an uncle, and other Chinese working to build a tunnel for the transcontinental railroad through the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1867.

GREAT RAILROAD RACE

GREAT RAILROAD RACE
Series Title: Dear America
by Gregory, Kristiana
J FICTION GRE
Subtitle: The Diary of Libby West, Denver, 1868
As the daughter of a newspaper reporter, 14-year-old Libby keeps a diary account of the exciting events surrounding her during the building of the railroad in the West in 1868.

I'M SORRY, ALMIRA ANN

I'M SORRY, ALMIRA ANN
by Kurtz, Jane

8-year-old Sarah's high spirits help make her family's long journey from Missouri to Oregon more bearable, though they do cause both her and her best friend Almira Ann some problems.

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS
by O'Dell, Scott

Records the courage and self-reliance of an Indian girl who lived alone for 18 years on an isolated island off the California coast when her tribe emigrated and she was left behind.

JOURNAL OF AUGUSTUS PELLETIER

JOURNAL OF AUGUSTUS PELLETIER
Series Title: My Name is America
by Lasky, Kathryn
J FICTION LAS
Subtitle: The Lewis and Clark Expedition, Western America, 1804
A fictional journal kept by 12-year-old Augustus Pelletier, the youngest member of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery.

JOURNAL OF DOUGLAS ALLEN DEEDS

JOURNAL OF DOUGLAS ALLEN DEEDS
Series Title: My Name is America
by Philbrick, W.R.
J FICTION PHI
Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds: The Donner Party Expedition, 1846
Douglas Deeds, a 15-year-old orphan, keeps a journal of his travels by wagon train as a member of the ill-fated Donner Party, which became stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the winter of 1846-47.

JOURNAL OF JEDEDIAH BARSTOW

JOURNAL OF JEDEDIAH BARSTOW
Series Title: My Name is America
by Levine, Ellen
J FICTION LEV
Subtitle: An Emigrant on the Oregon Trail: Overland, 1845
In his 1845 diary, 13-year-old orphan Jedediah describes his wagon train journey to Oregon, in which he confronts rivers and sandy plains, bears and rattlesnakes, and the challenges of living with his fellow travelers.

JOURNAL OF WONG MING-CHUNG

JOURNAL OF WONG MING-CHUNG
Series Title: My Name is America
by Yep, Laurence
J FICTION YEP
Subtitle: A Chinese Miner, California, 1852
A young Chinese boy nicknamed Runt records his experiences in a journal as he travels from southern China to California in 1852 to join his uncle during the Gold Rush.

KATIE AND THE MUSTANG

KATIE AND THE MUSTANG
Series Title: Hoofbeats
by Duey, Kathleen

Orphaned at age six and taken in by a heartless couple, nine-year-old Katie Rose spends her days doing chores and dreaming of going west to find her Uncle Jack. Then Mr. Stevens brings home an unbroken Mustang, and Katie's world changes. 4 books in the series.

LETTERS FROM THE CORRUGATED CASTLE: A NOVEL OF GOLD RUSH CALIFORNIA

LETTERS FROM THE CORRUGATED CASTLE: A NOVEL OF GOLD RUSH CALIFORNIA
by Blos, Joan W.

A series of letters and newspaper articles reveals life in California in the 1850's, especially for 13-year-old Eldora, who was raised in Massachusetts as an orphan only to meet her influential mother in San Francisco, and Luke, who hopes to find a fortune in gold. Companion novel to GATHERING OF DAYS.

MEET JOSEFINA

MEET JOSEFINA
Series Title: American Girls
by Tripp, Valerie

Nine-year-old Josefina, the youngest of four sisters living in New Mexico in 1824, tries to help run the household after her mother dies.
1. Meet Josefina
2. Josefina Learns a Lesson
3. Josefina's Surprise
4. Happy Birthday, Josefina
5. Josefina Saves the Day
6. Changes for Josefina

ONE-EYED CHARLEY: THE  CALIFORNIA WHIP

ONE-EYED CHARLEY: THE CALIFORNIA WHIP
by Reinstedt, Randall A.

A guest speaker tells the students in the one-roomed Manchester School about the rough mining days in California's past, and in particular, about the career of a stagecoach driver known as Charley Parkhurst.

OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA

OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA
by Holm, Jennifer

As the only girl in a Finnish-American family of 7 brothers, May Amelia resents being expected to act like a lady while growing up in Washington state in 1899. Inspired by the diary of the author's Finnish-American grandmother.

RACHEL'S JOURNAL: The Story of a Pioneer Girl

RACHEL'S JOURNAL: The Story of a Pioneer Girl
Series Title: Young American Voices
by Moss, Marissa
J FICTION MOS
In her journal, Rachel chronicles her family's adventures traveling by covered wagon on the Oregon Trail in 1850.

RIDING FREEDOM

RIDING FREEDOM
by Ryan, Pamela Munoz

A fictionalized account of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, posed as a boy, moved to California, and fooled everyone by her appearance. Also available in Spanish as CABALLO LLAMADO LIBERTAD.

RIDING THE FLUME

RIDING THE FLUME
by Pfitsch, Patricia

In 1894, 15-year-old Francie determines to fight the lumbermen and protect the largest Sequoia tree ever seen, which had been given to her sister just before her death six years earlier.

SEEDS OF HOPE

SEEDS OF HOPE
Series Title: Dear America
by Gregory, Kristiana
J FICTION GRE
Subtitle: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory, 1849
A diary account of 14-year-old Susanna Fairchild's life in 1849, when her father succumbs to gold fever on the way to establish his medical practice in Oregon after losing his wife and money on their steamship journey from New York.

STOWAWAY: A TALE OF CALIFORNIA PIRATES

STOWAWAY: A TALE OF CALIFORNIA PIRATES
by Gregory, Kristiana

In 1818, Carlito, an 11-year-old boy in the Spanish-owned town of Monterey, California, sees his quiet life threatened when the Argentinian privateer Hippolyte de Bouchard attacks with his pirate ships.

TREASURE IN THE STREAM: THE STORY OF A GOLD RUSH GIRL

TREASURE IN THE STREAM: THE STORY OF A GOLD RUSH GIRL
by Hoobler, Dorothy

The lives of 10-year-old Amy and the members of her farming family are changed forever when gold is discovered on Mr. Sutter's land in California, 1848.

VALLEY OF THE MOON

VALLEY OF THE MOON
Series Title: Dear America
by Garland, Sherry
J FICTION GAR
Subtitle: The Diary of Maria Rosalia de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta California, 1846
The 1845-1846 diary of 13-year-old Maria, servant to the wealthy Spanish family which took her in when her Indian mother died. Includes a historical note about the settlement and early history of California.

WEST TO A LAND OF PLENTY

WEST TO A LAND OF PLENTY
Series Title: Dear America
by Murphy, Jim
J FICTION MUR
Subtitle: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi, New York to Idaho Territory, 1883
While traveling in 1883 with her Italian American family (including a meddlesome little sister) and other immigrant pioneers to a utopian community in Idaho, 14-year-old Teresa keeps a diary of her experiences along the way.

WILD YEAR

WILD YEAR
Series Title: Joshua's Oregon Trail Diary
by Hermes, Patricia
J FICTION HER
In this book, Joshua's diary comes to an end with stories of life in Oregon, his sister lost in the woods, and Joshua starting school.

ZIA

ZIA
by O'Dell, Scott

A young Indian girl, Zia, caught between the traditional world of her mother and the present world of the Mission, is helped by her aunt Karana, whose story was told in the Island of the Blue Dolphins.

 

Books for Teens (YA Fiction)

No books have been entered for this sublist!