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KEY: jP = Picture Books; jZ = 1st and 2nd Grade Readers; jE = 3rd and 4th Grade Readers; J = 5th Grade and Up

1870's

updated May 2009


Picture Books


1st - 2nd Grade Books

Welch, Catherine CLOUDS OF TERROR
Living on a farm in southwestern Minnesota in the 1870's, a brother and sister try to help their family cope with plagues of locusts.
1994 46 p.


3rd - 4th Grade

McKissack, Patricia AWAY WEST
Scraps of Time, 1879v. 2
In 1879, thirteen-year-old Everett Turner leaves a life of struggle on his family's farm and runs away to St. Louis, where he works in a livery stable before heading to the all-Black town of Nicodemus, Kansas.
2006 117 p.

Roop, Peter GOOD-BYE FOR TODAY
The Diary of a Young Girl at Sea
1871. 9-year-old Laura writes in her journal about the boredom, excitement and danger that she and her family face while sailing from Japan to the Arctic seas aboard the whaling ship captained by her father.
2000 40 p.


5th Grade and Up

Avi THE SEER OF SHADOWS
In New York City in 1872, fourteen-year-old Horace, a photographer's apprentice, becomes entangled in a plot to create fraudulent spirit photographs, but when Horace accidentally frees the real ghost of a dead girl bent on revenge, his life takes a frightening turn.
2008 202 p.

Alexander, Lloyd THE PHILADELPHIA ADVENTURE
Starring Vesper Holly
In 1876, on the eve of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, 20-year-old Vesper Holly and her friends clash yet again with the archfiend Dr. Helvitius, whose evil schemes plunge them into danger in the wild Pennsylvania countryside.
2002 150 p.

Giff, Patricia Reilly A HOUSE OF TAILORS
When thirteen-year-old Dina emigrates from Germany to America in 1871, her only wish is to return home as soon as she can, but as the months pass and she survives a multitude of hardships living with her uncle and his young wife and baby, she finds herself thinking of Brooklyn as her home.
2004 148 p.

Haas, Jessie CHASE
In the coal mining region of mid-nineteenth century eastern Pennsylvanis, Phin witnesses a murder and runs for his life, pursued by a mysterious man and a horse with the instincts of a bloodhound.
2007 244 p.

Kirwan, Anna OF FLOWERS AND SHADOWS
Portraits, Book 2
The year is 1879. Beautiful and headstrong orphan Aurelia Sandborn has no family to call her own. Fleeing from her sinister guardian, Aurelia finds herself in a Massachusetts village, where the townsfolk seem all too curious about her mysterious background. When Aurelia meets a charming boy named Wayland, she would like nto open her heart to him, but feels she cannot. Surprisingly she finds herself confiding the artist Winslow Homer, who is painting her portrait. And Homer himself may hold the key to the very truth about Aurelia's past...and future.
2005 182 p.

Lasky, Kathryn THE BONE WARS
In the mid-1870's, young teenage scout Thad Longsworth, blood brother to the Sioux visionary Black Elk, finds his destiny linked with that of three rival teams of paleontologists searching for dinosaur bones, as the Great Plains Indians prepare to go to war against the white man. Judith River Badlands region of Montana 1874-1878.
1988 376 p.

Myers, Anna GRAVEYARD GIRL
During the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis in 1878, 12-year-old Eli and Addie, a young child he befriends, struggle to survive with the help of Addie's ghost-mother and a girl who works at the busy graveyard.
1995 125 p.

Myers, Walter Dean THE JOURNAL OF JOSHUA LOPER, A BLACK COWBOY
MY NAME IS AMERICA series
In 1871, Joshua Loper, a 16-year-old black cowboy, records in his journal his experiences while making his first cattle drive under an unsympathetic trail boss.
1999 128 p.

Nixon, Joan Lowery HIGH TRAIL TO DANGER
In 1879, 17-year-old Sarah travels from Chicago to the violent town of Leadtown, Colorado, to locate her missing father, but she finds that the mention of his name brings her strange looks and an attempt on her life.
1991 168 p.

O'Dell, Scott and Elizabeth Hall THUNDER ROLLING IN THE MOUNTAINS
In 1877, a young New Perce girl relates how her people were driven off their land by the U.S. Armyand forced to retreat north until their eventual surrender.
1992 126 p.

Rawlings, Marjorie
THE YEARLING

A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of an orphaned deer (its mother was killed to save Jody's father from death by snakebite). Raised as the brother Jody never had, they grow up together. Jody learns about death, loyalty, poverty and responsibility, and that choices are often painful but survivable. 1870-1871.
1938 400 p.

Rinaldi, Ann THE STAIRCASE
In 1878, after her mother's death on the way west, 13-year-old Lizzy Enders is left by her father at a convent school in Sante Fe, where she must deal with being the only non-Catholic student and where she plays a part in what some consider a miracle.
2000 222 p.

Robinet, Harriette CHILDREN OF THE FIRE
A young black girl named Hallelujah lives through the great Chicago fire of 1871 with courage and resourcefulness.
1991 132 p.

Ryan, Pam RIDING FREEDOM
A fictionalized account of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from her New Hampshire orphanage, posed as a boy who worked in a stable, moved to California With her stage coach company, and through disguise was the first woman to vote. 1812-1879.
1998 134 p.

Turner, Ann GRASSHOPPER SUMMER
In 1874, 11-year-old Sam and his family move from Kentucky to the southern Dakota Territory, where harsh conditions and a plague of hungry grasshoppers threaten their chances for survival.
1989 166 p.

Whelan, Gloria FAREWELL TO THE ISLAND
THE WANIGAN
A LIFE ON THE RIVER
In 1878, 11-year-old Annabel and her parents survive a year of adventure that includes floating downriver in two shacks along with a group of Michigan lumbermen moving logs.
2002 133 p.