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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

1880's

updated 12/08


Picture Books

Prince, April Jones TWENTY-ONE ELEPHANTS AND STIL STANDING
Upon completion of the Brooklyn Bridge, P.T. Barnum and his twenty-one elephants parade across to prove to everyone that the bridge is safe.
2005 unpaged
Strand, Keith GRANDFATHER'S CHRISTMAS TREE
A grandfather tells how the family's Christmas tradition of placing a carved wooden nest with a pair of geese and their babies in the large spruce tree started years ago when his parents first settled in Colorado. 1886.
1999 unpaged


Beginning-to-Read Books

Coerr, Eleanor THE BIG BALLOON RACE
Ariel almost causes her famous mother to lose a balloon race and then helps her win it. This book is based on stories about the famous Myers family. Professor Carl Myers was an inventor and balloon maker. On Balloon Farm in Mohawk Valley, New York, he made balloons for his wife, the fearless and beautiful aeronaut Carlotta. She was the most expert and popular balloonist in America during the 1880's. Carlotta made more ascensions in hydrogen balloons than any other aeronaut of her time. She lived from 1849-1932. Her daughter, Ariel, became a balloonist too. She rode a Sky Cycle invented by her father. Ariel pedaled a dirigible inside huge tents and auditoriums across the country.
1981 62 p.
Welch, Catherine DANGER AT THE BREAKER
Because of family need, an eight-year-old coal miner's son in 1885 leaves school to work at the mines, where he learns about the dangers of a coal mine on his first day on the job. Northeastern Pennsylvania.
1992 48 p.


3rd - 4th Grade

Avi ABIGAIL TAKES THE WHEEL
When the first mate of the freight boat Neptune falls ill, it is up to Abigail , the captain’s daughter, to steer the ship up the Hudson River from New Jersey to New York City. 1880.
1999 60 p.
Bildner, Phil TWENTY-ONE ELEPHANTS
1884. Having watched it being built, Hannah longs to cross the Brooklyn Bridge and teams up with P.T. Barnum and his elephants to prove its safety in this title that includes panoramic views and historical tidbits about Brooklyn and the bridge.
2004 unpaged
Bunting, Eve
CHEYENNE AGAIN

In the late 1880's, a Cheyenne boy named Young Bull is taken to a boarding school to learn the white man's ways.
1995 unpaged
Dunlap, Julie JOHN MUIR AND STICKEEN
AN ICY ADVENTURE WITH A NO-GOOD DOG

In 1880, John Muir takes a trip to Alaska mapping glaciers with a no-good dog and gets caught in a storm. He and Stickeen, the dog, survive by helping one another.
2004 unpaged
Figley, Marty THE SCHOOLCHILDREN'S BLIZZARAD
In 1888, Sarah, her younger sister Annie, and their classmates survive a sudden Nebraska blizzard because of the actions of their schoolteacher. Based on the true story of schoolteacher Minnie Freeman. (On My Own History)
2004 48 p.

Gross, Virginia
THE DAY IT RAINED FOREVER

Once Upon America series
A story of the Johnstown Flood. Christina, Frederick and their father wait anxiously to hear news of their mother who has gone to help with a birth when the huge dam behind Lake Conemaugh breaks. Heavy rains continue resulting in a flood killing more than 2000 people. 1889, Johnstown, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas.
1991 48 p.

Harvey, Brett
SYBIL'S NIGHT RIDE

9-year-old Elenore describes her experiences living with her family in the Dakota Territory in the 1880's.
1986 unpaged

Isaacs, Anne
TREEHOUSE TALES

Three chapters relate the experiences and adventures of three 1880's Pennsylvania farm children in their family tree house, which serves as a refuge, a source of adventure, a lookout post, and a frightening dragon's lair.
1997 85 p.

Lawlor, Laurie
ADDIE’S FOREVER FRIEND

1880's Iowa and Dakota Territory. While her father is looking for a homestead in the Dakotas, Addie and her mother and brothers spend the summer with her aunt and uncle in Sabula, Iowa, where Addie and her best friend have an exciting adventure on the Fourth of July.
1997 124 p.

Lawlor, Laurie
ADDIE’S LONG SUMMER

12-year-old Addie eagerly awaits her cousins summer visit to her prairie home but, once they arrive, finds things much more complicated than she ever imagined.
1992 172 p.

McCully, Emily THE BALLOT BOX BATTLE
Elizabeth Cady Stanton explains how she came to feel so strongly about a woman's right to vote through this explanation of her childhood to a young, horse-riding protégé. 1880's.
1996 unpaged

Moskin, Marietta DAY OF THE BLIZZARD
Eager to accomplish an errand for her sick mother, Katie braves one of New York City's severest snowstorms in history, the blizzard of 1888.
1978 unpaged Find it at your Public Library!

San Souci, Robert KATE SHELLEY: BOUND FOR LEGEND
July in Iowa. A biography of the 15-year-old Iowa teenager who helped avert a train disaster in 1881 and became a national heroine.
1995 unpaged Find it at your Public Library!

Wetterer, Margaret THE SNOW WALKER
12-year-old makes snowshoes and procures supplies for family and neighbors during blizzard. March 1888 - The Bronx, New York.
1996 48 p.


5th Grade and Up

Ayers, Katherine SILVER DOLLAR GIRL
In 1885, unhappy living with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh, Valentine Harper disguises herself as a boy and runs away to Colorado determined to find her father, who has gone there in search of gold.
2000 191 p.

Beatty, Patricia THE NICKEL-PLATED BEAUTY
In the Washington Territory of 1886, the seven resourceful Kimball children devote themselves to earning enough money to buy their mother a new stove.
1964 225 p.

Burks, Brian RUNS WITH HORSES
16 years old in 1886, Run with Horses trains to become a warrior with Geranium’s band of Apaches in the American Southwest.
1995 116 p.

Clark, Clara HATTIE ON HER WAY
sequel to HILL HAWK HATTIE
1883 New York. Now that Pa has plunked her down at Grandmother's in Kingston to get a good education like Ma, Hattie Belle Basket has traded her rough boy's overalls for a blue checked dress that matches her eyes. But prettying up her rustic Hill Hawk ways is not so easy, and Hattie is sure she will never be at home in this fancy gingerbread house, where her prim grandmother and the buzzardlike cook continually remind her she can't compare with her sweet, beloved late mother. Even her tutor, Horace Bottle, seems more interested in food than he is in teaching. And now the stuck-up girl next door is taunting her-with rumors that a sinister fate has befallen Hattie's absent grandfather. Could someone in Grandmother's house be harboring an unspeakable secret?
2005 177 p.

Conrad, Pam MY DANIEL
1885 Nebraska. Julia Create and her brother Daniel are living on a lonely farm. Daniel, who has always been interested in fossils, is inspired by the tales of a pair of dinosaur prospectors to search for his very own cache of dinosaur bones. Once he has found them, his next challenge is to preserve them for an honorable paleontologist by keeping them away from a thief and possible murderer.
1989 137 p.

Fleischman, Sid MR. MYSTERIOUS AND COMPANY
The adventures of a family of magicians traveling across the western deserts and plains in the 1880s.
1997 154 p.

Fletcher, Susan WALK ACROSS THE SEA
1886, Crescent City, California, when Chinese immigrants are being driven out or even killed for fear they will take jobs from whites, 15-year-old Eliza Jane McCully defies the townspeople and her lighthouse-keeper father to help a Chinese boy who has been kind to her.
2001 207 p.

Hart, Alison DANGER AT THE WILD WEST SHOW
American Girl History Mysteries
12-year-old Rose sets out to prove her brother's innocence when he is accused of shooting a politician during a Wild West show performance in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1886.
2003 155 p.
Hill, Donna SHIPWRECK SEASON
In 1880, forced to work with his uncle at a lifeguard station on Cape Cod, 16-year-old Daniel finds himself maturing as he encounters unexpected comradeship, challenges, and danger.
1998 215 p.

Holland, Isabelle PAPERBOY
In 1881 in New York City, 12-year-old Kevin O'Donnell, ever conscious of the prejudice against the Irish poor, struggles to support his sick father and young sister by working as a messenger for a prominent newspaper but finds his job threatened when he is falsely accused of stealing from his employer.
1999 137 p.

Lawlor, Laurie GEORGE ON HIS OWN
Addie’s 12-year-old brother, George, doesn’t think anyone appreciates his musical talent, and when his father threatens to sell his trombone, George decides to run away from the family’s prairie home. 1887.
1993 191 p.

Martin, Nora FLIGHT OF THE FISHERBIRD
In 1889, in the islands off the coast of Washington State, thirteen-year-old Clementine pulls a nearly drowned Chinese man out of the sea and begins to suspect that her beloved uncle may have been involved in his attempted murder.
2003 150 p.

Miller, Susan RACHEL AND THE RIOT
Sisters in Time series
The Labor Movement Divides a Family
Conflicting positions concening a local labor union divide Rachel's family in late nineteenth-century Minneapolis. Can living the Christian life help her to heal her family?
2004 142 p.

McKissack, Patricia RUN AWAY HOME
In 1886 in Alabama, an 11-year-old African-American girl and her family befriend and give refuge to a runaway Apache boy.
1997 170 p.

1992
Myers, Walter Dean THE RIGHTEOUS REVENGE OF ARTEMIS BONNER
15-year-old Artemis journeys from New York City To Tombstone, Arizona in 1880, to avenge the murder of his uncle Ugly Ned Bonner And find the gold mine he sketched from memory as he lingered on his deathbed.
140 p.

Oswald, Nancy NOTHING HERE BUT STONES
In 1882, ten-year-old Emma and her family, along with other Russian Jewish immigrants, arrive in Cotopaxi, Colorado, where they face inhospitable conditions as they attempt to start an agricultural colony, and lonely Emma is comforted by the horse whose life she saved.
2004 215 p.

Reich, Susanna PENELOPE BAILEY TAKES THE STAGE
Against the wishes of her disapproving aunt, with whom she lives in 1889 San Francisco while her parents are on a scientific expedition, eleven-year-old Penny tries to prepare herself for an acting career.
2006 198 p.

Robinet, Harriet MISSING FROM HAYMARKET SQUARE
Three children in Chicago in 1886 experience the Haymarket Riot in response to exploitative working conditions.
2001 142 p.

Seely, Debra GRASSLANDS
In the 1880's, 13-year-old Thomas moves west from the aristocratic Virginia home of his grandparents to a poor Kansas farm to live with a father he barely remembers and his new stepfamily.
2002 164 p.

Seely, Debra THE LAST OF THE ROUNDUP BOYS
A Companion Book To GrasslandsIn 1886 in Kansas, 17-year-old Tom, the son of a poor farmer, is hired as a cowboy on a cattle ranch and faces the challenges of both herding work and a forbidden romance with 16-year-old Evie, the ranch owner's independently-minded daughter.
2004 230 p.

Taylor, Mildred THE LAND
prequel to ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY
Paul-Edward, son of a white plantation owner and a slave mother of African-Indian heritage, follows his dream of owning his own land through hard work and determination. Mississippi 1880’s.
2001 305 p.

Taylor, Theodore BILLY THE KID
1881. Young William Bonney is talked into committing his first train robbery, unaware that his cousin and best friend, Willie Monroe, is now sheriff of the nearest town, and that his fellow robbers are already wanted in four states.
2005 208 p.

Warner, Sally FINDING HATTIE
In 1882 Hattie, a 14-year-old orphan, joins her cousin Sophie in attending boarding school at Miss Bulkley's Seminary for Young ladies in Tarrytown, New York, and tries to find her place in the world.
2001 221 p.

Whelan, Gloria MIRANDA'S LAST STAND
Because the Sioux had killed her papa at the Battle of Little Bighorn, 11-year-old Miranda struggles with her mama's prejudiceand her own experiences with Indians in the Wild West Show. 1885.
1999 131 p.

White, Ellen Emerson KAIULANI. THE PEOPLE’S PRINCESS
The Royal Diaries
Follows the life of Victoria Kaiulani Cleghorn from 1889-1893 as she studies to be a better princess, even as Hawaii’s monarchy and her throne are being undermined by American businessmen.
2001 215 p.

Yep, Laurence THE TRAITOR
Golden Mountain Chronicles: 1885
In 1885, a lonely illegitimate American boy and a lonely Chinese American boy develop an unlikely friendship in the midst of prejudices and racial tension in their coal mining town of Rock Springs, Wyoming.
2003 299 p.