Special Collections

Dear America

Description: Historical fiction for middle grade readers (ages 8-14 or grades 4-9). Each novel's protagonist tells a different story of what it is like to be a young woman in America. #kids #series


Showing 1 through 25 of 44 results
 

A Coal Miner's Bride

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

A diary account of 13-year-old Anetka's life in Poland in 1896, immigration to America, marriage to a coal miner, widowhood, and happiness in finally finding her true love. Her fascinating diary entries give readers a personal glimpse into what life was like in a coal-mining town during a tumultuous time in the country's past.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1896

Down the Rabbit Hole

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Newbery Honor author Susan Campbell Bartoletti brings the story of a young girl caught up in a web of murder, lies, and the Great Fire of Chicago to bold life. In the autumn of 1871, fourteen-year-old Pringle Rose learns that her parents have been killed in a terrible carriage accident. After her uncle Edward and his awful wife, Adeline, move into the Pringle family's home -- making life for her and her younger brother, Gideon, unbearable -- Pringle runs away with Gideon to Chicago, seeking refuge from the tragedy, and hoping to start a new life. She becomes a nanny for the children of a labor activist, and quickly finds herself caught up in a web of intrigue and lies. Then, when a familiar figure from home arrives, Pringle begins to piece together the devastating mystery of what happened to her parents, and realizes just how deadly the truth might be. But soon, one of the greatest disasters this country has ever known -- the Great Fire of Chicago -- flares up, and Pringle is on the run for her life.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1871

Land of the Buffalo Bones

by Marion Dane Bauer

Fourteen-year-old Polly Rodgers keeps a diary of her 1873 Journey from England to Minnesota as part of a colony of eighty people seeking religious freedom, and of their first year struggling to make a life there, led by her father, a Baptist minister. In fictionalized diary form, Polly tells of her family's first winter in America and the journey to get there. She discusses in great detail the hardships she and her family have to endure during their first harsh Minnesota winter.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1873

A City Tossed and Broken

by Judy Blundell

From National Book Award-winning author Judy Blundell, a thrilling account of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. When Minnie Bonner's father disappears after losing the Bonners' Philadelphia tavern, the wealthy gentleman Edward Sump, led by his avaricious wife, offers Minnie a chance to work as a lady's maid to support her family. The Sumps have grand plans, grander than the city of Philadelphia can offer, however, and decide to move to San Francisco -- the greatest city in the west. But when a powerful earthquake strikes, Minnie finds herself the sole survivor among them. After the dust settles, Minnie discovers a bag belonging to the Sumps filled with cash and papers that could drastically change her fortune. With no one else to claim it, Minnie has turned into an heiress overnight. Wealth comes at a price, though, and she is soon wrapped up in a deception that leads her down a dangerous path. As the aftermath of the earthquake ravages the city, Minnie continues to maintain her new identity. That is, until a mysterious but familiar stranger appears.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1906

Early Sunday Morning

by Barry Denenberg

Diary of Amber Billows from the World War II era. Part of the Dear America series.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1941

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

by Barry Denenberg

After Bess is blinded in a sledding accident, she must face a frightening, much-altered world at the Perkins School for the Blind in 1932.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1932

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

by Barry Denenberg

Blinded after a terrible accident, Bess must learn to overcome her disability with the help of new friends and skills at the Perkins School for the Blind, in the wake of America's Great Depression.

After Bess Brennan is blinded in a sledding accident, she must face a frightening, much-altered world. Confronted with a new set of obstacles, Bess manages to overcome her disability with the help of her new friends at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts, where she also learns how to read braille. Her twin sister, Elin, assists her with recording daily events in her diary and contributes entries of her own. Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Bess's story will inspire all readers to be strong in the face of hardship.

Date Added: 06/24/2019


Year: 1932

One Eye Laughing, The Other Weeping

by Barry Denenberg

For the first time, a Dear America story is being told in two parts -- complete in one volume! Julie Weiss's world is suddenly torn apart by a war that will forever change the face of humanity. Her life as a privileged Jewish girl quickly becomes one of humiliation and terror. In part two, Julie has left Nazi Austria for New York, where she begins a new life with her extended family who she has never met.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1938

So Far from Home

by Barry Denenberg

Critically acclaimed author Barry Denenberg turns a sharp eye on life for a young Irish immigrant at the Lowell Mill.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1847

When Will This Cruel War Be Over?

by Barry Denenberg

Acclaimed author Barry Denenberg's WHEN WILL THIS CRUEL WAR BE OVER? is now back in print with a gorgeous new package! The peaceful, traditional Southern life that Emma Simpson and her family know is shattered when the Civil War reaches their soil. Soon, Emma's father and brother are called to battle, but her family is confident the South will quickly win the War between the States. As the months drag on, though, the harsh realities of war set in. Death and hardship are all around Emma, and food, medicine, firewood, and ink for her to write in her diary become increasingly scarce as troops from the North march deeper into the South. Finally, even her home is commandeered by the Yankees. Still, with a brave spirit and the knowledge of what is most important, Emma never loses hope that the war will end.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1864

I Walk in Dread

by Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Lisa Rowe Fraustino's dramatic tale of the Salem witch trials is back in print with a beautiful new cover design! Deliverance Trembley lives in Salem Village where she must take care of her sickly sister, Mem, and where she does her daily chores in fear of her cruel uncle's angry temper. But after four young girls from the village accuse some of the local women of being witches, the town becomes increasingly caught up in a witch hunt. When the villagers begin to realize that Deliverance is a clever girl who possesses the skills to read and write, the whispered accusations begin. Suddenly she has more to worry about than just the wrath of her uncle, her ill sister, and the fate of the other women in town. Within the pages of her diary, Deliverance captures the panic, terror, suspicion, and hysteria that swept through Salem Village during one of the most infamous eras in American history.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1691

A Line in the Sand

by Sherry Garland

In the journal she receives for her twelfth birthday in 1835, Lucinda Lawrence describes the hardships her family and other residents of the "Texas colonies" endure when they decide to face the Mexicans in a fight for their freedom.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1836

Valley of the Moon

by Sherry Garland

The 1845-1846 diary of thirteen-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.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1846

Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie

by Kristiana Gregory

Critically acclaimed and award-winning author Kristiana Gregory's ACROSS THE WIDE AND LONESOME PRAIRIE is now back in print with a gorgeous new package! After the death of her two sisters, thirteen-year-old Hattie and her family make for a fresh start. They sell their farm in Missouri and journey across the Oregon Trail toward Oregon City. At first the adventure is exciting, but as the days, weeks, and months pass, Hattie realizes what a dangerous and tedious trip it is. As they cross the prairies, news of the fate of the Donner party reaches them, and death, disease, weather, and the terrain take a terrible toll on their traveling party. The Campbells lose neighbors and friends until they almost cannot bear to continue. But Hattie and her family must persevere or risk the same misfortune. Hattie's diary chronicles the hardships of such a harrowing journey, but also captures the small moments, the friendships and celebrations of life, that keep hope alive.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1847

Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie

by Kristiana Gregory

In her diary, 13-year-old Hattie chronicles her family's arduous 1847 journey from Missouri to Oregon, along the Oregon Trail. Historical fiction.

Date Added: 07/20/2018


Year: 1847

Cannons at Dawn

by Kristiana Gregory

Kristiana Gregory returns with a stunning new sequel to the bestselling Dear America title THE WINTER OF RED SNOW! Abigail Jane Stewart returns in this brand-new sequel to THE WINTER OF RED SNOW. The Revolutionary War toils on, but the Stewart family can no longer avoid getting involved. Abby's father joins the Continental Army, while Abby, her mother, and her siblings become camp followers. They face daily hardships alongside the troops and continue to spend time helping the Washingtons. Filled with romance and adventure, Abby's frontline view of the war captures the heartache and bravery of the soldiers, as well as the steep cost of freedom.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1779

The Great Railroad Race

by Kristiana Gregory

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 Transcontinental Railroad.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1868

The Winter of Red Snow

by Kristiana Gregory

Critically acclaimed author Kristiana Gregory's award-winning THE WINTER OF RED SNOW is now back in print with a gorgeous new package! Eleven-year-old Abigail Jane Stewart's fictionalized diary about her life, family, friends, and neighbors, and the sides they have to choose in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, during the height of the Revolutionary War, renders a vivid portrayal of one of the most memorable and crucial winters in American history. Abby's life with her family is quickly upended when they are awakened by the unfamiliar sound of drums. General George Washington is leading the Continental soldiers into their winter encampment at Valley Forge, PA.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1777

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly

by Joyce Hansen

Joyce Hansen's Coretta Scott King Honor Book I THOUGHT MY SOUL WOULD RISE AND FLY is now back in print with a gorgeous new package! Patsy, an orphaned slave with a bad leg and a quiet nature, is considered slow by the Davis family. But Patsy's smart -- smart enough to learn to read and write on the sly. After the Civil War ends and slavery is abolished, Patsy believes Master Davis's promise to pay the former house slaves and to educate the slave children. But when the master ignores his promise to establish a school and the Freedmen's Bureau cannot provide a teacher, Patsy steps in to teach the students to read and write. Patsy's diary is filled with courage, conviction, and hope as she strives toward her freedom.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1865

A Light in the Storm

by Karen Hesse

Newbery Medal winner Karen Hesse's Civil War diary, A LIGHT IN THE STORM, is now back in print with a beautiful new cover!

In 1861, Amelia Martin's father is stripped of his post as a ship's captain when he is caught harboring the leader of a slave rebellion. Now he is an assistant lighthouse keeper on Fenwick Island, off the coast of Delaware -- a state wedged between the North and the South, just as Amelia is wedged between her warring parents.

Amelia's mother blames her abolitionist husband for their living conditions, which she claims are taking a toll on her health. Amelia observes her mother's hate and her father's admiration for Abraham Lincoln.

But slavery is the deeper issue separating the two sides. As the Civil War rages on, Amelia slowly learns that she cannot stop the fighting, but by keeping watch in the lighthouse each day, lighting the lamps, cleaning the glass, and rescuing victims of Atlantic storms, she can still make a difference.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1861

Hear My Sorrow

by Deborah Hopkinson

Fourteen-year-old Angela Denoto and her family have arrived in New York City from their village in Italy to find themselves settled in a small tenement apartment on the Lower East Side. When her father is no longer able to work as a hod carrier, Angela must leave school and find a job in a shirtwaist factory. Despite being disappointed that she had to give up her education, Angela is proud that she is able to help her family. But soon she begins to wonder about the steep price of the American dream, given the dangerous conditions at the factory. Set against the birth of the labor union movement in the early 1900s, Angela finds herself caught up in the drama and turmoil that erupts as the workers begin to strike, protesting the terrible conditions in the sweatshops. In the pages of her diary, Angela records the horrors of the Triangle Factory fire, along with the triumphs and sorrows of the labor movement.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1909

Survival in the Storm

by Katelan Janke

In 16-year-old Katelan Janke's first Dear America book, readers meet Grace Edwards, a little girl growing up in the heart of the Texas panhandle in the midst of the Dust Bowl. Fierce, dust-filled winds ravage the plains and threaten the town's agricultural livelihood. Will Grace's family's farm survive?

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1935

The Fences Between Us

by Kirby Larson

Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings us the first new Dear America diary in years, taking readers through the attack on Pearl Harbor, the start of World War II, and the Japanese incarceration.

With this sweeping tale of life on the World War II homefront, Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings her incredible talent to the Dear America series. When Pearl Harbor is attacked, America is finally unable to ignore the wars raging in Europe and Asia any longer. And one girl's entire life is about to change when everything she knows is turned on its head. After the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, where her brother, a navy sailor, is stationed, Piper Davis begins chronicling her compelling journey through one of history's most tragic and unforgettable eras.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1941

Christmas after All

by Kathryn Lasky

Twelve-year-old Minnie Swift recounts living through one of the toughest times in American history, the Great Depression, through her diary that spans over one Christmas month. Reflecting both sadness and optimism that characterized the time, this is an intimate portrait of a Midwestern family's triumphs and losses. Photos.

Date Added: 07/20/2018


Year: 1932

Christmas After All

by Kathryn Lasky

Newbery Honor author Kathryn Lasky's CHRISTMAS AFTER ALL is back in print with a gorgeous new package! To twelve-year-old Minnie Swift, Christmas is not going to be the time of bounty she's used to. It is 1932 -- the middle of the Great Depression -- and jobs are scarce and Papa seems more worried each day. But when their orphaned cousin comes to live with them, the Swifts are quick to rearrange the beds and make room for her. Minnie, thrilled to have another youngster in the home, is resolved to make this Christmas memorable in spite of the hard times. Through her diary entries, Minnie captures the darkness of the Great Depression, the optimism of a small Midwestern family, the fortitude of the American spirit, and the magic of Christmas.

Date Added: 02/15/2018


Year: 1932


Showing 1 through 25 of 44 results