19th Century Fiction (Grades 4-6)

Alexander, Lloyd.  The Illyrian Adventure.  J FIC Alexander 
On a visit to a remote European kingdom in 1872, a fearless sixteen-year-old orphan and her guardian research an ancient legend and become enmeshed in a dangerous rebellion.

Auch, Mary Jane.  Journey to Nowhere.   J FIC Auch
In 1815, while traveling by covered wagon to settle in the wilderness of western New York, eleven-year-old Mem experiences a flood and separation from her family.

Avi.  The Barn. J FIC Avi // J PB A
In an effort to fulfill their dying father’s last request, nine-year-old Ben and his brother and sister construct a barn on their land in the Oregon Territory.

Beatty, Patricia.  Melinda Takes a Hand.  J FIC Beatty
In the years 1893, sensible thirteen-year-old Melinda, finding herself stranded in the Colorado town of Goldendale, promptly becomes involved in the townspeople’s lives and assorted problems.

Brady, Esther Wood. The Toad on Capitol Hill.  J FIC Brady
Eleven-year-old Dorsy and her family come to understand each other better when they are caught in the path of the British Army advancing on Washington in the summer of 1814.

Brink, Carol Ryrie.  Caddie Woodlawn.  Y FIC Brink // J PB B
The adventures of an eleven-year-old tomboy growing up on the Wisconsin frontier in the mid-nineteenth century.

Cross, Gillian. Great Elephant Chase. J FIC Cross
In 1881 fifteen-year-old Tad helps a girl in her attempt to get a mighty Indian elephant to friends in Nebraska, while pursued by two unscrupulous villains who wish to take the elephant from her.

DeClements, Barthe.  The Bite of the Gold Bug : A Story of the Alaskan Gold Rush.  J FIC DeClements
Bucky and his father, prospecting for gold in Alaska in 1898, must overcome storms, dangerous mountain trails, and wilderness predators before confronting the final challenge of human treachery.

Donahue, Marilyn Cram.  Straight Along a Crooked Road. J FIC Donahue
As her family travels from Vermont to settle in California, in the early 1850’s fourteen-year-old Luanna learns to accept life for what it is, no matter where.

Field, Rachel.  Hitty : Her First Hundred Years.  J FIC Field
The memoirs of a doll named Hitty, carved from a piece of white ash in Maine, who traveled throughout the developing United States and ended up, over a hundred years later, in an antique shop in New York City.

Fritz, Jean.  The Cabin Faced West.  J FIC Fritz
Ten-year-old Ann overcomes loneliness and learns to appreciate the importance of her role in settling the wilderness of western Pennsylvania.

Guccione, Leslie D.  Come Morning. J FIC Guccione
Twelve-year-old Freedom, the son of a freed slave living in Delaware in the early 1850s, takes over his father’s work in the Undeground Railroad when his father disappears.

Hopkinson, Deborah.  A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket.  J FIC Hopkinson
In March of 1887, Rocco, an eleven-year-old from an Italian village, arrives in New York City where he is forced to live in squalor and beg for money as a street musician, but he finds the city’s cruelty to children and animals intolerable and sets out to make things better, whatever the cost to himself.

Hurmence, Belinda.  Tancy.  J FIC Hurmence
At the end of the Civil War, a young house slave on a small North Carolina plantation searches for her mother who was mysteriously sold when Tancy was a baby.

MacBride, Roger Lea. Little House on Rocky Ridge.  J FIC MacBride
In 1894 Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband, and her seven-year-old daughter Rose leave the Ingalls family in Dakota and make the long and difficult journey to Missouri to start a new life.

MacLachlan, Patricia.  Sarah, Plain and Tall.  J FIC MacLachlan //  J PB M
When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay.

McKissack, Pat.  Run Away Home.  J FIC McKissack
In 1886 in Alabama, an eleven-year-old African American girl and her family befriend and give refuge to a runaway Apache boy.

Minahan, John A. Abigail’s Drum. J FIC Minahan
During the War of 1812, when British soldiers threaten the town of Scituate, Massachusetts, young Rebecca Bates and her sister Abigail, daughters of the local lighthouse keeper, find a way to save both him and the town.

Myers, Anna.  Graveyard Girl.  J FIC Myers
During the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis in 1878, twelve-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.

O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins. J FIC O’Dell // J PB O  // Y FIC O’Dell // Y PB O
Records the courage and self-reliance of an Indian girl who lived alone for eighteen years on an isolated island off the California coast.

Schwabach, Karen.  The Storm Before Atlanta.  J FIC Schwabach
In 1863 northwestern Georgia, an unlikely alliance forms between ten-year-old New York drummer boy Jeremy, fourteen-year-old Confederate Charlie, and runaway slave Dulcie as they learn truths about the Civil War, slavery, and freedom. 

Shefelman, Janice Jordan.  Willow Creek Home.  J FIC Shefelman
A summer drought and epidemic illness in 1847 force Mina, Papa, and his new wife, Lisette, to move on to a larger land grant deep in Commanche territory.

Turner, Ann Warren. Grasshopper Summer.  J FIC Turner
In 1874 eleven-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.

Twain, Mark.  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  J FIC Twain // Y PB T
The adventures of a boy growing up in the 19th century in a Mississippi River town as he plays hooky, witnesses a crime, hunts for pirates’ treasure and gets lost in a cave.

Van Leeuwen, Jean.  Bound for Oregon.   J FIC VanLeeuwen
A fictionalized account of the journey made by nine-year-old Mary Ellen Todd and her family from their home in Arkansas westward over the Oregon Trail in 1852.

Wibberley, Leonard.  Red Pawns.  J FIC Wibberley
While their uncle is in England trying to avert war, eighteen-year-old Manly Treegate and his twelve-year-old brother, Peter, go to the Ohio frontier to prepare for war against Tecumseh’s forces.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls.  Little House in the Big Woods.  J FIC Wilder
A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father’s stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.

Yep, Laurence.  The Serpent’s Children.  J FIC Yep
In nineteenth-century China, a young girl struggles to protect her family from the threat of bandits, famine, and an ideological conflict between her father and brother.

Posted in Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Reading Lists and tagged , , , , , .