Historical Fiction – American (Grades 1 & 2)

Birtha, Becky.  Lucky Beans.  [OLDER] E Birtha 
During the Great Depression, Marshall, an African American boy, uses lessons learned in arithmetic class and guidance from his mother to figure out how many beans are in a jar in order to win her a new sewing machine in a contest.

Harness, Cheryl.  Three Young Pilgrims.  Q J FIC Harness
Mary, Remember, and Bartholomew are among the pilgrims who survive the harsh early years in America and see New Plymouth grow into a prosperous colony.

Hooks, William H.  Pioneer Cat.  J FIC Hooks.
When a young pioneer girl smuggles a cat aboard the wagon train taking her family from Missouri to Oregon, it turns out to be the best thing she could have done.

Johnson, D. B. Henry Hikes to Fitchburg.  [NATURE] E Johnson
While his friend works hard to earn the train fare to Fitchburg, young Henry Thoreau walks the thirty miles through woods and fields, enjoying nature and the time to think great thoughts. Includes biographical information about Thoreau.

Kirkpatrick, Katherine.  Redcoats and Petticoats.  [OLDER] E Kirkpatrick
Members of a family in the village of Setauket on Long Island are displaced by the Redcoats and serve as spies for the Revolutionary Army of George Washington.

Kudlinski, Kathleen V.   Facing West: A Story of the Oregon Trail.  J FIC Once
As his family sets out from Missouri to Oregon, young Ben wonders whether he will have more trouble with the dangers of the journey or his debilitating asthma.

McCully, Emily Arnold.  The Battle for St. Michaels.  J FIC McCully
In 1813, nine-year-old Caroline, a fast runner, helps the residents of Saint Michaels, Maryland, as they defend their town against the British

Nolen, Jerdine.  Big Jabe. Q J 398.0973 N
Momma Mary tells stories about a special young man who does wondrous things, especially for the slaves on the Plenty Plantation.

Sherman, Patrice.  Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation.  [OLDER] E Sherman
Young Benjamin Holmes, a slave in Charleston who has taught himself to read, reads Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to his fellow slaves in prison.

Smith, Icy.  Half Spoon of Rice: a Survival story of Cambodian Genocide.  [OLDER] E Smith
Nine-year-old Nat and his family are forced from their home on April 17, 1975, marched for many days, separated from each other, and forced to work in the rice fields, where Nat concentrates on survival. Includes historical notes and photographs documenting the Cambodian genocide.

Turner, Ann Warren.  Dust for Dinner.  Reader 3 T
Jake narrates the story of his family’s life in the Oklahoma dust bowl and the journey from their ravaged farm to California during the Great Depression.

Van Leeuwen, Jean. Across the Wide Dark Sea: The Mayflower Journey.  [Older] E Van Leeuwen
A boy and his family endure a difficult nine-week journey across the ocean and survive the first winter at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts.

Posted in Grades 1-4, Historical Fiction, Reading Lists and tagged , , , , .