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Road trips in American history May 24, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, summer, Summer Reading Club 2007, YA.


We know you’ll be recommending the classic journeys of children’s literature during SRC this summer: Huckleberry Finn, Hitty, Walk Two Moons… but what about those kids who insist on “true books,” the kids who want non-fiction or at the very least historical fiction?

Look to America’s famous trails and roads for fascinating true stories and historical fiction. The Oregon Trail, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Underground Railroad are just three examples of American journeys that have provided vivid settings for terrific works of children’s literature.

You might use the themes listed below to create informative displays, flesh out your book lists, or to inspire your efforts to find just the right book for your nonfiction and historical fiction readers.

Click “more” for a list of journeys and trails in American history. A few notable recent books are highlighted for each (Easy, Juvenile, and adult titles suitable for teens are listed). Call numbers are provided.

Underground railroad. 973.7115.

  • Escape on the Pearl : the heroic bid for freedom on the Underground Railroad / Mary Kay Ricks. (adult) 
  • From Midnight to Dawn : the last tracks of the underground railroad Jacqueline Tobin with Hettie Jones. (adult)
  • Moses : when Harriet Tubman led her people to freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford. E W 
  • Under the quilt of night by Deborah Hopkinson. E H
  • Ain’t nobody a stranger to me / Ann Grifalconi ; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. E G
  • Harriet Tubman : hero of the Underground Railroad / by Lori Mortensen. On Order J
  • House of Dies Drear. Virginia Hamilton. J H 
  • Night boat to freedom by Margot Theis Raven. J R
  • Henry’s freedom box by Ellen Levine. J L

Lewis & Clark expedition (including Sacagawea), 917.804.

  • Lewis and Clark through Indian eyes edited by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr.  (adult)
  • I am Sacajawea, I am York : our journey West with Lewis and Clark / Claire Rudolf Murphy.
  • Ledyard : in search of the first American explorer / Bill Gifford. B Ledyard. (adult)
  • Cross country : fifteen years and ninety thousand miles on the roads and interstates of America with Lewis and Clark, a lot of bad motels, a moving van, Emily Post, Jack Kerouac, my wife, my mother-in law, two kids, and enough coffee to kill an elephant / Robert Sullivan. 917.304 S (adult)
  • Streams to the river, river to the sea. Scott O’Dell. J O
  • Bad River boys : a meeting of the Lakota Sioux with Lewis and Clark by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve ; illustrations by Bill Farnsworth. J S
  • Wild West written by Stuart Murray. J 978 M
  • Lewis and Clark– and Jodie, Freddi, and Samantha (Time Warp Trio) created by Jon Scieszka. First Chapter S
  • Lewis and Clark road trips : exploring the trail across America / by Kira Gale. 917.3 G
  • Lewis and Clark / by Lisa Wade McCormick. E B L  
  • Sacagawea : brave Shoshone girl by Sneed B. Collard III. J B S
  • American slave, American hero : York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition / Laurence Pringle ; illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. J B York

Pony Express. 383.

  • The Pony Express : a primary source history of the race to bring mail to the American West by Simone Payment.
  •  The Pony Express by Elaine Landau
  • Orphans preferred : the twisted truth and lasting legend of the Pony Express / Christopher Corbett. (adult)
  • True tales of the Wild West by Paul Robert Walker.  J 978 W
  • Buffalo Bill Cody / Charles J. Shields. J B B
  • Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express story by Eleanor Coerr. Beginning Reader C
  • Ride like the wind : a tale of the Pony Express by Bernie Fuchs. E F
  • Fast ‘n’ Snappy / by Pattie Schnetzler. E S
  • Riding the Pony Express by Deborah Kent. J K
  • Black storm comin’ / Diane Lee Wilson. Y W

Trail of Tears. 970.0049.

  • The Trail of Tears / Deborah Kent. 
  • The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears by Theda Purdue. On Order (adult NF)
  • The great circle : a history of the First Nations / Neil Philip. Y 970.004 P
  • Walking the trail. Jerry Ellis. 917.6 E 
  • The journal of Jesse Smoke : a Cherokee boy by Joseph Bruchac. In the My Name is America series. J B
  • Soft Rain : a story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears / Cornelia Corneissen. J C
  • Sequoyah: the Cherokee man who gave his people writing by James Rumford. J B S

Erie Canal. 974.7.

  • Wedding of the waters : the Erie Canal and the making of a great nation / Peter L. Bernstein (adult)
  • America’s top 10 construction wonders by Tanya Lee Stone. J 624 S
  • Desperate journey by Jim Murphy. J M

Mason & Dixon. 975.2.

  • The Mason-Dixon Line by John Davenport
  • Drawing the line : how Mason and Dixon surveyed the most famous border in America / Edwin Danson. 974.8 D (adult)
  • Walkin’ the line : a journey from past to present along the Mason-Dixon / Bill Ecenbarger. 975.2 E (adult)  

Gold Rush (California and Alaska).

  • Gold Fever by Verla Kay. E K
  • The gold rush to California’s riches. David Aretha  J 979.403 A.
  • The Klondike gold rush by Marc Tyler Nobleman. J 971.91 N
  • The California Gold Rush / Sabrina Crewe and Michael V. Uschan.  J 979.404 C
  • California gold rush / Peter and Connie Roop. 979.4 R
  • Klondike gold by Alice Provensen. E P
  • Adventure in gold town by Deborah Hopkinson. On Order (J Fiction)
  • The ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman. J C
  • Seeds of hope : the gold rush diary of Susanna Fairchild : [California Territory, 1849] by Kristiana Gregory. J G
  • The journal of Wong Ming-Chung : a Chinese miner by Laurence Yep. J Y
  • Letters from a slave boy : the story of Joseph Jacobs / Mary Lyons.  Y Lyo
  • The California Gold Rush and the coming of the Civil War / Leonard L. Richards. 973.6 R

Oregon Trail. 978.

  • Our journey west : the Oregon Trail adventures of Sarah Marshall / Gare Thompson. J 978 T 
  • The tragic tale of Narcissa Whitman and a faithful history of the Oregon Trail written and illustrated by Cheryl Harness.  J B Whitman
  • Across the wide and lonesome prairie : the Oregon Trail diary of Hattie Campbell, Booneville, Missoura, 1847 by Kristiana Gregory. J G
  • Westward to home : Joshua’s Oregon Trail diary (also A perfect place and The wild year) by Patricia Hermes.  J H
  • The journal of Jedediah Barstow : an emigrant on the Oregon Trail by Ellen Levine.  J L
  • Tucket’s home / Gary Paulsen. J P

Appalachian Trail. 917.4.

Route 66 / “Dirty Plate Trail” (Dust Bowl migration). 978.

  • On the Dirty Plate Trail : remembering the Dust Bowl refugee camps texts by Sanora Babb ; photographs by Dorothy Babb. (adult)
  • The worst hard time : the untold story of those who survived the great American dust bowl / Timothy Egan. (adult)
  • Dust bowl! : the 1930s black blizzards by Richard H. Levey  
  • Children of the dust days / Karen Mueller Coombs.
  • The journal of C.J. Jackson, a dust bowl migrant by William Durbin. J D
  •  Out of the dust, Karen Hesse. J H.
  • Dust for dinner, Ann Warren Turner. Beginning Reader
  • Don’t forget Winona, Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson. E P


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