CurriConnects Book List - Frontiers and Settlers

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Frontiers and Settlers
Discover historical fiction and non-fiction about colonists and settlers involved in westward expansion, and settlers in Alaska. Use this list as you study the frontier spirit or any of several time periods when the U.S. was growing and changing.

Preschool and Picture Books

Davy Crockett - Larry Dale Brimner, (978-0756508937), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-2
Read about Davy Crockett as a pioneer, statesman, and story teller.

Early Elementary Books

Boom Town - Sonia Levitin, (978-0531300435), Fiction
Interest level: 2-4, Lexile: 590
Amanda starts making and selling pies in a gold rush town after her father moves the family there; she also encourages others in the town to provide other necessary services.

Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier - Jennifer Armstrong, (978-0810942387), Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-5, Lexile: 680
This short biography of Audubon stresses his paintings of birds and other wildlife that made him a leader in both wildlife observation and wildlife art.

The Golly Sisters Go West - Betsy Byers, (978-0064441322), Fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 210
Two sisters go West, making their way by entertaining with a sing and dance routine in this easy reader.

Buffalo Music - Tracey Fern, (978-0618723416), Fiction
Interest level: 3-7, Lexile: 860
Based on the life of Mary Ann Goodnight, this book depicts her raising buffalo to replenish the herd in Texas and to begin new ones in Yellowstone Park.

Bewildered for Three Days: As to Why Daniel Boone Never Wore his Coonskin Cap - Andrew Glass, (978-0823414468), Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 670
Daniel must use newly learned skills to stay alive and rescue his cap from a bear.

Pioneer Summer - Deborah Hopkinson, (978-0689843501), Fiction
Interest level: 2-5, Lexile: 530
Eight-year-old Charles resolves his doubts about moving to Kansas when his new life opens with many frontier adventures.

Wagon Train - Sydelle Kramer, (978-0448413341), Fiction
Interest level: 1-3, Lexile: 360
A pioneer family travels from Missouri to California on a wagon, experiencing geographic sites such as mountains, rivers, and changes in temperature, but none of the feared Indians.

Snowshoe Thompson - Nancy Smiler Levinson, (978-0060238018), Fiction
Interest level: 2-3, Lexile: 330
Enjoy this fictionalized account of the life of John Thompson, who skied across the Sierra Nevada Mountains to deliver mail while on his way to the CA Gold Rush.

Sarah, Plain and Tall - Patricia MacLachlan, (978-0064402057), Fiction
Interest level: 1-5, Lexile: 560
Sarah comes to the Witting family to be a new wife for Papa, and the children wonder if she will be nice in this first book in a series of five.

Roughing it on the Oregon Trail - Diane Stanley, (978-0060270650), Fiction
Interest level: 2-4, Lexile: 410
A family trio makes their way West along the Oregon Trail in this new twist on time travel.

I Have Heard of a Land - Joyce Carol Thomas, (978-0060234775), Fiction
Interest level: 1-2
An African American woman resettles in the Oklahoma territory in order to start a new home on free land.

Pioneer Sisters - Laura Ingalls Wilder, (6.44205e+007), Fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 540
Laura Ingalls and her sisters enjoy family life as they settle on a young frontier.

Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier - Jennifer Armstrong, (978-0810942387), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 680
This book is a brief biography of the life and works of John James Audobon, the famed bird painter.

Silver Dollar Girl - Katherine Ayres, (978-0385327633), Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 650
Valentine Harper travels across the frontier dressed as a boy, trying to find her father who went West to find gold.

Frontier Village - Andy Chambers, (978-0816750405), Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 710
The Nesbitt family comes to Wisconsin, and the town of Nesbitt Crossing grows into a viable community with a school and churches etc.

California Gold Rush - Catherine Chambers, (978-0816745562), Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 640
Two brothers stake their own claim when they discover gold while working for another Gold Rush favorite, John Sutter.

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple - Karen Cushman, (978-0395728062), Fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 1030
A pre-teen girl must adjust to life in a rough California mining town after moving there with her mother from the East Coast.

Weasel - Cynthia DeFelice, (978-0027264579), Fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 870
Eleven-year-old Nathan must make his own decisions when he has to confront an evil killer in the frontier town where he lives with his ailing father.

The Game of Silence - Louise Erdrich, (978-00602978-93), Fiction
Interest level: 5-9, Lexile: 900
A young Ojibwa girl, Omakayas, must adjust when her family moves West in the 40's.

The Borning Room - Paul Fleischmann, (978-0590460439), Fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 800
Georgina shares her memories of growing up on the Ohio frontier as she lies in her childhood room at the end of her life.

Boston Jane: An Adventure - Jennifer Holme, (978-0060287382), Fiction
Interest level: 4-6, Lexile: 690
Jane Peck finds she must adapt quickly to a sea voyage and then life in the Northwest Territories, doing things her extensive education and precise upbringing hadn't prepared her for.

Cabin in the Snow - Deborah Hopkinson, (978-0689843518), Fiction
Interest level: 0-5, Lexile: 500
Charlie tends to everyone in their countryside Kansas cabin during a huge blizzard.

Mountain Solo - Jeanette Ingold, (978-0152053581), Fiction
Interest level: 5-12, Lexile: 810
A child prodigy violinist gives up the hectic competitive life of a young musician in NY City to return to her roots in Montana and contemplates a musician's life, both in the past and present.

Swamp Angel - Anne Isaacs, (978-0525452713), Fiction
Interest level: 5-9, Lexile: 1020
Starting at a very young age, Angela Longrider, the swamp angel, performs many miraculous feats on the frontier including "wrastling" a bear.

The Journal of Augustus Pelletier: The Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804 - Kathryn Lasky , (978-0590684897), Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 860

On the Other Side of the Hill - Roger MacBride, (978-0064405751), Fiction
Interest level: 4-6, Lexile: 860
Rose Wilder's family faces a series of natural and weather disasters on their Missouri homestead (Little House Books series).

Mocassin Trail - Eloise McGraw, (978-0140321708), Fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 960
After a white boy raised by Indians is reunited with his family, he experiences difficult periods of adjustment to a more Western life.

The Legend of Zoey - Candie Moonshower, (978-0440239246), Fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 650
Zoey relates her time travel adventure back to New Madrid, MO in 1811 in her diary; she meets another girl who is pioneering in the early time.

Twister on Tuesday - Mary Pope Osborne, (978-0679890690), Fiction
Interest level: 3-4, Lexile: 310
Jack and Annie learn about prairie life in their latest time travel adventure when they fly to Kansas and experience a real tornado.

The Light in the Forest - Conrad Richter, (978-0449704370), Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 870
A young Anglo man who had been raised by Indians as True Son finds he must return to live with the people he's learned to mistrust.

Buffalo Bill: Frontier Daredevil - Augusta Stevenson, (978-0689714795), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-7, Lexile: 480
Buffalo Bill is famous for his wild west shows, his leadership on the Pony Express mail delivery system, his scouting, and his buffalo hunting.

Dakota Dugout - Ann Warren Turner, (978-0027897005), Fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 1040
Enjoy the poetry and drawings that describe a Dakota settler husband and wife team in the later 1800's.

Grasshopper Summer - Ann Warren Turner, (978-0027895117), Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 580
Sam and his family face many challenges in their new home in the Dakota Territory where they confront establishing a new life and a plague of grasshoppers.

Mary On Horseback: Three Mountain Stories - Rosemary Wells, (978-0803721548), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 660
Mary Breckenridge, as the first nurse to work in the rural mountains of Appalachia, helps three families in the separate stories included in this volume.

By the Shores of Silver Lake - Laura Ingalls Wilder, (978-0060264161), Fiction
Interest level: 3-8, Lexile: 820
Laura and family move to the Dakota territory and plan their house they'll build on the homestead they claim.

Johnny Appleseed - Jane Yolen, (978-0060591359), Fiction
Interest level: 4-6, Lexile: 880
Johnny Appleseed's remarkable life, traveling across the country to plant apple trees, reveals a true pioneer spirit.

Middle School to Young Adult Books

Arctic Homestead - Norma Cobb, (978-0312283797), Non-fiction
Interest level: 7-12
One family moves to Alaska and experiences all its beauty, weather, and other challenges.