Children's Reading Suggestions

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Little Readers <3 Westerns

shutterstock_30247798Whether they’re about the explorers of the Louisiana Purchase, the pioneers on the Oregon Trail, or the cowboys of the Old West, these stories have heaps of old-fashioned Western adventure!

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Charles Bohner.  Bold Journey: west with Lewis and Clark.

Private Hugh McNeal relates his experiences accompanying Captains Lewis and Clark on their 1804-1806 expedition in search of a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean.

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Neta Frazier. The Stout-Hearted Seven: orphaned on the Oregon Trail.The stout-hearted seven : orphaned on the Oregon Trial [sic]

Recounts the adventures of the seven Sager children, orphaned during their journey to Oregon where they were adopted by Marcus and Narcissa Whitman.

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Sid Hite. Stick and Whittle.Stick and Whittle

In 1872, while journeying from Texas to Kansas, a Civil War veteran named Melvin meets a sixteen-year-old orphan, another Melvin, and they give each other nicknames and become partners and traveling companions on an exciting adventure.

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Laura Hunt.  The Abernathy Boys.The Abernathy boys

A fictionalized account of the adventurous 1909 journey of nine-year-old Bud Abernathy and his five-year-old brother, Temp, who traveled alone, mostly on horseback, from their home in Oklahoma to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and back again, crossing the vast, desertlike no-man’s-land in the Texas Panhandle known as the caprock.

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David Ives. Scrib.Scrib

In 1863, a sixteen-year-old boy nicknamed Scrib travels around the West making his living writing and delivering letters, an occupation that leads to him nearly getting killed, being jailed as a criminal, joining up with the notorious Crazy James Kincaid, and delivering a letter from President Abraham Lincoln to a Paiute Indian.

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Veda Boyd Jones. Nellie the Brave: the Cherokee Trail of Tears.Nellie the brave : the Cherokee Trail of Tears

Nellie Starr, a young Cherokee girl, and her family are forced by U.S. soldiers to leave their home in Tennessee and travel the “Trail ofTears” to a new home in the western Indian territory.

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Deborah Kent. Riding the Pony Express.Riding the Pony Express

Fifteen-year-old Lexie follows the Pony Express Trail in search of her brother.

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Eloise McGraw.  Moccasin Trail.Moccasin trail

A pioneer boy, brought up by Crow Indians, is reunited with his family and attempts to orient himself in the white man’s culture.

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Bryce Milligan.  Lawmen: Stories of Men Who Tamed the West.

Bear River Tom Smith, Willie Kennard, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Charlie Siringo, and Wild Bill Hickock tangle with Western badmen.

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Marissa Moss.  Rachel’s Journal.Rachel's journal : the story of a pioneer girl

In her journal, Rachel chronicles her family’s adventures traveling by covered wagon on the Oregon Trail in 1850.

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Gary Paulsen.  Tucket series.Mr. Tucket

In 1848, while on a wagon train headed for Oregon, fourteen-year-old Francis Tucket is kidnapped by Pawnee Indians and then falls in with a one-armed trapper who teaches him how to live in the wild.

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Jean Van Leeuwen. Bound for Oregon.

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.

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Bill Wallace.  Buffalo Gal.Buffalo gal

Fifteen-year-old Amanda’s refined life in early twentieth-century San Francisco is disrupted when she grudgingly accompanies her mother to the Oklahoma Territory on a crusade to save the buffalo.

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Kristiana Gregory. Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: the Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell (Dear America).Across the wide and lonesome prairie : the Oregon Trail diary of Hattie Campbell

In her diary, thirteen-year-old Hattie chronicles her family’s arduous 1847 journey from Missouri to Oregon on theOregon Trail.

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Kristiana Gregory. The Great Railroad Race: the diary of Libby West (Dear America).The great railroad race : the diary of Libby West

As the daughter of a newspaper reporter, fourteen-year-old Libby keeps a diary account of the exciting events surrounding her during the building of the railroad in the West in 1868.

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Patricia Hermes. Westward to Home: Joshua’s Journal (My America).Westward to home : Joshua's journal

In 1848, nine-year-old Joshua Martin McCullough writes a journal of his family’s journey from Missouri to Oregon in a covered wagon. Includes a historical note about westward migration.

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Kathryn Lasky. The Journal of Augustus Pelletier: the Lewis & Clark Expedition (My Name is America).The journal of Augustus Pelletier : the Lewis and Clark Expedition 1804

A fictional journal kept by twelve-year-old AugustusPelletier, the youngest member of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery.

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Ellen Levine. The Journal of Jedediah Barstow, an emigrant on the Oregon Trail (My Name is America).The journal of Jedediah Barstow, an emigrant on the Oregon Trail : Overland, 1845

In his 1845 diary, thirteen-year-old orphan Jedediahdescribes his wagon train journey to Oregon, in which he confronts rivers and sandy plains, bears and rattlesnakes, and the challenges of living with his fellow travelers. Includes historical notes.

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Walter Dean Myers. The Journal of Joshua Loper: a Black Cowboy (My Name is America).The journal of Joshua Loper : a Black cowboy

In 1871 Joshua Loper, a sixteen-year-old black cowboy, records in his journal his experiences while making his first cattle drive under an unsympathetic trail boss.

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Susan Patron. Behind the masks: the diary of Angeline Reddy (Dear America).Behind the masks : the diary of Angeline Reddy

In the “wild west” of an 1880s California gold-mining town, Angeline investigates the supposed murder of her father, a famous criminal lawyer, who she and her mother are certain is still alive. Includes historical notes and instructions for making a mask from muslin.

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Will James. Smoky, the Cowhorse.Smoky, the cowhorse

The experiences of a mouse-colored horse from his birth inthe wild, through his capture by humans and his work in therodeo and on the range, to his eventual old age.

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Caroline Lawrence. The Case of the Deadly Desperados.The case of the deadly desperados

In 1862 Nevada Territory, after finding his foster parents murdered and scalped, twelve-year-old Pinky Pinkerton, son of a railroad detective and a Sioux Indian, inherits a valuable deed and must hide from dangerous Whittlin Walt and his gang of desperados.

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