Dear America: All the Stars in the Sky, The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder (Santa Fe Trail, 1848) by Megan McDonald

In this charming book, Florrie and her family set out from Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico where her step-father, Mr. Ryder, holds a successful trading business. This story is told in the true, authentic voice of a Southern thirteen-year-old girl, making Florrie a delightfully humorous and colorful protagonist. What makes this DA diary stand … Continue reading Dear America: All the Stars in the Sky, The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder (Santa Fe Trail, 1848) by Megan McDonald

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Dear America: Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (California Territory, 1849) by Kristiana Gregory

Susanna, her parents, and her sister set sail from the U.S. east coast to the west in hopes to reunite with family in Oregon. However, on their voyage, their mother is taken by the sea when a giant wave sweeps upon deck. Susanna, her father, and sister are devastated by their loss, but must continue … Continue reading Dear America: Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (California Territory, 1849) by Kristiana Gregory

Dear America: Valley of the Moon, the Diary of María Rosalia de Milagros (Sonoma Valley, Alta California 1846) by Sherry Garland

Rosalia is a servant girl for a wealthy Spanish ranchero family in Alta (upper) California. She and her little brother Domingo are orphans, though it is apparent through the color of their skin that they are of mixed Native American and Hispanic descent. They and their fellow servants are treated surprisingly kindly by the hospitable … Continue reading Dear America: Valley of the Moon, the Diary of María Rosalia de Milagros (Sonoma Valley, Alta California 1846) by Sherry Garland

Dear America: So Far From Home, The Diary of Mary Driscoll, An Irish Mill Girl (Lowell, Massachusetts 1847) by Barry Denenberg

Mary travels from Ireland to the U.S. to work in a mill so that she can earn money to send to her family at home. This book is very rich with imagery; it is very easy for one to picture the craggy shores of Ireland and the bustling streets of Lowell, MA while reading. In … Continue reading Dear America: So Far From Home, The Diary of Mary Driscoll, An Irish Mill Girl (Lowell, Massachusetts 1847) by Barry Denenberg

Dear America: Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie, The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell (1847) by Kristiana Gregory

In this haunting novel, Hattie's father convinces her mother to leave the graves of Hattie's sisters and follow the Oregon trail out west to start a new life. The Campbells and their Missouri neighbors set to the trail with their wagons and as many possessions as they could cram into them. Hattie makes a friend, … Continue reading Dear America: Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie, The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell (1847) by Kristiana Gregory