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: The Great Railroad Race, The Diary of Libby West (Utah Territory, 1868) by Kristiana Gregory

In this lovely book, fourteen-year-old Libby and her family accompany her father as he travels alongside the Union Pacific Railroad as a journalist, to track the progress of the building of the transcontinental railroad in the Great Race between the Union and Central Pacific Railways. The construction of a transcontinental railroad was one of the … Continue reading Dear America: The Great Railroad Race, The Diary of Libby West (Utah Territory, 1868) by Kristiana Gregory

Dear America: West to a Land of Plenty, The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi (New York to Idaho Territory 1883) by Jim Murphy

When I read the first page of this DA diary, I knew this one was going to be quite special. For one, it was written in (what I felt to be) a very realistic voice and style for a fourteen year old girl-- complete with spelling errors and complaints about family, and how much she … Continue reading Dear America: West to a Land of Plenty, The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi (New York to Idaho Territory 1883) by Jim Murphy

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