Teach Dear America

Civil Rights Movement (1948-1968)

The Journal of Biddy Owens, The Negro Leagues, Birmingham, Alabama 1948
By Walter Dean Myers
Biddy's story covers the games, the grueling road trips, racial segregation, and day-to-day life in Birmingham during this pivotal time.

Colonial Period (1607 – 1776)

The Devil's Book, The Salem Village Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1691
By Lisa Rowe Fraustino
Deliverance Trembley finds herself caught up in the drama of the Salem witch trials.
Look to the Hills, The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl, New York Colony, 1763
By Patricia C. McKissack
Lozette is a French slave who must find her place in the New World when her masters uproot her and bring her to colonial America.
The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce, A Pilgrim Boy, Plymouth, 1620
By Ann Rinaldi
Jasper, a 14-year-old Pilgrim, makes his mark at Plymouth by establishing a friendship with the Nauset Indians.

Early 20th Century (1900-1920)

A Time for Courage, The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C., 1917
By Kathryn Lasky
Katheleen "Kat" Bowen get to participate as her mother, her sister, and many others close to her organize and act to win the right to vote.
Color Me Dark, The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, The Great Migration North, Chicago, Illinois, 1919
By Patricia C. McKissack
The tumultuous experience of a young African American girl who moves from the South to Chicago
Hear My Sorrow, The Diary of Angela Denoto, A Shirtwaist Worker, New York City, 1909
By Deborah Hopkinson
Angela, an Italian immigrant girl, must go to work in a shirtwaist factory to support her family. Angela plays a part in the drama and turmoil as the workers begin to strike, protesting the terrible conditions.
The Journal of Finn Reardon, A Newsie, New York City, 1899
By Susan Campbell Bartoletti
When Finn Reardon's father dies, he decides to support his mother and eight siblings by peddling newspapers on the streets corners of New York City. But when the two biggest newspaper publishers, Hearst and Pulitzer, raise the wholesale price that Finn and his friends pay for the papers they sell, the boys band together and go on strike.

Great Depression Era (1930-1939)

Christmas After All, The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932
By Kathryn Lasky
Minnie Swift is twelve years old, and living through one of America's toughest times, The Great Depression. She is the second youngest child in a once prosperous family, living in a big, beautiful, old house on Meridian, the main street of Indianapolis.
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, The Diary of Bess Brennan, The Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, Massachusetts, 1932
By Barry Denenberg
The year is 1932 and Bess Brennan has a terrible accident that blinds her. Sent to the Perkins School for the Blind, she learns to read and write Braille, and records the daily triumphs, and disappointments of life at the school and the state of the country during the Great Depression.
Survival in the Storm, The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards, Dalhart, Texas, 1935
By Katelan Janke
Meet Grace Edwards, a little girl growing up in the heart of the Texas panhandle, in the midst of the Dust Bowl. Fierce, dust-filled winds ravage the plains and threaten the town's agricultural livelihood, creating poverty and despair among Grace's neighbors. Will her family's farm survive?
The Journal of C.J. Jackson, A Dust Bowl Migrant, Oklahoma to California, 1935
By William Durbin
Meet C.J. Jackson, a young farmer whose family is forced to abandon their farm and seek a new life in California.

Immigration (1847-1905)

A Coal Miner's Bride, The Diary of Anetka Kaminska Lattimer
By Susan Campbell Bartoletti
A Polish girl is sent to America against her will as the promised bride to a Pennsylvania coal miner.
Dreams in the Golden Country, The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, A Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903
By Kathryn Lasky
New dreams and old traditions flourish and clash when a Jewish girl and her family emigrate from Russia to America.
So Far from Home, The Diary of Mary Driscoll, An Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847
By Barry Denenberg
The riveting diary takes a sharp look at the deteriorating conditions at the Lowell mills as experienced by a 13-year-old Irish immigrant girl.
The Journal of Otto Peltonen, A Finnish Immigrant, Hibbing, Minnesota, 1905
By William Durbin
Otto, a 16-year-old Finnish boy, comes to join his father in Minnesota expecting the fabled American "land of opportunity," and instead finds the squalor of a filthy mining town run by U.S. Steel.

Native American Experience (1831-1865)

The Journal of Jesse Smoke, A Cherokee Boy, The Trail of Tears, 1838
By Joseph Bruchac
15-year-old Jesse Smoke, his mother, and his sisters are forced to abandon their home, their land, and their possessions when they and several thousand other Cherokees are forced west.
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow, The Diary of Sarah Nita, A Navajo Girl, New Mexico, 1864
By Ann Turner
The deeply affecting story of Sarah Nita, her tribe's surrender to white troops, and the Long Walk across New Mexico as they are "relocated."

Revolutionary War (1776-1781)

Love Thy Neighbor, The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, Greenmarsh, Massachusetts, 1774
By Ann Turner
In the winter of 1775, as Prudence Emerson's neighbors prepare to fight the British for independence, Pru is torn between her family's sworn allegiance to the King, and her loneliness for the friends who abandon her for the Patriot cause. When the first battle at Bunker Hill explodes, Pru must find the courage to weather the turbulent times.
The Journal of William Thomas Emerson, A Revolutionary War Patriot, Boston, Massachusetts, 1774
By Barry Denenberg
As tensions escalate in the period just before the American Revolution, a boy surrounded by political rumblings and violence joins a secret group of rebels against the British.

Slavery and the Civil War (1859-1865)

The Journal of James Edmond Pease, A Civil War Union Soldier, Virginia, 1863
By Jim Murphy
16-year-old James is in the thick of the bloody battle to preserve the Union!
The Journal of Rufus Rowe, A Witness to the Battle of Fredericksburg, Bowling Green, Virginia, 1862
By Sid Hite
16-year-old Rufus Rowe runs away from home, to escape his cruel stepfather. He finds work and shelter in Fredericksburg, Virginia, just as the Rebel troops begin to amass in preparation for a confrontation with the Union Army.

Vietnam War (1961-1975)

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The Diary of Molly Mackenzie Flaherty, Boston, Massachusetts, 1968
By Ellen Emerson White
The sister of a Marine fighting in a war she does not believe in, our zealous heroine must reconcile her life as anti-war demonstrator with that of her brother.
The Journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty, United States Marine Corps, Khe Sanh, Vietnam, 1968
By Ellen Emerson White
The harrowing journal of an American Marine fighting in Vietnam. Scared but brave, Patrick must deal with all of the dangers and emotions of life in a war zone.

Westward Expansion (1804-1890)

Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie, The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847
By Kristiana Gregory
A young pioneer girl chronicles her family's rigorous and brave journey westward as they pave the way for thousands of Americans who will follow.
All the Stars in the Sky, The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder, The Santa Fe Trail, 1848
By Megan McDonald
Florrie finds the adventure of a lifetime along the Santa Fe Trail, meeting new challenges and dangers, after her mother decides to move her family from Missouri to New Mexico.
Land of the Buffalo Bones, The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota, New Yeovil, Minnesota 1873
By Marion Dane Bauer
After following her father from their home in England to the plains of Minnesota, Mary must summon the strength to face the challenges and heartbreaking losses that she and her family encounter.
A Line in the Sand, The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence, Gonzales, Texas, 1836
By Sherry Garland
The epic story of the Alamo from the perspective of Lucinda Lawrence, a 12-year-old girl.
My Face to the Wind, The Diary of Sarah Jane Price, A Prairie Teacher, Broken Bow, Nebraska, 1881
By Jim Murphy
In the 1880s many young teachers traveled Wes tot earn money and make a new life for themselves. Sarah Jane's diary tells the story of her struggle to brave the rough conditions.
Seeds of Hope, The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory, 1849
By Kristiana Gregory
It is 1849 and Susanna Fairchild is on board the California, a ship sailing from New York to California. She and her family are bound for Oregon City where they are to join old friends and start a new life.
The Great Railroad Race, The Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory, 1868
By Kristiana Gregory
The diary of 14-year-old Libby West recounts the momentous building of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Valley of the Moon, The Diary of Maria Rosalia de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta California, 1846
By Sherry Garland
Rosa is a mestizo servant in a Spanish home in 1845. Orphaned years ago, she and her brother, Domingo, work on the Medina rancho, run by the stern Senor Medina. Rosa explains the fascinating and devasting history of the Spanish in California, along with her own tale of lost lineage.
West to the Land of Plenty, The Diary of Teresa Angelina Viscardi, New York to Idaho Territory, 1883
By Jim Murphy
An Italian family's quest for a new life takes them across America to a utopian community.
The Journal of Jebediah Bartsow, An Emigrant on the Oregon Trail, Overland, 1845
By Ellen Levine
Orphaned after losing his parents in a rafting accident, Jedediah Barstow must find the courage to follow his family's dream westward along the Oregon Trail.
The Journal of Joshua Loper, A Black Cowboy, The Chisholm Trail, 1871
By Walter Dean Myers
The diary of an African American boy struggling with his first cattle drive and rampant racism.
The Journal of Sean Sullivan, A Transcontinental Railroad Worker, Nebraska and Points West, 1867
By William Durbin
Sean faces many dangers, including hostile Native Americans, as he helps build the first railroad to span from coast to coast.
The Journal of Augustus Pelletier, The Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804
By Kathryn Lasky
14-year-old Augustus Pelletier, half French and half Omaha Indian, is fed up with his stepfather Mingo, who has become increasingly abusive since the death of Lapwing Woman, Gus's mother. Eager to strike out on his own, he joins Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery on their journey from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean.
The Journal of Brian Doyle, A Greenhorn on an Alaskan Whaling Ship, The Florence, 1874
By Jim Murphy
Jonathan Dodge has run away from his father's house, fleeing his father's wrathful punishments. He signs on as a "greenhorn," a sailor on an Alaskan whaling ship. On the high seas Jonathan finds more adventure and danger than one boy could have hoped for.
The Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds, The Donner Party Expedition, 1846
By Rodman Philbrick
William Deeds is an orphan with nothing to his name except the two hundred dollars he got in exchange for his family's farm, and a horse named Barney. So, he is ecstatic when Mr. George Donner lets him "tag along" on his expedition to California.
The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung, A Chinese Miner, California, 1852
By Laurence Yep
In 1852, during the height of the California Gold Rush, 10-year-old Wong Ming-Chung makes the dangerous trip to America to join his uncle on his hunt for a fortune. The true treasure for Ming-Chung, though, is America itself. In the midst of the lawless, often hostile environment, he is able to forge an international community of friends.

World War I (1914-1945)

When Christmas Comes Again, The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer, New York City to the Western Front, 1917
By Beth Seidel Levine
In April of 1917, Simone Spencer's world changes. Her beloved brother Will goes off to war, and Simone seeks a way to help. When General Pershing calls for French-speaking American girls to operate the switchboards on the Western Front, Simone becomes one of the first brave "Hello Girls" whose courage helped lead the Allies to victory. In the end, Christmas brings the Spencers back together again.

World War II (1939-1945)

Early Sunday Morning, The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941
By Barry Denenberg
Pearl Harbor, on the Island of O'ahu, Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese Imperial Navy at approximately 8:00 A.M., Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The surprise attack involved a striking force of 353 Japanese aircraft. Nineteen U.S. ships, including five battleships, and about 150 U.S planes were destroyed; more than 2,300 soldiers, sailors and civilians were killed. At 8 a.m., Amber's life is never the same
My Secret War, The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York, 1941
By Mary Pope Osborne
Madeline's worried about her father, off fighting the war, and about being the new kid at school. But then she befriends Johnny and together they brave tough times.
One Eye Laughing, The Other Weeping, The Diary of Julie Weiss, Vienna, Austria to New York,1938
By Barry Denenberg
When the Nazi's abruptly overrun Vienna, 12-year-old Julie Weiss is forced to leave for America.
The Journal of Ben Uchida, Citizen 13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp, California, 1942
By Barry Denenberg
This is the story of 12-year-old Ben Uchida surviving in one of America's Japanese internment camps during World War II. Ben wryly mocks the hypocrisy of the camp authorities even as he suffers the pain of being demonized.
The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, A World War II Soldier, Normandy, France, 1944
By Walter Dean Myers
Each harrowing day of battle in France convinces 17-year-old Scott Pendleton Collins that he may not survive. He records his thoughts, fears, and hopes in a journal he has carried since his first days of basic training at Fort Dix.