History Books

Books About the Past

Did your ancestors sail across the ocean to America? Travel across the prairies in a covered wagon? Fight in the Civil War? Learn what your ancestors’ lives were like in these books. (Don’t miss the lists of Family Tree Books and Heritage Books, too.) You probably can find them at the library, or ask for one for your birthday.

  • Across America on an Emigrant Train by Jim Murphy (Clarion Books)
  • The American Girls Collection (Pleasant Co.): The adventures of seven “American Girls” and their families illustrate 19th- and 20th-century history.
  • Children of the Gold Rush by Jane G. Haigh and Claire Rudolph Murphy (Roberts Rinehart Publishing)
  • The Civil War for Kids: A History with 21 Activities by Janis Herbert (Chicago Review Press)
  • Daily Life in a Covered Wagon by Paul Erickson (Puffin Books)
  • …If You Lived in Colonial Times by Ann McGovern (Scholastic)
  • …If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine (Scholastic)
  • …If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island by Ellen Levine (Scholastic)
  • Inside Laura’s Little House: The Little House on the Prairie Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson (HarperCollins)
  • Picture the American Past series (Lerner Publications): Describes kids’ experiences on orphan trains, at Indian boarding schools, on the World War II home front and during the Civil Rights era