CurriConnects Book List - Frontiers and Settlers

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Frontiers and Settlers
Discover historical fiction and non-fiction about colonists and settlers involved in westward expansion, and settlers in Alaska. Use this list as you study the frontier spirit or any of several time periods when the U.S. was growing and changing.

Preschool and Picture Books

Davy Crockett - Larry Dale Brimner, (978-0756508937) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-2, ESL level: 2
Read about Davy Crockett as a pioneer, statesman, and story teller.

Davy Crockett - Larry Dane Brimner, (978-0756508937) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-2, ESL level: 2
Davy Crockett's colorful and legendary life included the heroic jobs of frontiersman, congressman, and tall tale hero.

Early Elementary Books

Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier - Jennifer Armstrong, (978-0810942387) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 0-5, Lexile: 680, ESL level: 3
This short biography of Audubon stresses his paintings of birds and other wildlife that made him a leader in both wildlife observation and wildlife art.

Bewildered for Three Days: As to Why Daniel Boone Never Wore his Coonskin Cap - Andrew Glass, (978-0823414468) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 670, ESL level: 2
Daniel must use newly learned skills to stay alive and rescue his cap from a bear,

Boom Town - Sonia Levitin, (978-0531300435) , Fiction
Interest level: 2-4, Lexile: 590, ESL level: 2-3
Amanda starts making and selling pies in a gold rush town after her father moves the family there; she also encourages others in the town to provide other necessary services.

Buffalo Music - Tracey Fern, (978-0618723416) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-7, Lexile: 860, ESL level: 3
Based on the life of Mary Ann Goodnight, this book depicts her raising buffalo to replenish the herd in Texas and to begin new ones in Yellowstone Park.

The Golly Sisters Go West - Betsy Byers, (978-0064441322) , Fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 210, ESL level: 2
Two sisters go West, making their way by entertaining with a sing and dance routine in this easy reader.

I Have Heard of a Land - Joyce Carol Thomas, (978-0060234775) , Fiction
Interest level: 1-2, ESL level: 1 - 2
An African American woman resettles in the Oklahoma territory in order to start a new home on free land.

Pioneer Sisters - Laura Ingalls Wilder, (6.44205e+007) , Fiction
Interest level: 1-4, Lexile: 540, ESL level: 2 - 3
Laura Ingalls and her sisters enjoy family life as they settle on a young frontier.

Pioneer Summer - Deborah Hopkinson, (978-0689843501) , Fiction
Interest level: 2-5, Lexile: 530, ESL level: 2 - 3
Eight-year-old Charles resolves his doubts about moving to Kansas when his new life opens with many frontier adventures.

Roughing it on the Oregon Trail - Diane Stanley, (978-0060270650) , Fiction
Interest level: 2-4, Lexile: 410, ESL level: 2-3
A family trio makes their way West along the Oregon Trail in this new twist on time travel.

Sarah, Plain and Tall - Patricia MacLachlan, (978-0064402057) , Fiction
Interest level: 1-5, Lexile: 560, ESL level: 4
Sarah comes to the Witting family to be a new wife for Papa, and the children wonder if she will be nice in this first book in a series of five.

Snowshoe Thompson - Nancy Smiler Levinson, (978-0060238018) , Fiction
Interest level: 2-3, Lexile: 330, ESL level: 2
Enjoy this fictionalized account of the life of John Thompson, who skied across the Sierra Nevada Mountains to deliver mail while on his way to the CA Gold Rush.

Wagon Train - Sydelle Kramer, (978-0448413341) , Fiction
Interest level: 1-3, Lexile: 360, ESL level: 2
A pioneer family travels from Missouri to California on a wagon, experiencing geographic sites such as mountains, rivers, and changes in temperature, but none of the feared Indians.

Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier - Jennifer Armstrong, (978-0810942387) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 680, ESL level: 2 - 3
This book is a brief biography of the life and works of John James Audobon, the famed bird painter.

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple - Karen Cushman, (978-0395728062) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 1030, ESL level: 3
A pre-teen girl must adjust to life in a rough California mining town after moving there with her mother from the East Coast.

The Borning Room - Paul Fleischmann, (978-0590460439) , Fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 800, ESL level: 3
Georgina shares her memories of growing up on the Ohio frontier as she lies in her childhood room at the end of her life.

Boston Jane: An Adventure - Jennifer Holme, (978-0060287382) , Fiction
Interest level: 4-6, Lexile: 690, ESL level: 2-3
Jane Peck finds she must adapt quickly to a sea voyage and then life in the Northwest Territories, doing things her extensive education and precise upbringing hadn't prepared her for.

Buffalo Bill: Frontier Daredevil - Augusta Stevenson, (978-0689714795) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 480, ESL level: 2 - 3
This fictionalized account of the life of Bill Cody portrays his adventures as frontier scout, buffalo hunter, bull rider, and Pony Express employee.

Buffalo Bill: Frontier Daredevil - Augusta Stevenson, (978-0689714795) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-7, Lexile: 480, ESL level: 3
Buffalo Bill is famous for his wild west shows, his leadership on the Pony Express mail delivery system, his scouting, and his buffalo hunting.

By the Shores of Silver Lake - Laura Ingalls Wilder, (978-0060264161) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-8, Lexile: 820, ESL level: 2 - 3
Laura and family move to the Dakota territory and plan their house they'll build on the homestead they claim.

Cabin in the Snow - Deborah Hopkinson, (978-0689843518) , Fiction
Interest level: 0-5, Lexile: 500, ESL level: 2 to 3
Charlie tends to everyone in their countryside Kansas cabin during a huge blizzard.

California Gold Rush - Catherine Chambers, (978-0816745562) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 640, ESL level: 2 - 3
Two brothers stake their own claim when they discover gold while working for another Gold Rush favorite, John Sutter.

Dakota Dugout - Ann Warren Turner, (978-0027897005) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 1040, ESL level: 2 - 3
Enjoy the poetry and drawings that describe a Dakota settler husband and wife team in the later 1800's.

Frontier Village - Andy Chambers, (978-0816750405) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 710, ESL level: 3
The Nesbitt family comes to Wisconsin, and the town of Nesbitt Crossing grows into a viable community with a school and churches etc.

The Game of Silence - Louise Erdrich, (978-00602978-93) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-9, Lexile: 900, ESL level: 3
A young Ojibwa girl, Omakayas, must adjust when her family moves West in the 40's.

Grasshopper Summer - Ann Warren Turner, (978-0027895117) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 580, ESL level: 3
Sam and his family face many challenges in their new home in the Dakota Territory where they confront establishing a new life and a plague of grasshoppers.

Johnny Appleseed - Jane Yolen, (978-0060591359) , Fiction
Interest level: 4-6, Lexile: 880, ESL level: 2 - 3
Johnny Appleseed's remarkable life, traveling across the country to plant apple trees, reveals a true pioneer spirit.

The Journal of Augustus Pelletier: The Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804 - Kathryn Lasky , (978-0590684897) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 860, ESL level: 2 - 3

The Legend of Zoey - Candie Moonshower, (978-0440239246) , Fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 650, ESL level: 3 to 4
Zoey relates her time travel adventure back to New Madrid, MO in 1811 in her diary; she meets another girl who is pioneering in the early time.

The Light in the Forest - Conrad Richter, (978-0449704370) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 870, ESL level: 3
A young Anglo man who had been raised by Indians as True Son finds he must return to live with the people he's learned to mistrust.

Mary On Horseback: Three Mountain Stories - Rosemary Wells, (978-0803721548) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 660, ESL level: 3
Mary Breckenridge, as the first nurse to work in the rural mountains of Appalachia, helps three families in the separate stories included in this volume.

Mocassin Trail - Eloise McGraw, (978-0140321708) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-8, Lexile: 960, ESL level: 3 - 4
After a white boy raised by Indians is reunited with his family, he experiences difficult periods of adjustment to a more Western life.

Mountain Solo - Jeanette Ingold, (978-0152053581) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-12, Lexile: 810, ESL level: 3 - 4
A child prodigy violinist gives up the hectic competitive life of a young musician in NY City to return to her roots in Montana and contemplates a musician's life, both in the past and present.

On the Other Side of the Hill - Roger MacBride, (978-0064405751) , Fiction
Interest level: 4-6, Lexile: 860, ESL level: 4
Rose Wilder's family faces a series of natural and weather disasters on their Missouri homestead (Little House Books series).

Silver Dollar Girl - Katharine Ayres, (978-0385327633) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 650, ESL level: 2 - 3
Valentine Harper travels across the frontier dressed as a boy, trying to find her father who went West to find gold.

Swamp Angel - Anne Isaacs, (978-0525452713) , Fiction
Interest level: 5-9, Lexile: 1020, ESL level: 2-3
Starting at a very young age, Angela Longrider, the swamp angel, performs many miraculous feats on the frontier including "wrastling" a bear.

Twister on Tuesday - Mary Pope Osborne, (978-0679890690) , Fiction
Interest level: 3-4, Lexile: 310, ESL level: 2 to 3
Jack and Annie learn about prairie life in their latest time travel adventure when they fly to Kansas and experience a real tornado.

Weasel - Cynthia DeFelice, (978-0027264579) , Fiction
Interest level: 4-7, Lexile: 870, ESL level: 3
Eleven-year-old Nathan must make his own decisions when he has to confront an evil killer in the frontier town where he lives with his ailing father.

Middle School to Young Adult Books

Arctic Homestead - Norma Cobb, (978-0312283797) , Non-fiction
Interest level: 7-12, ESL level: 4
One family moves to Alaska and experiences all its beauty, weather, and other challenges.

Woods Runner - Gary Paulsen, (978-0375859083) , Fiction
Interest level: 7-10, Lexile: 790, ESL level: 4
After Samuel's parents are kidnapped by British soldiers, he goes to NY City to try and find them.