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Featured Children’s Series #1: Dear America Series

As a child, the Dear America series was my all-time favorite, even topping my love (and obsession) with Goosebumps. The series is a wonderful way to introduce your children to varying parts of history in a way that they will better understand – because every story is told through the eyes of a young girl, just like them.

Most sources say that the reading level of this series is ages 9 to 14, although I began reading the series at eight, and my daughter at seven. Younger children may still enjoy the series, but may simply need you to read along with them. I would not recommend the series for children under the age of six, however, because it does describe historical events realistically. By this, I mean that issues such as racism, poverty, death, and illness are described in the series, if not in explicit detail.

A few examples of the historical events these books cover include:

  • The Journey on the Mayflower
  • The Revolutionary War
  • The Civil War
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • The Oregon Trail
  • Slavery
  • Native American Children during settlement
  • The Underground Railroad
  • The Alamo
  • The Titanic
  • The Salem Witch Trials

The series was originally released in the 1990’s, and a re-launch took place in the early 2000’s. All total, there are 43 original books, which my daughter and I will be individually reviewing over the next few months. A listing of the original books can be found below, along with links to purchase should you be interested in reading along with us. The goal is for us to read and review one to two books per week. I will be sharing my view as an adult, and my daughter will share hers as someone around the suggested reading level.

The idea behind this little project is to help parents find age-appropriate books for their children that will help to develop a great love of reading. With summer coming up on the horizon, I feel it is the perfect time to launch this project.

The Books:

  1. A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620
  2. The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777
  3. When Will This Cruel War Be Over?: The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, Gordonsville, Virginia, 1864
  4. A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859
  5. Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847
  6. So Far From Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, An Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847
  7. I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina 1865
  8. West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi, New York to Idaho Territory, 1883
  9. Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903
  10. Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763
  11. Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, RMS Titanic, 1912
  12. A Line in the Sand : The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence : Gonzales, Texas, 1836
  13. My Heart is on the Ground: the Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl, Carlisle Indian School, Pennsylvania, 1880
  14. The Great Railroad Race: The Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory 1868
  15. A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin
  16. The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, New Mexico, 1864
  17. A Coal Miner’s Bride: the Diary of Anetka Kaminska
  18. Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North
  19. One Eye Laughing, The Other Eye Weeping: The Diary of Julie Weiss, Vienna, Austria to New York 1938
  20. My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York 1941
  21. Valley of the Moon: the Diary of María Rosalia de Milagros
  22. Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory 1849
  23. Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana 1932
  24. Early Sunday Morning: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii 1941
  25. My Face to the Wind: the Diary of Sarah Jane Price, a Prairie Teacher, Broken Bow, Nebraska 1881
  26. Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: the Diary of Molly MacKenzie Flaherty; Boston, Massachusetts, 1968
  27. A Time For Courage: The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C. 1917
  28. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan, The Perkins School for the Blind, 1932
  29. Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards, Dalhart, Texas 1935
  30. When Christmas Comes Again: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer, New York City to the Western Front 1917
  31. Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota, New Yeovil, Minnesota 1873
  32. Love Thy Neighbor: the Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, Green Marsh, Massachusetts, 1774
  33. All the Stars in the Sky: the Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder, 1848
  34. Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl, New York Colony 1763
  35. I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembly, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials, Massachusetts Bay Colony 1691
  36. Hear My Sorrow: The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker, New York City 1909
  37. The Diary of Piper Davis- The Fences Between Us Seattle Washington, 1941
  38. Like The Willow Tree, The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce, Portland, Maine, 1918
  39. A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin
  40. The Second Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart: Cannons at Dawn: Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1779
  41. With the Might of Angels, The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johsnon, Hadley, Virginia, 1954
  42. A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner: San Francisco, California, 1906
  43. Behind The Masks, The Diary of Evangeline Ready, Bodie, California, 1880
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