When I was a kid my favorite make-believe game was pioneers. Maybe it was living in Colorado, growing up on Little House on the Prairie reruns (and of course the books), or maybe it was that we all played way too much Oregon Trail. So if you liked to pretend that you were carrying water from the creek or that your oxen were dying from dysentery, these pioneer books may be for you.
1. Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Hattie, an orphaned teenaged girl, attempts to prove up a claim all by herself in Montana during WWI. You will root for Hattie as she plants her crops and fights injustice. Has a cute but unnecessary sequel, stick with the first book.
2. The Diary of Mattie Spenser by Sandra Dallas
Mattie and Luke Spenser barely know one another when they marry and move out to the middle of nowhere Colorado. Has one of the best descriptions I’ve read of what frontier women had to do all day to survive. WARNING: anyone who ever saw a Mary Ingalls storyline on Little House knows that sometimes frontier stories are SAD.
3. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
A book that takes place in Southeast Asia and the Australian outback during and after WWII doesn’t SOUND very Ingalls-like you say. But at their heart these are all survival stories, and this is a great one. Sometimes as Americans we can forget that other countries have their OWN frontier stories and they didn’t all take place in the 1800s.
What about you? What are some of your favorite frontier or pioneer books?
Originally posted 11/12/2014
Monday 24th of November 2014
I'll have to check these out! Maybe some will be good choices for my historical-fiction-loving 5th grader. Recently my girls and I listened to the whole Kirsten (American Girl) series on audio book. Of course these are for elementary schoolers- there is some cheesiness and all happy endings- but I thought they really did a good job introducing the struggles of pioneer life to the kids. Also, the stories kept the kids from arguing on many a car trip, which was pretty great.
Tuesday 25th of November 2014
Hattie Big Sky would probably be okay age wise. I will have to post some more kid books some time!