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1850-1899: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about 1850-1899?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to 1850-1899. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about 1850-1899.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about 1850-1899 can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Abe's Honest Words
Written by Doreen Rappaport & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

From the time he was a young boy roaming the forests of the unsettled Midwest, Abraham Lincoln knew in his heart that slavery was deeply wrong. A voracious reader, Lincoln spent every spare moment of his days filling his mind with knowledge, from history to literature to mathematics, preparing himself to one day lead the country he loved toward greater equality and prosperity. Despite the obstacles he faced as a self-educated man from the back woods, Lincoln persevered in his political career, and his compassion and honesty gradually earned him the trust of many Americans. As president, he guided the nation through a long and bitter civil war and penned the document that would lead to the end of slavery in the United States. The passion for humanity that defined Lincoln’s life shines through in this momentous follow-up to Martin’s Big Words and John’s Secret Dreams. Told in Doreen Rappaport’s accessible, absorbing prose, and brought to life in powerful illustrations by Kadir Nelson, Abe’s Honest Words is an epic portrait of a truly great American president.

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Emmeline Pankhurst
Written by Lisbeth Kaiser & illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

New, in the My First Little People, Big Dreams series: Introduce your littlest one to the leader of the suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst. Told in simple sentences, this young reader edition of the best-selling series is perfect to read out loud to little dreamers. This empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world – and is now in available in a board format for little hands! These books make the lives of these role models accessible for the youngest children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

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The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

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The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons
Written by Natascha Biebow & illustrated by Steven Salerno
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Celebrating the inventor of the Crayola crayon! This gloriously illustrated picture book biography tells the inspiring story of Edwin Binney, the inventor of one of the world’s most beloved toys. A perfect fit among favorites like The Day the Crayons Quit and Balloons Over Broadway. purple mountains’ majesty, mauvelous, jungle green, razzmatazz… What child doesn’t love to hold a crayon in their hands? But children didn’t always have such magical boxes of crayons. Before Edwin Binney set out to change things, children couldn’t really even draw in color. Here’s the true story of an inventor who so loved nature’s vibrant colors that he found a way to bring the outside world to children – in a bright green box for only a nickel! With experimentation, and a special knack for listening, Edwin Binney and his dynamic team at Crayola created one of the world’s most enduring, best-loved childhood toys – empowering children to dream in COLOR!

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Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote
Written by Tanya Lee Stone & illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood up and fought for what she believed in. From an early age, she knew that women were not given rights equal to men. But rather than accept her lesser status, Elizabeth went to college and later gathered other like-minded women to challenge the right to vote. Here is the inspiring story of an extraordinary woman who changed America forever because she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

Elizabeth Leads the Way is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.

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  • The Long Winter - The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as Pa, Ma, Laura, Mary, Carrie, and little Grace bravely face the hard winter of 1880-81 in their little house in the Dakota Territory. Blizzards cover the little town with snow, cutting off all supplies from the outside. Soon there is almost no food left, so young Almanzo Wilder and a friend make a dangerous trip across the prairie to find some wheat. Finally a joyous Christmas is celebrated in a very unusual way in this most exciting of all the Little House books.

  • These Happy Golden Years - Fifteen-year-old Laura lives apart from her family for the first time, teaching school in a claim shanty twelve miles from home. She is very homesick, but keeps at it so that she can help pay for her sister Mary’s tuition at the college for the blind. During school vacations Laura has fun with her singing lessons, going on sleigh rides, and best of all, helping Almanzo Wilder drive his new buggy. Friendship soon turns to love for Laura and Almanzo in the romantic conclusion of this Little House book.

  • All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom - Experience the joy of Juneteenth in this celebration of freedom from the award-winning team of Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis. Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. Since then, the observance of June 19 as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms. Told in Angela Johnson’s signature melodic style and brought to life by E.B. Lewis’s striking paintings, All Different Now is a joyous portrait of the dawn breaking on the darkest time in our nation’s history.

  • The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams - This is the story of Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, who transformed a poor neighborhood in Chicago by opening up her house as a community center.

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Emmeline Pankhurst
Written by Lisbeth Kaiser & illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this international bestseller from the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, meet Emmeline Pankhurst, an inspiring women’s rights activist who changed the world for future generations of women.

As a child, Emmeline Pankhurst was inspired by books about heroes who fought for others. She dedicated her life to fighting for women’s voting rights and, with hard work and great bravery, led a remarkable movement that changed the world. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

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This Bridge Will Not Be Gray
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Tucker Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this delightfully original take on nonfiction, bestselling author Dave Eggers tackles one of the most famous architectural and natural monuments in the world: the Golden Gate Bridge. Cut-paper illustrations by Tucker Nichols ensures that this book feels like a special object, and the revised edition includes real-life letters from constituents making the case for keeping the bridge orange. The narrative’s sly humor makes the topic perfectly accessible for kids enthusiastic about nonfiction. This one-of-a-kind book transports readers to the glorious Golden Gate, no matter where they live.

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On the Banks of Plum Creek
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as they leave their little house on the prairie and travel in their covered wagon to Minnesota. Here they settle in a little house made of sod beside the banks of beautiful Plum Creek. Soon Pa builds a wonderful new little house with real glass windows and a hinged door. Laura and her sister Mary go to school, help with the chores, and fish in the creek. At night everyone listens to the merry music of Pa’s fiddle. Misfortunes come in the form of a grasshopper plague and a terrible blizzard, but the pioneer family works hard together to overcome these troubles. And so continues Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

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The Great Brain
Written by John D. Fitzgerald & illustrated by Mercer Mayer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This first book in the series is a great combination of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Terrible Two series, and is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl.

The best con man in the Midwest is only ten years old. Tom, a.k.a., the Great Brain, is a silver-tongued genius with a knack for turning a profit. When the Jenkins boys get lost in Skeleton Cave, the Great Brain saves the day. Whether it’s saving the kids at school, or helping out Peg-leg Andy, or Basil, the new kid at school, the Great Brain always manages to come out on top-and line his pockets in the process.

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By the Shores of Silver Lake
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as they move from their little house on the banks of Plum Creek to the wilderness of the unsettled Dakota Territory. Here Pa works on the new railroad until he finds a homestead claim that is perfect for their new little house. Laura takes her first train ride as she, her sisters, and their mother come out to live with Pa on the shores of Silver Lake. After a lonely winter in the surveyors’ house, Pa puts up the first building in what will soon be a brand-new town on the beautiful shores of Silver Lake. The Ingallses’ covered-wagon travels are finally over.

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  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - They’re Puffin Classics for a reason, it’s because they’re the best Tom Sawyer is sure to find trouble wherever the river leads him . . . On the banks of the Mississippi River, Tom Sawyer and his friends seek out adventure at every turn. Then one fateful night in the graveyard they witness a murder. The boys make a blood oath never to reveal the secret, and they run away to be pirates in search of hidden treasure. But when Tom gets trapped in a cave with scary Injun Joe, can he escape unharmed?

  • Marie Curie - Meet Marie, the Nobel Prize winning scientist! New in board book format in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of Marie Curie, from her childhood in Poland to conducting pioneering research on radioactivity and going on to become the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

  • Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls’s story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard, since the family must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her folks celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep. And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

  • The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street - From the bestselling author of E. B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book Liesl & Po comes a timely and relevant adventure story about monsters of all kinds–and a girl brave enough to save them.Cordelia Clay loves the work she and her father do together: saving and healing the remarkable creatures around Boston at the end of the nineteenth century. Their home on Cedar Street is full to the brim with dragons, squelches, and diggles, and Cordelia loves every one of them.But their work must be kept secret–others aren’t welcoming to outsiders and immigrants, so what would the people of Boston do to the creatures they call “monsters”? One morning, Cordelia awakens to discover that her father has disappeared–along with nearly all the monsters. With only a handful of clues and a cryptic note to guide her, Cordelia must set off to find out what happened to her father, with the help of her new friend Gregory, Iggy the farting filch, a baby dragon, and a small zuppy (zombie puppy, that is).–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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The Great Brain Is Back
Written by John D. Fitzgerald & illustrated by Mercer Mayer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This classic trickster is back again, and he’s up to no good in his eighth and final book of the series. Great mix of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Terrible Two series, and is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl.

Tom D. Fitzgerald–better known as The Great Brain–has turned thirteen, and pretty Polly Reagan has put a spell on him. But when it comes to swindling his younger brother J. D., and all the other kids in Adenville, Tom hasn’t changed a bit. The Great Brain is back one more time, and he’s at the top of his form with his money-making schemes and getting into big trouble. As always, life is more exciting when this brain’s around!

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Hi, I’m Norman: The Story of American Illustrator Norman Rockwell
Written by Robert Burleigh & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“An inviting and admiring introduction to an important American artist.” —Kirkus Reviews

From award-winning author Robert Burleigh comes a striking, intimate picture book biography about an American icon—beloved artist Norman Rockwell.

Norman Rockwell is best known for capturing the American spirit as a painter and illustrator in the late twentieth century. This beautifully illustrated, first-person narrative explores Rockwell’s life in episodes based on important moments in American history. Norman Rockwell is not only a great American artist, but he also successfully chronicled two generations of American life, making him one of the most beloved and well-known American artists of all time.

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Before She Was Harriet
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A lush and lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman, written in verse. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life.

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Pig War: How a Porcine Tragedy Taught England and America to Share
Written by Emma Bland Smith & illustrated by Alison Jay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Here is a true story of how the great nations of America and England almost went to war in 1859 over a pig–but learned to share instead. In 1859, the British and Americans coexist on the small island of San Juan, located off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. They are on fairly good terms–until one fateful morning when an innocent hog owned by a British man has the misfortune to eat some potatoes on an American farmer’s land. In a moment of rash anger, Lyman Cutlar shoots Charles Griffin’s pig, inadvertently almost bringing the two nations to war. Tensions flare, armies gather, cannons are rolled out . . . all because of a pig! Emma Bland Smith’s humorous text and Alison Jay’s folksy illustrations combine in this whimsical nonfiction picture book that models the principles of peaceful conflict resolution.

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Her Right Foot
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Shawn Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you’d mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She’s in New York. She’s holding a torch. And she’s taking one step forward. But why? In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, uniquely American in its frank tone and honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America’s most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty’s right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country’s creation. Can you believe that?

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  • On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein - Follows the life of the famous physicist, from his early ideas to his groundbreaking theories.

  • Freedom Bird: A Tale of Hope and Courage - In this inspiring story in the tradition of American black folktales, an enslaved brother and sister are inspired by a majestic and mysterious bird to escape to freedom in this dramatic and unforgettable picture book. There was nothing civil about that war. They should have called it what it was: a big, bad war. Brother and sister Millicent and John are slaves on Simon Plenty’s plantation and have suffered one hurt and heartbreak after another. Their parents had told them old tales of how their ancestors had flown away to freedom just as free and easy as a bird. Millicent and John hold these stories in their hearts long after their parents are gone. “Maybe such a time will come for you,” their parents said. Then one day a mysterious bird appears in their lives. The bird transforms them and gives them the courage to set their plan into motion and escape to freedom.

  • When Jessie Came Across the Sea - “Hest simply and faithfully holds a mirror to the milestone event for millions of turn-of-the-century immigrants.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review) When a young girl from a poor eastern European village learns that she must leave her beloved grandmother for a new life – and a new love – in America, they both feel that their hearts will break. The sure and inspired narrative by award-winning author Amy Hest is paired with paintings by P.J. Lynch that glow with warmth and carefully observed detail, creating an unforgettable tribute to the immigrant experience.

  • Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova - “Spare, poetic words sit as lightly as snowflakes.”—Wall Street Journal “An enchanting glimpse of a dancer whose name has come to be synonymous with her most famous role.”—School Library Journal, starred review One night, young Anna’s mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova. Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova is a heartbreakingly beautiful picture book biography perfect for aspiring ballerinas of all ages.

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Willa of the Wood
Written & illustrated by Robert Beatty
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Robert Beatty comes a thrilling new series set in the magical world of Serafina. Move without a sound. Steal without a trace. Willa, a young night-spirit of the Great Smoky Mountains, is her clan’s best thief. She creeps into the homes of day-folk under cover of darkness and takes what they won’t miss. It’s dangerous work-the day-folk kill whatever they do not understand–but Willa will do anything to win the approval of the padaran, the charismatic leader of the Faeran people. When Willa’s curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in the day world, she calls upon an ancient, unbreakable bond to escape. Only then does she discover the truth: not all day-folk are the same, and the foundations that have guarded the Faeran for eons are under attack. As forces of unfathomable destruction encroach on her home, Willa must decide who she truly is. To save the day-folk family that has become her own–and lift the curse that has robbed her people of their truth–Willa will meet deadly force with trusted alliance, violence with shelter, and an ever-changing world with a steady heartbeat of courage.

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Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon
Written by KT Johnston & illustrated by César Samaniego
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Jim was a South African railway inspector in the late 1800s who lost his legs in an accident while at work. Unable to perform all his tasks with his disability but desperate to keep his job, Jim discovered a brilliant solution, a baboon named Jack. Jim trained Jack to help him both at home and at the depot. But when the railway authorities and the public discovered a monkey on the job, Jack and Jim had to work together to convince everyone that they made a great team. This inspiring true story celebrates the history of service animals and a devoted friendship.

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Lifting as We Climb: Black Women's Battle for the Ballot Box
Written by Evette Dionne
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-

For African American women, the fight for the right to vote was only one battle. This National Book Award longlisted book tells the important, overlooked story of black women as a force in the suffrage movement–when fellow suffragists did not accept them as equal partners in the struggle. Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Alice Paul. The Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls. The 1913 Women’s March in D.C. When the epic story of the suffrage movement in the United States is told, the most familiar leaders, speakers at meetings, and participants in marches written about or pictured are generally white. That’s not the real story. Women of color, especially African American women, were fighting for their right to vote and to be treated as full, equal citizens of the United States. Their battlefront wasn’t just about gender. African American women had to deal with white abolitionist-suffragists who drew the line at sharing power with their black sisters. They had to overcome deep, exclusionary racial prejudices that were rife in the American suffrage movement. And they had to maintain their dignity–and safety–in a society that tried to keep them in its bottom ranks. Lifting as We Climb is the empowering story of African American women who refused to accept all this. Women in black church groups, black female sororities, black women’s improvement societies and social clubs. Women who formed their own black suffrage associations when white-dominated national suffrage groups rejected them. Women like Mary Church Terrell, a founder of the National Association of Colored Women and of the NAACP; or educator-activist Anna Julia Cooper who championed women getting the vote and a college education; or the crusading journalist Ida B. Wells, a leader in both the suffrage and anti-lynching movements. Author Evette Dionne, a feminist culture writer and the editor-in-chief of Bitch Media, has uncovered an extraordinary and underrepresented history of black women. In her powerful book, she draws an important historical line from abolition to suffrage to civil rights to contemporary young activists–filling in the blanks of the American suffrage story. Dionne provides a detailed and comprehensive look at the overlooked roles African American women played in the efforts to end slavery and then to secure the right to vote for women. –Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson
Written by Pam Muñoz Ryan & illustrated by Brian Selznick
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Marian Anderson is best known for her historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, which drew an integrated crowd of 75,000 people in pre-Civil Rights America. While this momentous event showcased the uniqueness of her voice, the strength of her character, and the struggles of the times in which she lived, it is only part of her story. Like the operatic arias Marian would come to sing, Ryan’s text is as moving as a libretto, and Selznick’s pictures as exquisitely detailed and elaborately designed as a stage set. What emerges most profoundly from their shared vision is a role model of courage.

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Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln
Written by Margarita Engle & illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War. Still, Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous as the talented Piano Girl who could play anything from a folk song to a sonata. So famous, in fact, that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her to play at the White House! Yet with the country torn apart by war, could Teresa’s music bring comfort to those who needed it most?

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  • Sparky - In this Dog Diaries-meets-Horse Diaries Special Crossover Edition, a no-nonsense fire dog meets her match in the biggest, hottest flames Chicago has ever seen–and a rescue horse with an attitude! In the 1800s, firefighters used horses to pull fire trucks. But horses spook easily and run away from fire–so they needed fire dogs. And there’s no better fire dog than Sparky. Sparky is so good at her job, she knows when the alarm is going to ring before it even rings! But today is no ordinary day. There’s no choice but to put Cinders–a rescue horse with an attitude–to work at her very first fire, one destined to become one of the greatest disasters of the nineteenth century! With realistic black-and-white illustrations and an appendix including information about dalmatians, the Great Chicago Fire, and more, this is historical fiction for kids who don’t like historical fiction, and a perfect choice for supporting Common Core State Standards. Get the horse’s side of the story! Read Horse Diaries Special Edition: Cinders.

  • What Is the Panama Canal? - Before 1914, traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast meant going by land across the entire United States. To go by sea involved a long journey around South America and north along the Pacific Coast. But then, in a dangerous and amazing feat of engineering, a 48-mile-long channel was dug through Panama, creating the world’s most famous shortcut: the Panama Canal!

  • L. M. Montgomery - From the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the famous Canadian author of Anne of Green Gables. Born in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, Lucy Maud Montgomery lost her mother when she was very young. Left in the care of less-than-encouraging grandparents, she found comfort in reading, writing, and her imagination. When Maud grew up, she wrote about the childhood she wished she had, creating one of the best-loved characters of all time: Anne of Green Gables. This moving book features stylish illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the author’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  • Maria Montessori - This board book version of _Maria Montessori_—from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series—introduces the youngest dreamers to the incredible life of this pioneering teacher and researcher. Maria grew up in Italy at a time when girls didn’t receive an equal education to boys. But Maria’s mother was supportive of her dreams, and Maria went on to study medicine. She later became an early childhood expert—founding schools with her revolutionary educational theories and changing the lives of many children. Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this fascinating educator and innovator, and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Written by Dee Brown
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

Now a special 30th-anniversary edition in both hardcover and paperback, the classic bestselling history “The New York Times” called “Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking…Impossible to put down” “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” is Dee Brown’s eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller in hardcover for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold almost four million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages. For this elegant thirtieth-anniversary edition – published in both hardcover and paperback – Brown has contributed an incisive new preface. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows the great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” changed forever our vision of how the West was really won.

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A Race Around the World: The True Story of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland
Written by Caroline Starr Rose & illustrated by Alexandra Bye
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

In 1889, New York reporter Nellie Bly—inspired by Jules Verne’s book Around the World in 80 Days—began an around-the-world journey that she hoped to complete in less time. Her trip was sponsored by the newspaper that employed her, The World. Just hours after her ship set out across the Atlantic, the publisher of another New York publication, The Cosmopolitan magazine, put writer Elizabeth Bisland on a westbound train. Bisland was headed around the world in the opposite direction, thinking that she could beat Bly’s time. Only one woman could win the race, but both Bly and Bisland completed their journeys in record time and experienced unforgettable adventures.

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A Little Prairie House
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Renee Graef
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With the My First Little House picture book series, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books in these illustrated adaptations of the beloved series!

Laura, Pa, Ma, Mary, and baby Carrie have traveled from the Big Woods to the prairie in their covered wagon, driving through tall grass until they found just the right spot for their new home. With the help of their kind neighbor, Mr. Edwards, Pa builds a snug little house for the family in the middle of the wide-open prairie.

Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

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Who Was Helen Keller?
Written by Who HQ & illustrated by Nancy Harrison
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

At age two, Helen Keller became deaf and blind. She lived in a world of silence and darkness and she spent the rest of her life struggling to break through it. But with the help of teacher Annie Sullivan, Helen learned to read, write, and do many amazing things. This inspiring illustrated biography is perfect for young middle-grade readers. Black-and-white line drawings throughout, sidebars on related topics such as Louis Braille, a timeline, and a bibliography enhance readers’ understanding of the subject.

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William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad
Written & illustrated by Don Tate
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The remarkable, little-known story of William Still, known as the Father of the Underground Railroad from award-winning author-illustrator Don Tate

William Still’s parents escaped slavery but had to leave two of their children behind, a tragedy that haunted the family. As a young man, William went to work for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, where he raised money, planned rescues, and helped freedom seekers who had traveled north. And then one day, a strangely familiar man came into William’s office, searching for information about his long-lost family. Could it be?

Motivated by his own family’s experience, William began collecting the stories of thousands of other freedom seekers. As a result, he was able to reunite other families and build a remarkable source of information, including encounters with Harriet Tubman, Henry “Box” Brown, and William and Ellen Craft.

Don Tate brings to life the incredible, stranger-than-fiction true story of William Still’s life and work as a record keeper of enslaved people who had fled to freedom. Tate’s powerful words and artwork are sure to inspire readers in this first-ever picture book biography of the Father of the Underground Railroad.

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  • A Day for Rememberin': Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day - A moving tribute to the little-known history behind the first Memorial Day, illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Floyd Cooper Today is a special day. Eli knows it’s important if he’s allowed to miss one second of school, his “hard-earned right.” Inspired by true events and told through the eyes of a young boy, this is the deeply moving story about what is regarded as the first Memorial Day on May 1, 1865. Eli dresses up in his best clothes, Mama gathers the mayflowers, Papa straightens his hat, and together they join the crowds filling the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, with bouquets, crosses, and wreaths. Abolitionists, missionaries, teachers, military officers, and a sea of faces Black, Brown, and White, they march as one and sing for all those who gave their lives fighting for freedom during the Civil War. With poignant prose and celebratory, powerful illustrations, A Day for Rememberin’ shines light on the little-known history of this important holiday and reminds us never to forget the people who put their lives on the line for their country. The book is illustrated by award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper and includes archival photos in the back matter, as well as an author’s note, bibliography, timeline, and index.

  • I Dreamed I was a Ballerina - Every girl remembers her first trip to the ballet: the anticipation beforehand, the orchestra’s first notes, the ethereal beauty of the ballerinas. This is a tale of one such girl who was caught up in ballet’s mesmerizing spell and became one of the greatest ballerinas of all time. In a story drawn from her memoirs, Anna Pavlova describes her first visit to the ballet to see the Sleeping Beauty. With simple, childlike language, she captures her love for her mother, the splendor of the ballet, and the moments that changed her life. The words are matched with paintings, pastels, and drawings of the French Impressionist Edgar Degas, to give this story all the magic of a fairytale. Complete with short biographies of Pavlova and Degas, I Dreamed I Was a Ballerina will delight any child with ballerina dreams.

  • What Was the Underground Railroad? - No one knows where the term Underground Railroad came from–there were no trains or tracks, only conductors who helped escaping slaves to freedom. Including real stories about passengers on the Railroad, this book chronicles slaves’ close calls with bounty hunters, exhausting struggles on the road, and what they sacrificed for freedom. With 80 black-and-white illustrations throughout and a sixteen-page black-and-white photo insert, the Underground Railroad comes alive!

  • Pink and Say - When Sheldon Russell Curtis told this story to his daughter, Rosa, she kept every word in her heart and was to retell it many times. I will tell it in Sheldon’s own words as nearly as I can. He was wounded in a fierce battle and left for dead in a pasture somewhere in Georgia when Pinkus found him. Pinkus’ skin was the color of polished mahogany, and he was flying Union colors like the wounded boy, and he picked him up out of the field and brought him to where the black soldier’s mother, Moe Moe Bay, lived. She had soft, gentle hands and cared for him and her Pink. But the two boys were putting her in danger, two Union soldiers in Confederate territory! They had to get back to their outfits. Scared and uncertain, the boys were faced with a hard decision, and then marauding Confederate troops rode in. In this Civil War story passed from great-grandfather to grandmother, to son, and finally to the author-artist herself, Patricia Polacco once again celebrates the shared humanity of the peoples of this world.

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Major Impossible: A Grand Canyon Tale
Written by Nathan Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The ninth book in the bestselling series tells the story of John Wesley Powell, the one-armed geologist who explored the Grand Canyon John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) always had the spirit of adventure in him. As a young man, he traveled all over the United States exploring. When the Civil War began, Powell went to fight for the Union, and even after he lost most of his right arm, he continued to fight until the war was over. In 1869 he embarked with the Colorado River Exploring Expedition, ten men in four boats, to float through Grand Canyon. Over the course of three months, the explorers lost their boats and supplies, nearly drowned, and were in peril on multiple occasions. Ten explorers went in, only six came out. Powell would come to be known as one of the most epic explorers in history! Equal parts gruesome and hilarious, this latest installment in the bestselling series takes readers on an action-packed adventure through American history.

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Who Was H. J. Heinz?
Written by Michael Burgan and Who HQ & illustrated by Stephen Marchesi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Who HQ has way more than 57 reasons why you’ll want to read the amazing story of H. J. Heinz–the American entrepreneur who brought tomato ketchup to the masses. Learn how this son of German immigrants from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, turned his small food-packaging company into a booming business known for its fair treatment of workers and pioneering safe food preparation standards. This American success story follows Heinz from his early days as a pickle and vinegar merchant in the 1800s to the name behind the nation’s number-one brand of ketchup. The name that’s on everyone’s lips is now part of the Who Was? series.

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Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington
Written by Jabari Asim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Booker dreamedof making friends with words, setting free the secretsthat lived in books. Born into slavery, young Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. After emancipation, Booker began a five-hundred-mile journey, mostly on foot, to Hampton Institute, taking his first of many steps towards a college degree. When he arrived, he had just fifty cents in his pocket and a dream about to come true. The young slave who once waited outside of the schoolhouse would one day become a legendary educator of freedmen. Award-winning artist Bryan Collier captures the hardship and the spirit of one of the most inspiring figures in American history, bringing to life Booker T. Washington’s journey to learn, to read, and to realize a dream.

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Who Was Milton Bradley?
Written by Who HQ & illustrated by Tim Foley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Meet the man behind the board games: Milton Bradley. Born in Maine in 1836, Milton Bradley moved with his family to the working-class city of Lowell, Massachusetts, at age 11. His early life consisted of several highs and lows, from graduating high school and attending Harvard to getting laid off and losing his first wife. These experiences gave Bradley the idea for his first board game: The Checkered Game of Life. He produced and sold Life across the country and it quickly became a national sensation. Working with his company, the Milton Bradley Company, he continued to produce board games, crayons, and kid-friendly school supplies for the rest of his life. He is often credited as the father of board games, and the Milton Bradley Company has created Battleship, Jenga, Yahtzee, Trouble, and many more classic games.

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The Escape of Robert Smalls
Written by Jehan Jones-Radgowski & illustrated by Poppy Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The mist in Charleston Inner Harbor was heavy, but not heavy enough to disguise the stolen Confederate steamship, the Planter, from Confederate soldiers. In the early hours of May 13, 1862, in the midst of the deadly U.S. Civil War, an enslaved man named Robert Smalls was about to carry out a perilous plan of escape. Standing at the helm of the ship, Smalls impersonated the captain as he and his crew passed heavily armed Confederate forts to enter Union territory, where escaped slaves were given shelter. The suspenseful escape of the determined crew is celebrated with beautiful artwork and insightful prose, detailing the true account of an unsung American hero.

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