After the War of 1812 Up to the Civil War, 1815-1860

American Historical Fiction






Date Pub

Cover image for Talking leaves

Bruchac, Joseph.   Talking Leaves

The story of Sequoyah and the creation of the Cherokee syllabary, as told by his thirteen-year-old son.


Cover image for Unbound : a novel in verse

Burg, Ann E.   Unbound: a novel in verse

The day nine-year-old Grace is called to work in the kitchen in the Big House, everyone warns her to keep her head down and her thoughts to herself, but the more she sees of the oppressive Master and his hateful wife, the more she questions things until one day her thoughts escape--and to avoid being separated she and her family flee into the Dismal Swamp, to join the other escaped slaves who live there.


Ketchum, Liza.   Newsgirl
Amelia is unhappy about the restrictions placed on girls in 1851 San Francisco, so she disguises herself as a boy in order to join a gang of newsboys, where she gets to work and have fun alongside her rambunctious friends.


Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn.   The Floating Circus
In 1850s Pittsburgh, thirteen-year-old Owen leaves his younger brother and sneaks aboard a circus housed in a riverboat, where he befriends a freed slave, learns to work with elephants, and finally comes to terms with the choices he has made in his difficult life.


Erdrich, Louise.   The Game of Silence
Nine-year-old Omakayas, of the Ojibwa tribe, moves west with her family in 1849.


Lester, Julius.   Day of Tears: a novel in dialogue
When gambling debts and greed enter into the Butler household, Pierce Butler decides to host the biggest slave auction in American history and breaks a promise by selling Emma, his most-valued slave and caretaker of his children--a decision that brings about unthinkable consequences.


Wilson, Diane L.   Black Storm Comin’: gallop most out of my skin
Forced to tend to his mother and two sisters by himself while on the wagon train to California, biracial Colton Wescott and his family have great difficulties and are shunned by others, thus Colton decides to join up with the Pony Express in the hopes of making money for his family, knowing that he is risking his life if his true identity is ever discovered.


Holm, Jennifer L.   Boston Jane: an adventure
Schooled in the lessons of etiquette for young ladies of 1854, Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia finds little use for manners during her long sea voyage to the Pacific Northwest and while living among the American traders and Chinook Indians of Washington Territory.


Osborne, Mary Pope.   Adaline Falling Star
Feeling abandoned by her deceased Arapaho mother and her explorer father, Adaline Falling Star runs away from the prejudiced cousins with whom she is staying and comes close to death in the wilderness, with only a mongrel dog for company.


Yep, Laurence.   The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: a Chinese miner
A young Chinese boy nicknamed Runt records his experiences in a journal as he travels from southern China to California in1852 to join his uncle during the Gold Rush.


Cover image for Let my people go : Bible stories of faith, hope, and love : as told by Price Jefferies, a free man of color, to his daughter, Charlotte, in Charleston, South Carolina, 1806-1816

McKissack, Pat.   Let My People Go: Bible stories of faith, hope, and love: as told by Price Jefferies, a free man of color, to his daughter, Charlotte, in Charleston, South Carolina, 1806-1816
The daughter of a free black man who worked as a blacksmith in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1800s recalls the stories from the Bible that her father shared with her, relating them to the experiences of African Americans.


Paulsen, Gary.   Mr. Tucket
In 1848, while on a wagon train headed for Oregon, fourteen-year-old Francis Tucket is kidnapped by Pawnee Indians and then falls in with a one-armed trapper who teaches him how to live in the wild.


Armstrong, Jennifer.   Steal Away
In 1855 two thirteen-year-old girls, one white and one black, run away from a southern farm and make the difficult journey north to freedom, living to recount their story forty-one years later to two similar young girls.


Paterson, Katherine.   Lyddie
Indomitable Lyddie decides to take a job in the mill so she can repay the farm debt and get her family together again.  Once she's there she finds she's no better off than a slave.  (Massachusetts, 1843)


DeFelice, Cynthia.   Weasel
Alone in the frontier wilderness in the winter of 1839 while his father is recovering from an injury, eleven-year-old Nathan runs afoul of the renegade killer known as Weasel and makes a surprising discovery about the concept of revenge.


Hudson, Jan.   Sweetgrass
Living on the western Canadian prairie in the nineteenth-century, a fifteen-year-old Blackfoot Indian girl and her family face a smallpox epidemic.


Blos, Joan.   A Gathering of Days: a New England girl’s journal, 1830-32
Thirteen-year-old Catherine Hall begins her journal about the rigors of life on a small New Hampshire farm unaware of how memorable these two years will be.


Clements, Bruce.   I Tell a Lie Every So Often
In 1848 a fourteen-year-old Missourian, although not a habitual liar, tells two lies that start off an unusual chain of events.


Henry, Marguerite.   San Domingo: the medicine hat stallion
Peter leaves his father's trading post in the Nebraska Territory for the dangerous life of a Pony Express rider in 1856.


Lester, Julius.   Long Journey Home: stories from Black history
Six short stories drawn from history record Black Americans' struggle for freedom during the days of slavery, chronicling the lives of a blues singer, a cowboy, two lovers forced apart when the girl is sold, and a traveler on the Underground Railroad.


O'Dell, Scott.   Sing Down the Moon
Bright Morning is happy as she takes her sheep to pasture and gazes across the peaceful Canyon de Chelly, home to her Navaho tribe. Happy, until the barking of Black Dog disturbs her and she see Spanish slavers riding straight toward her.  1864


O'Dell, Scott.   The Island of the Blue Dolphins
Alone for eighteen years, a young Indian girl builds a life of challenge and joy.  A beautifully written survival story based on an actual happening.  1835-1853


Holling, Holling Clancy.   Tree in the Trail
A struggling cottonwood sapling becomes a landmark to travelers, a peace-medicine tree, and after its death in 1834, a yoke which is used on the trail to Santa Fe.


Clemens, Samuel.   The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Recounts the adventures of a young boy and an escaped slave as they travel down the Mississippi River on a raft.


Clemens, Samuel.   The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The adventures of a boy growing up in a nineteenth-century Mississippi River town.