What assigned and alternate literature goes with America the Beautiful?

These are the ten books we assign to go along with the lessons in America the Beautiful:

  • Growing Up Dakota by Charles Alexander Eastman, edited by Charlene Notgrass (Units 2-5)
  • Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Units 6-7)
  • Brady by Jean Fritz (Units 9-10)
  • Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen (Units 12-13)
  • Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (Units 14-15)
  • Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Units 16-17)
  • All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (Units 18-19)
  • Blue Willow by Doris Gates (Units 20-21)
  • Homer Price by Robert McCloskey (Unit 24)
  • Katy's Box by Mary Evelyn Notgrass (Units 28-29)

If your child is an advanced reader, some of the literature selections in America the Beautiful may seem too juvenile for him or her. Or you may have read one of the books and want to replace it with something else. Below are some other books we considered including in our course. A few of the books have notes about content we want you to be aware of.

In addition to these books, you can find biographies of people who lived during various time periods studied during the course. You can easily replace any of our recommended literature titles without affecting your child's understanding of the history lessons.

  • This Dear-Bought Land by Jean Lee Latham, published 1957, a historical novel about the settling of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 (Unit 3)
  • Calico Bush by Rachel Field, published 1931, a young French girl is an indentured servant to Maine settlers in 1743 (Unit 3)
  • Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry, published 1947, childhood biography of an important American painter, set in Pennsylvania in the 1740s (Units 4-5)
  • Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare, published 1957, inspired by a true story of a family captured by the Abenaki people, set in New Hampshire and Canada in the 1750s (Unit 5)
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, published 1943, a classic novel for young adults about the lead-up to and early days of the American Revolution, set in Boston in the 1770s (contains a few expletives; may be best enjoyed as a family read-aloud.) (Unit 6)
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham, published 1956, a biography of sea captain Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838) written for children (Units 7-10)
  • The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz, published 1958, based on a true story about Pennsylvania pioneers in 1784 (Unit 7)
  • Soft Rain by Cornelia Cornelissen, published 1999, about the Cherokee Trail of Tears in 1838 (Unit 10)
  • Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith, published 1957, about a teenage boy's participation in the Civil War (contains violence and mild sensuality--whistling at a girl and kissing) (Unit 14)
  • Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, Farmer Boy, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Happy Golden Years), published 1932-1943, based on the childhood of the author as her family homesteaded in Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota, and South Dakota, and the childhood of her husband in New York, mid to late 1800s (Units 15-17)
  • On the Way Home by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the diary of Laura Ingalls Wilder as she and her husband and daughter traveled to Missouri to make their permanent home, 1894 (Unit 17)
  • Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski, published 1945, about a Florida farming family in the early 1900s (check your library for other excellent children's fiction by Lois Lenski) (Units 17-18)
  • Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes, published 1951, adventures of two children and their puppy in New England in 1919 (Unit 19)
  • Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, published 1947, a classic story of children and horses on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands in Virginia (Units 23)
  • ...And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold, published 1953, a story about a Mexican-American sheep-farming family in New Mexico in the early 1940s (The main character Miguel's wonderings about God and prayer might make this book best enjoyed as a family read-aloud) (Unit 22)
  • The Victory Garden by Lee Kochenderfer, published 2002, a Kansas girl and her friends participate in home front efforts during WWII (Unit 22)
  • Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary, published 1950, fun adventures of a boy and his dog in Oregon in 1950 (Unit 24)
  • Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges, published 1999, the author tells her story of integrating New Orleans public schools as a first grader in 1960 (Units 24-25) 

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