~New Users~
Introduction Recommendations

By Subject By Genre By Level Summaries Series

E-Readers Self-Publishing Copyright Terms FAQs

Recommended Reading

    Young Readers     Intermediate Readers     Advanced Readers     Supplemental Reading

The Early America Library does not yet have a complete curriculum associated with it. The following recommendations promote some of our favorite selections for beginning and intermediate students. The Early America collection does not currently contain any comprehensive histories suitable for advanced students, but a few especially interesting books for mature readers are suggested.

Young Readers' Core Selections

These selections are engaging and easy-to-read for elementary school students. They stick to basic stories of American history and provide an excellent foundation for future studies. Great Americans for Little Americans is a short, very easy-to-read introduction to famous Americans, Pratt's American History Stories series is the closest we have to a comprehensive American history text for grammar school students, and America First is an especially good choice for family read-aloud.

      Great Americans for Little Americans     by Edward Eggleston

This book is a popular introduction to American history for very young readers. It contains dozens of simply told stories of warriors, statesmen, explorers, scientists, inventors, men and women of letters, and other famous Americans. Featured are Marquette in Iowa, Penn and the Indians, Thomas Smith and the beginning of rice culture in South Carolina, Franklin and the ants, Putnam and the wolf, and dozens of other stories. The collection of sketches features inspirational stories as well as short histories.

      America First     by Lawton Evans

This delightful collection of stories from America's past recounts one hundred interesting and romantic incidents from America's history, and provides character sketches of dozens of early American heroes and heroines. It makes no attempt to relate or explain complicated government issues, and does not provide a chronological or comprehensive account, but instead focuses on stories of great human interest, and reads like a book of fairy tales.

      American History Stories: Vol I-IV     by Mara L. Pratt

This four volume series is a very simple history of the United States from its colonial age to the end of the civil war. It was written for grammar school children and relates American history through short stories, character sketches, poems and songs. The first volume covers the landing of Columbus through the French and Indian Wars. The second relates the Revolutionary War period in detail. The third covers the time from the end of the Revolutionary War to the middle of the 19th century, and the fourth focuses on the years before, during, and after the civil war.

      Richard of Jamestown     by James Otis

Richard of Jamestown is only one in a twelve volume series. Each book in James Otis's Colonial Children series features the story of a young American pioneer who is among the first settlers of an American colony or territory. About half of the books feature settlers of early coastal colonies who migrated from Europe, but the other have tell stories about girls and boys who settle in the American west. Each story is told in the first person and focuses on daily life and local incidents. It is a delightful series and is an excellent introduction to American regional history.

      The Story of Abraham Lincoln     by Mary A. Hamilton

This easy-to-read biography of Abraham Lincoln is accessible to grammar school students, but detailed enough to give inspiring insights into his character so that his heroism during the terrible years of the civil war can be fully appreciated. It covers and many important and informative events from his childhood and recounts the long political career that eventually led to the White house. The final chapters deal with his leadership during the country's greatest trial.

Intermediate Readers' Core Selections

The intermediate selections includes a two-volume comprehensive history but most of recommended books that follow were selected because they are likely to be of particular interest to middle school age students. They follow no particular theme, but provide depth and interest to the study of American history.

      Story of the Thirteen Colonies,   Story of the Great Republic     by Helene Guerber

These two books together provide an easy-to-read, comprehensive account of American history from the native societies of pre-historical times, to the turn of the twentieth century. Most major characters and incidents in American history up to the first world war are covered briefly and with appropriate interest for middle school students.

      True Stories of Our Presidents     by Charles Morris

Charles Morris provides fascinating sketches of the first twenty-three presidents. The life stories of some, such as Washington and Lincoln, are already well known, but many of our lesser known Presidents had fascinating lives prior to becoming president, and these are told with great interest in this volume. The book does not focus on issues or political achievements of the presidents while they were in office, but rather, on their character and career before being elected to the highest office in the land.

      The Boys' Life of Edison     by William H. Meadowcroft

This biography of Thomas Edison was written by a close associate and contains many autobiographical anecdotes. Much attention is given to Edison's early life and the author paints a picture of a young man whose resourcefulness and entrepreneurial tendencies were apparent from a young age. The range of Edison's contributions to American industry is simply astounding, and his entire life is rich in relevance, but is also rich in anecdote and humor since Edison's ceaseless activities led to innumerable conflicts and adventures.

      The Boys' Book of Indian Warriors     by Edwin Sabin

This book, written from the point of view of the American Indians who tried to defend their land from the white men, highlights the lives and deeds of some of the most important Indian chiefs from the earliest Iroquois and Algonquins in 17th century New England, to the flight of the Nez Perces under Chief Joseph. Piskaret, King Philip, Pontiac, Logan and Cornstalk, Little Turtle, Tecumseh, Black-hawk, Red Cloud, and Sitting Bull are some of the Chiefs whose stories are told here. It is an excellent introduction to American Indian history.

      On the Trail of Grant and Lee     by Frederick Trevor Hill

This middle school biography tells the story of the Civil war from the vantage point of its two most famous antagonists, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Both characters are treated sympathetically, and the most interesting incidents of each of their lives are touchingly retold. By presenting the best sentiments, aims, and heroics of both sides, the full tragedy of the Civil war is fully recounted.

Advanced Readers' Core Selections

The advanced selections are somewhat eclectic. We do not provide a comprehensive text appropriate for older students at this time, partly because high school American history programs are usually expected to focus on civics and cover much of the twentieth century. Our library is stronger on biographies and stories of particular events and conflicts than it is on systematic history. The following books treat special topics of interest but assume a basic knowledge of early American history.

      Historical Tales: American I, II     by Charles Morris

Morris's classic series of historical tales contains two volumes of American history that cover the colonial period through the closing of the 19th century. This is not a comprehensive history, but rather a selection of highly interesting stories, often emphasizing adventure or romance rather than political significance. Volume I contains stories of some lesser known, but entertaining characters such as Sir William Phips, Israel Putnam, Elizabeth Zane, Lydia Darrah, and Francis Marion. Volume II contains Short accounts of some of the earliest explorers, including Ponce de Leon, de Soto, John Smith, and Lasalle. It also includes stories about American Indian Wars, colonization of the South, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War.

      King Philip     by J. S. C. Abbott

This book covers the settlement of white men in New England from the Indian point of view. King Philip was the leader of the Wampanoag Indians. His father had been friendly to the early American colonists in New England. After a long period of peace he saw that as the colony thrived, his lands were ever diminished. He realized the Indians were doomed unless they drove the white men from their soil, and so turned against the settlers in what became the most ferocious uprising of Indians in New England history. His story is told with great insight using original sources.

      Indian History for Young Folks     by Francis Drake

This book was considered the standard narrative of the history of the American Indians from the time its first version was published in the 1880's to the mid twentieth century. It was written for the general reader and is both thorough and well balanced. It gives fair treatment to the point of view of the Indians and early white settler, and dozens of anecdotes illustrate both the treachery and misdealing as well as faithful friendships between the two civilizations.

      Up from Slavery     by Booker T. Washington

Autobiography of Booker T. Washington, a man who was born into slavery, but overcame hardships through hard work and diligence. At 25, he became the first principle of Tuskagee college, founded to teach newly freed slaves the skills to gain employment. In this position he rose to become a nationally known figure, and advocate for American freedmen. His story provides great insight into the condition of the former slaves of the south in the years following the civil war.

Supplemental Reading Selections

We recommend that students who are studying Early American History read four or more selections from our supplemental reading list in addition to their core material. The selections should be age and interest appropriate, but student can select their supplemental reading from any difficulty level.

TitleGenreHistorical Era
American Life and Adventure   by E. Eggleston Episodic History all
Stories from the Pilgrims   by M. B. Pumphrey Episodic History New England
Four Great Americans   by James Baldwin Biography Founding
Massasoit   by A.H. Burton Biography New England
Uncle Tom's Cabin   by H. E. Marshall Legends/Literature Civil War
Peter of New Amsterdam   by James Otis Fiction New England
Ruth of Boston   by James Otis Fiction New England
Martha of California   by James Otis Fiction West
Seth of Colorado   by James Otis Fiction West
Hannah of Kentucky   by James Otis Fiction Southeast
Calvert of Maryland   by James Otis Fiction Southeast
Benjamin of Ohio   by James Otis Fiction Midwest
Antoine of Oregon   by James Otis Fiction West
Stephen of Philadelphia   by James Otis Fiction New England
Mary of Plymouth   by James Otis Fiction New England
Philip of Texas   by James Otis Fiction Southeast
Puritan Twins   by L. F. Perkins Fiction New England
This Country of Ours   by H. E. Marshall Comprehensive all
Comic History of the U.S.A.   by Bill Nye Comprehensive all
Conquest of the Old Northwest   by James Baldwin Episodic History Midwest
The Story of Our Constitution   by E. M. Tappan Episodic History Founding
Midshipman Farragut   by James Barnes Biography Military History
Son of Light Horse Harry   by James Barnes Biography Civil War
The Hero of Stony Point   by James Barnes Biography Military History
Four American Patriots   by A. H. Barnes Short Biographies Founding
Thomas Jefferson   by J. W. McSpadden Biography Founding
Theodore Roosevelt   by J. W. McSpadden Biography Progress
Heroes of Progress in America   by Charles Morris Short Biographies Progress
Four American Inventors   by F. M. Perry Short Biographies Progress
George Washington   by Ada Russell Biography Founding
Twelve Naval Captains   by M. E. Seawell Short Biographies Military History
Builders of Our Country - I   by G. Southworth Short Biographies all
Builders of Our Country - II   by G. Southworth Short Biographies all
Indian Boyhood   by C. A. Eastman Social History Indian
Indian Heroes   by C. A. Eastman Short Biographies Indian
Soul of the Indian   by C. A. Eastman Social History Indian
Famous Indian Chiefs I Have Known   by O. O. Howard Short Biographies Indian
Four American Indians   by F. M. Perry Short Biographies Indian
With the Indians in the Rockies   by James W. Schultz Fiction Indian
Missions of California   by W. H. Hudson Episodic History West
Boys' Book of Border Battles   by Edwin Sabin Military History Military History
Boys' Book of Frontier Fighters   by Edwin Sabin Military History Military History
Into Mexico with General Scott   by Edwin Sabin Fiction Military History
Little Book of the War   by E. M. Tappan Military History Military History
With Lewis and Clark   by Edwin Sabin Fiction West
With Lieutenant Pike   by Edwin Sabin Fiction West
Gold Seekers of '49   by Edwin Sabin Fiction West
Trails of the Pathfinders   by G. B. Grinnell Episodic History West
Miles Standish   by J. S. C. Abbott Episodic History New England
Kit Carson   by J. S. C. Abbott Biography West
Chevalier de La Salle   by J. S. C. Abbott Biography Midwest
The Negro and the Nation   by G. S. Merriam Social History Civil War
The War with Spain   by Charles Morris Military History Military History
Junipero Serra   by A. H. Fitch Biography West
The War with Mexico   by H. O. Ladd Military History Military History

Copyright © Heritage History 2012
All rights reserved