Frontier Books; Early American History

Frontier Books, the New Nation, Eli Whitney, & more

US History Project Ideas

Frontier books dot the list of selections set in the 1780’s with the new nation at the end of the Revolutionary War. You can also find good books on the Constitution and American government. And while you’re there, be sure to get our free President’s Cabinet craft for some added fun!

Along with several selections on George Washington, the frontier books feature its own heroes, starting with Daniel Boone.

The 1790’s section has great frontier stories, as well as some tall tales.

And don’t forget to include Eli Whitney’s cotton gin! Check out our cotton gin Craft idea to go along with your books!

LIVING HISTORY BOOKS: AMERICA 1780s

The American Victory(American Adventure, Book 12) by Joann A. Grote. UE-JH Christian historical fiction.

Bewildered for Three Days: As to Why Daniel Boone Never Wore His Coonskin Cap by Andrew Glass. Holiday House, 2000. E-UE
This tall tale is surrounded by Daniel Boone facts. Fun story gives a feel for Boone’s childhood and adventurous, outdoorsman-like spirit on the wild American frontier.

The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz, illus. F. Rojankovsky. Puffin Books, 1958. E-UE
Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal. When her family heads West, a 10-year-old girl adjusts to being a pioneer. Easy-to-read, with black & white illustrations, describing the daily life of the early American frontier, with a nice surprise ending.



Conestoga Wagons by Richard Ammon, illus. Bill Farnsworth. Holiday House, 2000. E-UE
Between 1750 and 1850, the Conestoga wagons were part of the American story. This book tells you what made them so special & how they were used, giving you a glimpse into the transportation challenges of early America.


Daniel Boone by James Daugherty. Viking Press, 1939. UE-JH+
Newbery Medal. Very thorough! 90 pages tell of his life, illustrated at regular intervals.

Daniel Boone : Frontier Adventures by Keith Brandt, illus. John Lawn. Troll Assoc., 1983. UE
A little less detail than Daugherty’s book on Boone for the younger UE student.

George Washington: A Picture Book Biography by James Cross Giblin, illus. Michael Dooling. UE+
Full color illustrations on every page enhance a well-told account of Washington’s life.

George Washington’s Breakfast by Jean Fritz. Scholastic. E

If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution by Elizabeth Levy, illus. Joan Holub. Scholastic. E-UE

Indian Summer  (An I Can Read Book) by F.N. Monjo, illus. Anita Lobel. Harper & Row, 1968. E
Quick thinking by 2 young boys helps to save their frontier family from a threatened Indian attack.

Jack Jouett’s Ride by Gail E. Haley. The Viking Press, 1973. K-E
Exciting story how one man saved Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and others by riding through the night to warn them that British soldiers were coming for them.

Mary’s Star a Tale of Orphans in Virginia, 1781 by Wilma Pitchford Hays, ill. Lawrence Beall Smith. Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., 1968. E-UE
Mary’s father gave everything, including his life, fighting for American independence. Mary must give up all family possessions and go live with friends, but she doesn’t want to give up her horse.

A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution by Betsy and Giulio Maestro. E

Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz, illus. Tomie de Paola. UE

This Time, Tempe Wick? By Patricia Lee Gauch, illus. Margot Tomes. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1974. E-UE
Disgruntled Revolutionary War soldiers leave the ranks, and try to take Tempe’s horse to get home. Amusing true story of how a young girl gets creative to keep her horse out of their hands.

LIVING HISTORY BOOKS: AMERICA 1790s

Danger Along the Ohio by Patricia Willis. Clarion Books, 1997. *UE+
Loosely based on the episodes of Indian attack & capture in early America. Three children are separated from their father in an Indian raid, and brave the forests to reunite with him. Caution: A sub-plot of one of the brothers accidentally shooting (and killing) his friend may be upsetting to sensitive children.

Duel!: Burr and Hamilton’s Deadly War of Words by Dennis Brindell Fradin, illus. Larry Day. Walker & Co., 2008. E-UE
Full-page color illustrations help to tell what really happened between Alexander Hamilton & Aaron Burr, both before & after their famous duel. Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin (Graphic Library: Inventions and Discovery series) by Jessica Gunderson, illus. Gerry Acerno, Rodney Ramos, & Charles Barnett III. Capstone Press, 2007.

Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale Retold and Illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Morrow Jr. Books, 1988. K-E
The history and the tall tales are artfully woven together, and illustrated beautifully. Recommended.

Story of Eli Whitney(Discovery Biographies) by Jean Lee Latham.

With Pipe, Paddle and Song: A Story of the French-Canadian Voyageurs by Elizabeth Yates. JH-HS

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