I'm going to stop labeling these historical fiction booklists by month, because I seem to be too lazy to do one every month! Plus eventually I'll run out of topics anyway. This booklist will be include books set on the frontier, mostly in the old west but a few set further east during an earlier time period. This is part one of the list and includes the young adult books, I will be making a separate post with the middle grade books. Over the years I have read and enjoyed most of these books, though there are a few I haven't read. Also if you enjoy historical fiction and have any ideas for future lists you'd like to see, please comment, becuase I'm running out of ideas!
Boston Jane by Jennifer Holm: 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. (Sequels are Boston Jane: Wilderness Days and Boston Jane: The Claim)
The Staircase by Ann Rinaldi: In 1878, after her mother’s death on the way West, thirteen-year-old Lizzy Enders is left by her father at a convent school in Sante Fe, where she must deal with being the only non-Catholic student and where she plays a part in what some consider a miracle.
My Darlin’ Clementine by Kristiana Gregory: Expands on the folk song to tell of seventeen-year-old Clementine, whose dream of being a doctor is complicated by her drunken, gambling father, the lawlessness of 1866 Idaho Territory, and the affections of handsome Boone Reno.
Jenny of the Tetons by Kristiana Gregory: Orphaned by an Indian raid while traveling West with a wagon train, fifteen-year-old Carrie Hill is befriended by the English trapper Beaver Dick and taken to live with his Indian wife Jenny and their six children.
Away to the Goldfields by Pat Mitchell: Yearning for adventure and tired of farm life in New Hampshire, sixteen-year-old Mary Margaret Malarkey journeys to California in 1848 to find her father who arrived earlier to make his fortune in the goldfields.
A Heart for Any Fate by Linda Crew: Follows headstrong, optimistic, seventeen-year-old Lovisa King and her pioneer family, three generations strong, as they make the arduous journey west with a wagon train along the Oregon Trail.
Samantha and the Cowboy by Lorraine Heath: Historical romance about a teenage girl who disguises herself as a boy to work on a cattle drive and save her family’s farm, who puts herself in danger of discovery when she falls in love with a young cowboy.
Amelia and the Outlaw by Lorraine Heath: Historical romance about a teenage girl who falls in love with the young outlaw working off the remainder of his sentence on her family’s ranch.
The Devil’s Paintbox by Victoria McKernan: In 1865, fifteen-year-old Aiden and his thirteen-year-old sister Maddy, penniless orphans, leave drought-stricken Kansas on a wagon train hoping for a better life in Seattle, but find there are still many hardships to be faced.
Plainsong for Caitlin by Elizabeth M. Rees: A young teenage girl travels west with her sister, a mail order bride, only to fall in love with the man her sister is supposed to marry.
Stephanie: Heart of Gold by Cameron Dokey: When Stephanie learns her father has sent the man she loves to California in order to separate them, she stows away on a clipper ship and goes after him. After an exciting and almost fatal sea voyage she arrives in California to find the adventure and love of her life.
Heart of the Hills by Shelly Ritthaler: Traveling west in 1878 to help her pregnant aunt, sixteen-year-old Carrie Miller longs to return to her prosperous St. Louis fiancé, and is disillusioned by the greed and wilderness she encounters, until she finds true love with a local young man.
Sunfire: Young adult historical romance series set during various times in American history. Titles about life on the frontier are Margaret, Victoria, Caroline, Jessica, Josie, Julie, Amanda.
Daniel’s Walk by Michael Spooner: With little more than a bedroll, a change of clothes, and a Bible, fourteen-year-old Daniel LeBlanc begins walking the Oregon Trail in search of his father who, according to a mysterious visitor, is in big trouble and needs his son’s help.
Beyond the Divide by Kathryn Lasky: In 1849, a fourteen-year-old Amish girl defies convention by leaving her secure home in Pennsylvania to accompany her father across the continent by wagon train.
Fortune’s Journey by Bruce Coville: Sixteen-year-old Jenny faces many challenges on an overland journey to California in 1853 with the acting company that she inherited from her father.
Walking up a Rainbow by Theodore Taylor: In 1852, a fourteen-year-old orphan and her elderly guardian, accompanied by a tough drover and his crew, take several thousand sheep from Iowa to California, returning by ship through the Panama Canal, to raise money to save the girl’s home from a villainous debt collector.
West Against the Wind by Liza Ketchum: Fourteen-year-old Abby seeks both her father and the secret of a handsome but mysterious boy during an arduous journey by wagon train from the middle of the country to the Pacific coast in 1850.