History and General Subjects

Published by Calkins Creek, with illustrations by Karen Dugan

Imagine a U.S. president on a camping trip.  It seems unlikely today, but in May 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt dismissed his Secret Service men and sent away reporters and dignitaries to go camping with John Muir, the world-famous naturalist.  During three glorious nights and four days in California's Yosemite National Park, the two men talked about birds, giant sequoia trees, glaciers, as well as the importance of preserving wilderness for future generations. 
  • Winner of 2010 National Outdoor Book Award
  • 2009 Smithsonian Notable Book
  • 2011 California Reading Association Eureka! Honor Award
  • "Wadsworth's research is sound, her writing spritely, and her information interesting." KIRKUS REVIEWS
Published by Millbrook Press, with illustrations by Craig Orback

Seventeen-year-old Moses was ready for an adventure.  In 1844, he joined a wagon train traveling from Iowa to California.  But as winter approached, the wagon train ran into trouble.  Oxen started dying and supplies were running low.  Some people went ahead for help.  Moses stayed behind with the belongings.  Can he find a way to survive on his own in the mountains during the long, cold winter? (Ages 7 and up)
  • "Told with concrete details that bring the experience to life and illustrated with dramatic narrative paintings, this book puts a human face on the sometimes-anonymous image of the pioneer and tells a tale of courage in the face of possible death from starvation or exposure."  BOOKLIST
WORDS WEST: Voices of Young Pioneers
Published by Clarion Books, illustrated with archival photos

Between 1830 and 1870, tens of thousands of pioneers hit the trail in covered wagons, leaving behind everything they had ever known and heading for an unknown future in the American West.  Many of these pioneers were children and young people.  Here are the moving stories of these young pioneers, told in their own words through letters home, diaries, and memoirs.  Their writings provide a window into what life on the trail was truly like. (Ages 10 and up)
  • Winner of 2004 Spur Award for Best Juvenile Nonfiction Book. WESTERN WRITERS OF AMERICA
  • Winner of 2005 Young Reader Award. COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA
  • 2004 Nonfiction Honor List. VOICES OF YOUTH ADVOCATES (VOYA)
  • " . . . a terrific account of the opening of the American West as recorded in the diaries and recollections of mostly teenage pioneers." NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
  • " . . . a significant achievement in non-fiction for young adults." ALAN REVIEW (National Council of Teachers of English)

Published by Albert Whitman & Co., with illustrations by James Watling

When Marion Russell was an elderly lady, she wrote her memoirs describing her many trips along the Santa Fe Trail. This book, in Marion’s own voice, is about her first journey in 1852 when she was seven years old. James Watling’s illustrations capture Marion’s love of wagon train life and her family’s experiences during the trip. (Ages 8 and up)
  • A NCSS/CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book
  • "The flowing text is complemented by evocative paintings of placid buffalo, the wagon train in a storm and the bustle of Santa Fe." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
Published by Boyds Mills Press, with illustrations by Maxie Chambliss

Daddy’s birthday is almost here, and Rachel has a very special present—but it’s a secret! She whispers her secret to the rooster, the roly-poly bug, her pet rabbit Fluffy, her baby brother Andrew, and all her closest acquaintances. You are kept in suspense until the end. Artist Maxie Chambliss keeps Rachel’s secret, too. Facing each full page of art, sequential boxes show all the recipients of Rachel’s secret. This story reflects all the joy of birthdays and gift giving. (Ages 3 and up)