Houghton Mifflin Social Studies

United States History: Civil War to Today

Unit 4 Bibliography: Transforming the Nation

The books listed below may be available through publishers, distributors such as bookstores or online retailers, or library systems.

Books for Independent Reading

Extra Support

Immigrant Children
by Sylvia Whitman
Lerner, 2000
Readers learn about young immigrants, both on their journeys and in their new country.

Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel
by Leslie Connor
Houghton Mifflin, 2004
Here is a lyrical tribute to the millions of immigrants who left their homes to begin a new life in America.

Annushka's Voyage
by Edith Tarbescu
Clarion, 1998
Annushka and Tanya journey from their Russian homeland to meet their father at Ellis Island.

The Sioux: People of the Great Plains
by Anne Todd
Bridgestone, 2003
Simple text expounds the history, traditions, and modern experiences of these Plains Indians.

Navajo Long Walk
by Joseph Bruchac
National Geographic, 2002
A young Navajo recounts the relocation of his people from their homeland to the New Mexico Territory between 1863 and 1865.

Vision of Beauty
by Kathryn Lasky
Candlewick, 2003
By 1912, Sarah Breedlove Walker, a former slave, was the most successful businesswoman of her time and a major philanthropist.

On Level

Our Only May Amelia
by Jennifer L. Holm
Harper, 1999
May Amelia and her family are Finnish immigrants homesteading in Washington state.

A Real American
by Richard Easton
Clarion, 2002
Eleven-year-old Nathan is surprised at how much he and Arturo, an Italian immigrant, have in common.

Tenement: Immigrant Life on the Lower East Side
by Raymond Bial
Houghton Mifflin, 2002
Bial explains what life was like for newly arrived immigrants in New York City.

Kids on Strike!
by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Houghton Mifflin, 2003
After years of oppression, working children of the early 1900s began to demand better wages and working conditions.

Minuk: Ashes in the Pathway
by Kirkpatrick Hill
Pleasant Company, 2002
Minuk is a Yup'ik Eskimo who notes cultural similarities and differences between her people and the Caucasian missionaries who come to her village.


by Karen Cushman
Clarion, 2003
After her parents die, 12-year-old Polish immigrant Rodzina is loaded onto an orphan train bound for California.

To the Golden Mountain
by Lila Perl
Benchmark, 2003
Readers learn about the Chinese immigrants who helped build the transcontinental railroad.

Shutting Out the Sky
by Deborah Hopkinson
Orchard, 2003
The stories of five young people recount what life was like for immigrants living in New York City's tenements.

Theodore Roosevelt: Champion of the American Spirit
by Betsy Harvey Kraft
Clarion, 2003
This is an informative and entertaining biography of a dynamic President.

Cowboys and Longhorns
by Jerry Stanley
Crown, 2003
Stanley reveals that most cowboys of the Old West were former African slaves and vaqueros from Mexico.

Inventing the Future
by Marfé F. Delano
National Geographic, 2003
In this photobiography, readers learn how Thomas Edison's 1,093 inventions changed the world.

Read Aloud and Reference

Read Aloud Books

The Birchbark House
by Louise Erdrich
Hyperion, 2002
This novel centers on young Omakayas and her Ojibwa family, who live on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.

We Rode the Orphan Trains
by Andrea Warren
Houghton Mifflin, 2004
Warren shares stories of real orphan train riders.

Full Steam Ahead: The Race to Build a Transcontinental Railroad
by Rhoda Blumberg
National Geographic, 1996
The triumphs and tragedies of the transcontinental railroad are brought to life in this illustrated history.

Standoff at Standing Rock: The Story of Sitting Bull and James McLaughlin
by Patricia Calvert
21st Century, 2001
Calvert presents thought-provoking portraits of Sioux leader, Sitting Bull, and the inspector of Indian agencies, James McLaughlin.

Children of the Indian Boarding Schools
by Holly Littlefield
Lerner, 2001
Award-winning photographs and text present information about this difficult era in American history. See others in the series.

Reference Books

America in the Time of Sitting Bull
by Sally S. Isaacs
Heinemann, 1999
Maps, photographs, diagrams, and text help readers understand what America was like from 1840 to 1890. See others in the series.

The Age of Inventions
by Ann Rossi
National Geographic, 2003
Readers see how American inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison changed our world forever. See others in the series.

Immigration: From the Founding of Virginia to the Closing of Ellis Island
by Dennis Wepman
Facts On File, 2002
The author includes firsthand accounts from immigrants of all walks of life.

The Progressives
by Monica Halpern
National Geographic, 2003
Readers meet the reformers who worked to improve conditions for impoverished workers, immigrants, and others who needed help in the early 1900s.

Free and Inexpensive Materials

Smithsonian Institution Information
P.O. Box 37012
SI Building, Room 153, MRC 010
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012

Smithsonian Institution
The Web site allows you to rummage about in the “Nation's Attic” and read selected articles from the “Smithsonian” magazine.