A series of letters and newspaper articles reveals life in California in the 1850s, especially for thirteen-year-old Eldora, who was raised in Massachusetts as an orphan only to meet her influential mother in San Francisco, and Luke, who hopes to find a fortune in gold.
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie and her secret friend Noah, who is hiding in her house, plan to rescue Noah's father from the quarantined Chinatown, and save everyone they love from contracting the plague that is spreading in 1900 San Francisco.
Thirteen-year-old C.J. records in a journal the conditions of the Dust Bowl that cause the Jackson family to leave their farm in Oklahoma and make the difficult journey to California, where they find a harsh life as migrant workers.
The 1845-1846 diary of thirteen-year-old Maria, servant to the wealthy Spanish family which took her in when her Indian mother died. Includes a historical note about the settlement and early history of California.
A diary account of fourteen-year-old Susanna Fairchild's life in 1849, when her father succumbs to gold fever on the way to establish his medical practice in Oregon after losing his wife and money on their steamship journey from New York.
An honest and powerful account of a family's journey to the fields of California -- to a life of constant moving, from strawberry fields to cotton fields, from tent cities to one-room shacks, from picking grapes to topping carrots and thinning lettuce. Seen through the eyes of a boy who longs for an education and the right to call one place home.
In the winter of 1846, the Donner Party was stranded by heavy snows in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The pioneers endured bitter hardships and many of them died. But some survived, including eight-year-old Patty Reed, a girl filled with dignity and determination in the face of mortal danger. This is her story, as told by Dolly, the wooden doll she kept hidden in her dress.
Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.
In a small California town in 1951, twelve-year-old Paolo and his deaf cousin Billy get caught up in a search for money missing from the church collection, leading them to complicated discoveries about themselves, other family members, and townspeople they thought they knew.
When eleven-year-old Cat Kinsey builds a secret hideout to escape her unhappy homelife, she slowly gets to know a poor family who have come to California after losing their Texas home to the dust storms of the 1930s.
Ten-year-old Leo loves being a newsboy in San Francisco, but early one spring morning, everything changes. Leo's world is shaken -- literally -- and he finds himself stranded in the middle of San Francisco as it crumbles and burns to the ground. Does Leo have what it takes to survive this devastating disaster?
Growing up in California during the depression isn't easy for eleven-year-old Rinko. She desperately wants to fit in and be like everyone else, but instead she is ridiculed and made to feel different because she is Japanese. But when Aunt Waka comes to visit, and brings with her the old-fashioned wisdom of Japan, she teaches Rinko the importance of her Japanese heritage, and the value of her own strengths and dreams.
At first dismayed at having to spend the last month of her summer vacation helping out in the household of recently widowed Mrs. Hata, Rinko discovers there are pleasant surprises for her, but then bad things start to happen. Sequel to "A Jar of Dreams."
Eight-year-old Henry and nine-year-old Chin love to read about heroes in popular "penny dreadful" novels, until they both witness real courage while trying to survive the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.