Historical Fiction: California History


[This is a subtopic of The West and also part of an ongoing series of historical fiction book lists for students and teachers. For the full list and to see more info, click here.]

Lower Grades (K-3)

  1. Amelia’s Road-Altman (4.1/0.5)
  2. Astro: The Stellar Sea Lion-Harvey (4.5/0.5)
  3. Barrio: Jose’s NeighborhoodAncona(5.6/0.5)
  4. Boom Town-Levitin (3.7/0.5)
  5. Brothers-Yin (3.1/0.5)
  6. Calling the Doves-Herrera (4.5/0.5)
  7. Chang’s Paper Pony-Coerr (2.8/0.5)
  8. Cehlonia: Return of the Sea Turtle-Navarro (4.7/0.5)
  9. City of Angels: In and Around Los Angeles-Jaskol (7.9/1)
  10. Condor’s Egg-London (3.2/0.5)
  11. The Day Roy Riegels Ran the Wrong Way-Gutman (2.5/0.5)
  12. A Day’s Work-Bunting (2.7/0.5)
  13. Dust for Dinner-Turner* (2.4/0.5)
  14. Earthquake in the Early Morning-Osborne (3.3/1)
  15. Earthquake! A Story of Old San Francisco-Kudlinski (3.7/1)
  16. Fish for Jimmy: Inspired by One Family’s Experience in a Japanese Internment Camp-Yamasaki (4.6/0.5)
  17. Francis the Earthquake Dog-Enderle (3.0/0.5)
  18. From North to South-Colato (3.3/0.5)
  19. Gold! Gold from the American River!-Brown (6.0/0.5)
  20. Gold Rush Days-Weiss (4.0/1)
  21. Gold Rush Winter-Murphy (3.1/0.5)
  22. Hank-Sargent (4.7/0.5)
  23. Hannah Is My Name-Yang (4.2/0.5)
  24. Home to Medicine Mountain-Santiago (4.1/0.5)
  25. Landed-Lee (4.9/1)
  26. The Legend of Freedom Hill-Altman (4.7/0.5)
  27. Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea: A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants-Johnston (3.9/0.5)
  28. Mei Ling in China City-Smith (5.9/0.5)
  29. My Diary from Here to There-Perez (4.0/0.5)
  30. Oranges on Golden Mountain-Partridge (4.7/0.5)
  31. Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America-James (3.6/0.5)
  32. Pop’s Bridge-Bunting (3.4/0.5)
  33. Revenge of the Aztecs: A Story of 1920’s Hollywood-Pfeffer (4.4/4)
  34. Sierra-Siebert (5.5/0.5)
  35. So Far From the Sea-Bunting (3.4/0.5)
  36. Song of the Swallows-Politi (4.6/0.5)
  37. Squirrel and John Muir-McCully (3.5/0.5)
  38. Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation (5.1/0.5)
  39. Thomas the T. Rex: The Journey of a Young Dinosaur to Los Angeles-Smith (5.4/0.5)
  40. Tikvah Means Hope-Polacco (3.8/0.5)
  41. Working Cotton-Williams (2.8/0.5)

Middle Grades (4-8)

  1. The Adventures of Boone Barnaby-Cottonwood (3.5/6)
  2. Alexia Ellery Finsdale-Duey (4.9/4)
  3. American Dreams-Banim (4.2/2) (Japanese Internment)
  4. And Condors Danced-Snyder (6.1/9)
  5. Anisett Lundberg-Duey (5.0/4)
  6. Anita of Rancho Del Mar-O’Brian (not in AR)
  7. Annie’s Promise-Levitin (4.3/7)
  8. Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio-Johnston (4.1/2)
  9. Away to the Goldfields!-Derby (4.5/9)
  10. Bachelor Girl-MacBride (5.4/6)
  11. The Ballad of Lucy Whipple-Cushman* (5.8/7)
  12. Bandit’s Moon-Fleischman (4.2/3)
  13. Baseball in April and Other Stories-Soto (5.1/4)
  14. Behind the Masks: The Diary of Angeline Reddy-Patron (6.1/8)
  15. Beverly Hills Brontosaurus-Ciencin (4.7/5)
  16. The Best Bad Thing-Uchida (4.9/4)
  17. Black Storm Comin’-Wilson (5.5/13)
  18. Blackwater Creek-Kent (4.5/4) (1849)
  19. Blood Gold-Cadnum (7.2/7)
  20. The Boys of San Joaquin-Smith (5.0/7)
  21. Breaking Through-Jimenez (5.3/7)
  22. By the Great Horn Spoon-Fleischman (5.1/6)*
  23. California Gold-Walls (5.1/6)
  24. Carlota-Scott O’Dell (5.4/4)
  25. Cat Running-Snyder (5.6/7) (1930’s)
  26. Daniel Colton Kidnapped-Schulte (5.2/5)
  27. Daughter of Madrugada-Wood (4.6/5) (1840’s)
  28. David Joins the California Gold Rush-Sibley (3.7/2)
  29. Survival! Death Valley: California, 1849-Duey (5.0/4)
  30. The Desperado Who Stole Baseball-Ritter (4.7/9)
  31. The Desperate Search-Roddy (4.8/7)
  32. Donner Party: A Diary of a Survivor-Olson (2.6/0.5)
  33. Downtown Boy-Herrera (3.7/4)
  34. The Dragon’s Child: A Story of Angel Island-Yep (4.4/4)
  35. Dream Mountain-Schraff (4.3/3)
  36. El Guero: A True Adventure Story-de Trevino (5.4/4) (Baja Ca, late 1800’s)
  37. Esperanza Rising-Ryan* (5.3/6)
  38. Fire in the Valley-West (4.1/2) (1904)
  39. The Forty-Niners: The Story of the California Gold Rush-Mercati (3.5/1)
  40. The Georges and the Jewels-Smiley (5.2/6) (1960’s)
  41. The Giant Rat of Sumatra: Or Pirates Galore-Fleischman (4.5/4)
  42. Gold Fever! Tales from the California Gold Rush-Schanzer (5.8/1)
  43. Golden Quest-Bader (3.8/2)
  44. A Good Horse-Smiley (5.3/10)
  45. Good Luck Gold and Other Poems-Wong (3.7/0.5)
  46. Home Is East-Ly (5.0/13)
  47. How Far Would You Have Gotten If I Hadn’t Called You Back?-Hobbs (5.0/13) (1960’s)
  48. How to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush: An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fabulous Riches Discovered in 1848-Olson (6.6/1)
  49. I Am Lavina Cumming-Lowell (6.2/6) (1906)
  50. I Survived: The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906-Tarshis (3.8/1)
  51. Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906-Hopkinson (4.2/5)
  52. The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps-Krensky (3.2/2) (Transcontinental RR)
  53. The Iron Dragon: The Courageous Story of Lee Chin-Pryor (4.9/5) (Transcontinental RR)
  54. Island of the Blue Dolphins-O’Dell (5.4/6)
  55. A Jar of Dreams-Uchida (5.0/4) (Depression, Japanese-American)
  56. Jed Smith: California the Hard Way-Boga (3.0/0.5)
  57. Jo’s Journey-Tate (5.4/3)
  58. The Journal of C.J. Jackson: A Dust Bowl Migrant-Durban (5.7/5)
  59. The Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds : the Donner Party Expedition-Philbrick (5.7/4)
  60. The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: A Chinese Miner-Yep (4.8/6)
  61. Kai’s Journey to Gold Mountain: An Angel Island Story-Currier (5.0/1) (1934)
  62. La Linea-Jaramillo (4.3/5)
  63. Letters from the Corrugated Castle: A Novel of Gold Rush California, 1850-1852-Blos (5.7/8)
  64. The Loud Silence of Francine Green-Cushman (4.6/7) (1949)
  65. The Lucky Baseball: My Story in a Japanese-American Internment Camp-Lieurance (4.5/5)
  66. The Maldonado Miracle-Taylor (4.5/5)
  67. Mojave-Siebert (5.3/0.5)
  68. The Mystery on the California Mission Trail-Marsh (5.7/3)
  69. Newsgirl-Ketchum (4.3/10) (1851)
  70. Orphan Runaways-Gregory (5.5/4)
  71. The Owl’s Song-Hale (5.3/6)
  72. Penelope Bailey Takes the Stage-Reich (3.8/7)
  73. Precious Gold, Precious Jade-Heisel (5.3/6)
  74. Pouring Iron: A Foundry Ghost Story-Weitzman (5.6/1)
  75. Purely Rosie Pearl-Cochrane (5.2/5) (1936)
  76. The Puzzle of the Paper Daughter: A Julie Mystery-Reiss (5.0/4)
  77. Quake! Disaster in San Francisco, 1906-Karwoski (4.7/6)
  78. Red Means Good Fortune: A Story of San Francisco’s Chinatown-Goldin (3.5/1)
  79. Riding Freedom-Ryan (4.5/3)
  80. Riding the Flume-Pftitsch (4.9/7)
  81. Rosa Moreno: Hollywood, California, 1928-Duey (5.1/4)
  82. San Francisco Earthquake 1906-Duey (5.0/8)
  83. The Search for Gold Mountain: Coming to America from China-1850-Cosson (3.0/1)
  84. Seeds of Hope:  The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild-Gregory (5.5/5)
  85. Shannon: A Chinatown Adventure-Kudlinski (3.7/1)
  86. Shannon: Lost and Found-Kudlinski (3.7/1)
  87. Shannon: The Schoolmarm Mysteries-Kudlinski (3.9/2)
  88. Shooting Kabul-Senzai (5.4/7) (2001)
  89. Silenced! 1969: The Journal of Malcom Moorie-Doyle
  90. A Song for Sung Li: A Story About the San Francisco Earthquake-Dell (5.5/1)
  91. Stowaway-Hesse (6.1/11)*
  92. The Stowaway: A Tale of California Pirates-Gregory (5.4/3)
  93. The Strange Case of Baby H-Reiss (5.2/5) (1906)
  94. Striking it Rich: The Story of the California Gold Rush-Krensky (5.2/0.5)
  95. Suzannah Strikes Gold-Schulte (4.8/5)
  96. Sylvia & Aki-Conkling (5.2/4)
  97. Tales from Gold Mountain-Yee (5.2/2)
  98. Thunder on the Sierra-Balmes (4.4/2)
  99. Treasure in the Stream: The Story of a Gold Rush Girl-Hoobler (4.1/1)
  100. True Blue-Smiley (5.1/11) (1960’s)
  101. Twelve Travelers, Twenty Horses-Robinet (4.4/5)
  102. Valley of the Moon: The Diary of Maria Rosalia DeMilagros-Garland (6.2/6) (1846)
  103. Walk Across the Sea-Fletcher (4.3/5)*
  104. The Wild Girls-Murphy (4.1/9) (1972)
  105. The Year of the Bomb-Kidd (3.7/5)

 Middle Grades+ (6+)

  1. Bitter Melon-Chow (4.8/11) (1980’s)
  2. Child of the Owl-Yep (5.5/10)
  3. Earthquake at Dawn-Gregory (5.5/5)
  4. Hattie Ever After-Larson (4.6/8)
  5. Mountain Light-Yep (4.8/8)
  6. Path to My African Eyes-Moodley (4.5/6)
  7. Ruby Tuesday-Kogler (5.2/10)
  8. Thief of Hearts-Yep (4.6/6)
  9. A Time of Troubles-Van Raven (4.1/6)

 Upper Grades (9-12)

  1. Bad Boy Brawly Brown-Mosley (4.4/11) (1960’s)
  2. Captain, My Captain-Meroff (4.9/9)
  3. City of Angels-Peterson (4.9/13)
  4. Copy Kat-Kijewski (3.8/12)
  5. An Egg on Three Sticks-Fischer (4.8/12)
  6. Forgiven-Fox (4.8/10)
  7. Fire and Fog-Day (5.9/13)
  8. The Fire Horse Girl-Honeyman (4.6/12)
  9. Ishi-Kroeber (5.6/9) (Native American)
  10. Kindred-Butler (4.0/14)
  11. Locked Rooms: A Mary Russell Novel-King (7.3/22)
  12. The Lonely Queue: The Forgotten History of the Courageous Chinese Americans in Los Angeles-Smith (10.2/5) NF
  13. The Long Valley-Steinbeck (5.6/12)
  14. Love & Haight-Carlton (4.6/6) (1971, abortion)
  15. The Man from Shadow Ridge-Thoene (6.4/10)
  16. Music of the Mill: A Novel-Rodriguez (6.4/18)
  17. The Pastures of Heaven-Steinbeck (6.2/10)
  18. Picture Bride-Uchida (6.5/12)
  19. Purple Daze-Shahan (5.4/3) (1965)
  20. Redeeming Love-Rivers (4.2/22)
  21. The Ruins of California-Sherrill (5.7/16)
  22. Samurai of Gold Hill-Uchida (5.7/4) (California 1869)
  23. Sea to Shining Sea-Phillips (6.1/17)
  24. A Shell for Angela-Lachtman (4.8/10)
  25. Stuck in the 70’s-Garfinkle (3.6/5)
  26. Sweet Thursday-Steinbeck (5.5/10)
  27. The Tender Vine-Heitzmann (4.3/18)
  28. The Year of the Grizzly-Thoene (6.5/7)
  29. Zia-O’Dell (5.1/5)

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *