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Pioneer History Perspectives

In The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide, I remind readers that the Little House books share just one family's story as pioneers. 

It's important to remember that the Little House books are not a comprehensive guide to American pioneer history or the westward movement. My own book is a comprehensive guide--but only to the Little House books, not all of American history. 

I'd like to recommend additional historical fiction books to explore other sides of the pioneer story. 

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The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich gives readers a Native American perspective to the westward movement and pioneers. 
Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park shares the complications of being an Asian American in a prairie town a lot like De Smet.  

From my experience, Native Americans are often taught as a part of this country's history. They were an important part of American history...but they are not just history. We Are Still Here: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frane Lessac provides families and teachers a great resource to better understand the how America treated Native Americans and and today's truths. 

Please read and explore these books I've recommended with your reader. It's nearly always important to understand additional perspectives about history. (An easy exception that comes to mind is the Holocaust.) 

If you're reading the Little House books with your family or as part of your homeschool or classroom, I hope you'll use The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide as a homeschool resource or give it to your child to read. (It's primarily written for the young Little House fan, but adults love it as a resource.) A lot of people have asked if I addressed the racial issues within a couple of the Little House books. I did. 

What other books do you recommend to young readers for a well-rounded understanding of American pioneers, westward movement, and more? Please leave a comment! 

Happy Trails! 
~ Annette 

Annette Whipple is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at

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