Early 1900s Books, Henry Ford, the Titanic, American life

US History Project Ideas

Early 1900s books bring us topics on Henry Ford or the great California earthquake, the Titanic, and exploring the Antarctica.

Two different series, All-of-a-Kind Family & Samantha give a taste of typical American life during this early 1900s time period.

The 1910’s brings us the high adventure stories of both the Titanic and Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic. Ashes of Roses is a good choice for lesson plans on the labor movement.

The selections here for World War I are strictly American topics. Go to the World War I page for a wider range of book choices, including more than just American themes.


All-of-a-kind Family by Sydney Talor. Dell Yearling Books. E-UE
Experience the life and customs of a Jewish immigrant family in New York. The rest of the series includes More All-of-a-Kind Family, All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown, All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown, Ella of All-Of-A-Kind Family.

Eat My Dust! Henry Ford’s First Race (Step Into Reading, Step 3) by Monica Kulling, illus. Richard Walz. Random House, 2004. E
This amusing tale of Henry Ford also introduces the reader to “the car everyone could own,” the Model T. Fun illustrations.

Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody, illus. Edward Shenton. (Series of 8 books, spanning from 1906-1920s) UE+
Mr. Moody tells of his boyhood adventures when he and his family moved from New England to establish a ranch in Colorado. Especially appealing to boys, but great for everyone. Recommended. CAUTION: Although the book is warm-hearted and family-oriented, there is an occasional h*** or d*** by some characters. Also, (spoiler) the father dies in the last chapter, which can be difficult for sensitive children.

Little Yellow Fur by Wilma Pitchford Hays, illus. Richard Cuffari. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc., 1973. E-UE
This book is based on the author’s experiences as a little girl growing up in South Dakota near an Indian reservation. A child wins the hearts of a neighboring tribe. An easy chapter book for UE, it also gives a glimpse into the homesteading life of the American pioneer in 1913.

Earthquake!: A Story of Old San Francisco (Once upon America) by Kathleen V. Kudlinski.

Samantha: An American Girl (The American Girls Collection): The individual books in the set are Meet Samantha: An American Girl, Samantha Learns a Lesson: A School Story, Samantha’s Surprise: A Christmas Story, Happy Birthday, Samantha: A Springtime Story, Samantha Saves the Day: A Summer Story, and Changes for Samantha: A Winter Story by Susan S. Adler. The Pleasant Co. 1986. E-JH
Based on the life of a fictional American girl in 1904, and written especially for girls.

The San Francisco Earthquake (The American Adventure) by Bonnie Hinman. UE-JH
Christian historical fiction.

Welcome to Samantha’s World, 1904: Growing Up in America’s New Century (American Girls Collection Series. Pleasant Co. UE-JH
Expanding on the Samantha series, this book illustrates and explains many facets of the typical way of life of her time period and location.

The Wright Brothers: Pioneers of American Aviation (Landmark Books) by Quentin Reynolds. Random House, 1981. E-UE


Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914 (The Royal Diaries) by Carolyn Meyer. E-UE

Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch. Henry Holt and Co., 2002. UE*-JH
An immigrant teen girl’s struggle to overcome her grim circumstances. Tells of bad working conditions & the labor movement. *Caution for younger ones: The heroine is warned to tell the sweatshop operator to keep his hands to himself, but later he forces a kiss before she manages to get away.

The Endurance: Shackleton’s Perilous Expedition in Antartica by Meredith Hooper, illus. M. P. Robertson. E-UE
A picture book of the true story of the Endurance, showing bravery and fortitude in extreme conditions. In paperback as Ice Trap!: Shackleton’s Incredible Expedition.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. JH-HS

Heroine of the Titanic : The Real Unsinkable Molly Brown by Elaine Landau.

The Story of the Titanic by Deborah Heiligman, illus. James Watling. A Random House Pictureback Book, 1998. E

Titanic: Lost and Found (Step into Reading, Step 4) by Judy Donnelly, illus. Keith Kohler. E-UE

Trapped by the Ice: Shackleton’s Amazing Antarctic Adventure by Michael McCurdy. Walker & Co., 2002. E-UE
A picture book of the true story of the Endurance, showing bravery and fortitude in extreme conditions.


Red Star Click here to see the complete Reading List for World War I. Red Star

Clash With the Newsboys (The American Adventure) by Norma Jean Lutz. UE-JH
Christian historical fiction.

The Great War (The American Adventure #36) by Norma Jean Lutz. UE-JH
Christian historical fiction.

Prelude to War (The American Adventure) by Norma Jean Lutz. UE-JH
Christian historical fiction.

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