Book Review: Dear America: With the Might of Angels, The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson (Hadley, Virginia 1954) by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Meet Dawnie Rae, "Dear America"'s first 20th century African American heroine, a vibrant and indestructible girl. Dawnie is bright and dreams of becoming a doctor, but she lives in the midst of Jim Crow Virginia in the 1950s, where blacks are segregated from whites, given a much poorer education than in white schools, and have very … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: With the Might of Angels, The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson (Hadley, Virginia 1954) by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Book Review: Dear America: Cannons at Dawn, The Second Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania 1779) by Kristiana Gregory

Cannons at Dawn is the second diary of The Winter of the Red Snow's Abigail Stewart, and the first sequel in the "Dear America" series. The story continues not long after Abigail's first diary ends, still in the middle of the Revolutionary War. As we learn in the opening pages, Abigail's father, the cobbler, has … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Cannons at Dawn, The Second Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania 1779) by Kristiana Gregory

Book Review: Dear America: Like the Willow Tree, The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce (Portland, Maine 1918) by Lois Lowry

Lydia begins her first entry sounding like a rather spoiled young woman. But very soon after, she and her brother lose everything when their parents and baby sister die from the Influenza. Their aunt and uncle, who are burdened with too many children, send Lydia and her brother to live in the Shaker community at … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Like the Willow Tree, The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce (Portland, Maine 1918) by Lois Lowry

Book Review: Dear America: The Fences Between Us, The Diary of Piper Davis (Seattle, Washington 1941) by Kirby Larson

This is one of my favorite DA reading experiences. Piper lives with her father, a preacher, and her brother and sister. There are many Japanese Americans in her neighborhood and school, and her church is mostly Japanese. But after Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, life begins to change for Piper, as now she is considered suspicious … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: The Fences Between Us, The Diary of Piper Davis (Seattle, Washington 1941) by Kirby Larson

Book Review: Dear America: Hear My Sorrow, The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker (New York City, 1909) by Deborah Hopkinson

In this beautiful yet doleful tale, we follow Angela Denoto, a Sicilian-born teen at the turn-of-the-century in New York City. Although Angela is bright and the only member of her family who can read, as well as speak and write in English, her father's physical condition requires her and her elder sister, Luisa, to work … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Hear My Sorrow, The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker (New York City, 1909) by Deborah Hopkinson

Book Review: Dear America: I Walk in Dread, The Diary of Deliverance Trembly, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials (Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1691) by Lisa Rowe Fraustino

One of my favorites in the DA series, "I Walk In Dread" is more than just a diary, but an incredible story about the Salem Witch Trials, told from a very unique perspective that cannot, in my knowledge, be found among any other Salem Witch literature. There is nothing supernatural in this book, first of … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: I Walk in Dread, The Diary of Deliverance Trembly, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials (Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1691) by Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Book Review: Dear America: Look to the Hills, The Diary of Lozette Moreau, A French Slave Girl (New York Colony, 1763) by Patricia McKissack

It is 1763, and Lozette, or "Zettie," is the African servant to a French family in Province. She was bought to be a companion to Marie-Louise ("Ree") Boyer. Companion slaves were somewhat elite, as they are well-educated, well-dressed, and taught the same as their masters, to make them fit for the company of the upper-class. … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Look to the Hills, The Diary of Lozette Moreau, A French Slave Girl (New York Colony, 1763) by Patricia McKissack

Book Review: Dear America: All the Stars in the Sky, The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder (Santa Fe Trail, 1848) by Megan McDonald

In this charming book, Florrie and her family set out from Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico where her step-father, Mr. Ryder, holds a successful trading business. This story is told in the true, authentic voice of a Southern thirteen-year-old girl, making Florrie a delightfully humorous and colorful protagonist. What makes this DA diary stand … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: All the Stars in the Sky, The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder (Santa Fe Trail, 1848) by Megan McDonald

Book Review: Dear America: Love Thy Neighbor, The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson (Greenmarsh, Massachusetts 1774) by Ann Turner

In this unique DA diary, the author tells the Revolutionary War era story from a Tory's point of view; that is, from the point of view of a girl and her family who did not want to secede from England and were perfectly happy living under the King's reign. These people are often viewed as … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Love Thy Neighbor, The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson (Greenmarsh, Massachusetts 1774) by Ann Turner

Book Review: Dear America: Land of the Buffalo Bones, The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota (New Yeovil, Minnesota 1873) by Marion Dane Bauer

In this unforgettable DA tale, Mary, her family, and others from her English hometown and church, led by her father-- their pastor--, are duped into purchasing land and settling on the plains of Minnesota. They are promised rich soil, fertile ground, beautiful weather, and the tools for prosperity and a good life, but instead are … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Land of the Buffalo Bones, The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota (New Yeovil, Minnesota 1873) by Marion Dane Bauer

Book Review: Dear America: When Christmas Comes Again, The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer (New York City to the Western Front, 1917) by Beth Seidel Levine

Simone Spencer is DA's oldest narrator at eighteen years old. Born to a fairly well-to-do family in New York City with an American father and French mother, Simone is bilingual in the English and French languages. After she graduates high school, Simone learns that all American men between the ages of 21 and 30 are … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: When Christmas Comes Again, The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer (New York City to the Western Front, 1917) by Beth Seidel Levine

Book Review: Dear America: Survival in the Storm, The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards (Dalhart, Texas 1935) by Katelan Janke

This is a wonderful DA diary taking place during the Great Depression in the Texas Panhandle. At this time, those who lived in the prairies were hit for several years by terrible drought and dust storms (caused by farmers' improper treatment of topsoil coupled with strong winds and a severe drought) that nearly ruined the … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Survival in the Storm, The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards (Dalhart, Texas 1935) by Katelan Janke

Book Review: Dear America: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, The Diary of Bess Brennan (Perkins School for the Blind, 1932) by Barry Denenberg

Bess has an accident and must learn how to live her life anew now that she has gone blind. She attends the Perkins School for the Blind where she interacts with teachers and other blind students who become her friends. When she visits home, she must learn to adjust and to feel like a part … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, The Diary of Bess Brennan (Perkins School for the Blind, 1932) by Barry Denenberg

Book Review: Dear America: A Time for Courage, The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen (Washington, D.C. 1917) by Kathryn Lasky

Kat is a fourteen-year-old girl living in Washington, D.C. in the year of the picket lines for women's suffrage. While Kat's father, a doctor, is more progressive and generally accepting of Kat's mother's picketing and women's rights activism, Kat's Uncle Bayard is a harsh tyrant to his own wife (also a suffragette) and family, and … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: A Time for Courage, The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen (Washington, D.C. 1917) by Kathryn Lasky

Book Review: Dear America: Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The Diary of Molly MacKenzie Flaherty (Boston, Massachusetts 1968) by Ellen Emerson White

This is the story of the all-Irish-American Flaherty family in the 1960s. Molly is that girl in school who is outgoing and popular, her brother is the handsome jock whom everyone adores, her dad is a fiery Irish-bred firefighter, and her mother is a devout Catholic. But Molly is torn about her opinions regarding the … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The Diary of Molly MacKenzie Flaherty (Boston, Massachusetts 1968) by Ellen Emerson White

Book Review: Dear America: My Face to the Wind, the Diary of Sarah Jane Price, a Prairie Teacher (Broken Bow, Nebraska 1881) by Jim Murphy

Sarah Jane is dragged all the way to Broken Bow, Nebraska by her father who was planned to teach there. Tragically, her father dies, leaving her an orphan with nothing, stranded in Broken Bow. The innkeeper with whom Sarah Jane and her father had stayed knows that Sarah Jane will soon have no money to … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: My Face to the Wind, the Diary of Sarah Jane Price, a Prairie Teacher (Broken Bow, Nebraska 1881) by Jim Murphy

Book Review: Dear America: Early Sunday Morning, The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows (Hawaii, 1941) by Barry Denenberg

It is 1941, and just as Amber Billows and her family are beginning to adjust to their new life in Washington, D.C. (after having moved between multiple other cities), Amber's father, a quirky Harvard-educated reporter, announces that they are moving yet again, this time to the virtually unheard of U.S. territory of Hawaii. Amber is quick … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Early Sunday Morning, The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows (Hawaii, 1941) by Barry Denenberg

Book Review: Dear America: Christmas After All, The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift (Indianapolis, Indiana 1932) by Kathryn Lasky

This DA diary is a very readable book. Set in Indianapolis, Indiana during the Great Depression, Minnie (short for Minerva) is the youngest of four sisters, with a younger brother. Her father is out of work and her mother has already had to close off half of the rooms in the house to save on … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Christmas After All, The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift (Indianapolis, Indiana 1932) by Kathryn Lasky

Book Review: Dear America: Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (California Territory, 1849) by Kristiana Gregory

Susanna, her parents, and her sister set sail from the U.S. east coast to the west in hopes to reunite with family in Oregon. However, on their voyage, their mother is taken by the sea when a giant wave sweeps upon deck. Susanna, her father, and sister are devastated by their loss, but must continue … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild (California Territory, 1849) by Kristiana Gregory

Book Review: Dear America: Valley of the Moon, the Diary of María Rosalia de Milagros (Sonoma Valley, Alta California 1846) by Sherry Garland

Rosalia is a servant girl for a wealthy Spanish ranchero family in Alta (upper) California. She and her little brother Domingo are orphans, though it is apparent through the color of their skin that they are of mixed Native American and Hispanic descent. They and their fellow servants are treated surprisingly kindly by the hospitable … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Valley of the Moon, the Diary of María Rosalia de Milagros (Sonoma Valley, Alta California 1846) by Sherry Garland

Book Review: Dear America: My Secret War, The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck (Long Island, New York 1942) by Mary Pope Osborne

Maddie Beck and her mother live in a boarding house on Long Island, New York, while her father, a naval officer, is stationed overseas in the Pacific. Out of devotion to her father, Maddie makes friends in her new town and, with her new beau Johnny, starts a group for young people to help with … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: My Secret War, The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck (Long Island, New York 1942) by Mary Pope Osborne

Book Review: Dear America: One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping, The Diary of Julie Weiss (Vienna, Austria to New York, 1938) by Barry Denenberg

This book is most unlike the other books in the series. As it begins, Julie is a privileged, well-to-do Jewish girl in Vienna, the daughter of a successful doctor, when Hitler annexes Austria and her world is turned upside-down. After witnessing the heinous atrocities committed by the Nazis upon their Jewish neighbors, Julie's father sends … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping, The Diary of Julie Weiss (Vienna, Austria to New York, 1938) by Barry Denenberg

Book Review: Dear America: Color Me Dark, The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, The Great Migration North (Chicago, Illinois 1919) by Patricia McKissack

Nellie Lee Love lives with her family at their undertaking business in the Corners of Tennessee. The Loves are a close-knit family, and Nellie is especially close with her sister, who is the same age as her most of the year, Erma Jean. One interesting character aspect in this book is that Erma Jean loves … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: Color Me Dark, The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, The Great Migration North (Chicago, Illinois 1919) by Patricia McKissack

Book Review: Dear America: A Coal Miner’s Bride, The Diary of Anetka Kaminska (Lattimer, Pennsylvania 1896) by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

This was an unforgettable book in the series. Anetka and her brother, with the assistance of a soldier friend, must travel from Poland to the mining town of Lattimer, PA, U.S., where she will meet her new husband to whom her father 'traded' her for the tickets to bring her there. However, Anetka finds that … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: A Coal Miner’s Bride, The Diary of Anetka Kaminska (Lattimer, Pennsylvania 1896) by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Book Review: Dear America: The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, A Navajo Girl (New Mexico, 1864) by Ann Turner

This is a sad story about the forced relocation and concentration of the Navajo people, who were forced to leave their homes and walk hundreds of miles in the snow, many dying on the way. The book is sad from start to finish. I do remember one scene in which a soldier takes a liking … Continue reading Book Review: Dear America: The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, A Navajo Girl (New Mexico, 1864) by Ann Turner