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Pioneers: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about pioneers?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to pioneers. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about pioneers.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about pioneers, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Adventures of Laura & Jack to popular sellers like Little House on the Prairie.

We hope this list of kids books about pioneers can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Little House Sampler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For everyone who loves the Little House books-a reissue of a charming collection of early stories and reminiscences by Laura Ingalls Wilder, along with essays and writings from her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who was an award-winning writer.

This charming collection of early stories contains many never before published newspaper pieces, stories and essays by Laura Ingalls and Rose Wilder. Inspiring the popular series, these works are a vivid and personal testament to American life and history as seen by two remarkable pioneers.

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Christmas Stories
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Ji-Hyuk Kim
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Join the original pioneer girl in this Little House chapter book, adapted for younger readers from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved classics.

Illustrated with beautiful new black-and-white artwork, this repackaged edition includes bonus material such as games, activities, and more!

For Laura Ingalls, Christmas means good things to eat, visits from friends, and special gifts to give and receive. As Laura grows up, every Christmas is better than the one before.

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Summertime in the Big Woods
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Renee Graef
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With this illustrated adaptation from the beloved Little House series**, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classics.**

The winter is finally over, and now it is summertime. Laura and Mary are busy all day helping Ma in the garden and playing outside.

Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

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Little House on the Prairie
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Based on the real-life adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie is the third book in the award-winning Little House series, which has captivated generations of readers. This edition features the classic black-and-white artwork from Garth Williams.

Laura Ingalls and her family are heading to Kansas! Leaving behind their home in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, they travel by covered wagon until they find the perfect spot to build a little house on the prairie. Laura and her sister Mary love exploring the rolling hills around their new home, but the family must soon get to work, farming and hunting and gathering food for themselves and for their livestock. Just when the Ingalls family starts to settle into their new home, they find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict. Will they have to move again?

The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura’s real childhood as an American pioneer, and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier, and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.

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A Little Prairie House
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Renee Graef
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With the My First Little House picture book series, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books in these illustrated adaptations of the beloved series!

Laura, Pa, Ma, Mary, and baby Carrie have traveled from the Big Woods to the prairie in their covered wagon, driving through tall grass until they found just the right spot for their new home. With the help of their kind neighbor, Mr. Edwards, Pa builds a snug little house for the family in the middle of the wide-open prairie.

Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

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  • The Deer in the Wood - With the My First Little House picture book series, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books in these illustrated adaptations of the beloved series! Laura and her sister Mary miss Pa when he goes into the woods to find food for their family. When he comes home, he tells them a very special story. Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

  • Donner Dinner Party: A Pioneer Tale - Discover the shocking and true story of the ill-fated Donner Party expedition with the New York Times bestselling graphic novel series!

  • Animal Adventures - Laura Ingalls lives with her family on the prairie. Join the original pioneer girl in this Little House chapter book, adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved classics. Illustrated with beautiful new black-and-white artwork, this repackaged edition includes bonus material such as games, activities, and more! Laura Ingalls and her family are surrounded by all kinds of wild animals. From bears and panthers to badgers and deer, Laura always manages to find herself caught up in a new animal adventure.

  • Prairie Day - With the My First Little House picture book series, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books in these illustrated adaptations of the beloved series! Laura and her family are journeying across the flat Kansas prairie to find a new home.  There are gophers and rabbits to play with in the daytime, and a cozy camp awaits at night.  Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

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The Adventures of Laura & Jack
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Ji-Hyuk Kim
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Laura Ingalls and her bulldog, Jack, have been together for as long as she can remember—and he’s no ordinary dog.

Join the original pioneer girl in this Little House chapter book, adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved classics. Illustrated with beautiful new black-and-white artwork, this repackaged edition includes bonus material such as games, activities, and more!

Jack travels with Laura and her pioneer family all the way from the Big Woods of Wisconsin to the West. He protects them from wolves, cattle that go astray, and sometimes even a friendly neighbor. And he can always help Laura find her way home.

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A Little House Birthday
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Doris Ettlinger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With the My First Little House picture book series, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books in these illustrated adaptations of the beloved series!

Join the Ingalls family as they celebrate little Laura’s fifth birthday in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. There are special presents from everyone, and that night Laura falls asleep to the merry music of Pa’s fiddle. It’s a Little House birthday to remember!

Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

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Laura & Nellie
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Ji-Hyuk Kim
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Laura Ingalls and Nellie Oleson are classmates, but they don’t get along. Join the original pioneer girl in this Little House chapter book, adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved classics. Illustrated with beautiful new black-and-white artwork, this repackaged edition includes bonus material such as games, activities, and more!

Laura loves living on a farm, playing in Plum Creek, and wearing her homemade dresses. She’s a country girl, through and through. But Nellie is a town girl. Her dad is a shopkeeper and she wears store-bought dresses. Laura is proud to be a country girl, but Nellie teases her for it. Can they put aside their differences and become friends?

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Pioneer Sisters
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Ji-Hyuk Kim
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Laura Ingalls and her family are heading west! Join the original pioneer girl in this Little House chapter book, adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved classics. Illustrated with beautiful new black-and-white artwork, this repackaged edition includes bonus material such as games, activities, and more!

Laura Ingalls doesn’t have many neighbors on the frontier, but she always has her sisters to keep her company. Even if they sometimes don’t get along, Mary and Carrie are Laura’s best friends in the world—and together they share all kinds of adventures!

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Going West
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Renee Graef
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With the My First Little House picture book series, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books in these illustrated adaptations of the beloved series!

It’s a fond good-bye to the Big Woods as Laura and her family pack up the covered wagon and begin their journey westward to the prairie.

Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

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  • On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 - A detailed diary from the author of the beloved Little House series, chronicling her journey with her family from South Dakota to Missouri. In 1894, Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband, Almanzo, and their daughter, Rose, packed their belongings into their covered wagon and set out on a journey from De Smet, South Dakota, to Mansfield, Missouri. They heard that the soil there was rich and the crops were bountiful—it was even called “the Land of the Big Red Apple.” With hopes of beginning a new life, the Wilders made their way to the Ozarks of Missouri. During their journey, Laura kept a detailed diary of events: the cities they passed through, the travelers they encountered on the way, the changing countryside and the trials of an often difficult voyage. Laura’s words, preserved in this book, are a fascinating account of life and travel at the turn of the twentieth century, and reveal Laura’s inner thoughts as she traveled with her family in search of a new home in Mansfield, where Laura would write her Little House books.

  • School Days - Laura Ingalls is going to school! Join the original pioneer girl in this Little House chapter book, adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved classics. Illustrated with beautiful new black-and-white artwork, this repackaged edition includes bonus material such as games, activities, and more. The Ingalls family has settled near town, and it’s finally time for Laura and her sister Mary to start school. Laura wants to stay home and play, but Ma says she should be learning to read instead of running wild. Laura soon realizes she can learn and have fun at school, and she especially loves having new friends to play with at recess.

  • Little House Sisters: Collected Stories from the Little House Books - Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as a captivating and rare glimpse into the life of a heartwarming American family living on the wild frontier. Some of the most touching stories in these books tell of the memories Laura has of growing up with her sisters, Mary, Carrie, and Grace as they traveled and settled throughout the Midwest. Here are some of the most special sister stories gathered together for the first time in a lavish gift book format, including gently colorized versions of Garth William’s classic artwork, for sisters and Little House fans alike.

  • Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Life As a Pioneer Women - In Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Life As a Pioneer Woman, Laura tells her readers what it was like to be a pioneer in the early 1900s. Her stories and insights show us how difficult even the simplest chores or tasks were for the early pioneers, yet through it all she continued to see each situation as an adventure—as if she was truly blazing the trail for future generations.

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Fearless Mary
Written by Tami Charles & illustrated by Claire Almon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“The true story of Mary Fields, aka “Stagecoach Mary,” a trailblazing African American woman who helped settle the American West.”–Provided by the Publisher.

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West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

This fascinating firsthand account of life and travel in the early twentieth century includes 24 pages of photographs.

“It is like a fairyland.” So Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the beloved Little House series, described her 1915 voyage to San Francisco to visit her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Laura’s husband, Almanzo, was unable to leave their Missouri farm; her faithful letters home, vividly describing every detail of her journey, have been gathered here.

Perfect for supplementary classroom or homeschool research.

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Pioneer Girl: A True Story of Growing Up on the Prairie
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-17
Pioneer Girl
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My Antonia
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

“The best thing I’ve done is “My &Aacute; ntonia,”” recalled Willa Cather. “I feel I’ve made a contribution to American letters with that book.”<P> An unconventional novel of prairie life, “My &Aacute; ntonia” tells the story of a remarkable woman whose strength and passion epitomize the pioneer spirit. &acute; Antonia Shimerda returns to Black Hawk, Nebraska, to made a fresh start after eloping with a railway conductor following the tragic death of her father. Accustomed to living in a sod house and toiling alongside the men in the fields, she is unprepared for the lecherous reaction her lush sensuality provokes when she moves to the city. Despite betrayal and crushing opposition, Antonia steadfastly pursues her quest for happiness – a moving struggle that mirrors the quiet drama of the American landscape.<P> “No romantic novel ever written in America, by man or woman, is one half so beautiful as “My &Aacute; ntonia.”” –H.L. Mencken

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My Little House 123
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Renee Graef
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

The reader counts objects found in accounts of the frontier and pioneer life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family

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  • James Towne: Struggle for Survival - This moving account of James Towne’s difficult early years is told from the viewpoint of one of its settlers and enhanced by original quotations. <br> During the first summer of 1607, half the James Towne colony died; food was scarce, and the settlers battled oppressive heat and sickness. Over the next few years, supply ships from England became the colony’s lifeline, as they brought much-needed stores of food and carried back offerings from the new land, as well as the settlers’ homesick letters. <br> Conditions began to improve when Captain John Smith was elected president of the colony, and James Towne soon doubled in size. While some of the settlers had been reluctant to work, Smith required participation from all, and the colonists began to take pride in improving their conditions. Furthermore, by learning the native language and befriending a Native American girl named Pocahontas, Smith was able to establish, temporarily, an uneasy peace between the settlers and the natives whose land they had taken. <br> As new settlers began to arrive from England though, the resources of the budding colony were strained, and in the autumn of 1609 the colony suffered a Starving Time. Deciding to abandon James Towne at last, the colonists headed back toward England, only to have their journey intercepted by a messenger, who informed the settlers that new leaders sent by the King were due to arrive in the flailing colony any day, and urged them to return. <br> Not for long after their arrival, the discouraged James Towne colonists were met by a new governor and a ship full of healthy passengers with enough supplies and hope to work together to ensure James Towne’s survival.

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