Are there any Boy's Pioneering time children/YA books?

It came up in discussion with my cousin who has 7 boys, that neither of us could remember or think of any boys books similar to Little House on the Prarie.

Her boys have loved the LHonP series.

Can anyone think of anything where it is boy centered?

Gary Paulsen has written several boys surviving-in-the-wilderness type stories, and I think one of them centered on a young boy who traveled west on the Oregon Trail.

Aha: I found it on the list.

kids pioneer book list
There are other promising books on that list.

I also remember my son reading a book called The Sign of the Beaver, it was about settlers building a cabin, etc with the help of Native Americans.

Johnny Tremain is about a Boston boy in the Revolutionary War rather than a pioneer heading west, but it was such a good book I thought it was worth mentioning.

Oooooh! Thanks!

You know that one of the Little House books is boy-centric, right? There’s a book about the childhood of Laura’s husband. Farmer Boy.

Other good historical fiction about boys:
** Gib Rides Home / Gib and the Gray Ghost** by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Save Queen of Sheba by Louise Moeri
Jake’s Orphan by Peggy Brooke
and several of the Dear America & **My America ** books are “journals” by boys set in various historical time periods, too.

I’m sure they’ve read it, but Hatchet is a great survival story (albeit modern) if they like that aspect of pioneer stories.

It’s true, though, all the really famous pioneer kid’s books are about girls. Although there’s no reason a boy can’t enjoy Caddie Woodlawn and Sarah, Plain and Tall.

How about The Great Brain and sequels? They’re not really pioneer, but they’re historical - they’re set in Utah at the very end of the 19th century, sort of Tom Sawyer stories loosely based on the author’s childhood with his devious brother. They’re excellent, I’ve just started rereading them because I only vaugely remembered them from childhood. There’s a lot in there that gives it extra meaning now that I’m an adult.

I’ve used Elizabeth George Speare’s book Sign of the Beaver in my classroom. It’s about a boy who has to live in a cabinet in Maine for a few months while the rest of the family wait for his mother to have her baby to join him. He makes friends with a native American boy whom he teaches to read. I believe it happens in the early 19th century.

Surely not one under the stairs? :wink:


How about The Great Brain and sequels?


I clicked into this thread to suggest this very series. Great books, highly recommend.

There’s also Moccasin Trail about a boy who gets injured by a bear and lives with Indians for a while. His younger siblings contact him, because they want to move to Oregon and he’s the only one who’s old enough to file a claim (the parents are dead).



How about The Great Brain and sequels?

And if they like the Great Brain they can “graduate” to Papa Married a Mormon, also by John D. Fitzgerald. It’s the grown up story of the life of the Fitzgerald family in Utah. Told by J. D., it details how his maternal grandparents came as converts to Utah, how his Catholic father, a journalist, met his Mormon mother, their elopement, and so on. A lovely moving story about religious tolerance as well, with lots of humor too.

There’s always Old Yeller, The Yearling, and The Adventures of Jamie McPheeters.

Surely not one under the stairs?

OP by zsofia

small cabin…cabinet…works for me :smack:

Not exactly pioneer fiction, but similar in feel. Where the Red Fern Grows and The Education of Little Tree were excellent books.

On topic, Seven Alone by Honore Morrow stuck with me for years after reading it. I haven’t picked that up since I was 15 but I sill remember it. Little Britches was a book I read because my dad said it would “build character” but enjoyed anyway.

…You’re not Calvin, by any chance, are you? :wink:

I’ll also vote for the “Great Brain” series.

Has anyone else read Jim Kjelgaard’s books? Man, I loved them as a kid. They’re outdoorsy stories, many involving boys and dogs; for several years I was determined, thanks to these books, to get an Irish Setter and train it to hunt. I also recall Kalak of the Ice, in which the protagonist is a (female?) polar bear.

Good stuff; I’m tempted to go seek some of them out myself now.

Unfortunately, no. I was never that cool and I could only wish to have a father that smart and sarcastic. One of my all-time favorite comics though.