Recommended Reading

This list is by no means comprehensive or even close to complete.  Most of these are books I own or have read.  Many of them can be found my kidlit history shelf in my goodreads account.  Titles that I’ve missed are always welcome!

Books About the Authors and Their Novels

Louisa May Alcott

  • Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father by John Matteson
  • The Little Women Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson

 Frances Hodgson Burnett

            Inside the Secret Garden by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson

 Virginia Lee Burton

            Virginia Lee Burton: A Life in Art by Barbara Ellemann

 Maud Hart Lovelace

            Future in a Handbasket: The Life and Letters Behind Carney’s House Party by Amy Dolnick

 L. M. Montgomery

  • The Anne of Green Gables Christmas Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina  Wyss Eriksson
  • Anne of Green Gables Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson
  • The Annotated Anne of Green Gables edited by Wendy E. Barry, Margaret Anne Doody, and Mary E. Doody Jones
  • Aunt Maud’s Recipe Book: From the Kitchen of L. M. Montgomery by Elaine Crawford and Kelly Crawford
  • The Intimate Life of L. M. Montgomery by Irene Gammel (Disclaimer: One chapter in this book, “The Hectic Flush: The Fiction and Reality of Consumption in L. M. Montgomery’s Life” is written by me.)
  • The Lucy Maud Montgomery Album compiled by Kevin McCabe and edited by Alexandra Heilbron
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings by Mary Henley Rubio
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Wheel of Things by Mollie Gillen
  • Maud: The Life of L. M. Montgomery by Harry Bruce
  • Remembering Lucy Maud Montgomery by Alexandra Heilbron

 Laura Ingalls Wilder

  • The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane by William Holtz
  • I Remember Laura: America’s favorite storyteller as remembered by her family, friends, and neighbors by Stephen Hines
  • Inside Laura’s Little House by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson
  • Little House, Long Shadow: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Impact on American Culture by Anita Clair Fellman


Non-fiction Goodies From the Authors

Doublefields by Elizabeth Enright (both autobiographical and a collection of short stories for adults)

 The Alpine Path by L. M. Montgomery

 The Selected Journals of L. M. Montgomery, Volumes I – V edited by Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston

 My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G. B. McMillan from L. M. Montgomery edited by Francis Bolger

 Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings edited by Stephen Hines

 On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 by Laura Ingalls Wilder

 West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915


History: otherwise known as context for the books you love (in no particular order)

Growing Up with the Country: Childhood on the Far Western Frontier by Elliott West (Crucial for the understanding the many pioneer memoirs, including the Little House books)

 Bachelor Girl: The Secret History of Single Women in the Twentieth Century by Betsy Israel (Why, exactly, it was such a horrible thing to be an Old Maid—and how that changed)

 From Catharine Beecher to Martha Stewart: A Cultural History of Domestic Advice by Sarah A. Leavitt

 Living in the Shadow of Death: Tuberculosis and the Social Experience of Illness in American History by Sheila M. Rothman (Consumption is a recurring theme in many 19th century books)

 Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash by Susan Strasser

 Never Done: A History of American Housework by Susan Strasser

 The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin (not the same blizzards as depicted in The Long Winter, but I challenge you to not think about that book while reading this one)

 What Katy Read: Feminist Re-Readings of Classic Stories for Girls, 1850-1920 by Shirley Foster

 The Promised Land by Mary Antin (an immigrant memoir, with shades of All-of-a-Kind Family)

 One Potato, Two Potato: The Folklore of American Children by Mary Knapp and Herbert Knapp

 Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood by Steven Mintz

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women who Created Her by Melanie Rehak  (not just about Nancy, but about series fiction in the early 20th century).

The Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum.  How Christmas went from being a drunken party to a domestic ritual.

One thought on “Recommended Reading

  1. Leonardo’s Secret

    This is the first in a series of children’s books to follow the life of “Tuttle the Turtle”. A turtle who lived so long, he evolved into an independent thinking and speaking mastermind. Follow Tuttle as he influences many famous and sometimes infamous people throughout history.

    When young Leonardo da Vinci, a busboy, was asked to make turtle soup, one of the turtles begged for his life! It was Tuttle. Tuttle, tried to convince Leonardo that there is a big world out there, and he could show him all about it, if he would just take a chance.

    Through humor and chaos, Leonardo’s inventions come to life, only to find out that everyone one else sees them for something different in the end.

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