In the late 1850s in and around Carson City, struggles between the Indians and the local whites are growing. During the struggles, Joselyn, a young orphan, meets Sarah Winnemucca, a Paiute girl who becomes her friend and gives her some valuable advice. When Joselyn takes that advice and escapes from the Carson City Home for Unfortunate Children, she has no idea that her boy's disguise and her love for and expertise with horses will lead her straight to the Pony Express. Joselyn becomes Jo and turns to a life that demands all her inner strength and resources. Then the meanest man on the route learns her secret and uses it to extract a promise that kept or broken could mean death.
Life is full of challenges for thirteen-year-old Liza. She is already having trouble coping with the death of a local homeless man when she learns that her family's apple tree will need to be chopped down. If that wasn't enough, the new principal at school keeps blocking her attempts for a positive outlet by refusing permission for every project that GRRR! (Girls for Renewable Resources, Really!) and BRRR! (Boys for Renewable Resources, Really!) proposes. Liza starts to feel like she needs to create change in her world without seeking permission. When she chooses the school grounds as the site for her latest endeavor, she may have gone too far.
As Stalin's purges and arrests increase, Sasha and his mother plan to leave Russia to join his father and older sister who have emigrated to Riga, Latvia.
It's 1861 and orphan Jo has made it from Carson City, Nevada, to San Francisco without anyone figuring out that she's a girl in boy's clothing. When she hears talk of gold strikes in the Cariboo, Jo and her friend Bart sign on for what turns out to be a journey far more arduous and dangerous than anything Jo experienced as a Pony Express rider. Through it all, Jo keeps her true identity a secret. Strong men turn back but Jo forges ahead, unsure of what lies ahead but sure that her father and mother would be proud of her determination.
The year is 1838 and Ellie's grandmother has arrived all the way from England. Ellie is horrified to discover that the forbidding old woman intends to take her back to Britain to be raised properly. Ellie is determined that she will not go, but what can a nine-year-old girl do in the face of an adult with her mind made up?
Susan B. Anthony takes Fiona and Finley to the 1870s, where the kids learn that women can’t vote yet. But Susan B. Anthony has a plan! Includes extensive back matter with biography, further reading, and author interview.
David and his family travel back in time to 1880 to experience life in the American South as the Reconstruction era following the Civil War came to an end.