NYC History During the 1800s

New York City has to be one of the greatest places in America, if not the world. Luckily for us, many authors have chronicled The Big Apple's antics in a way just right for kids.

Here are some of the books available. This is not yet a complete list, but I'm adding books to the list daily. If you wish to purchase any of these books, click on either the title or the book cover to be directed to As a warning, I have put up pictures of the book covers to give you somewhat an idea of the style of each book (I know, I know. "Don't judge a book by its cover") so the pages may load slowly, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

The categories below are sorted by approximate age group and topical categories. Feel free to browse around. The same links are located on the left side of your screen. To return back to this page, simply click on the "Welcome" link on the left.

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Other Pages of Interest:
Fiction & Historical Fiction: General Books About New York City (Nonfiction) | Fiction NYC Picture Books and "Easy Reader" Stories (Ages 4-8) | Fiction NYC Books (Ages 9-12) | New York Fiction for Young Adults | New York Historical Fiction (Colonial Period and Revolutionary War) | New York Historical Fiction (Ellis Island & Immigration) | New York Historical Fiction (Life in the 1800s) | New York Historical Fiction (Life in the 1900s)

NYC History: New York Biographies | Native Americans from New York (History and Historical Fiction) | New York History (Colonial Period and Revolutionary War) | New York History (Immigration and Ellis Island) | New York History (The 1800s) | New York History (The 1900s) | The World Trade Center and September 11, 2001 |

NYC Locations: The Statue of Liberty | The Empire State Building | Central Park | NYC Art Museums (Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, etc.) | NYC's American Museum of Natural History | Harlem Books (Including books about the Harlem Renaissance) | Chinatown Books | Little Italy Books | The New York City Subway System | Brooklyn Books | The Bronx Books | Queens Books | Staten Island Books | Long Island Books | Upstate New York Books | New York State Books

Life and Travel in NYC: Thanksgiving in New York City | Christmas in New York City | New York Sports Teams and Players The NYC Fire Department (FDNY) and NY Police Department (NYPD) | General Books About Cities | New York City and New York State Test Preparation and Study Guides | New York Regents Review Books | Parenting in New York City | New York Travel Guides for Families with Children

NYC Toys, Puzzles, and Games (For Kids & Adults) | Coupon Codes

Books for Beginning Readers

Books for Older Readers

Civil War Days:
Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes

By David C. King
Now modern kids can travel back in time and experience one of the most dramatic and fascinating periods in American history. Civil War Days follows the Wheelers, an African-American family living in New York City, and the Parkhursts, a white family in Charleston, South Carolina, through the year 1862. Readers will join 11-year-old Emily Parkhurst as she helps her family run their cotton mill, and 12-year-old Timothy Wheeler as he takes on new responsibilities while his father becomes one of the first African Americans to join the Union army. Along the way, they'll discover exciting games, crafts, toys, and recipes popular with kids of the time, including making a hard tack, playing the African game of Mankala, sending secret messages in Morse code, baking a tasty apple pan dowdy, and much more. Learning history has never been so hands-on-or so much fun!

Description from Publisher

Victorian Days:
Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes

By David C. King
Children can take a fascinating trip to Victorian New York!

Kids can discover the richness of the Victorian period in America as they follow the lives of the Hobarts and the Kadinskys of New York City. This new addition to the American Kids in History series will give modern kids a first-hand look at what life was like in the late 1800s. They'll join twelve-year-old William Hobart as he makes a tin-can telephone, and eleven-year-old Mary Kadinsky as she helps make paper flowers and cinnamon bread sticks. They'll be able to try over thirty fun and easy projects, activities, and games, including creating Victorian Christmas ornaments, sewing a drawstring trinket bag, and making rock candy crystals, plus lots more!

David C. King (Hillsdale, NY) is a popular author of books for children and young adults, including Pioneer Days, Colonial Days and Wild West Days. He has previously worked as an educational journalist, a curriculum developer in both history and social studies, and a high school English and history teacher.

Description from Publisher

Great Disasters and Their Reforms: The Blizzard of 1888 by Tracee de Hahn
An easy-to-read social history of the late 19th century, centering on the devastating effects of the blizzard that hit 10 Northeastern states and dumped up to 50 inches of snow in some places. De Hahn compares this disaster to other storms and explains its effects on city dwellers, farmers, the poor, the working class, the infants in the New York Infant Asylum, and others. Sidebars highlight the lives of meteorologist Sgt. Francis Long; P. T. Barnum, whose circus was appearing in Manhattan; and Senator Roscoe Conkling. This is good social history, looking at a weather event and analyzing how it led to changes such as moving telephone wires underground and improving sanitation. Thirty-three black-and-white archival photographs and reproductions show this blizzard and its aftermath.

Description from School Library Journal

Blizzard: The Storm That Changed America

By Jim Murphy
On March 10, 1888, the weather on the eastern coast of the U.S. was so pleasant that families were picnicking. By Monday morning, however, a huge, destructive blizzard--actually two storms--stretched from Delaware north to Maine and as far west as the Mississippi River. New York City had 21 inches of drifting snow; Troy, New York, was blanketed under 55 inches. Supplies of fuel, food, and milk dwindled; power lines snapped; trains were trapped; nearly 200 ships were lost at sea; and an estimated 800 people died in New York City alone. No wonder some called the storm "The Great White Hurricane." Like Murphy's award-winning The Great Fire, this is an example of stellar nonfiction. The haunting jacket illustration grabs attention, and the dramatic power of the splendid narrative, coupled with carefully selected anecdotes, newspaper accounts, and vintage and contemporary photos, will keep the pages turning. Murphy does a fine job describing the incredible storm, the reasons behind the tragic consequences, and the terrifying fates of victims. A splendid choice for booktalking; order several copies. Notes are appended.

Description from Booklist

In March of 1888, two massive weather systems converged on the northeastern United States, precipitating gale-force winds, heavy snows, and subzero weather. The storms caught a nation unaware; for two days an ensuing blizzard raged, killing hundreds of people. In its aftermath, legislation expanded the role of the United States Weather Bureau, and cities began complying with directives for placing utility cables underground and developing workable emergency action plans. New York City, hit especially hard, revamped its transportation system and began building the subways still in operation today. Drawing on extensive newspaper articles, histories of the period, and archived letters and journals, Murphy writes of the storm through the experiences of a number of people: a young woman traveling by rail from Buffalo to New York City; a cub reporter weathering the storm on a pilot boat in the Atlantic; three young adults commuting across Newark Bay to work in the Singer Sewing Machine factory; a farm family in Connecticut; a female telegraph operator; and the president of the New York Central Railroad. Not only do these individuals personalize the account with their triumphs and tragedies, they also serve as demographic representatives of the larger population. Each provides Murphy entry into background discussions covering the political and social conditions of that time, including urban transportation, the plight of the poor, and the job insecurity of white- and blue-collar workers. Murphy treats his subject with respect as he curbs the inherent sensationalism of the topic through an informal, journalistic style. To build urgency in the narrative, he creates cogent transitions from one event to another and from personal events to broader historical segments. Even with all of these connections, individual chapters stand alone, providing access for browsers and those searching for nonfiction read-alouds. Sepia-colored illustrations (archival photographs and original art from the period) reinforce the historical setting; an explanatory chapter on sources and an index close the book.

Description from Horn Book

The Susan B. Anthony Women's Voting Rights Trial: A Headline Court Case

By Judy Monroe
When Susan B. Anthony cast her vote in Upstate New York in 1872 she broke a New York State law that prohibited women from voting. Succeeding in her effort to vote caused her to be tried under a law that empowered the federal government to prosecute violations of state voting laws. Her trial and her punishment set in motion the beginnings of the suffragist movement. It was the beginning of a long effort toward the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women throughout the United States the right to vote.

Description from Publisher

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