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Lower Elementary Students

Atwell, Debby. Barn. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. [Ages 4-8]

A New Hampshire seacoast barn tells the story of its life from the American Revolution to the revolution of the 1960s and the present day.

Burton, Virginia Lee. The Little House. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1942. [Ages 3-6]

Virginia Burton's classic tale tells the story of a little house in the country that experiences the encroaching city and its troubling effects. The book won the Caldecott Medal in 1943.

Fitz-Gibbon, Sally. The Patchwork House. Victoria, Canada: Orca, 1996. [Ages 4-8]

A little house stands on a hill. Families come and go, and each one of its inhabitants turns the house into a home: a Japanese family extends the garden and adds a bathhouse, which a Finnish family then turns into a sauna, creating layer upon layer of the house's history.

Hest, Amy. When Jessie Came Across the Sea. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 1997. [Ages 4-8]

Thirteen-year-old Jessie immigrates to America from an unnamed Eastern European country and studies English when not sewing lace in a dress shop. Hest describes Jessie's adjustment to her new life and her friendship with a young man from the ship.

Maestro, Betsy. Coming to America: The Story of Immigration. New York: Scholastic, 1996. [Ages 4-10]

This beautifully illustrated book begins the story of immigration to America with Native Americans crossing the land bridge from Asia to Alaska. Maestro skillfully explains why people chose to immigrate and chronicles their journeys to their new countries and their experiences upon arrival.

Richardson, Beth. Gardening with Children. Taunton Press, 1998. [Ages 4-8]

Richardson explains how to include children in daily gardening activities, from planning to planting and tending (Booklist).

Vizurraga, Susan. Our Old House. New York: Henry Holt, 1997. [Ages 4-8]

A young girl describes the house that her parents are renovating and tells of the traces left behind by past owners--plants in the yard, layers of paint, a marble, a name scratched on a door. She learns even more when a gray-haired woman stops by to visit the house that she once lived in (Booklist).

Upper Elementary Students

Blackburn, Graham. Parts of a House. New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1980. [Ages 8-adult]

The anatomy of a house is illustrated alphabetically and explained part by part. Often regarded as an adult book, Parts of a House has been used very successfully with children in second grade. Now out of print but available in many libraries.

Blos, Joan W. A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979. [Ages 8-12]

This Newbery award-winning book is set in rural Vermont, but it's one of the quintessential girls' books about growing up in this era.

Collier, James Lincoln, and Christopher Collier. My Brother Sam Is Dead. New York: Scholastic Paperbacks, 1989. [Ages 8-12+]

In this classic story of the American Revolution, young Tim is caught between his brother's patriotism and his father's Tory sympathies.

Colman, Penny. Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II. Crown Publishers, 1998. [Ages 9-12]

Colman reviews the role of women in the wartime workplace -- with photographs, public relations shots, and material from magazines. She describes how women were mobilized into the workforce, the long-term social effects, and what became of working women at the end of the war. With a chronology and extensive bibliography.

Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1987. [Ages 8-12+]

An apprentice ends up hip-deep in the American Revolution--an inspiring, exciting, and sad story that won the prestigious Newbery Award in 1944.

Freedman, Russell. Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor. New York: Clarion Books, 1994. [Ages 9-12]

Freedman explains what Lewis Hine (1874-1940) discovered as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee and illustrates these revelations with Hine's "haunting" black-and-white pictures (Booklist). A photograph by Hine appears in Within These Walls..., in the section about Irish immigrant Catherine Lynch.

Houston, Gloria. But No Candy. New York: Philomel Books, 1992. [Juvenile literature]

Houston captures a child's perspective of World War II through the war's effects on everyday events. Lee, the daughter of a small-town grocer, measures the war's progress with the diminishing supply of candy. Gradually, however, she senses greater implications.

McCaulay, David. Mill. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. [Ages 8-adult]

The book describes the construction and fortunes of New England textile mills. Fictional Wicksbridge is modeled on real-life Slater's Mill, Rhode Island.

Murphy, Jim. A Young Patriot: The American Revolution as Explained by One Boy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. [Ages 9-12+]

The story of the Revolution through the eyes of Joseph Plumb Martin, who enlisted in the army in 1776 at the age of 15. The lively quotes drawn from Martin's autobiography give this book a feeling of immediacy, heightened by details of life in the army. Features an extensive bibliography.

Patterson, Catherine. Lyddie. New York: Puffin, 1995. [Ages 9-12+]

This story, set in the mid-nineteenth century, encompasses three years in the life of Lyddie Worthern, a young Vermont girl who goes to work in the factories of Lowell. This is an American Library Association Notable Book.

Sinnott, Susan. Doing Our Part: American Women on the Home Front in World War II. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1995. [Ages 9-12] 

Sinnott presents key facts and concepts relating to World War II, especially the changing role of housewives who moved into jobs in the defense industry. School Library Journal says this book, which includes archival photos, is useful for teachers wanting to add a "different twist" to World War II units.

Whitman, Sylvia. V is for Victory: The American Home Front During World War II. Minneapolis: Lerner, 1992. [Ages 9-12]

While war raged overseas, Americans at home joined the war effort and dealt with government policies such as rationing. At the same time, women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers. This overview, written clearly and illustrated with black-and-white photographs, relies heavily on personal reminiscences (Horn Book).

Middle School to Adult

Ipswich and Massachusetts

Conley, Mary P., and Louise Best. Our Branch of the Vine: Saint Joseph's Church, Ipswich, Massachusetts. Ipswich, Mass.: Centennial Book Committee, 1989.

Newton, Elizabeth H., Alice Keenan, and Mary P. Conley, comps. Three Hundred and Fifty Years of Ipswich History. Ipswich, Mass.: Three Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary Committee of the Town of Ipswich, 1984.

Waters, Thomas Franklin. Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Ipswich, Mass.: Ipswich Historical Society, 1905.

The American Home

Clark, Clifford Edward, Jr. The American Family Home, 1800-1960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.

Nylander, Jane C. Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760-1860. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.

Wright, Gwendolyn. Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America. New York: Pantheon Books, 1981.

The Choates
American Colonists, 1757-1772

Bushman, Richard L. The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

Carson, Cary, Ronald Hoffman, and Peter J. Albert, eds. Of Consuming Interests: The Style of Life in the Eighteenth Century. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1994.

Heyrman, Christine Leigh. Commerce and Culture: The Maritime Communities of Massachusetts, 1690-1750. New York: Norton, 1984.

Rutman, Darrett B. Husbandmen of Plymouth: Farms and Villages in the Old Colony, 1620-1692. Boston: Beacon, 1967.

Tunis, Edwin. Colonial Craftsmen and the Beginnings of American Industry. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Vickers, Daniel. Farmers and Fishermen: Two Centuries of Work in Essex County, Massachusetts, 1630-1850. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

Zea, Philip. Useful Improvements, Innumerable Temptations: Pursuing Refinement in Rural New England, 1750-1850. Deerfield, Mass.: Historic Deerfield, Inc., 1998.

The Dodges & Chance
Revolutionaries, 1777-1789

Boston National Historic Park and the National Park Service. Boston and the American Revolution. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1998.

Fewkes, Jesse Walter, and T. Frank Waters. Fine Thread, Lace, and Hosiery in Ipswich and Ipswich Mills and Factories. Salem, Mass.: The Salem Press, 1904.

Ginsburg, Arlin Ira. "Ipswich, Massachusetts During the American Revolution, 1763-1791." Ph.D. diss., UC Riverside, 1972.

Horton, James Oliver, and Lois Horton. In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community and Protest Among Northern Free Blacks, 1700-1860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Jedrey, Christopher M. The World of John Cleaveland: Family and Community in Eighteenth-Century New England. New York: Norton, 1979.

Rothenberg, Winifred Barr. From Marketplace to Market Economy: The Transformation of Rural Massachusetts, 1750-1850. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Wade, Herbert T., and Robert A. Lively. This Glorious Cause: The Adventures of Two Company Officers in Washington's Army. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1958.

The Caldwells
Reformers, 1836-1865

Jeffrey, Julie Roy. The Great Silent Army of Abolitionism: Ordinary Women in the Antislavery Movement. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Kaestle, Carl F., and Maris A. Vinovskis. Education and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980.

McDannell, Colleen. The Christian Home in Victorian America, 1840-1900. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.

Yellin, Jean Fagan, and John C. Van Horne, eds. The Abolitionist Sisterhood: Women's Political Culture in Antebellum America. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1994.

The Lynches
Immigrants, 1870-1890

Diner, Hasia R. Erin's Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.

McDannell, Colleen. The Christian Home in Victorian America, 1840-1900. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.

Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York: Pantheon, 1982.

The Scotts
Home Front, 1941-1945

Bentley, Amy. Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1998.

Bird, William L., and Harry Rubenstein. Design for Victory: World War II Posters on the American Home Front. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998.

Clues Within Your Own Walls

Howe, Barbara J. Houses and Homes: Exploring Their History. Nashville, Tenn.: American Association for State and Local History, 1987.

Hugh, Howard. How Old Is This House? New York: Noonday Press, 1989.

Light, Sally. House Histories: A Guide to Tracing the Genealogy of Your Home. Spencertown, N.Y.: Golden Hill Press, 1997.

McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.

Victory Garden

David, Tucker. Kitchen Gardening in America: A History. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1993.

Putnam, Jean-Marie, and Lloyd C. Cosperf. Gardens for Victory. Orlando: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1942.

Watson, Benjamin. Taylor's Guide to Heirloom Vegetables. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1966.


* Denotes a site that features collections of primary source materials and ideas for teachers.

Ipswich Business Association
The Ipswich Business Association invites you to Ipswich --"the First lace making town in America, Birthplace of American hosiery"--to take an online "walking tour" and visit other historic homes in the region.

The Town of Ipswich
Find out more about Ipswich and life there today, at the town's official Web site.

Peabody-Essex Museum--Salem, Massachusetts
Want to see some more historic houses? Peabody-Essex is New England's premier museum of art, architecture, and culture--a "cross-cultural marvel," says the New York Times. Here you can travel through time, from the 1689 John Ward House that withstood the turmoil of the witchcraft trials to the stately Gardner Pingree Mansion, home to wealthy sea captains.

* National Register of Historic Places
The Teaching with Historic Places curriculum has a special section on the Battle of Bunker Hill and the mills in Lowell, near Ipswich.

The Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities
SPNEA, a regional organization headquartered in Boston, owns and operates 35 properties dating back to the seventeenth century. This site is for lovers of antiques, historic homes, and landscapes, and has information about house tours, programs, lectures, and special events.

Strawbery Banke Museum
Strawbery Banke Museum at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was once a rundown waterfront district earmarked for redevelopment. Today it offers a glimpse into the lives of everyday people who called Puddle Dock their home for nearly four centuries.

Gilder Lehrman Center
The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (part of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies) researches all aspects of the Atlantic slave system and its effects. Learn more about Africans' resistance to enslavement, the black and white abolitionist movements, and the ways that slavery finally came to an end.

* Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture: A Multi-media Archive
The University of Virginia and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, Connecticut, combine to examine Uncle Tom's Cabin as an American cultural phenomenon--how this 1852 work brought home the evils of slavery, to Northerners especially, and how it generated so many other cultural artifacts that sought to soothe the national conscience.

The Wright Museum
The E. Stanley Wright Museum, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, is dedicated to Americans on the home front--how they lived, worked, and played during World War II.

* "What did you do in the war, Grandma?"
This oral history of Rhode Island women's experiences during World War II involved ninth-grade Honors English students who were quite surprised at what they found.

* Posters on the American Home Front (1941-45)
This Web exhibition at the National Museum of American History looks at how government-produced posters helped mobilize a nation and make war aims the personal mission of every citizen.

Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village at Dearborn, Michigan, chronicles various aspects of American life, including housing and technology. It has lots of information and activities for kids interested in victory gardens.

* Library of Congress
The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, has nearly 121 million items--most of which are media other than books--and there's a popular Web site to make history fun for children and families. The American Memory section is especially useful for teachers and students.

National Genealogical Society
The National Genealogical Society is a great starting point for tracing your family history. It offers resources, useful links, research services, and virtual lectures.

* The Grand Generation
The Grand Generation, an online guide from the Smithsonian exhibition of the same name, gives advice on how to interview older relatives for your family's oral history--everything from interview techniques, sample questions, and how to present your findings.

* Do History
Produced by the Film Study Center at Harvard University, this site shows you how to piece together the past from fragments that have survived. Using the diary of midwife Martha Ballard, reassembles the biography of a remarkable woman, whose life might otherwise appear to be a sequence of dates.

National Endowment for the Humanities
Your history is America's history, so says the National Endowment for the Humanities. Here you can exchange family stories, explore America's past, and make your story part of the nation's story. You can also create or locate a family tree, search American history files, and learn how to save family treasures such as photographs and diaries.

History Channel
At the History Channel, you can search any topic in history, visit virtual exhibitions, test your history IQ, and search for your ancestors. Two activities relating specifically to Within These Walls... are "Dear Home: Letters from WWII" under the Exhibits section and "Hometown History" under the Classroom section.

for the press
The Anti-Slavery Alphabet, Philadelphia, 1847, (detail)
Courtesy Library of Congress

...that this children's alphabet book was a weapon in the war against slavery? From the 1830s to 1850s, abolitionist families like the Caldwells of Ipswich, Massachusetts, read books like these to their children. Slavery finally was outlawed in the United States in 1865 after Congress adopted the 13th Amendment, after a long and costly Civil War.