Celebrate Pittsburgh’s 250th year by reading about what it would be like to have live here long ago. Here are a few children’s historical fiction titles to get you started:Ayres, Katherine. Macaroni Boy. Dell Yearling, 2003. Sixth-grader Mike Costa (nick-named Macaroni Boy by a neighborhood bully) lives and works in Pittsburgh’s Strip District during the Great Depression. (ages 10 and up)
Cogancherry, Helen. The Floating House. MacMillan, 1995. Jonathan and Mary had never set foot outside of Pennsylvania. Now, in the spring of 1815, they’re on a flatboat in Pittsburgh, headed off down the Ohio to a new home in Indiana. (ages 5 to 10)
Fenton, Edward. Duffy’s Rocks. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999. Timothy Brennan’s relatives refuse to speak about his long absent father, but Timothy is determined to find him. The story is set mostly in 1934 McKees Rocks with excursions to other neighborhoods. (ages 9 to 12).
Finlayson, Ann. Greenhorn on the Frontier. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000. In the 1700s Harry and Sukey come to the frontier town of Pittsburgh to settle on their own plot of land. Can two former city dwellers stand up to rugged frontiersmen and hostile Indians? (ages 9 to 12)
Fritz, Jean. The Cabin Faced West. Puffin Books, 1991. Ten year old Ann yearns to leave the wilderness of western Pennsylvania and return to Gettysburg. A distinguished stranger convinces her to take another look at Hamilton Hill and consider her role in the making of the Western Country. (ages 6 to 12)
Price, Olive. Three Golden Rivers. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999. In 1850 the four orphaned Bayard children set out for Pittsburgh, in hopes that the two older children can find work and support them all. There’s a brief appearance by a young Scots messenger boy. Guess who! Hint: he made a fortune and built libraries. (ages 9 to 12)
What are your favorite children’s books with a Pittsburgh connection? Historical fiction, nonfiction, biographies of Pittsburghers….