Houghton Mifflin Social Studies

United States History: Early Years

Unit 2 Bibliography: Exploration and Settlement

The books listed below may be available through publishers, distributors such as bookstores or online retailers, or library systems.

Books for Independent Reading

Extra Support

Land Ho! Fifty Glorious Years in the Age of Exploration
by Nancy Winslow Parker
Harper, 2001
From Columbus to Cabrillo, this book follows the adventures of 12 European explorers who found their way to the New World.

Roanoke: The Lost Colony
by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple
Simon, 2003
Readers are presented with five theories that might explain what happened to the people who vanished from Roanoke Island.

A Season of Promise: Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary
by Patricia Hermes
Scholastic, 2002
In 1611 Jamestown, Elizabeth must face the reality of her mother's death and strict new laws imposed by the governor.

James Towne: Struggle for Survival
by Marcia Sewall
Atheneum, 2001
Readers learn about the 1606 voyage from England to Jamestown, the colony's early struggles, and the roles of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas.

Hard Labor: The First African-Americans, 1619
by P.C. McKissack and F.L. McKissack, Jr.
Simon, 2004
In 1619, 20 Africans came to Alexandria, Virginia, as indentured servants, ready to begin life anew in this new land.

On Level

Magellan and the First Voyage Around the World
by Nancy Smiler Levinson
Clarion, 2001
This biography vividly portrays Magellan's history-making circumnavigation.

We Asked for Nothing: The Remarkable Journey of Cabeza de Vaca
by Stuart Waldman
Mikaya Press, 2003
In 1528, the conquistador de Vaca is shipwrecked off the Texas coast and begins a journey that changes his attitude about the New World people.

Despite All Obstacles: La Salle and the Conquest of the Mississippi
by Joan E. Goodman
Mikaya Press, 2001
Primary source documents and engaging text recount La Salle's Mississippi River expedition. See others in the series.

A Journey to the New World
by Kathryn Lasky
Scholastic, 1996
This fictional diary of a Pilgrim girl chronicles the Mayflower voyage and Plymouth settlement.

Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage
by C.O. Grace, P. Arenstam, J. Kemp
National Geographic, 2003
This photo essay uses historical reenactment to bring new perspective to the Mayflower voyage.


Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado
by Marc Aronson
Houghton Mifflin, 2000
This biography chronicles the triumphs and failures of Ralegh, who sent a band of English settlers to Roanoke Island in 1587.

Around the World in a Hundred Years
by Jean Fritz
Puffin, 1998
Renowned author Jean Fritz provides a humorous and insightful look at 10 explorers who ventured into the unknown between 1421 and 1522.

by Joseph Bruchac
Silver Whistle, 2003
The story of Jamestown is told in alternating chapters from Pocahontas's and John Smith's point of view.

Virginia Bound
by Amy Butler
Clarion, 2003
Rob Bracket, a boy kidnapped off the streets of London, is shipped to Virginia to be an indentured servant at Jamestown.

The Ransom of Mercy Carter
by Caroline B. Cooney
Delacorte, 2001
Based on actual events, a Massachusetts Puritan girl is kidnapped by Kahnawake Mohawks.

Read Aloud and Reference

Read Aloud Books

Morning Girl
by Michael Dorris
Hyperion, 1992
This classic narrative portrays the daily life of the Taino people up until the moment of Columbus's arrival on their island.

by Karen Hesse
Aladdin, 2002
Hesse creates a fictional journal of the real boy, Nicholas Young, who stowed away on explorer James Cook's ship, the Endeavour.

The Serpent Never Sleeps: A Novel of Jamestown and Pocahontas
by Scott O'Dell
Houghton Mifflin, 1987
An English castle maid, Serena Lynn, survives a shipwreck on her way to Jamestown, but that is only the beginning of the hardships she will face.

The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation
by Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley
National Geographic, 2003
Readers follow the authors as they follow the Mississippi and discover its rich history.

Reference Books

Early American Civilization and Exploration, 1607
by Helen Cothran and Brenda Stalcup
Greenhaven Press, 2003
Writings by contemporary historians and primary source information chronicle the exploration of the Americas from prehistory to 1607.

The Mayflower Compact
by E.J. Carter
Heinemann, 2004
Readers learn how the Mayflower Compact was written, what it means, and its historical impact.

Free and Inexpensive Materials

The Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540
The library's Web site (www.loc.gov) is a great place to start exploring.