The Great Railroad Race: the Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory, 1868 (Dear America Series). This was the first Dear America book that I ever read. Dear America was my go to series in elementary school. I fell in love with Libby and I even named one of my dolls after her (a porcelain doll I got at a Cracker Barrel). I still have her (:
Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932 (Dear America) by Kathryn Lasky - Just one of any number of books on the Depression and the preceding decaade.