These are general fiction books written decades ago.  At the time they were written, they were just ordinary general fiction books, but they read like historical fiction books now.  These are good books if you’re looking for a window on the past from the perspective of people who were living it!

Right now, I’m reserving this section for books no later than the 1950s because 1960s and later seem a little too modern, as of this writing.  For these books to show lives that are significantly different from modern times, there should be a significant time gap, or it strays into the category of just general fiction.  That date target may change later, but for now, the world pre-1960s is sufficient for showing the world with less of what we consider modern technology.


Anne of Green Gables Series

When an aging, unmarried brother and sister decide that they could use some extra help on their farm, they the decide to take in an orphan boy who can help with the farm chores.  However, by mistake, the orphanage sends them a red-haired young girl instead, changing their lives and others in the community with her liveliness and imagination. 1908-1939.

Betsy and Eddie Books

The everyday adventures of a group of neighborhood children. By Carolyn Haywood.

Betsy-Tacy Series

A series about a pair of best friends growing up in Minnesota around the turn of the last century. By Maud Hart Lovelace. 1940-1955.

Carr Family Series

Children’s book series from the 19th century about the Carr family, especially their daughter, Katy. 1872-1890.

Chalet School Series

Madge Bettany, in need of money and with a younger sister to help raise, decides to leave England and go to Austria to start a new boarding school for girls. The series covers the adventures of the girls who attend the boarding school. By Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. 1925-1970.

Dandelion Cottage Series

A group of girls in the early 1900s are allowed to use a real cottage as their playhouse, and it brings them into contact with interesting people.

The Five Little Peppers Series

A widow and her five children do their best to support themselves, eventually finding a wealthy benefactor.  By Margaret Sidney.  1881-1916.

Ginnie and Geneva Series

When shy Ginnie moves to town, she makes friends with the more outgoing Geneva, and the two girls have adventures together.  By Catherine Woolley.  1948-1973.

Tornado Jones Series

About a boy living in Nebraska in the 1950s and his adventures.  By Trella Lamson Dick.