My Face to the Wind: The Diary of Sarah Jane Price, A Prairie Teacher 1881
Sarah is a 14-year-old girl who has lost her father and is living with a woman running a boarding house. Sarah's father was a school teacher and when the woman suggests that Sarah be sent to a Girl's Orphanage, Sarah decides to try and get the town to let her be a school teacher.
This was a small town in 1881 Nebraska and didn't have a regular school nor a school teacher. Sarah gets permission to be a teacher, but knows that there was a lot of disagreement about whether or not she would be able to do the job.
Her "school" is a incredibly-far-below-standard place with no actual chairs, no blackboard and virtually no supplies. She has to somehow manage to find students, (who will range in ages considerably), teach them, maintain discipline and do all this under the eye of one of the men who thought she shouldn't be allowed to become a teacher.
Through it all she manages, including even through a terrible snowstorm that threatens to trap the students and her in the school, or what was left of it considering the school was beginning literally to fall down around their ears.
It's a very good story of one girl's triumph against fairly long odds. As always, there is a good historical section that helps out everything in perspective. Another really good book in the series.
Dear America index page
Young adult Index