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Recommended Reading

Images: Forest Grove

book coverAuthors: Lisa Amato and Mary Jo Morelli

Two members of FHFG, Lisa Amato and Mary Jo Morelli, have co-authored this pictorial history book about Forest Grove. The book contains many never-before-seen photos from private collections.


A Changing Mission: The Story of a Pioneer Church

changing missionThis book documents the history of Forest Grove’s oldest church, the United Church of Christ, including much of the history of the town.

Cherry Grove - A History

cherry groveThis book documents the history of nearby Cherry Grove, including Patton Valley and Gaston.

Fire on the Wind


Author: Linda Crew

In the summer of 1933, a fierce forest fire known as the historic Tillamook Burn rages throughout northwestern Oregon, threatening the logging camp near Gales Creek where 13-year-old Storie and her family live . . .


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The Stout-Hearted Seven: Orphaned on the Oregon Trail


Author: Neta Lohnes Frazier

With great excitement, the Sager family packed their most important goods into a covered wagon and joined hundreds of others for the journey west in the spring of 1844. However, dreams of a better life would not come true for them when both parents died and were buried along the trail. Follow the true story of the seven Sager children as they brave starvation, disease, crippling accidents and the most brutal Indian massacre in history!

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The Boy Who Saved Cleveland

the_boy_who_saved_clevelandAuthor: James Cross Giblin

In 1798, Cleveland , Ohio, which was made up of just three log cabins and a few acres of cornfield in the middle of a forest, was in danger of being wiped out by a malaria epidemic. Based on fact, this book tells the remarkable story of Seth Doan, a young boy whose heroic efforts kept his family and neighbors alive and ultimately put the city of Cleveland on the map.

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My Brother Abe

my_brother_abeAuthor: Harry Mazer

Sally Lincoln, the girl who helped shape the life of one of this country’s greatest presidents, has never before been heard. Now she tells her own story of an unsettling time for the Lincoln family, which changed and influenced both children forever . .

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Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906

firestormAuthor: Deborah Hopkinson

A suspenseful and carefully researched novel of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire and of one boy’s heroic fight to survive it . . .

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Walking to Forest Grove

walking in fg coverAuthors: Ken & Cindy Bilderback

Forest Grove always has been off the beaten path, so much so that many of the earliest settlers had to walk to town. Even an American President had to hoof it for a visit. Forest Grove always has been a little offbeat as well. It took 50 years of legal battles to build a working sewer, and 100 years to legalize liquor, with the booze battles spilling out of the courtroom and erupting in an arson war. Although noted for its “salubrious climate,” Forest Grove surprisingly has found itself at the eye of international storms, from ethnic strife in the two World Wars to a real-life murder on the Orient Express. Yes, Forest Grove is off the beaten path. It doesn’t have a strategic position on a harbor or a river. It was snubbed by those who built the railroads and highways. Yet while Forest Grove never has had the things that built most American cities, it had something even greater. Forest Grove was built on an odd mixture of the indomitable strength of rugged “Mountain Men” who forged the Oregon Territory and the inspiring compassion of a band of missionaries and Tabitha Brown, the 66-year-old “Mother of Oregon,” who laid the groundwork for one of the very first universities in the American West. Researched and written by authors with more than a dozen national and international awards, Walking to Forest Grove tells the story of a city like no other, but also details both the baby steps and great strides that put any American city on a path to greatness.

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One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorthea Dix

ambitionAuthor: Jane Kirkpatrick

Born to an unavailable mother and an abusive father, Dorothea Dix longs simply to protect and care for her younger brothers, Charles and Joseph. But at just fourteen, she is separated from them and sent to live with relatives to be raised properly. Lonely and uncertain, Dorothea discovers that she does not possess the ability to accept the social expectations imposed on her gender and she desires to accomplish something more than finding a suitable mate.

Yearning to fulfill her God-given purpose, Dorothea finds she has a gift for teaching and writing. Her pupils become a kind of family, hearts to nurture, but long bouts of illness end her teaching and Dorothea is adrift again. It’s an unexpected visit to a prison housing the mentally ill that ignites an unending fire in Dorothea’s heart—and sets her on a journey that will take her across the nation, into the halls of the Capitol, befriending presidents and lawmakers, always fighting to relieve the suffering of what Scripture deems, the least of these.

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Where Lilacs Still Bloom

lilacsAuthor: Jane Kirkpatrick

German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife.

Through the years, seasonal floods continually threaten to erase her Woodland, Washington garden and a series of family tragedies cause even Hulda to question her focus. In a time of practicality, can one person’s simple gifts of beauty make a difference?

Based on the life of Hulda Klager, Where Lilacs Still Bloom is a story of triumph over an impossible dream and the power of a generous heart.

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The Dirty Days: A Young Girl's Journey to & from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl

dirty daysAuthor: Norma Welty

It is 1933. As a beat-up truck travels down a road away from Arkansas, seven-year-old Molly May Dowden can only hope a better future awaits her parents in Thistleway, Oklahoma.They have no idea of what is about to come.

With their money safely tucked away in a mattress, the Dowdens feel hopeful as they pass through Oklahoma City. But their hopes for an improved life disintegrate a hundred miles further west when a dust storm swirls dangerously around their truck. Forced to take shelter inside a dingy cafe with a band of quirky strangers, the Dowdens soon realize that life in Oklahoma may not be as easy as they had hoped. After the family finally settles in their two-room workers’ shanty, one hardship piles up after another as they battle spider bites, rancid water, strange rashes, loneliness, and death. Left with no choice but to bravely persevere through the never-ending drought and dust, Molly and her family soon discover a fortitude they never knew they had.

In this historical tale based on true events, a young girl embarks on a coming-ofage journey where she and her loved ones must nobly fight to survive the Great Depression and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

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Eighty Days; Nellie Bly & Elizabeth Bisland's History Making Race Around the World

eighty daysAuthor: Matthew Goodman

On November 14, 1889, Nellie Bly, the crusading young female reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s World newspaper, left New York City by steamship on a quest to break the record for the fastest trip around the world. Also departing from New York that day—and heading in the opposite direction by train—was a young journalist from The Cosmopolitanmagazine, Elizabeth Bisland. Each woman was determined to outdo Jules Verne’s fictional hero Phileas Fogg and circle the globe in less than eighty days. The dramatic race that ensued would span twenty-eight thousand miles, captivate the nation, and change both competitors’ lives forever.

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A Heart for any Fate: Westward to Oregon, 1845

heart_for_any_ fateAuthor: Linda Crew

For 17-year-old Lovisa King, Oregon holds the promise of a new life. As she leaves Missouri with three generations of her family, Lovisa is bold, eager, headstrong, and sure that none of the tragedies suffered by earlier families will befall hers. Based on a true story!

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