Patsy, an orphaned slave who has taught herself to read and write, teaches and educates former slaves, old and young, after the end of the Civil War and the abolishment of slavery. Patsy's diary is filled with courage, conviction and hope as she strives towards freedom.
In the journal she receives for her twelfth birthday in 1835, Lucinda Lawrence describes the hardships her family and other residents of the "Texas colonies" endure when they decide to face the Mexicans in a fight for their freedom.
In her diary in 1912, thirteen-year-old Margaret Ann describes how she leaves her lonely life in a London orphanage to become a companion to a wealthy American woman, sails on the Titanic, and experiences its sinking.
While traveling in 1883 with her Italian American family (including a meddlesome little sister) and other immigrant pioneers to a utopian community in Idaho, fourteen-year-old Teresa keeps a diary of her experiences along the way.
In 1860 and 1861, while working in her father's lighthouse on an island off the coast of Delaware, fifteen-year-old Amelia records in her diary how the Civil War is beginning to devastate her divided state.
In her fictionalized journal, eleven-year-old Minnie Swift recounts how her family dealt with the difficult times during the Depression and how the arrival of an orphan from Texas changed their lives in Indianapolis just before Christmas 1932.
Following her father's death from a disease that swept through her Nebraska town in 1881, teenaged Sarah Jane must find work to support herself and records in her diary her experiences as a young school teacher.