book review, Booklists, Something To Do

A Pony Express Kidlit BookList and Book-Related Activities

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On this day in 1858, Butterfield and Company agreed to carry the mail out west starting in Missouri and ending in California. The 2800 mile Westward journey would take 24 days. The mail was delivered twice weekly using overland coaches, mules, and horses.

Two years later, with the threat of the Civil War looming, the need for faster communication to the West was created.

Let’s celebrate the first-ever cross country mail delivery and a bit of American itself with a look at the Pony Express via a Pony Express Kidlit BookList.

Pony Express

The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2000-mile trail. The service opened officially on April 3, 1860, when riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The first westbound trip was made in 9 days and 23 hours and the eastbound journey in 11 days and 12 hours. The pony riders covered 250 miles in a 24-hour day.

Pony Express

Eventually, the Pony Express had more than 100 stations, 80 riders, and between 400 and 500 horses. The express route was extremely hazardous, but only one mail delivery was ever lost. The service lasted only 19 months until October 24, 1861, when the completion of the Pacific Telegraph line ended the need for its existence.

The Pony Express Booklist

pony express

Off Like the Wind!! The First Ride of the Pony Express by Michael Spradin Illustrated by Layne Johnson {for grades 3-5}

Pony Express

Whatever Happened to the Pony Express by Verla Kay for {grades 2-4}

Pony express

Hoof Beats of Danger: American Girl History Mysteries by Holly Hughes for {grades 3-6}

Pony Express

Riders of the Pony Express by Ralph Moody for {grades 7+}

Pony Express

Black Storm Comin’ by Diane Lee Wilson for {grades 6+}

pony express

The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express by Andres Glass


Wanted: A Few Bold Riders by Darice Bailer

pony express

Somethings to Do

Want to know more about the Pony Express? Have a look here. There are many fun activities to do such as stamp making and a communications game to play as well as printouts and word games.

Map Out the Pony Express

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