- Author: Janet Beeler Shaw
- Illustrators: Renée Graef
- First Published: 1988
- Setting: January - March 1856
- Kirsten Larson
- Lars Larson
- Peter Larson
- Britta Larson
- Greta Larson
- Anders Larson
- Lisbeth Larson
- Anna Larson
- Inger Larson
- Olav Larson
- Mary Stewart
Only in Changes for Kirsten
Chapter by Chapter Summary
Chapter One: On the Trap Line
John Steward insists that Kirsten cannot come with them because trapping is work for boys, not girls. But Kirsten's brother Lars tells him that Kirsten knows the forest and its animals and should therefore come to help them. John argues that trapping, opening traps and taking out animals is dangeous work. Lars says that Kirsten will help carry the pelts home since John himself said that they bring someone along just yesterday. John would still rather Kirsten stay behind.
Even though it is very cold and will get colder as the afternoon goes on, Kirsten wants to go with them since she is tired of working in the small cabin. Lars points out that Kirsten can spot beaver holes, racoon, muskrat and fox tracks. John looks down at Kirsten and asks what she would do if they found a live beaver in a trap as it might bite her. Kirsten firmly insists that she would stay back in that case. John recluctantly agrees that Kirsten can go with them, but that she won't be able to ever come again if she is trouble. Kirsten agrees. Lars says that they should go since they have a long way to walk before dark.
John is the brother of Kirsten's friend Mary and Kirsten wonders why John doesn't want to be her friend as well. They strap on their snowshoes and Lars takes his rifle.
They will check the traps, skin the animals, dry the fur pelts and then sell them. Normally the grown up men would do these things, but the men are gone for the winter to work in a logging camp. Kirsten thinks that it is awful that her father is gone.
Chapter Two: Fire!
Chapter Three: Good News?
Chapter Four: Old Jack
Chapter Five: Welcome Home
Looking Back: Changes for America in 1854
Discusses changes for pioneer America. Topics covered:
- Increasing number of people moving out west, starting new farms and towns
- Railroads that served as links between cities and farms across America
- The start and growth of mail-order businesses due to the advent of railroads
- Magazines as a form of entertainment and news
- New farming equipment that allowed farmers to grow and produce more food
- The employment of farm helpers to work on farms too large for a family to run by themselves
- Little change in women's workload on the farm despite new technology of the time, such as cast-iron stoves, water pumps, and sewing machines
Items associated with Changes for Kirsten
- Winter Skirt and Blouse
- Knit Woolens
- Flannel Underwear
- Kirsten's Winter Pastimes
- Kirsten's Snowshoes
- Carpet Bag