A beautiful, vivid and reputedly very accurate picture of the old society is given in Helen Hunt Jackson's novel, Ramona (New York, 1884).
The book that began her wildly popular Ramona Quimby series is Ramona and Her Father, followed by Ramona Quimby, Age 8.
Many second-graders love reading about interesting characters who are their age or slightly older, and Ramona fits the bill in both categories.
The Ramona books are especially fitting for kids with older siblings, as Ramona constantly struggles to maintain sanity when her older sister, Beezus, is around.
Donna and Teman didn't give anyone much to be excited about with their plain and bare front room, but it was Alice, Temple, and Ramona's family room that really caused a stink, with Ramona's slightly bizarre mural.