I teach my children at home and this is one of the required reading books. It was written soon after the time period and is considered one of the best descriptions of what the time period actually was like, not a romantic view of the good old days, inc. plenty of openings for discussion. Life was difficult and everyone did not necessarily get along with each other.
My Antonia is a wonderful early 20th century novel written from a man's point of view as he comes of age in rural Kansas. Antonia is an immigrant girl four years older than the narrator, and her story threads in and out of the narrator's. IF you aren't familiar with Willa Cather's writing, this book would be an outstanding place to start.
One of my all-time favorites. A true classic.
Clean, light and yet interestingly descriptive of rural US and the immigrant population.
Excellent story of early American settlers.