I always found teaching historical fiction to be one of the most challenging and rewarding units of the year. It was amazing to see how excited and fascinated they got about new historical time periods and how much they wanted to learn more. When they got to book clubs or independent reading, however, they often struggled with gaps in their understanding of the historical context of the book. As a staff, we started creating book introductions that students could access on their own before starting to read independently or in a club. This one is for Great Grandfather's Railroad, but could be modified to work with any book about building the transcontinental railroad.