This tense historical thriller, told from the perspective of all three characters, captures the dangers and uncertainties of war. Emanuel stows away on the whaling ship, and when a storm overtakes the ship, the family menorah lights the way home. Paul, Minnesota. Her diary from , the year she turned 13, presents a precocious and daring girl who gets into frequent trouble at school and at home.
Her father wanted a son, so Sarah pretended to be a boy. When she was a teenager, Sarah realized she would never be the son her father wanted, so she ran away from Canada to America, where she assumed the identity of Frank Thompson. In she joined the Union Army as a male nurse.
When the Union Army needed a spy, she volunteered, pretending to be a male African American slave, a female Irish peddler, and a female African American laundress in order to slip behind enemy lines and gather information. Their roles reverse when Lynn develops lymphoma. Narrated by Katie, this beautifully written book tells a poignant story of love and loss.
Dogs of War by Sheila Keenan, Nathan Fox Ages 8—12 The three historical fiction stories in this book focus on soldiers and their dogs in three different wars.
Loki is a sled dog in a rescue unit stationed in Greenland, where his master relies on him in a solo encounter with some Nazis. The final story is about a boy named Henry in North Carolina whose struggles to control his beagle puppy bring him friendship with a recently returned Vietnam vet haunted by his experience on patrol with his German shepherd, Sheba. As Callie grows through the year of this book, she gradually defines for herself what it means to be a girl. Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart Ages 12—up Katherine is still consumed by grief over the death of her identical twin sister Anna in a skating accident months ago.
Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl Ages 12—up Althea Crawley 17 must marry a rich man if she is to keep the family castle from ruin and support her widowed mother and younger brother. Then Lord Boring arrives young, rich, and available and Althea sets her plans in motion. Fredricks, who always seems to come between them. Set in the 19th century, this witty novel features an endearing and ingenious heroine. A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, has been hired as a maid for Joesph Merrick, known as the Elephant Man because of his deformities.
Perry and his family. Back in Greenland and married to another Inuit, Billy spots an American ship bringing supplies for Perry. Rich details of Inuit life provide the background to the story of a young woman caught between cultures.
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This excellent historical fiction helps middle graders grapple with moral dilemmas while creating strong characters with realistic emotional issues. Play Ball, Jackie!
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The crowd is divided between those who are outraged and those who just want to see good baseball players, no matter what their color. Listening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur Ages 8—12 About two years ago Siena now 13 began to dream about a house by the sea and war planes crashing. Obsessed by visions from the past, Siena grows apart from her friends and begins collecting abandoned objects. Siena connects to the ghost of a dead girl from the past, whose brother died in WWII. This suspenseful book is an engaging mix of history, mystery, and family life.
Then his uncle returns from sea acting very strangely. Caleb is determined to find the truth despite racism and danger. Audie has a pet cat named Minivar, a good friend, and plenty of books to read, but longs for adventure. This clever historical mystery is the first in a planned series. Mitsi tries to stay strong as she and her family are taunted, shunned, fingerprinted, and told they will be relocated to in interment camp.
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The news that she cannot take her beloved dog Dash to the camp, Mitsi begs her neighbor, Mrs. Bowker, to take care of Dash. Bowker agrees to take care of Dash, and writes letters from Dash to Mitsi that follow the family from Seattle, Washington, to Minidoka, Idaho. He makes do with less, collects rubber, and buys War Bonds. When his father is taken prisoner, Hobie decides to donate his beloved German Shepherd Duke to Dogs for Defense, which trains dogs to act as act as sentries, mine sniffers, and patrol dogs for the military.
Finally Hobie divulges information that enables Duke and his handler to save lives in battle. This gripping graphic novel imagines the details that drove the young man from poverty-stricken Bosnia to contemplate murder as the only possible solution. But when the new family arrives, the son turns out to be a girl called Emma. Twelve-year old Marlee, who doesn't speak outside her family, has no friends at school until befriended by Liz, the new girl. Liz begins to coax Marlee out of her silence and then suddenly disappears. Rumors fly that Liz was a colored girl passing for white. Marlee is determined to stay in touch with the only close friend she ever had, and struggles to find the courage to speak out.
Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf Ages 9—up The motherless Boon family are down on their luck when the move to a leaky old house on the edge of a small Dutch town in Fing 10 and her sisters are sure that the house and the cemetery are haunted by tragedy. Four older brothers add to the chaos of this engaging family.
But her father respects her wishes, even when they are fanciful, and gives her the crow call to summon the birds. Narrated by year-old Annemarie, this book vividly portrays the Nazi threat and the courage it takes to help friends while possibly endangering your own family.
This moving and suspenseful book is based on true events. Lynch Ages 7—10 Based on historical facts, this accessible account of the voyage of the Mayflower and the first year of the Pilgrims in America is narrated by real-life indentured servant John Howland. Beginning in s London, John tells the story of his fall overboard during a storm and his early experiences in the new world.
The detailed illustrations are stunning. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclachlan Newbery Medal Ages 8—12 In the late 19th century, a widowed midwestern farmer with two children, Anna and Caleb, advertises for a wife. Sarah responds, saying that she is plain and tall. When Sarah arrives she is homesick for Maine, and especially for her beloved ocean. The children fear she will not stay.
Narrated by Anna, this short book gently explores abandonment, loss, and love. Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire Ages 12—up Elena Rudina lives in the Russian countryside with her dying mother in a tiny hut with very little food. A train arrives carrying a wealthy family on a visit to the Tsar in Saint Petersburg. When the train is stranded by a broken bridge, Elena begs for food, and meets Ekaterina, a girl of her own age.
The two girls begin a tentative friendship, and when the train departs, the wrong girl is aboard. This masterful tale includes elements from Russian folklore, Cinderella , and The Prince and the Pauper. While caged and transported, Jepp looks back on his childhood at a humble inn and his life as a court dwarf at Coudenberg Palace, the royal court of the Spanish Infanta in Brussels. From that luxurious prison, Jepp finally arrives at the island castle of the astronomer Tycho Brahe. Better to Wish by Ann M. Martin Ages 8—12 Abby Nichols 8 is the oldest daughter of a carpenter determined to give his family a better life in s Maine.
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The powerlessness of women and children during this time period is deftly portrayed. With the help of his friends, Bilal builds an elaborate deception, even printing false pages of the local newspaper to hide the truth from his father, a staunch supporter of a united India.
This intense and fascinating novel deals with themes of love, loss, religious intolerance, and the wisdom of hiding the truth. When Pepper wakes up on the morning of his 14th birthday, he is amazed to find himself still alive, and runs off to sea hoping to escape death a bit longer. Pepper then flees across the French countryside from one disastrous job to another until the totally satisfying climax.
Rich illustrations capture 19th-century Paris.
The Communist revolution changes his life forever. Sent to a labor camp, Arn learns to be invisible, hiding from the soldiers who dispense death at a whim. Then one day the soldiers ask if any of the children can play an instrument, and Arn learns to play the revolutionary songs the soldiers demand, earning enough food to keep himself and the other children alive. Europeans had never seen a rhinoceros, and Van der Meer took Clara to Berlin, Rome, Paris, Vienna, and other cities where she amazed peasants and aristocrats alike.
Poets, artists, and musicians created works in her honor, while Van der Meer struggled to raise enough money to keep Clara fed. She consumed pounds of hay and 30 loaves of bread a day, and had a great fondness for oranges and beer. Every day Clara grows in size, necessitating ever larger wagons for transportation. Watercolor illustrations capture the affection between Clara and Van der Meer and the fashions of the time. While traveling across the country, Aiden works through his despair and begins to hope again. The strong characters and honest look at our sometimes brutal history will keep teen readers glued to the pages.
Then Trina sees a fish that reminds her of the magical wish-granting carp from an old fairy tale. Themes of optimism versus realism, magic versus hard work, and xenophobia versus neighborliness make this debut novel stand out. Rebecca feels out of place at the snooty prep school.
In fact, to the rich girls she is nearly invisible. Rebecca befriends Lisette, a ghost who has haunted the cemetery since her mysterious death years earlier. This atmospheric ghost story captures the rich history of New Orleans, and doesn't shy away from issues of race, ethnicity, class, and culture. When Mary nursed a newborn lamb back to health, the lamb accepted Mary as its mother and followed her everywhere, even to school one day. John Roulstone was at school that day, and wrote the famous nursery rhyme about Mary who had a little lamb.
Beautiful full page paintings, by the great-grandson of Grandma Moses, illustrate the simple story. The Wager by Donna Jo Napoli Ages 12—up Set in , this novel tells the story of Don Giovanni, a wealthy year-old orphan who suddenly loses his riches and his castle in a tidal wave and is reduced to begging for food to survive. The devil appears to offer a wager—if Don Giovanni agrees not to bathe or change his clothes for three years, three months, and three days, he will receive a purse that magically refills. But then a strange new sickness arrives in her small Kenyan village, her father falls ill, and her family needs her help at home.
Auma has to choose between leaving her family to go to school, or quitting school to get a job to support her family.