Children's Area BL Historical

Historical Fiction

Prehistoric - 399 AD

  • Cowley, Marjorie. Anooka's Answer
  • Craig, Ruth. Malu's Wolf

    Malu is permitted to raise a wolf pup, which eventually is instrumental in bringing about significant changes to the lives and traditions of the young girl's Stone Age clan.

  • Fletcher, Susan. Shadow Spinner

    When Marjan, a thirteen year old crippled girl, joins the Sultan's harem in Persia, she gathers for Shahrazad the stories that will save the queen's life.

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400 - 1599 AD (Middle Ages and Renaissance)

  • Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead

    Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret. Sequel: Crispin: At the Edge of the World

  • Cushman, Karen. Catherine, Called Birdy

    The 13-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.

  • DeAngeli, Marguerite. The Door in the Wall

    A 10-year-old boy learns how to deal with adversity during the reign of England's King Edward III.

  • Goodman, Joan E. The Winter Hare

    In 1140, with England divided between the supporters of King Stephen and those of the Empress Matilda, 12-year-old Will Belet, small for his age but longing to be a knight, comes to his uncle's castle to be a page and soon finds himself involved in dangerous intrigues and adventures.

  • Greene, Jacqueline. Out of Many Waters

    Kidnapped from their parents during the Portuguese Inquisition and sent to work as slaves at a monastery in Brazil, two Jewish sisters attempt to make their way back to Europe to find their parents, but instead one becomes part of a group founding the first Jewish settlement in the United States.

  • Kelly, Eric. The Trumpeter of Krakow

    Joseph's family guards a secret treasure in Poland during the Middle Ages.

  • O'Dell, Scott. The Captive

    As part of a Spanish expedition to the New World, a Jesuit seminarian witnesses the enslavement and exploitation of the Mayas and his own seduction by greed and ambition.

  • Park, Linda Sue. A Single Shard

    Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

  • Park, Linda Sue. The Kite Fighters

    In Korea in 1473, eleven-year-old Young-sup overcomes his rivalry with his older brother Kee-sup, who as the first-born son receives special treatment from their father, and combines his kite-flying skill with Kee-sup's kite-making skill in an attempt to win the New Year kite-fighting competition.

  • Sutcliff, Rosemary. Sword Song

    At 16, Bjarni is cast out of the Norse settlement in the Angles' Land for an act of oath-breaking and spends five years sailing the west coast of Scotland and witnessing the feuds of the clan chiefs living there.

  • Vining, Elizabeth Gray. Adam of the Road

    Adam finds adventure as he goes in search of his stolen dog and missing father in 13th century England.

  • Wilson, Diane. I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade

    Oyuna tells her granddaughter the story of how love for her horse enabled her to win a race and bring good luck to her family living in Mongolia in 1285. Sequel: To Ride the God's Own Stallion

  • Yolen, Jane. Encounter (picture book)

    A Taino Indian boy on the island of San Salvador recounts the landing of Columbus and his men in 1492.

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1600 - 1775 (Colonial America and Around the World)

  • Avi. Night Journeys

    When a teenager encounters two escaped indentured servants, he has to make his own choices about freedom.

  • Namioka, Lensey. The Coming of the Bear

    Two unemployed samurai are saved from drowning by the Ainus, a primitive people on a northern Japanese island, and are torn in their loyalties when the possibility of war arises between the Ainus and a band of Japanese settlers.

  • Park, Linda Sue. Seesaw Girl

    Impatient with the constraints put on her as an aristocratic girl living in Korea during the 17th century, 12-year-old Jade Blossom determines to see beyond her small world.

  • Paterson, Katherine. The Master Puppeteer

    Poverty and famine force a 13-year-old boy to leave his family and become an apprentice to a puppeteer in 18th century Japan.

  • Speare, Elizabeth George. Calico Captive

    A New England girl and her family are captured by Indians and forced to march to Montreal in 1754.

  • Speare, Elizabeth George. The Sign of the Beaver

    Matt learns survival skills from the Indians after he is left alone to protect his family's home in Maine in 1768.

  • Speare, Elizabeth George. The Witch of Blackbird Pond

    In 1687, Kit Tyler feels loneliness, having moved from the Caribbean islands to Connecticut Colony until she meets another lone and mysterious figure, the old woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond. When their friendship is discovered, Kit is faced with suspicion, fear, and anger. She herself is accused of witchcraft.

  • Steele, William. Winter Danger

    After he leaves home, 11-year-old Caje helps his family survive a difficult winter.

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1776 - 1799 (Revolutionary War)

  • Avi. The Fighting Ground

    Thirteen-year-old Jonathan leaves home to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the conflict within himself.

  • Collier, James L. The Bloody Country

    In the mid-18th century, a family moves from Connecticut to Pennsylvania and becomes involved in the property conflict between the two states.

  • Fleischman, Paul. Path of the Pale Horse

    Lep, a 14-year-old apprentice to a doctor, helps care for yellow fever patients during the epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia.

  • Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain

    When a young apprentice silversmith has an accident ending his career, he becomes a messenger for the Patriots in Boston.

  • O'Dell, Scott. Sarah Bishop

    Left alone after the deaths of her father and brother, who take opposite sides in the War for Independence, and fleeing from the British who seek to arrest her, Sarah Bishop struggles to shape a new life for herself in the wilderness.

  • Panagopoulos, Janie Lynn. Little Ship Under Full Sail

    When her grandchildren arrive at her home, Grandmother Kinzie tells Eleanor and Juliette the story of their great-grandmother's capture by the Seneca Indians in 1779.

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1800 - 1859

  • Auch, Mary Jane. Frozen Summer

    In 1816, 12-year-old Mem's new home in the wilderness of western New York is disrupted when the birth of another baby sends her mother into spells that disconnect her from reality.

  • Avi. Beyond the Western Sea: Book One, The Escape from Home

    Patrick and his family, in Ireland in 1850, think their troubles are over when Da, who went on ahead to America, sends for them. Sequel: Book Two, Lord Kirkle's Money

  • Avi. Encounter at Easton

    The story of two runaway indentured servants is told through the testimony of one of the servants and other witnesses.

  • Avi. The Barn

    Nine-year-old Ben convinces an older brother and sister to fulfill their dying father's last wish and build a barn on their land in the Oregon Territory in 1855.

  • Blos, Joan. A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal 1830-1832

    The journal of a 14-year-old girl relates the events in her life including her father's remarriage.

  • DeFelice, Cynthia. The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker

    After his family dies of consumption in 1849, 12-year-old Lucas becomes a doctor's apprentice.

  • DeFelice, Cynthia. Weasel

    Alone in the frontier wilderness in the winter of 1839 while his father is recovering from an injury, 11-year-old Nathan runs afoul of the renegade killer known as Weasel and makes a surprising discovery about the concept of revenge.

  • Eckert, Allan. Return to Hawk's Hill

    Running away from a vicious trapper, 7-year-old Ben MacDonald is separated from his family and eventually ends up on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, where he is taken in by a tribe of Metis Indians.

  • Erdich, Louise. The Birchbark House

    Omakayas, a 7-year-old Ojibwa girl, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.

  • Fox, Paula. The Slave Dancer

    In 1840, a 13-year-old musician is kidnapped to play his fife on a slave ship.

  • Giff, Patricia Reilly. Nory Ryan's Song

    When a terrible blight attacks Ireland's potato crop in 1845, 12-year-old Nory Ryan's courage and ingenuity help her family and neighbors survive. Sequels: Maggie's Door and Water Street.

  • Hermann, Spring. Seeing Lessons: The Story of Abigail Carter and America's First School for the Blind

    When 10-year-old Abby Carter attends the newly established school for the blind in Boston in 1832, she proves that blind people can learn and be independent.

  • Hermes, Patricia. Calling Me Home

    Twelve-year-old Abbie struggles to accept her father's desire to make a new home for his family on the Nebraska prairie in the late 1850's.

  • Hurmence, Belinda. A Girl Called Boy

    A modern day 11-year-old girl visiting North Carolina is transported through time to the 1850's where she makes some discoveries about slavery and herself.

  • Karwoski, Gail. Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis & Clark

    Seaman, a Newfoundland, proves his value as a hunter, navigator, and protector while serving with the Corps of Discovery when it explores the West under the leadership of Lewis and Clark.

  • Kurtz, Jane. Saba: Under the Hyena's Foot After being kidnapped and brought to the emperor's palace in Gondar, Ethiopia, twelve-year-old Saba discovers that she and her brother are part of the emperor's desperate attempt to consolidate political power in 1846.
  • Lawlor, Laurie. Addie Across the Prairie

    Unhappy to leave her home and friends, Addie reluctantly accompanies her family to the Dakota Territory and slowly begins to adjust to life on the prairie. Other titles in series include Addie's Dakota Winter; Addie's Long Summer and Addie's Forever Friend.

  • Liles, Maurine. Kitty of Blossom Prairie

    Twelve-year-old Kitty, her mother, and five siblings travel 700 miles in a covered wagon to Texas seeking a better although difficult life on the prairie.

  • Lyons, Mary E. Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs

    An 11-year-old slave in North Carolina plans to escape to the North when she is not set free after the death of her mistress.

  • McGraw, Eloise. Moccasin Trail

    A runaway boy, adopted by Crow Indians, is reunited with his family after nine years.

  • MacBride, Roger. Little Farm in the Ozarks

    Eight-year-old Rose Wilder and her parents move to a farm in the Missouri Ozarks to start a new life.

  • McCully, Emily. Bobbin Girl (picture book)

    A ten-year-old bobbin girl working in a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1830s, must make a difficult decision--will she participate in the first workers' strike in Lowell?

  • O'Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins

    In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim. Once, many people also lived on the island. When they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.

  • Paterson, Katherine. Jip: His Story

    While living on a Vermont poor farm during 1855 and 1856, Jip learns his identity and that of his mother and comes to understand how he arrived at this place.

  • Paterson, Katherine. Lyddie

    In the 1840s, a young girl leaves Vermont to seek independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts.

  • Pryor, Bonnie. Luke on the High Seas

    In 1850, Luke and Toby set sail from Boston to California on a voyage featuring shady characters, a story of a lost gold mine, and a cabin boy with a secret.

  • Van Leeuwen, Jean. Bound for Oregon

    A fictionalized account of the journey made by 9-year-old Mary Ellen Todd and her family from their home in Arkansas westward over the Oregon Trail in 1852.

  • Woodruff, Elvira. Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad

    In 1853, in letters to his older brother, 11-year-old Levi describes his adventures in the Pennsylvania countryside with his black friend, Jupiter, and his experiences with the Underground Railroad.

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1860 - 1865 (Civil War)

  • Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women

    A chronicle of the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in 19th-century New England.

  • Alphin, Elaine. The Ghost Cadet

    Twelve-year-old Benji, visiting his grandmother in Virginia, encounters the ghost of a Virginia Military Institute cadet killed at the Battle of New Market in 1864.

  • Beatty, Patricia. Turn Homeward, Hannalee

    Hannalee, a 12-year-old Georgia millworker, is forced to relocate to Indiana in 1864 because the mill made supplies for the Confederate Army. Sequel: Be Ever Hopeful, Hannalee.

  • Beatty, Patricia. Charley Skedaddle

    A 12-year-old Union Army drummer deserts during a battle in Virginia and encounters a hostile older woman.

  • Beatty, Patricia. Jayhawker

    A teenager from Kansas becomes an abolitionist raider freeing slaves in bordering Missouri and, later, an undercover spy.

  • Brink, Carol. Caddie Woodlawn

    Eleven-year-old Caddie preferred to be with her brothers instead of becoming a lady in Wisconsin during the 1860s.

  • Davis, Burke. Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers

    In 1860, 11-year-old Grace suggests that Abraham Lincoln improve his appearance by growing a beard.

  • Fleischman, Paul. Bull Run

    Sixteen people, including Generals and young boys, people from the North and South, recount the Battle of Bull Run.

  • Gauch, Patricia Lee. Thunder at Gettysburg

    Tillie, a 14-year-old resident of Gettysburg, becomes involved in the battle fought in and around the Pennsylvania town.

  • Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils

    A young boy grows up when he is left in charge of the family farm after one brother joins the Union Army and two others join the Confederate Army.

  • Karr, Kathleen. The Great Turkey Walk

    In 1860, a somewhat simple-minded 15-year-old boy attempts to herd 1,000 turkeys from Missouri to Denver in hopes of selling them at a profit.

  • Keith, Harold. Rifles for Watie

    A 16-year-old Kansas boy encounters the horrors of war when he joins the Union volunteers after his family's farm is raided by pro-slavery forces from Missouri.

  • Lyons, Mary E. Dear Ellen Bee: A Civil War Scrapbook of Two Union Spies

    A scrapbook kept by a young black girl details her experiences and those of the older white woman, Miss Bet, who had freed her and her family, sent her north from Richmond to get an education, and then worked to bring an end to slavery. Based on the life of Elizabeth Van Lew.

  • O'Dell, Scott. Sing Down the Moon

    In 1864, a Navajo tribe is forced to march 300 miles to Fort Sumner (in modern New Mexico) by Union soldiers.

  • Polacco, Patricia. Pink and Say (picture book)

    Say Curtis describes his meeting with Pinkus Aylee, a black soldier, during the Civil War, and their capture by Southern troops.

  • Reeder, Carolyn. Across the Lines

    Edward, the son of a white plantation owner, and his black house servant and friend, Simon, witness the siege of Petersburg during the Civil War.

  • Reeder, Carolyn. Shades of Gray

    At the end of the Civil War, 12-year-old Will, a boy without immediate family, goes to live in Virginia with an aunt and an uncle who refused to participate in the fighting.

  • Schwartz, Virginia. Send One Angel Down

    A young slave tries to hide the horrors of slavery from his younger cousin, a light-skinned slave who is the daughter of the plantation owner.

  • Wells, Rosemary. Red Moon at Sharpsburg

    As the Civil War breaks out, India, a young Southern girl, summons her sharp intelligence and the courage she didn't know she had to survive the war that threatens to destroy her family, her Virginia home, and the only life she has ever known.

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1866 - 1913

  • Arrington, Frances. Bluestem

    With their father away and their mother traumatized by some unknown event, 11-year-old Polly and her younger sister are left to take care of themselves and their prairie homestead.

  • Carbone, Elisa. Storm Warriors

    In 1895, after his mother's death, 12-year-old Nathan moves with his father and grandfather to Pea Island off the coast of North Carolina, where he hopes to join the all-black crew at the nearby lifesaving station, despite his father's objections.

  • Garfield, Leon. Young Nick and Jubilee

    The lives of two orphaned London children are changed forever when they encounter a pickpocket and a student from a charity school.

  • Holm, Jennifer. Our Only May Amelia

    As the only girl in a Finnish-American family of seven brothers, May Amelia Jackson resents being expected to act like a lady while growing up in Washington State in 1899.

  • Lenski, Lois. Strawberry Girl

    Ten-year-old Birdie lives on a Florida farm growing strawberries and dreaming of getting an education.

  • Lowell, Susan. I Am Lavina Cumming

    Lavina, a 10-year-old from the Arizona Territory, is sent to California to live with her aunt and must learn to deal with homesickness, an awful cousin, the automobile, and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

  • McKissack, Patricia. Run Away Home

    In 1886 in Alabama, an 11-year-old African-American girl and her family befriend and give refuge to a runaway Apache boy.

  • Peck, Richard. Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts

    In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-year-old Russell's dream of quitting school and joining a wheat threshing crew is disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean, old Myrt Arbuckle "hauls off and dies."

  • Sawyer, Ruth. Roller Skates

    Lucinda explores New York City in the 1890's when her parents go to Europe, and she goes to live with Miss Peters, a teacher.

  • Wallace, Barbara. Sparrows in the Scullery

    Despite horrible conditions at the boys' home where kidnappers have left him, 11-year-old Colley, an orphan, finds a reason and a way to live, along with comradeship.

  • Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House in the Big Woods

    Living in a log house in Wisconsin in 1870, the Ingalls family makes their own cheese and maple sugar. Titles in the series include Little House on the Prairie; Farmer Boy; On the Banks of Plum Creek; By the Shores of Silver Lake; The Long Winter; Little Town on the Prairie; These Happy Golden Years and The First Four Years.

  • Winthrop, Elizabeth. Counting on Grace

    It's 1910 in Pownal, Vermont. At 12, Grace and her best friend Arthur must go to work in the mill, helping their mothers work the looms.

  • Wyman, Andrea. Red Sky at Morning

    Callie is forced to grow up quickly after her father leaves for Oregon, her mother dies, her sister must leave to find work, and she is left to run the farm in Indiana with only her ill grandfather.

  • Yep, Laurence. Dragonwings

    Moon Shadow comes from China to live with his father in San Francisco in 1903 and becomes part of his father's dream to build an airplane.

  • Yep, Laurence. The Serpent's Children

    In 19th-century China, Cassia attempts to protect her family from bandits and famine and to resolve a conflict between her father and brother.

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1914 - 1937 (World War I / Depression)

  • Baer, Edith. A Frost in the Night

    In 1932, a young Jewish girl and her family experience the changes occurring in Germany.

  • Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy

    Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father: the renowned bandleader H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

  • Doucet, Sharon. Fiddle Fever

    In 1914, 14-year-old Felix LeBlanc feels stifled by life on his family's farm in Louisiana and, after hearing his wayward uncle play the fiddle, decides that he wants to be a fiddler too, even if it means making his own fiddle and going against his parents' wishes.

  • Fritz, Jean. Homesick: My Own Story

    A young girl's life in China in 1925 is told based on actual events in the author's life.

  • Hesse, Karen. Letters from Rifka

    A young girl writes letters to her cousin describing her family's journey from Russia to America in 1919.

  • Kerr, Judith. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

    In 1933, a 9-year-old girl and her family are forced to flee Germany and secretly go to Switzerland where they learn how to deal with new languages and situations.

  • Reeder, Carolyn. Grandpa's Mountain

    During the Depression, 11-year-old Carrie spends a summer at her grandparents' home in the Blue Ridge Mountains while her grandfather opposes the establishment of a national park.

  • Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. Cat Running

    In California, during the Depression, 11-year-old Cat encounters the issues of poverty and prejudice when she becomes involved with a homeless family from Texas.

  • Taylor, Mildred. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

    Cassie and her brothers do not understand the discrimination and prejudice they face as an African-American family living in Mississippi during the 1930s. Sequel: Let the Circle be Unbroken and companion Song of the Trees.

  • Taylor, Sydney. All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown

    The family has happy and anxious times as the United States enters the war and Ella's boyfriend joins the Army. Companion: Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family (See the 1866-1913 list for more books in this series.)

  • Uchida, Yoshiko. A Jar of Dreams

    Eleven-year-old Rinko grows up in Berkeley, California, in the 1930s during the Depression and a time of prejudice against the Japanese-Americans.

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1938 - 1945 (World War II)

  • Garrigue, Sheila. The Eternal Spring of Mr. Ito

    The fate of a 200-year-old bonsai tree is decided by a young girl and an old Japanese-Canadian gardener who resists being imprisoned in an internment camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

  • Giff, Patricia Reilly. Lily's Crossing

    During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily's friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her to see the war and her own world differently. Sequel: Willow Run.

  • Hahn, Mary Downing. Stepping on the Cracks

    In 1944, Margaret helps the school bully hide his brother, an army deserter, despite her brother's fighting in Europe.

  • Herman, Charlotte. A Summer on Thirteenth Street

    Eleven-year-old Shirley tries to remain a tomboy as things change in her Chicago neighborhood in 1944.

  • Kochenderfer, Lee. The Victory Garden

    Hoping to contribute to the war effort during World War II, 11-year-old Teresa organizes her friends care for an ill neighbor's victory garden.

  • Kudlinski, Kathleen. Pearl Harbor Is Burning! A Story of World War II

    Two fifth-graders, one of whom is Japanese-American, witness the attack on Pearl Harbor.

  • Maguire, Gregory. The Good Liar

    Now an old man living in the United States, Marcel recalls his childhood in German-occupied France, especially the summer that he and his older brother Rene befriended a young German soldier.

  • Mochizuki, Ken. Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story (picture book)

    In 1940, Chiune Sugihara-a Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania-risked his life to issue thousands of exit visas to Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazis.

  • Paterson, Katherine. Jacob Have I Loved

    Feeling deprived all her life of schooling, friends, mother, and even her name by her twin sister, Louise finally begins to fight back.

  • Pearson, Kit. The Sky Is Falling

    In 1940, Norah and her younger brother, Gavin, are sent to live in Canada to escape the bombing of England and slowly adjust to a new family, school, and country.

  • Propp, Vera. When the Soldiers Were Gone

    After the German occupation of the Netherlands, Benjamin leaves the Christian family with whom he had been living and reunites with his real parents, who returned from hiding.

  • Strickland, Brad. When Mack Came Back

    When his older brother leaves the family farm in order to join the army in 1943, 10-year-old Maury remains behind to deal with his angry father and to care for Ben's injured puppy.

  • Taylor, Theodore. The Cay

    When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, a twelve-year-old white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old Negro are stranded on a small desert island in the Caribbean, where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.

  • Uchida, Yoshiko. Journey Home

    After their release from an internment camp, Yuki and her family have difficulties when they return to life in Berkeley, California.

  • Yep, Laurence. Hiroshima

    Sachi becomes one of the Hiroshima Maidens, suffering effects from the atomic bomb blast over her city in 1945.

  • Yolen, Jane. The Devil's Arithmetic

    Hannah resents the tradition of her Jewish heritage until time travel places her in the middle of a small Jewish village in Nazi-occupied Poland.

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1946 - 1969

  • Hill, Kirkpatrick. Year of Miss Agnes

    Ten-year-old Fred (short for Frederika) narrates the story of school and village life among the Athapascans in Alaska during 1948 when Miss Agnes arrived as the new teacher.

  • Holms, Jennifer. Penny from Heaven

    As she turns twelve during the summer of 1953, Penny gains new insights into herself and her family while also learning a secret about her father's death.

  • Robinet, Harriette. Walking the Bus-Rider Blues

    Twelve-year-old Alfa Merryfield, his older sister, and their grandmother struggle for rent money, food, and their dignity as they participate in the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott in the summer of 1956.

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  • American Girl
  • Dear America
  • My America
  • My Name is America
  • Once Upon America
  • Royal Diaries

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