The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (2016)

girlinThis World War II mystery set in the occupied Netherlands demonstrates the horrors of the Holocaust.

Recommended grade level: 7-11

Pages:   309 (for ISBN 9780316260602)

Genre(s) and keywords: historical fiction, mystery, international, Europe (the Netherlands)

Tone/Style: bleak, fearful, desperate

 

Pace: moderate

Topics: the Holocaust, World War II, the Netherlands, investigations, missing persons

Themes: resistance against oppression, grief and loss, selfishness, risks

Summary: Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion. Continue reading

Front Lines by Michael Grant (2016)

frontThis book feels a lot like historical fiction–but it’s not.  A novel concept make this one memorable.

Recommended grade level: 7-12

Pages:   576 (for ISBN 9780062342157)

Genre(s) and keywords: historical fiction (not exactly, but historical fiction fans should like it), adventure, war

Tone/Style: thoughtful, despairing, gritty
Continue reading

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (2007)

The_wednesday_warsThis beloved tragicomedy is like hiding veggies in a smoothie: they won’t even notice it’s historical fiction!

Recommended grade level: 5-9

Pages: 264 (for ISBN 9780618724833)

Genre(s) and keywords: historical fiction, humor, award winners

Tone/Style: personal, embarrassed

Pace: moderate

Topics: school, theatre, baseball, the Vietnam War, Shakespeare

Themes: parent/child relationships, sibling relationships, teacher relationships, war, disappointment, parental approval, self-discovery

Summary: Holling Hoodhood is really in for it.

He’s just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. Why else would she make him read Shakespeare…outside of class? Continue reading

Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus (2012)

shadowThis WWII fiction draws students’ attention to the resistance against Nazi rule in Norway.

Recommended grade level: 6-10

Pages: 304 (for ISBN 9781419704246)

Genre(s) and keywords: historical fiction, adventure, international, Europe (Norway)

Tone/Style: danger-filled, exciting

Pace: moderate

Topics: World War II, Norway, spies, skiing

Themes: resistance, courage, treachery

Summary: Fourteen-year-old Espen and his friends are swept up in the resistance movement in Nazi occupied Norway. He gets his start delivering illegal newspapers, then graduates to the role of courier, and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. Continue reading

Will in Scarlet (2013)

will

This middle grade take on the Robin Hood story follows Will Scarlet.

Recommended grade level: 4-7

Pages: 272 (for ISBN 9780375868955)

Genre(s) and keywords: adventure, historical fiction

 

Tone/Style: folktale

Pace: leisurely to moderate

Topics: Robin Hood, medieval society, thieves, hunting, outlaws

Themes: revenge, redemption

Summary: Will Scarlet is on the run.  Once the sheltered son of nobility, Will has become an exile. Continue reading

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart (2016)

some kindA classic-style Western for a new generation.

Recommended grade level: 4-8

Pages: 234 (for ISBN 9780545665773)

Genre(s) and keywords: adventure, Western, historical fiction

Tone/Style: determined, folksy

Pace: moderate

Topics: human/animal relationships, the Wild West, friendship

Themes: loyalty to family, grief, doing the right thing, never giving up

Summary: Joseph Johnson has lost just about everyone he’s ever loved. He lost his pa in an accident. He lost his ma and his little sister to sickness. And now, he’s lost his pony-fast, fierce, beautiful Sarah, taken away by a man who had no right to take her. Continue reading

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose (2012)

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An atmospheric novel-in-verse about self-sufficiency and strength of will.

Recommended grade level: 3-6

Pages: 240 (for ISBN 9781582463933)

Genre(s) and keywords: historical fiction, survival, verse

Continue reading