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            Historical Fiction Resources

          For Middle & High School Students

 located in the Curriculum Lab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


JUVENILE & YOUNG PEOPLE FICTION

 

COLONIAL AMERICA

 

YP C589c

Clapp, Patricia. CONSTANCE; A STORY OF EARLY PLYMOUTH.. The journal of a young girl tells of her daily life, hardships, romances and marriage during the first years of the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth. [1968]

 

J C589wi

Clapp, Patricia.  WITCHES' CHILDREN: A STORY OF SALEM.  During the winter of 1692, when the young girls of Salem suddenly find themselves subject to fits of screaming and strange visions, some believe that they have seen the devil and are the victims of witches. c1982.

 

YP F219me

Farber, Norma.  MERCY SHORT: A WINTER JOURNAL, NORTH BOSTON, 1692-93.

With the help of the respected minister Cotton Mather, a young girl attempts to recover from her tragic experience with the Indians which has led her to believe she is bewitched. c1982.

 

J F455c

Field, Rachel CALICO BUSH.  This is a story of a young girl “bound out” in service in pioneer America. Out of her experience emerges an inspiring picture of our country – its legend, song, tradition and the plain facts of daily living.  c1966.

 

J L666r

Levitin, Sonia, ROANOKE; A NOVEL OF THE LOST COLONY. An English youth and an Indian girl are caught up in the events leading to the mysterious disappearance of the colony at Roanoke Island. 1973.

 

J P498ti

Petry, Ann Lane TITUBA OF SALEM VILLAGE. Slaves in Barbados, Tituba and her husband John are suddenly sold to a minister, who moves to Salem Village.  There Tituba cares for the minister's invalid wife, daughter and niece. Tituba is accused of witchcraft by the niece and the village girls, suffers through a trial and is then imprisoned.  1991, c1964.

 

YP S741c

Speare, Elizabeth George. CALICO CAPTIVE. Based on an actual narrative.  Just before the French and Indian war, a girl and her sister's family are captured in an Indian raid in New Hampshire, marched through the wilderness, and sold to the French in Montreal, where they are held for ransom. [c1957]

 

J S741s

Speare, Elizabeth George.  THE SIGN OF THE BEAVER. Left alone to guard the family's wilderness home in eighteenth- century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive until local Indians teach him their skills. Elizabeth George. c1983

 

YP S741wi

Speare, Elizabeth George.  THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND.  In 1687 in Connecticut, kit Tyler, feeling out of place in the Puritan household of her aunt, befriends an old woman considered to be a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself standing trial for witchcraft.  1971, c1958.

 

 

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND THE NEW NATION

 

J A957fi

Avi, THE FIGHTING GROUND.  Thirteen-year-old Jonathan goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the real war is being fought within himself. c1984.

 

YP A957tr

Avi,  THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE.  As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious. c1990.

 

J B656g

Blos, Joan W. A GATHERING OF DAYS: A NEW ENGLAND GIRL'S JOURNAL, 1830-32 : A NOVEL.  The journal of a 14-year-old girl, kept the last year she lived on the family farm, records daily events in her small New Hampshire town, her father's remarriage, and the death of her best friend. c1979.

 

J   B728sl

Borden, Louise.  SLEDS ON BOSTON COMMON: A STORY FROM THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Henry complains to the royal governor, General Gage, after his plan to sled down the steep hill at Boston Common is thwarted by the masses of British troops camped there. c2000.

 

J C699ju

Collier, James Lincoln.  JUMP SHIP TO FREEDOM.  .In 1787 a fourteen-year-old slave, anxious to buy freedom for himself and his mother, escapes from his dishonest master and tries to find help in cashing the soldier's notes received by his father for fighting in the Revolution. 1987, c1981

 

J C699m

Collier, James Lincoln.  MY BROTHER SAM IS DEAD. Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town. [1974]

 

J C699wa

Collier, James Lincoln. WAR COMES TO WILLY FREEMAN.  A free thirteen-year-old black girl in Connecticut is caught up in the horror of the Revolutionary War and the danger of being returned to slavery when her patriot father is killed by the British and her mother disappears. c1983.

 

YP F251a

Fast, Howard,  APRIL MORNING.  Adam Cooper, a boy of fifteen, is yearning to be a man. He dares to sign the muster roll of the Lexington militia on April 19, 1775.  Thus Adam with the rest of the local farmers and shopkeepers when the British army marches by on its way to Concord, where the ammunition is said to be stored.  [c1961]

 

YP F251h

Fast, Howard  THE HESSIAN; A NOVEL. This book calls attention to the role of the Hessian mercenaries in the American Revolution.  The accidental nature of so much of the tragedy of war and the inevitability of unfairness are highlighted.  [c1972]

 

YP F692j c.5

Forbes, Esther.  JOHNNY TREMAIN, A NOVEL FOR OLD & YOUNG. Johnny Tremain, a silversmith's apprentice, takes part in the Boston Tea Party and the Battles of Lexington and Concord. c1943.

 

J F793s

Fox, Paula.  THE SLAVE DANCER.  Kidnapped by the crew of an Africa-bound ship, a thirteen-year- old boy discovers to his horror that he is on a slaver and his job is to play music for the exercise periods of the human cargo. 1975, c1973.

 

YP R578wo

Rinaldi, Ann.  WOLF BY THE EARS.   Harriet Hemings, rumored to be the daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, one of his black slaves, struggles with the problems facing her--to escape from the velvet cage that is Monticello, or to stay, and thus remain a slave. c1991.

 

YP W233se

Walter, Mildred Pitts.  SECOND DAUGHTER : THE STORY OF A SLAVE GIRL.

In late eighteenth-century Massachusetts, Aissa, the fictional younger sister of Elizabeth Freeman, relates how her sister gains freedom for herself and her family by bringing a suit against their owner in court. c1996.

 

VCR J65 1997

JOHNNY TREMAIN [videorecording] (80 min.) Buena Vista Home Video, [1997] Johnny Tremain, a silversmith's apprentice, takes part in the Boston Tea Party and the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

 

 

CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTON

 

J A957so

Avi.  SOMETHING UPSTAIRS: A TALE OF GHOSTS.  When he moves from Los Angeles to Providence, Rhode Island, Kenny discovers that his new house is haunted by the spirit of a black slave boy who asks Kenny to return with him to the early nineteenth century and prevent his murder by slave traders. c1988.

 

J B369ja

Beatty, Patricia.  JAYHAWKER.  In the early years of the Civil War, teenage Kansan farm boy Lije Tulley becomes a Jayhawker, an abolitionist raider freeing slaves from the neighboring state of Missouri, and then goes undercover there as a spy. c1991.

 

J B369t

Beatty, Patricia.  TURN HOMEWARD, HANNALEE.  Twelve-year-old Hannalee Reed, forced to relocate in Indiana along with other Georgia mill workers during the Civil War, leaves her mother with a promise to return home as soon as the war ends. 1984.

 

J B370ch

Beatty, Patricia.  CHARLEY SKEDADDLE. During the Civil War, a twelve-year-old Bowery Boy from New York City joins the Union Army as a drummer, deserts during a battle in Virginia, and encounters a hostile old mountain woman. c1987.

 

YP B877k

Brown, Dee Alexander.  KILLDEER MOUNTAIN: A NOVEL. In this book, the Old West comes to life as many vivid characters tell their own stories. The result is a picture of the West at a time of transition, when relationships shifted and changed, and life from one day to the next was predictably unpredictable.

c1983.

 

YP C891re 1968

Crane, Stephen.  THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE. This is the story of Henry Fleming and his initiation into manhood as a Union Army recruit during the Civil War.  1968]

 

YP F251f c.2

Fast, Howard.  FREEDOM ROAD.   Jackson, former slave and former Union soldier, returns to South Carolina to find a new world opening up for him and his children. [1944]

 

YP F724be

Forman, James D.  BECCA'S STORY.  A Civil War romance concerning a Michigan girl and the two soldiers who are rivals for her hand. c1992.

 

J H221h

Hamilton, Virginia. THE HOUSE OF DIES DREAR. A family of five moves into an enormous house once used as a hiding place for runaway slaves. Mysterious sounds and events and discoveries of secret passageways make the family believe they are in grave danger.

 

J H424c

Haynes, Betsy.  COWSLIP.  Relates the trials of a thirteen-year-old slave girl at the beginning of the Civil War. [1973]

 

J H571wh

Hansen, Joyce.  WHICH WAY FREEDOM?   Obi escapes from slavery during the Civil War, joins a black Union regiment, and soon becomes involved in the bloody fighting at Fort Pillow, Tennessee. 1992, c1986.

 

J H941a

Hunt, Irene. ACROSS FIVE APRILS.  Against a background including descriptions of some battle details and discussions of war strategy, and showing how good people could have opposing opinions, the author has woven a story of feelings. [1964]

 

YP K28r

Keith, Harold.  RIFLES FOR WATIE.  The union was fighting to ensure the freedom of all men. Jeff Bussey thought he would have a chance for glory. Once enlisted, however, he finds that being in the army is mostly dull routine drills. Then when he finally participates in a real battle, Jeff quickly discovers that war is not all that glorious. [1957]

 

YP L642th

Lester, Julius. THIS STRANGE NEW FEELING.  This strange, new feeling -- Where the sun lives -- A Christmas love story. Three stories adapted from slave narratives describe daring escapes. c1982.

 

YP  O23t

O'Dell, Scott.  THE 290.  A shipyard apprentice finds high adventure aboard the S.S. Alabama, a Confederate ship which sails the Atlantic destroying Union vessels. 1979, c1976.

 

YP P332ni

Paulsen, Gary.  NIGHTJOHN.  Twelve-year-old Sarny's brutal life as a slave becomes even more dangerous when a newly arrived slave offers to teach her how to read. c1993.

                                                                                
YP P332so

Paulsen, Gary.  SOLDIER'S HEART: A NOVEL OF THE CIVIL WAR. Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat. c1998.

 

J P762pi

Polacco, Patricia.  PINK AND SAY.  Say Curtis describes his meeting with Pinkus Aylee, a black soldier, during the Civil War, and their capture by Southern troops. Based on a true story about the author's great-great- grandfather. c1994.

 

J R323ac

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. [1998]

 

J R323sh

Reeder, Carolyn.  SHADES OF GRAY.  At the end of the Civil War, twelve-year-old Will, having lost

all his immediate family, reluctantly leaves his city home to live in the Virginia countryside with his aunt and the uncle he considers a "traitor" because he refused to take part in the war. c1989.

 

YP R578la

Rinaldi, Ann.  THE LAST SILK DRESS.  During the Civil War, Susan finds a way to help the Confederate Army and uncovers a series of mysterious family secrets. c1988.

 

YP R578wo

Rinaldi, Ann.  WOLF BY THE EARS.  Harriet Hemings, rumored to be the daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, one of his black slaves, struggles with the problems facing her--to escape from the velvet cage that is Monticello, or to stay, and thus remain a slave. c1991.

 

YP R813wi

Rosenburg, John M.  WILLIAM PARKER: REBEL WITHOUT RIGHTS.  William Parker, an escaped slave, defies the United States government in the Christiana Riot of 1851, an event which triggers the biggest treason trial in American history. c1996.

 

YP    T455ma

Thomas, Carroll.  MATTY'S WAR.  Two cousins share their experiences during the Civil War, both in

the Simsbury, Connecticut, home of one girl, and through the letters the other writes when she goes, disguised as a boy, to fight in Virginia. c1999.

 

YP W182J

Walker, Margaret.  JUBILEE.  The Civil War Years, including the horrors of the persecution of blacks both before and after the war itself, are recounted from the imagined point of view of a slave woman. The book is rich in details of life in the Old South from that perspective. [1967]

 

J W814re

Wisler, G. Clifton.  RED CAP.  A young Yankee drummer boy displays great courage when he's captured and sent to Andersonville Prison. c1991.

 

YP W814th

Wisler, G. Clifton.  THUNDER ON THE TENNESSEE.  Following his father's example, sixteen-year old Willie Delamer joins the Second Texas Regiment and leaves his beloved Texas to fight for the Confederacy. c1983.

 

 

WESTWARD EXPANSION AND THE NATIVE AMERICAN RESPONSE

 

J B457o

Benchley, Nathaniel.  ONLY EARTH AND SKY LAST FOREVER.  Although recognizing the end of the Indians' freedom is near, a young Cheyenne still chooses to fight with Crazy Horse at the Little Big Horn to prove himself to the girl he loves. [1972]

 

YP B496li

Berger, Thomas.  LITTLE BIG MAN.  Jack Crabb, adopted into a Cheyenne tribe as a child,  describes his adventures, including his survival of the battle of the Little Bighorn, in which all the whites reportedly died. 1985, c1964.

 

YP C596o

Clark, Walter Van Tilburg.  THE OX-BOW INCIDENT.  A cowboy is unable to prevent three wandering travellers from being unjustly lynched for murder. [1960]

 

YP C754my

Conrad, Pam.  MY DANIEL.  Ellie and Stevie learn about a family legacy when their grandmother tells them stories of her brother's historical quest for dinosaur bones on their Nebraska farm. c1989.

 

J C754pr

Conrad, Pam.  PRAIRIE SONGS.  Louisa's life in a loving pioneer family on the Nebraska prairie is altered by the arrival of a new doctor and his beautiful, tragically frail wife. c1985.

 

J D313we

DeFelice, Cynthia C.  WEASEL.  Alone in the frontier wilderness in the winter of 1839 while his

father is recovering from an injury, eleven-year-old Nathan runs afoul of the renegade killer known as Weasel and makes a surprising discovery about the concept of revenge. c1990.

 

J O23s

O'Dell, Scott.  SING DOWN THE MOON.  A young Navaho girl recounts the events of 1864 when her tribe was forced to march to Fort Sumner as prisoners of the white soldiers. [c1970]

 

J O23st

O'Dell, Scott.  STREAMS TO THE RIVER, RIVER TO THE SEA : A NOVEL OF SACAGAWEA. A young Indian woman, accompanied by her infant and cruel husband, experiences joy and heartbreak when she joins the Lewis and Clark Expedition seeking a way to the Pacific. 1986.

 

YP S294s1

Schaefer, Jack.  SHANE.  It portrays the struggle to hold on to one's property at a time and place where law and order were in the hands  of whoever could make other people  do what he wanted.1954.

 

YP W211in

Wallin, Luke.  IN THE SHADOW OF THE WIND.   In 1832, two teenagers, he, a white settler, she, a Creek Indian, try to preserve their love for each other despite the outbreak of hostilities between the disillusioned Indians being starved off their land and the frightened but adamant white settlers. c1984.

 

 

IMMIGRATION, INDUSTRIALIZATION, URBANIZATION

 

YP A583on

Angell, Judie.  ONE-WAY TO ANSONIA: A NOVEL.  At the turn of the century, ten-year-old Rose immigrates from Russia to America and eventually finds that her emergence into adolescence brings employment, marriage, motherhood, and self- determination. c1985.

 

J G358v

Geras, Adele.  VOYAGE.  Relates the experiences of a group of Jewish young people in the early twentieth century as they journey from their homes in Eastern Europe to the United States in search of a new life. c1983.

 

J H587le

Hesse, Karen.  LETTERS FROM RIFKA.  In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family's flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America. c1992.

 

YP N736la

Nixon, Joan Lowery.  LAND OF PROMISE.  In 1902 fifteen-year-old Rose travels from Ireland to join family members in Chicago, where she must use all her resources to deal with her father's drinking and her brothers' dangerous involvement in politics. c1993.

 

J P296ly

Paterson, Katherine.  LYDDIE.  Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s. c1991.

 

YP P447su

Perkins, Mitali.  THE SUNITA EXPERIMENT.  When her grandparents come for a visit from India to California, thirteen-year-old Sunita finds herself resenting her Indian heritage and embarrassed by the differences she feels between herself and her friends. c1993.

 

YP R839af

Rostkowski, Margaret I.  AFTER THE DANCING DAYS.  A forbidden friendship with a badly disfigured soldier in the aftermath of World War I forces thirteen-year-old Annie to redefine the word "hero" and to question conventional ideas of patriotism. , 1988, c1986.

 

J Y47d

Yep, Laurence.  DRAGONWINGS.  In the early twentieth century a young Chinese boy joins his father in San Francisco and helps him realize his dream of making a flying machine. c1975.

 

YP Y47dg

Yep, Laurence. DRAGON'S GATE.  When he accidentally kills a Manchu, a fifteen-year-old Chinese

boy is sent to America to join his father, an uncle, and other Chinese working to build a tunnel for the transcontinental railroad through the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1867. Sequel to "Mountain light." c1993.

 

J Y47mo

Yep, Laurence.  MOUNTAIN LIGHT.  Swept up in one of the local rebellions against the Manchus in

China, nineteen-year-old Squeaky loses his home and travels to America to seek his fortune among the gold fields of California. c1985.

 

JAZZ AGE AND THE DEPRESSION

 

YP A376ga 

Alexander, Lloyd.  THE GAWGON AND THE BOY.  In Depression-era Philadelphia, when eleven-year-old David is too ill to attend school, he is tutored by the unique and adventurous Aunt Annie, whose teaching combines with his imagination to greatly enrich his life.c2001.

 

YP C978bu

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy.  Set in Michigan during the Great Depression, ten-year-old Bud escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father---H.E. Calloway, the renowned bandleader of the Dusky Devastators of the Depression.


J H784c

Hooks, William H.  CIRCLE OF FIRE.  Shortly before Christmas, 1936, eleven-year-old Harrison overhears a notorious local bigot planning a Ku Klux Klan raid on a band of Irish tinkers camped nearby and realizes he must do something to prevent it. c1982.

 

YP T244le

Taylor, Mildred D.  LET THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN.  Four black children growing up in rural Mississippi during the Depression experience racial antagonisms and hard times, but learn from their parents the pride and self-respect they need to survive.c1981.

 

J T244ro

Taylor, Mildred D.  ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY. A black family living in the South during the 1930's are faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don't understand. c1997.

 

 

THE UNITED STATES AND WORLD WAR II

 

YP A766d

Arnow, Harriette Louisa Simpson.  THE DOLLMAKER.  The production requirements of World War II lured many country people from the South to the big cities of the North, and most of them never went back,  In this story, living in a housing project situated near a Detroit factory, a hillbilly family from Kentucky faces the alien demands of city life. 1972, c1954.

 

J B344ra

Bauer, Marion Dane.  RAIN OF FIRE.  When Steve's older brother Matthew, returning home after service in World War II, refuses to talk about his wartime experiences, Steve's friends begin to doubt the stories he has told of Matthew's heroism. c1983.

 

J F399r

Ferry, Charles.  RASPBERRY ONE.  Nick and Hildy, two young aircrewmen flying bombing support

against Japan's kamikaze offensive in the Pacific, are devastated but ultimately strengthened by their war experience. c1983.

YP G799s

Greene, Bette.  SUMMER OF MY GERMAN SOLDIER.  Sheltering an escaped German prisoner of war is the beginning of some shattering experiences for a 12-year-old Jewish girl in Arkansas. c1973.

 

J H148st

Hahn, Mary Downing.  STEPPING ON THE CRACKS.  In 1944, while her brother is overseas fighting in World War II, eleven-year-old Margaret gets a new view of the school bully Gordy when she finds him hiding his own brother, an army deserter, and decides to help him. c1991.

 

J L666jo

Levitin, Sonia.  JOURNEY TO AMERICA.  A Jewish family fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938 endures innumerable separations before they are once again united. c1987.

 

YP L66s

Levitin, Sonia.  SILVER DAYS.  Escaping from Hitler's Germany, a prosperous Jewish family lives in a New York City tenement until Papa decides to move the family to California. c1989.

 

YP  M476l

Mazer, Harry. THE LAST MISSION.  In 1944 a 15-year-old Jewish boy tells his family he will travel in the West but instead, enlists in the United States Air Corps and is subsequently taken prisoner by the Germans.

 

YP T244ro

Taylor, Mildred D.  THE ROAD TO MEMPHIS.  Sadistically teased by two white boys in 1940's rural Mississippi, a black youth severely injures one of the boys with a tire iron and enlists Cassie's help in trying to flee the state. c1990.

 

J U17J

Uchida, Yoshiko.  JOURNEY TO TOPAZ: A STORY OF THE JAPANESE-AMERICAN EVACUATION.  After the Pearl Harbor attack an eleven-year-old Japanese- American girl and her family are forced to go to an aliens camp in Utah. [1971]

 

 

AMERICAN IN THE MODERN WORLD

 

YP C978wa

Curtis, Christopher Paul.  THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM—1963.  The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963. c1995.

 

J M182c

Madison, Winifred.  CALL ME DANICA.  A young girl and her family move from a small Croatian village to Vancouver and have many problems adjusting to a new culture. c1977.

 

YP M996fa

Myers, Walter Dean.  FALLEN ANGELS.  Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam. c1988.

 

YP N432an

Nelson, Theresa.  AND ONE FOR ALL.  Geraldine's close relationship with her older brother Wing and

his friend Sam changes when Wing joins the Marines and Sam leaves for Washington to join a peace march. c1989.

 

YP B981jo

Buss, Fran Leeper.  JOURNEY OF THE SPARROWS.  Maria and her brother and sister, Salvadoran refugees, are smuggled into the United States in crates and try to eke out a living in Chicago with the help of a sympathetic family.  c1991.

 

 

      


REFERENCE

 

REF    016.813 C674am 1997

Coffey, Rosemary K.  AMERICA AS STORY : HISTORICAL FICTION FOR MIDDLE AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS.  c1997.

 


Created by Donna Wallach,  July 2003

  

                                                                     

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