Saturday, July 8, 2017

Bookmarks: Middle-Grade Historical Fiction

At the beginning of May (which now feels like a year ago) I started sharing some middle-grade books that I had preread for my children. I never shared the last list and since unfinished projects bother me, I'm going to share it today.

Historical fiction is my favorite genre for my children to read because it is such an effortless way to learn about history. This is certainly not an complete list, just ones I've read in recent years that I considered high literary quality and excellent content. Choose a book or two for your child's summer reading.

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Maine is a long way from Kansas and Jack is floundering both from the loss of his mother and his new home at a boy's boarding school. Then he meets Early, the strangest boy he ever met and the two boys embark on a quest to find a great black bear. Even with some unrealistic plot twists, I enjoyed this book set immediately after World War 2.

Early Thunder by Jean Fritz
Salem is in the middle of the conflict between the Patriots and the British and Daniel has a choice to make. By the end of the year he has decided which side he will join. My husband actually read this one and said it was excellent historical fiction from 1775.

Shirley arrives from China excited about her new home in Brooklyn. She loves America but wishes for a friend. Based on the author's childhood in 1947.

Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell
Bright Morning celebrates the arrival of spring and the promise of an abundant harvest in the Canyon de Chelly. But when the soldiers destroy their homes and force the Navahos to march to Fort Sumner, will Bright Morning and Tall Boy find hope to rebuild? Beautiful written, tragic (but hopeful) story based on true events.

Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
The 1919 influenza takes Rachel Sheridan's missionary parents and leave her at the mercy of cruel neighbors. Will she be able to tell the truth and return to her beloved Africa? A fun fiction story about a missionary family in Kenya written from a secular perspective.

The Belonging Place by Jean Little
Elspet has already lost her parents, now her uncle wants to move from Scotland to the wilds of Upper Canada. Will she ever find a real home and a place to belong?

Danny had just moved to Hawaii where his mother served as a nurse. He longs to return to his home in New York until the day that the Japanese attack the island. Short chapters and large print make this a great first historical fiction book for young readers. This book is part of the excellent “I Survived” series.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Holling is the only one in his seventh grade class in Long Island who doesn't either go to Hebrew school or Catholic school so in his spare Wednesday afternoon his teacher assigns him to read Shakespeare. A peek into life in 1968, including the Vietnam War, Yankee games, King assassination, and school life.

This list is getting long. I'll share the rest next week.

My other middle-grade lists are realistic fiction and fantasy.

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  1. Thanks for sharing! I love historical fiction too. :)

  2. Your book lists are always the best! I never tire of reading very good children's books, myself. Love your new blog heading! Prayers continue for your beautiful family. Hugs!

  3. Interesting to read; I haven't heard of any of those books. My list would be
    1. Laura Ingalls
    2. Laura Ingalls
    and so on :)

  4. I'd like to recommend some books by Ann Turnbull, set in Restoration England, following a Quaker girl and a lad who falls for her and becomes Quaker:

    No Shame, No Fear:

    and its sequels, Forged in the Fire and, I've discovered just now looking up the link that there's a third, "Seeking Eden"!

    Absolutely fantastic books. If you get a chance to read them, let me know.

  5. We listened to Navigating Early on audio and enjoyed it very much. I'll look into these other ones to listen to in the car. Thanks for putting this together.

  6. Wonder where Jean got the story on tape ?

  7. Thanks! I love your blog. I've gotten so many good book recommendations and recipes from you. I'm sorry to read about what your family is facing right now. Keeping you in our prayers. Laura Hoover


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