Staff recommendations for School-Age Children. Compiled by the Children Services Staff at Monroe Public Library
1. Sophia’s War: A Tale of the Revolution by Avi
In 1776, after witnessing the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, newly occupied by the British army, young Sophia Calderwood resolves to do all she can to help the American cause, including becoming a spy. Look for more historical fiction titles by this author.
2. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl? As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom. From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.
3. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Twelve-year-old Annabelle must learn to stand up for what’s right in the face of a manipulative and violent new bully who targets people Annabelle cares about, including a homeless World War I veteran.
4. Heart of a Samurai: Based on the True Story of Manjiro Nakahama by Margi Preus
5. Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin
6. Escape by Night: A Civil War Adventure by Laurie Myers
Tommy, the son of a Presbyterian minister in Augusta, Georgia, during the Civil War, must search his conscience to decide whether he should help a Yankee soldier escape and return home.
7. A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck
A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother. (Also read the award-winning sequel, A Year Down Yonder.)
8. Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter by Richard Platt
The fictional diary of a nine-year-old boy who, in 1716 sets off from North Carolina to become a sailor, but ends up a pirate instead. Look for these other historical diaries by this author: Castle Diary and Egyptian Diary.
9. Around the World by Matt Phelan
Challenged with circling the world at the end of the nineteenth century, three very different adventurers — avid bicyclist Thomas Stevens, fearless reporter Nellie Bly, and retired sea captain Joshua Slocum — embark on epic journeys.
10. The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True by Gerald Morris
Follow the adventures of Sir Gawain, the only undefeated knight in King Arthur’s court, who eventually learns the value of friendship, courtliness, and courtesy after a challenge from the Green Knight.
11. The Marvels by Brian Selznick
In 1766, a boy, Billy Marvel, is shipwrecked, rescued, and goes on to found a brilliant family of actors that flourishes in London until 1900 — and nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis, runs away from home, seeking refuge with his uncle in London, and is captivated by the Marvel house, with its portraits and ghostly presences.
12. Countdown by Deborah Wiles
It’s 1962, and it seems the whole country is living in fear. Franny Chapman just wants some peace — but that’s hard to get! Told with a visually stunning tapestry of Cold War news, ads, and “duck and cover” educational materials.
13. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
14. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
15. The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism.
16. Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
17. The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
With love and determination befitting the “world’s greatest family,” twelve-year-old Deza Malone, her older brother Jimmie, and their parents endure tough times in Gary, Indiana, and later Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression. Look for more historical novels by this author.
18. Mr. Tucket by Gary Paulsen
19. Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (introducing his forgotten frontier friend) by Deborah Hopkinson
In Knob Creek, Kentucky, in 1816, seven-year-old Abe falls into a creek and is rescued by his best friend, Austin Gollaher. See more historical fiction by this author, such as the Klondike Kid Trilogy.
20. Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War by Helen Frost
Twelve-year-olds Anikwa, of the Miami village of Kekionga, and James, of the trading post outside Fort Wayne, find their friendship threatened by the rising fear and tension brought by the War of 1812.
21. Dinosaur Hunter by Elaine Marie Alphin
Fossil collectors!In 1880s Wyoming, Ned Chapman dreams of finding a dinosaur skeleton. When he discovers some old bones on his father’s ranch, Ned is thrust into the world of bone hunters — men so competitive that they will do anything to bring back the best fossils!
22. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.
23. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
In the summer of 1968, eleven-year-old Delphine and her sisters travel from Brooklyn to Oakland, California to spend a month with their mother whom they barely know. There they discover their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
24. The Star Maker by Laurence Yep
In 1950s San Francisco Chinatown, 8 year-old Artie succeeds in fulfilling a foolish fireworks promise with the help of his Uncle Chester.
25. Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
When Papa advertises for a new wife to join his prairie family, Sarah appears from Maine. The children, Caleb and Anna, grow to love her very much but fear she is too homesick and will soon leave them. Read more books by this author about the Witting family and their life on the frontier.
26. Adam & Thomas by Aharon Appelfeld
Adam and Thomas, two nine-year-old Jewish boys who survive World War II, take refuge in the forest where they learn to forage and survive, soon meeting and helping other fugitives fleeing for their lives.
27. Morning Girl by Michael Dorris
Morning Girl, who loves the day, and her younger brother Star Boy, who loves the night, take turns describing their life on an island in pre-Columbian America; in Morning Girl’s last narrative, she witnesses the arrival of the first Europeans to her world.Tells the story of Morning Girl and her brother, Star Boy, two Native Americans of the Taino tribe, their family, and their community, as they grow up together in the Bahamas in the fateful year of 1492
28. The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.
29. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Chronicles the experiences of an Ojibwa girl and her family as they live their lives quietly on an island in Lake Superior in 1847, until the white man comes and begins moving her entire tribe off their land.
30. The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great by Gerald Morris
Relates tales of Sir Lancelot, the bravest knight in King Arthur’s court.
31. The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park
In Korea in 1473, eleven-year-old Young-sup overcomes his rivalry with his older brother Kee-sup and combines his kite-flying skill with Kee-sup’s kite-making skill in an attempt to win the New Year kite-fighting competition for the emperor. If you like this title you may also like A Single Shard, and When My Name was Keoko by the same author.
32. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. The Nazi won’t stop. The Jews of Denmark are being “relocated, “ so Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. Then Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission. Somehow she must find the strength and courage to save her best friend’s life. There’s no turning back now.
33. Smith by Leon Garfield
Twelve-year-old Smith is a denizen of the mean streets of eighteenth-century London, living hand to mouth by virtue of wit and pluck. After deftly picking the pocket of an old man, he finds himself in a tough spot, which leads Smith on a breathtaking adventure.
34. Lyddie by Katherine Paterson
Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s. Look for more historical fiction titles by this author, such as Jip: His Story, The Master Puppeteer, and Bread and Roses, Too.
35. Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm
It isn′t easy being a pioneer in the state of Washington in 1899, but it′s particularly hard when you are the only girl ever born in the new settlement. With seven older brothers and a love of adventure, May Amelia Jackson just can′t seem to abide her family′s insistence that she behave like a Proper Young Lady. She′s sure she could do better if only there were at least one other girl living along the banks of the Nasel River. And now that Mama′s going to have a baby, maybe there′s hope. Inspired by the diaries of her great-aunt, the real May Amelia, first-time novelist Jennifer Holm has given us a beautifully crafted tale of one young girl whose unique spirit captures the courage, humour, passion and depth of the American pioneer experience.