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Historical Fiction

I’ll Be Watching by Pamela Porter, 2011
Gr 9 Up-Porter tells the story of the Loney family and other townspeople living in Argue, Saskatchewan in the early 1940s. Margaret Loney passed away in a snowy car wreck, draining the last bit of hope from her already disillusioned husband, George. Their kids, Ran, 16; Nora, 14; Jim, 12; and little Addie, struggle to live with their hard-drinking father and his embittered new wife of convenience, Effie. When George freezes to death in a blizzard and Effie promptly runs off with a traveling Bible salesman, the kids are left on their own. YA PORTER

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, 2011
Gr 8 Up-In 1941, Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death while she fights for her life. YA SEPETYS

Steel  by Carrie Vaughn, 2011
Gr. 7-10-When Jill, a competitive high school fencer, goes with her family on vacation to the Bahamas, she is magically transported to an early 18th-century pirate ship in the middle of the ocean. YA VAUGHN

David by Mary Hoffman, 2011
Gr. 8 Up-Who was the model for Michelangelo’s famous statue of David? No one knows, but Hoffman imagines a life for him as a stonecutter named Gabriele who is Michelangelo’s milk brother . In his late teens, Gabriele moves to Florence to live with the sculptor, whom he regards as his brother, and, inevitably, serves as the model for the celebrated statue. YA HOFFMAN

Booth’s Daughter by Raymond Wemmlinger, 2007
Gr. 7 Up-Wemmlinger’s first novel, set in the 1880s, explores the life of Edwin Booth, a famous actor and older brother to John Wilkes Booth, as seen through the eyes of his daughter. Edwina Booth was only three when Lincoln’s assassination occurred (“what Papa and I referred to as `The Subject’ “), yet her close relation to the Presidential assassin often resurfaces and causes her great distress. YA WEMMLINGER

Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen, 2011
Gr. 8 Up-The second book in the exciting new series by the “New York Times”-bestselling author of the Luxe series promises romance, adventure, and intrigue in the final days of the Roaring Twenties. YA GODBERSEN

Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson,  2010
Gr 6-10-Separated from his friend Isabel after their daring escape from slavery, Curzon serves as a free man in the Continental Army at Valley Forge until he and Isabel and thrown together again, as slaves once more. YA ANDERSON

Strings Attached  by Judy Blundell, 2011
Gr. 7 Up-When she drops out of school and struggles to start a career on Broadway in the fall of 1950, 17-year-old Kit Corrigan accepts help from an old family friend, a lawyer said to have ties with the mob, who then asks her to do some favors for him. YA BLUNDELL

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, 2010
Gr. 9 Up-An angry, grieving musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French Revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy, Louis Charles, the lost king of France. YA DONNELLY

Threads and Flames by Esther M. Friesner, 2010
Gr. 6-9-After recovering from typhus, Raisa leaves her Polish shtetl for America to join her older sister, and goes to work at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory.

Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart, 2010
Gr. 6-10-Set against the backdrop of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, Katherine cannot forgive herself when her beloved twin sister dies, and she feels that her only course of action is to follow suit. YA KEPHART

Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell, 2011
Gr. 9 UP-It’s the summer of 1889 and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions that offer glimpses of the future. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. YA MITCHELL

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel, 2010
Gr. 7-11-In 1973, when a renowned Canadian behavioral psychologist pursues his latest research project—an experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills—he brings home a baby chimp named Zan and asks his son to treat Zan like a little brother. YA OPPEL

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen, 2010
Gr. 5-8-From his 1776 Pennsylvania homestead, Samuel, who is a highly-skilled woodsman, sets out toward New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British soldiers and Indians who kidnapped them after slaughtering most of their community. YA PAULSEN

Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards, 2010
Gr. 8 Up-Celestia is a wealthy member of a country club, where she meets and falls in love with Peter, a hired hand who lives in the valley below, and by the time of the torrential rains that lead to the disastrous Johnstown flood of 1889, she has been disowned by her family and is staying with him in Johnstown. YA RICHARDS

Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett, 2011
Gr. 5-8-When the Germans attack their Romany encampment during World War II, Andrej and his younger brother, Tomas, flee through a ravaged countryside under cover of darkness, guarding a secret bundle. Their journey leads to a bombed-out town, where the boys discover a hidden wonder: a zoo filled with creatures in need of hope. Like Andrej and Tomas, the animals–wolf and eagle, monkey and bear, lioness and seal, kangaroo and llama– have stories to share and a mission to reclaim their lives. YA HARTNETT

Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet, 2011
Gr. 9 Up-Peet’s arresting new novel begins in the destruction of WWII and ends in the explosive devastation of 9/11. In between, young Clem and his girlfriend, Frankie, find themselves de facto combatants in another conflict: England’s class war. Frankie, a child of privilege, is the daughter of the wealthy landowner for whom Clem’s father works. Peet breathes new life into this old story with the urgency of the two teens’ attraction for each other and their terrible need for secrecy. YA PEET

Marzi by Marzena Sowa, 2011
A collection of episodes from Sowa’s childhood form an engrossing picture of growing up in Communist Poland on the cusp of revolution. With the wide-eyed and skinny characterization of her child self (drawn by Belgian cartoonist Savoia), Sowa tells stories that evoke classic images of the Iron Curtain-long lines into sparsely stocked grocery stores, concrete apartment buildings, and factory smoke stacks-with a personal perspective. A sensitive and observant girl, Marzi is the perfect guide to her world as she tries to understand the workings of the Soviet-controlled state. YA GRAPHIC NOVEL/MARZI