Category Archives: Genre: Historical

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Gennifer Choldenko

Quick Stats:images

Page Count: 240

Age Range: 10 and up

Year: 2004

Genre: Historical

12-year-old Moose Flanagan and his family just moved to Alcatraz, the notorious prison, housing the most notorious prisoners in America, because his father got a job as a prison electrician and guard. Moose isn’t happy about the move, nor is he happy about his new responsibilities keeping his sister Natalie out of trouble. Natalie isn’t like other children, she’s special, and Moose’s mother wants to get Natalie into a special school to help her. Moose deals with complex emotions of growing up all while living a baseball’s throw from Al Capone.

This book will resonate with students who have siblings or family members with Autism or other disabilities, and they will identify with the main character Moose and what he goes through in the book.

Ms. Kost

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Filed under Age Range: 10 and up, Author: Gennifer Choldenko, Genre: Historical, Page Count: 200-300, Year: 2000s

The Firefly Letters

The Firefly Letters

Margarita Engleimgres-1

Quick Stats:

Page Count: 160

Age Range: 12 and up

Year: 2010

Genre: Adventure, Historical, Realistic

The Firefly Letters is written in the narration of 3 voices: Cecilia, Elena, and Fredika. Fredika is an older woman traveling to Cuba to find “Eden” who is being hosted by Elena’s family. Unfortunately Elena does not speak English but the African slave Cecilia does. Cecilia becomes the translator and assistant for Fredika. The novel is about the lives of these three girls and how they are all interconnected.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the history of slavery. The book is easy to follow, once you can distinguish the 3 narrations occurring in the novel. All 3 women have very different yet distinct personalities making it easy for the reader to connect to at least one character.

Miss Samantha

 

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Filed under Age Range: 12 and up, Author: Margarita Engle, Genre: Adventure, Genre: Historical, Genre: Realistic, Page Count: 100-200, Year: 2010s

Mary Tudor: Courageous Queen or Bloody Mary?

Mary Tudor: Courageous Queen or Bloody Mary?

Jane BuchananUnknown

Quick Stats:

Page Count: 128

Age Range: 12 and up

Year: 2008

Genre: Adventure, Historical, Realistic

A thorough but simple description of the life of Mary Tudor, the daughter of King Henry the VIII and who later became Queen “Bloody Mary”. The story begins from her childhood up to adulthood, all the while providing information on her numerous engagements and the beginning and end, of the burning of Protestants at the stake.

I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the gruesome past of Queen “Bloody” Mary. The book is short and straightforward, making history more interesting to learn.

Miss Samantha

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Filed under Age Range: 12 and up, Author: Jane Buchanan, Genre: Adventure, Genre: Historical, Genre: Realistic, Year: 2000s

Letters from Rifka

Letters from Rifka

Karen Hesse

Quick Stats:

Page Count: 148Unknown

Age Range: 10 and up

Year: 1993

Genre: Adventure, Historical, Realistic

A young Jewish girl from Russia tells her story about the lifestyle and dangers of Russia in the early 1900s. Her family decides to leave Russia for the safety of their family, and Rifka continues to tell her story through letters to her cousin of journeying to the new country called the United States of America with the end stop being Ellis Island.

Rifka is a strong young girl trying to make a better life for herself, while she faces many dangers like the police and contagious diseases, she still overcomes everything to come to the United States. The book is short but has plenty of action and adventure for Rifka. It’s a good book for anyone looking for a reminder of hardships for people traveling through Ellis Island and how not everyone was welcomed to the country with open arms.

Miss Samantha

 

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Filed under Age Range: 10 and up, Genre: Adventure, Genre: Historical, Genre: Realistic, Page Count: 100-200, Year: 1990s

Flygirl

Flygirl

Sherri L. Smith

Quick Stats:

Page Count: 304Unknown

Age Range: 12 and up

Year: 2010

Genre: Historical

During World War II, female pilots were able to join a program called WASP “Women Airforce Service Pilots” to help the war effort. Ida Mae Jones wants to join the WASPs, but there’s one problem, she’s black and WASP doesn’t accept black pilots. Being light-skinned, Ida changes her name and passes for white in order to join. But the pressure of keeping up appearances brings up a lot of heavy emotions for Ida about what it means to be true to herself.

This book would be a great read for any student who may be struggling with their identity and trying to accept themselves and their place in the world, especially young female black students.

Ms. Kost

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Filed under Age Range: 12 and up, Author: Sherri L. Smith, Genre: Historical, Page Count: 300-400, Year: 2010s

Inside Out & Back Again

Inside Out & Back Again
Thanhha Lai

Quick Stats:
Page Count: 262Unknown
Age Range: 12 and up
Year: 2011
Genre: Historical, Poetry, Realistic

Hà is a ten year old, refugee from Saigon, Vietnam. Hà and her family make a desperate decision to leave their beloved home in Saigon with the hopes that her father will return after mysteriously disappearing in the war. Hà, her mother, and her four brothers take a leap of faith and escape to the United States where they find a sponsor from Alabama and discovers the foreign world of Alabama in 1975. Hà has to get used to the strange food, bullies at school, and strength of her own family.

This story is told in a series of short poems but gives an in-depth illustration of what a family feels like when escaping war.

Ms. Brittany

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Filed under Age Range: 12 and up, Author: Thanhha Lai, Genre: Historical, Genre: Poetry, Genre: Realistic, Page Count: 200-300, Year: 2010s

Hurricane Dancers

Hurricane Dancers
Margarita Engle

Quick Stats:
Page Count: 145Unknown-1
Age Range: 10 and up
Year: 2011
Genre: Adventure, Historical, Poetry

Quebrado is a young man of Taino Indian and Spanish ancestry. He is a slave to Bernardino de Talavera, a Caribbean pirate, who wishes to conquer the Caribbean isles and searches for vulnerable islanders to capture and sell. When a hurricane hits the ship, Quebrado escapes the dangerous waters and finds refuge in a small village. Quebrado befriends two young lovers, learns how to navigate his past and present, and decides the fate of his former captors.

This is a very short book. This story is fictional but based on historical references of the Caribbean history but told in series of short poems.

Ms. Brittany

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Filed under Age Range: 10 and up, Author: Margarita Engle, Genre: Adventure, Genre: Historical, Genre: Poetry, Page Count: 100-200, Year: 2010s