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Ages 9-12

Historical Fiction: Kids from Other Times

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A Place to Hang the Moon by  Kate Albus
In World War II England, orphaned siblings William, Edmund, and Anna are evacuated from London to live in the countryside, where they bounce from home to home in search of someone willing to adopt them permanently.
Allies by Alan Gratz
It is June 6, 1944, D-Day, and Dee Carpenter (true name Dietrich Zimmermann), an underage private in the United States Army, is headed for Omaha Beach, seeking revenge for his uncle, who was arrested by Nazis when Dee was a little boy; meanwhile, Samira Zidano, an eleven-year old French-Algerian girl is looking for the French resistance, desperate to deliver the message that the invasion is about to begin, and get their help in freeing her mother--this is the most important day of the twentieth century, and both children want to fight, and survive.
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow's only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar. Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn't until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart.
Brother's Keeper by  Julie (Children's fiction writer) Lee
Twelve-year-old Sora and her eight-year-old brother, Youngsoo, must try to escape North Korea's oppressive Communist regime on their own in 1950. Includes historical notes, photographs of the author's mother, glossary of Korean words, and timeline.
Coming Up Cuban by Sonia Manzano
Examines the impact of the 1959 Cuban Revolution on four children from very different walks of life. In the wake of a new regime in Cuba, Ana, Miguel, Zulema, and Juan learn to find a place for themselves in a world forever changed. In a tumultuous moment of history, we see the lasting effects of a revolution in Havana, the countryside, Miami, and New York. Their separate narratives build, overlap, and entwine to create one inspiring story--an adventure that spans towns, cities, nations, and worlds.
How High the Moon by  Karyn Parsons
Eleven-year-old Ella seeks information about her father while enjoying a visit with her mother, a jazz singer, in Boston in 1944, then returns to the harsh realities of segregated, small-town South Carolina.
Mask by  Kate Hannigan
Akiko, Mae, and Josie, also called the Infinity Trinity, spring into action after learning that a spy is betraying secrets to the Japanese military--and that Akiko's mother may be involved.
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by  Ibi Aanu Zoboi
Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet has lived with her beloved grandfather Jeremiah in Huntsville, Alabama ever since she was little. As one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA, Jeremiah has nurtured Ebony-Grace's love for all things outer space and science fiction--especially Star Wars and Star Trek. But in the summer of 1984, when trouble arises with Jeremiah, it's decided she'll spend a few weeks with her father in Harlem. Harlem is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and Ebony-Grace's first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer's end, Ebony-Grace discovers that Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.
Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
In Dakota Territory in the 1880s, half-Chinese Hanna and her white father face racism and resistance to change as they try to make a home for themselves.
Red Scare by Liam Francis Walsh
In the aftermath of the Korean War, Peggy's small hometown is rife with anti-Communist hysteria. But Peggy has bigger problems: She's struggling to recover from polio. Taunted by her classmates, Peggy just wants to be a normal kid, until she stumbles across a mysterious object that gives her the power to fly. Unscrupulous operatives from the American and Soviet governments seek the object to overturn the tense political stalemate, and Peggy finds herself smack in the middle of the Cold War arms race.
The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis
When his poor sharecropper father is killed in an accident and leaves the family in debt, twelve-year-old Little Charlie agrees to accompany fearsome plantation overseer Cap'n Buck north in pursuit of people who have stolen from him; Cap'n Buck tells Little Charlie that his father's debt will be cleared when the fugitives are captured, which seems like a good deal until Little Charlie comes face-to-face with the people he is chasing.
The Lucky Ones by  Linda Williams Jackson
It's 1967, and eleven-year-old Ellis Earl Brown has big dreams. He's going to grow up to be a teacher or a lawyer--or maybe both--and live in a big brick house in town. There'll always be enough food in the icebox, and his mama won't have to run herself ragged looking for work as a maid in order to support Ellis Earl and his eight siblings and niece, Vera. So Ellis Earl applies himself at school, soaking up the lessons that Mr. Foster teaches his class--particularly those about famous colored people like Mr. Thurgood Marshall and Miss Marian Wright--and borrowing books from his teacher's bookshelf. When Mr. Foster presents him with a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ellis Earl is amazed to encounter a family that's even worse off than his own--and is delighted by the Buckets' very happy ending. But when Mama tells Ellis Earl that he might need to quit school to help support the family, he wonders if happy endings are only possible in storybooks.
The Nerviest Girl in the World by  Melissa Wiley
Pearl lives on a ranch where her chores include collecting eggs and feeding ornery ostriches. She has three older brothers, who don't coddle her at all. And she knows a thing or two about horses, too. One day, Pearl's brothers get cushy jobs doing stunts for this new form of entertainment called moving pictures. They're the Daredevil Donnelly Brothers, a Death-Defying Cowboy Trio. Before she knows it, Pearl has stumbled into being a stunt girl herself-and dreams of becoming a star. The only problem is, her mother has no idea what she's up to. And let's just say she wouldn't be too happy to find out that Pearl's been jumping out of burning buildings in her spare time.
Troublemaker by  John Cho
On the first night of rioting in the wake of the Rodney King verdict, Jordan's father leaves to check on the family store, spurring twelve-year-old Jordan and his friends to embark on a dangerous journey through South Central and Koreatown to come to his aid, encountering the racism within their community as they go.
Updated 09/21/2022