Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins
Chiko is a Burmese boy who doesn't want to fight and is worried about his father, a doctor, who is in prison for resisting the government. Tu Reh, on the other hand, wants to fight for freedom after watching Burmese soldiers destroy his family's home and bamboo fields. These two fifteen-year-old boys from opposing sides of the conflict in Burma will be changed by an unlikely friendship that forms under extreme circumstances.
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is living in Lithuania and preparing for art school in the fall. Until the night that the Soviet secret police break into her home, and deport Lina, her mother and younger brother. They are sent to Siberia on a horrific train journey that leaves Lina and her family fighting for their lives. Lina vows that she will survive and honor her family, and the thousands like her, by documenting their experience. Only her incredible strength and love can pull her through each day but will it be enough to keep them alive?
Chains: Seeds of America by Laurie Halse Anderson
Isabel is a thirteen-year-old slave working for a Loyalist family in New York in the days leading up to the Revolutionary War. Isabel suffers under the cruelty of Mrs. Lockton - a mean and miserable woman . When England takes over New York City, Isabel is confused about whether to aid the Loyalists or the Rebels (Colonists). Then the Rebels approach Isabel with an offer to help her find her sister and gain her freedom if she will spy on her owners.
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
When Ned Begay was six years old, he was sent away to boarding school to learn English and the “American” way of life. There his name was changed, his hair was cut and he was forbidden to speak his native Navajo language. At 16 he is recruited by the Marines and sent to boot camp where he discovers that his Navajo language, which he has been using only in secret for years, is the secret weapon that the U.S. is using in their war against the Japanese. As a Navajo code talker, Ned uses his native language to save countless American lives.
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Using songs, speeches, and old photos, this book tells the story of 11-year-old Franny Chapman as she navigates through personal and world events during the Cuban missile crisis.
Dogsong by Gary Paulson
Fourteen-year-old Russel Susskit is an Eskimo boy who travels to the North to discover how to hunt in the old ways with his dogs. He leaves civilization behind to seek answers from the past, but even Russel could not realize the extent that this journey will transform his life forever.
A Far Away Island by Annika Thor
In 1939, Jewish sisters Stephanie and Nellie are sent by their parents from their home in Vienna to a small island off the coast of Sweden. The sisters are placed with different families and hope that they will be reunited with each other and their parents soon. Nellie is placed with a kind family, quickly learns Swedish and makes friends at school. Older sister Stephanie, however, lives with a cold older woman, has trouble learning Swedish and is bullied at school. Stephanie longs to go home and be reunited with her parents, but as time goes by she begins to wonder if they will ever be together again.
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Matilda Cook, her mother and grandfather run a small Coffee Shop in Philadelphia. It is the summer of 1793 and yellow fever is about to strike. When their serving girl, Polly, misses work one day the family is stunned to learn that she has died mysteriously the night before. Soon rumors and gossip begin to spread about a sickness and people begin leaving town to escape the epidemic. When Matilda catches yellow fever, her grandfather takes her to a hospital outside the city to be treated. When they return home, Matilda’s mother and their friends are missing. Matilda somehow finds the strength to survive tragedy, looting, and hunger but will she ever be reunited with her family and friends?
Forge: Seeds of America (sequel to Chains) by Laurie Halse Anderson
The year is 1777 and Curzon is an escaped slave and veteran soldier of the Continental Army. Now he is one of over 11,000 soldiers trapped for the winter at Valley Forge without protection from the harsh weather and little food to eat. His companion Isabel has left him to search for her younger sister and he worries daily about her safety as he himself struggles to survive. He wonders whether he will ever see Isabel again but more importantly he wonders if she has found her way to freedom.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled
from one distant relative to another. Tired of not having a home of
her own, she summons the courage to leave Iowa and move by herself to
Vida, Montana, to prove up on her late uncle's homestead claim. Hattie
must brave hard weather and hard times in her quest to find a true home.
Heart of a Samurai by Marge Preus
After a freak storm overturns his fishing boat in 1841, 14-year-old Manjiro is rescued by an American whaling ship and becomes the first Japanese to ever set foot in America. He overcomes prejudice and many obstacles in his new life and eventually finds his way back to Japan years later. This book contains drawings from Manjiro's actual journal about his life on the whaling ship, in America and his return to Japan.
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
It is 1975 and the Americans have just left Vietnam. As the war moves ever closer to her home, ten-year-old Kim Ha is forced to leave behind her home and life in Vietnam. As Saigon falls to the Communists, Kim Ha, her brothers and her mother escape Vietnam on a crowded boat and journey to an awesome and frightening place: America. This story is told in verse.
Is it Night or Day by Fern Schumer Chapman
To escape certain death at the hands of the Nazis, Edith is sent across the Atlantic Ocean to safety in a foreign land. Because her parents could not get permission to leave Germany, Edith must make the trip to Chicago on her own. Haunted by losses, she struggles to adjust to life in a country that seems as foreign as the moon. This book is based on the true story of Fern's mother, who was rescued from the Holocaust by Americans as part of the One Thousand Children Project.
Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins: A World War II Soldier by Walter Dean Myers
"If anybody finds this notebook, please send it to my father, Mr. James Collins...of Roanoke, Virginia..” Less than two weeks after this first journal entry, Scott Pendleton Collins realizes that nothing has prepared him for the fear and death that surround him on Omaha Beach in 1944.
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn't have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave and always knows the right thing to say and even helps Marlee overcome her terrible shyness. But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. Marlee decides that doesn't matter and Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families. A story of the unbreakable bond of friendship set during the integration of Little Rock’s schools in 1958."Creating a book that reads as though written in one effortless breath requires a rare talent...Readers will root for a painfully shy girl to discover the depths of her own courage and find hope in the notion that even in tumultuous times, standing up for the people you love can’t be wrong. Satisfying, gratifying, touching, weighty — this authentic piece of work has got soul." --The New York Time Book Review — The New York Times Book Review
A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park
After 11-year-old Salva's Sudanese school is attacked by brutal rebel soldiers, the boy must endure several terrifying years on the run before he is adopted by an American family.
Man Overboard by Curtis Parkinson
In a story set during World War II and based on a true event, four teens find themselves caught up in a dangerous adventure involving Nazi spies. Sixteen-year-old Scott and his friend Adam have summer jobs aboard a tourist boat that navigates the rapids on the St. Lawrence River. When Scott accidently overhears a suspicious conversation, dangerous events are set into motion that involve murder, kidnapping, explosives and ruthless spies.
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
After a life of riding the rails together, Abilene does not understand why her father suddenly leaves her in a town he left years ago. Her story mixes humor and sorrow in this Depression era tale which involves murder, orphans, bootlegging, and a missing mother .
No Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt
Fifteen-year-old Josh leaves home with his little brother and best friend during the Great Depression of the 1930s to try to make a living playing music. Through tragedy and hard times, the brothers manage to survive by finding odd jobs, scavenging food and taking handouts from kindly folks. This story shows what it was like for thousands of children who left their homes during the Depression and ended up riding the rails and walking their way across the United States.
Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Staples
Shabanu lives in the Cholistian Desert, in Pakistan with her mother, father, older sister, grandfather, aunt, and young cousins in a group of mud huts. Her family owns a prized herd of camels which they sell annually at the fair to provide for their needs. Shabanu’s older sister, Phulan, is getting married this year. But when tragedy strikes suddenly, Shabanu finds herself promised to a much older man as his fourth wife. Shabanu decides she wants her freedom at any cost, but what price will she pay when she steals a camel and runs for her life?
Sounder by William H. Armstrong
The story of a black sharecropper, his family and a coon dog named Sounder. When a desperate sharecropper steals food to feed his starving family, he is arrested and the Sheriff shoots Sounder who runs off. Through years of hardship, the family survives and when a kindly teacher teaches the boy to read, the mother feels hopeful about his future. Eventually the father and the dog are reunited and able to hunt together one last time.
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Patty's family owns a store in Arkansas near a prison camp the US government has set up to house Nazi soldiers during World War II. One day she meets a young Nazi prisoner, Anton, when some prisoners are brought into the store. When Anton escapes from the prison camp, Patty prevents him from jumping in front of a train and decides to hide him at great risk to herself. Can she keep him safe and a secret from her family and the government?
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
This book weaves together the stories of real TITANIC survivors and witnesses to the disaster -- from the stewardess Violet Jessop to Captain Arthur Rostron of the CARPATHIA, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship. Packed with action, devastating drama, fascinating historical details, and loads of photographs, this book provides new insight to what happened to the TITANIC that fateful April night.
A Traitor Among Us by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk
It is fall of 1944 and the Germans have occupied Holland. The courageous Resistance movement constantly undermines the Nazis, and thirteen-year-old Pieter Van Dirk is part of the Resistance. He also knows that there's a traitor in his village--someone who would reveal his identity to the Nazis if his undercover work is discovered. But who could the traitor be? The suspects multiply in this suspenseful story as the stakes continue to grow higher for Pieter and the Resistance.
Turtle in Pardise by Jennifer L. Holm
Turtle has been sent to live with her extended family in Florida during the Depression. Her story is a hilarious blend of family drama and adventure.
Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury
Tomi Nakaji is a regular 13-year-old boy who loves his life, but his life suddenly changes forever on that fateful day when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. After the bombing, many terrible things begin to happen to Tomi and his family, as growing prejudice and anger is directed against Japanese Americans everywhere. Can they find the strength and courage to survive this tragic time and rise above the hatred that surrounds them?
The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf
This book is told in verse from the perspective of 24 different characters including: wealthy and poor survivors, people who do not survive, people who save themselves, the iceberg, a rat and even the undertaker who comes into the story after the tragedy.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Set during the sixties, this story tells about Holling Hoodhood’s misadventures in middle school. Holling is stuck having Wednesday afternoons alone with Mrs. Baker, a teacher who he is convinced hates him. At first, she makes him clean erasers but then decides to “torture him with Shakespeare”. What Holling finally learns, however, is that there’s more to people than meets the eye: from his older sister, Heather, who wants to be a flower child and runs away to California, to his dreaded teacher, Mrs. Baker, who has a husband fighting overseas in Vietnam. Through it all, Holling learns who he truly cares about and how one tumultuous year can change a person forever.
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
When Evie's step father returns home from World War II, the family’s life begins to feel normal again. But Joe Spooner has brought back more than just a few good war stories. When a Peter Coleridge, a young soldier from Joe's company in Austria, shows up, Evie suddenly finds herself caught up in a complicated web of lies. She finds herself falling for Peter and ignores the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and makes her question everything she thought she knew.
Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill
What started out as girls' games became a desperate witch hunt that ended in tragedy for many. Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials told from the perspectives of three of the young women living in Salem in 1692. This story is told in verse.
Woods Runner by Gary Paulson
Thirteen-year-old Samuel has grown up on the American frontier.
The war comes to his home when soldiers and Iroquois attack, and Samuel’s parents are taken as prisoners. Samuel decides to follow the attackers and is determined to try and rescue his parents. He must confront the enemy and the tragedy of this war, but he also discovers men and women working secretly for the patriot cause. And he learns that he must go deep into enemy territory, to New York City, to find his parents.