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Topic: Help? Need book suggestions

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Subject: Help? Need book suggestions
Date Posted: 2/18/2010 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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My 8th grade daughter needs to read a historical fiction novel set in the timeframe of somewhere between the late 1800s to about 1920s. Does anyone have any suggestions of a book she could read. She's already done one related to slavery and one with a Civil War connection, so she wants something different. Also, she does not want any romances.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Date Posted: 2/18/2010 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Some members may come along with title suggestions. But there are some great Web sites you might want to review to help your daughter select something.

HistoricalNovels.info is a wonderful extensive collection of titles (with brief descriptions) of historical fiction around the world. It's arrange by time period and location, making it the perfect resource for this type of question. Try this page. Scroll down to the heading, Late 19th Century North America.

Another great site to find recommendations is Historical Fiction Online. See this collection of discussion topics on Young Adult Historical Fiction.

We aren't giving away this advice for free, though. Your assignment, Mom, is to report back on which title your daughter selects. We thurst for knowledge here! LOL.

Have fun!

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Take a look at Gwen Bristow's books, well written and very "clean" sex wise. Calico Palace is my favorite (San Fran and Gold Rush), followed by Jubilee trail and Celia Garth (although that's not in the period you're looking for). The Plantation trilogy is good, although a bit rare but can be had via ILL. They are all set in Louisiana but the last one carries the story through WWI.

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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Is there a page minimum? Rhys Bowen has written a cozy mystery series set in turn of the century New York City. They are quick reads, entertaining and contain a lot of historical detail about NYC in the early 1900's. The first book in the series is Murphy's Law. Absolutely suitable for an 8th grader.

One step above in terms of sophistication, writing style, subject matter, etc. is the series by Jacqueline Winspear, set in London between the years following WW I & the Great Depression - the first book in the series is Maisie Dobbs. Maisie is a very astute, attuned woman who was a nurse in WWI and is now back in London & has set herself up as a private detective. The books are a great look at post WW I London & where a single woman of intelligence & ambition might fit into that landscape. These are a written on a little higher level, but again, I think suitable for an 8th grader in terms of subject matter.

Lastly, Victoria Thompson has written a mystery series, also set in NYC, also around the turn of the century about  Sarah Brandt, the young widow of a doctor. To keep her independence following her husband's death, Sarah takes her training & becomes a midwife. That aspect of the story line is handled very nicely - no worries re: subject matter. Books are very good - first one is Murder on Astor Place.



Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Here are a few ideas:

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (1899)

Last Dance on Holladay Street (1878)

A Great and Terrible Beauty (1895)

A Northern Light (1906)

Al Capone Does My Shirts (1935)

Listening for Lions (1912)

The Coffin Quilt (1878)

The Foreshadowing (1918)

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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Thanks, everyone! I ended up ordering:

Breaker by N.A. Perez from Amazon as it wasn't available here. It's about a kid who works in the mines of northeastern PA and gets into the Industrial Revolution,

I also found one Never Jam Today by Carole Bolton about a teen girl and her involvement in the women's suffrage movement.

She'll end up reading one or both and writing her report on the one she finds most interesting.

Last Edited on: 2/22/10 1:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/22/2010 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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Never mind, didn't see your last post.

Last Edited on: 2/22/10 1:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1