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Topic: Historical Fiction for children

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Subject: Historical Fiction for children
Date Posted: 8/23/2008 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 818
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I plan to become a teacher and am trying to boost my book collection by adding some quality historical fiction books to my collection. Does anyone have any recommendations for good historical fiction books for children and young adults?

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2006
Posts: 465
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Both Dear America and My America are focused historical fiction that the students enjoy reading. I would also recommend that you look at the winners of the Scott O'dell Award for historical fiction. They are more focused on the upper elementary and middle school. I hope this would help.

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 818
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Oh wow! I have never heard of the scott o dell awards. I have heard of the others like the caldecott, newberry, coretta scott king and pura bell pre but not that one. That is some very helpful information. Thanks so much. :0)

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 818
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Oh yeah about the American Girl and Dear America books I love those, but I can't seem to find any cheap enough, but I do agree those are great historical fiction books.

Date Posted: 8/26/2008 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 14
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The Newberry Award books are usually really good and most of them are historical fiction. Here's a link to a list of the recent award winners. 

Also, check out the reading lists on the Sonlight website. It's actually a curriculum site for homeschoolers, but their reading program is all historical fiction books related to what period of history the kids are studying. You'll find everything there by grade level. Some of our favorites have come from the Sonlight list. They use a lot of the Newberry books, too.


Date Posted: 8/27/2008 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2008
Posts: 456
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The Dear America books are great.  Lately, I've been finding them at garage sales (the best was a 10 books for a dollar sale at the garage sale hosted by a local high school- I bought all the Dear America books that they had there).  I wish I could find similar ones on World History as I have plenty of US history ones for my 6th graders, but this year I have been switched to 8th grade for two of my classes and that's World History.  I did find the Royal Diaries books, a spin off of the Dear America books, but  the boys might not be interested in the diaries of "princesses."  I also wanted to find something a bit closer to high school reading level for my 8th graders, but any books I have from when I taught high school aren't really appropriate for middle school (that and between student teaching and a long term sub job, I only worked with high school students for a year so I really don't have many books anyway).

I'll be sure to check out some of the suggestions on this list as well! :-)


Last Edited on: 8/27/08 2:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/28/2008 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
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My all time favs are the Christopher Paul Curtis books. Especially "Bud, not Buddy" and "The Watsons Go to Birmingham." The Devils Arithmetic is also great, but it is a sort of time travel book back into a holocaust camp. But it reads  more like Historical Fiction.

Other Goodies include:

The Birchbark House

Esperanza Rising

Dragon's Gate (And anying by Laurence Yep)


All these books are also nice culture books that express the views of  other's in America.


Date Posted: 8/28/2008 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
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What age are you planning to teach?

Subject: Thanks!
Date Posted: 8/28/2008 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 818
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Thanks for all the great Ideas. To Tammy R. I am not sure what grade I want to teach. I am getting certified to be an early childhood education teacher. But I would like to get my masters in reading and be an elemntary reading teacher and teach grades PK-4 .

Subject: A few good ones
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 8
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Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury  Japanese_Americans in Hawaii during Pearl Harbor time period

Baseball Saved us- Japanese interred in camps during WWII who used baseball to help them through their ordeal. (Very short maybe 32 pages)

Heroes- About a kid whose grandfather or uncle was a war hero and no one believed him until the man showed up at school one day. (Very short maybe 32 pages)

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Coerr

Li Lun: Lad of Courage (kid in China who must plant rice on a mountain top and klearns many valuable lessons along the way)

Johnny Tremain

Any books by Jean Fritz

Lawrence Yep has some good titles but I cannot think of titles at this minute (it's about 11:30 pm)

Last Edited on: 9/9/08 12:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/20/2008 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2006
Posts: 1,187
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These would probably be too old for the age group you're looking at, but for anyone else interested--the Ann(e?) Rinaldi books are awesome! I never really liked historical fiction, but I do like these. Also, there's a series called Apple Valley by Nancy Covert Smith (I think I spelled that right!) that I enjoyed about a family going west and focuses on one daughter.

Date Posted: 9/20/2008 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 16
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May I add the following to the list:

The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman

Sarah Plain and Tall and Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan

Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld,

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis


Remember to read books to your class that are a year ahead so that they learn to appreciate larger words, more complex writing. With your help, they can be exposed to much more than what they are reading at their own level.

Subject: THANKS!
Date Posted: 9/21/2008 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 818
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Thanks for all the wonderful responses. I have already ordered a lot of the suggested books! :0)

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2005
Posts: 453
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did anyone mention the Time Warp Trio?