A time-slip story, in which 11 year-old Esther, a bi-lingual Chicana in Texas, who is interested in archeology, finds herself somehow in the time of the Clovis people, of whom little is known today except for their spearheads (called "Clovis points.")
The people she finds and lives with for several months think she has come from the stars and has supernatural powers, especially after she saves a little girl's life, using the Heimlich Maneuver. They live in small nomadic groups, hunt mammoths and bison, and feast enormously when there is food, since they have no way to preserve meat.
Like the Jean Auel's Cave Bear clan, some dislike Esther for her differences, especially when she tells them that someday the mammoths will be extinct. They worry too about climatic changes that are taking place. Their shamans, however, try to use their dreaming to help her to find a passage back "to the stars."
When she does return, of course, only one of the archeologists believe her story, and that one says that she can't public admit belief and keep on being accepted as a scientist!
A nice story for older children with an interest in prehistoric times.
An easy-to-read historical story set during the American Revolution. Letty's family has to flee the redcoats, but Letty leaves a note for the British soldiers, asking them not to kill her pet gander Solomon. When the British leave and Letty's family returns, she finds a note from them - and Solomon unharmed.
A short (99 p.)children's historical novel about the Civil Rights restaurant sit-ins of the 1950s. This one is set in Nashville, Tennessee. Patricia McKissack has specialized in writing children's books about Black History, and all her books are good reading, true to the period.
Mark's problem is that his mother and his brother have become manager and coach, respectively, of his Little League team, at the same time that he is studying for his Bar Mitzvah. This is a good story for children about baseball and Little League, with a New York Jewish flavor, ending with a big ethical problem for Mark and his mother, just as he is entering young manhood at his Bar Mitzvah.
After World War I, the vets came home - some of them terribly damaged, with burns, amputations, blindness. Annie's father is a doctor at a veterans' hospital, but her mother - and many others in the town -want nothing to do with them. Teen-aged Annie overcomes her revulsion in order to read to the blind, talk with the maimed and learn more about the war-death of her beloved Uncle Paul. She experiences her first crush - towards one of the patients - and her sorrow when he leaves the hospital to return to his far-away home.
Children's historical novel set in World War II. Naomi is a Jewish refugee from France, who saw her father killed by the Nazis. She is now living in the U.S. with relatives, but refuses to speak and is afraid of everything and everybody. Alan, who is also Jewish, would rather play stickball in the street, but, urged by his mother,tries to get Naomi's trust.
Now here's a book after my own heart - I'm still chuckling over it. Such an independent, feisty, realistic-minded young heroine! And of course Mark Twain was a humorist to the core. I'm sure Virginia City in the Civil War days was exactly as depicted.
The only thing that bothered me about the story was the part at the end that seems to be almost required in detective-type mysteries - where the detective and sidekick - in this case Alice Rose and Hop Sing - are caught by the bad guys and nearly murdered - actually murdered in the case of Hop Sing. Seems not quite suited to such an original tale.
Set in the late 1700s in colonial India, this YA historical novel is told through the eyes of a teen-aged girl, whose Indian mother is dead, and Irish father disappeared. Because of her ability as an artist, Anila is able to get a job accompanying an English naturalist on his quest on the Ganges River for unknown bird species while she tries to find out where her father might be.
There is a lot depicted about the Indian attitude towards women, and the attitude of the British overlords to the Indian people as a whole and Indian women in particular. There are no graphic sexual scenes, but sex without marriage is rife.
The picture book "Ask Mr. Bear," published around 1930, has been around for a long time, and has rather old-fashioned pictures, but is still a favorite with very young children. The little boy asks the farm animals what he should give his mother for her birthday, but but she already has everything suggested. Finally, he goes alone into the woods (because the animals are all afraid to accompany him) to meet Mr. Bear, who suggests that he give her a bear hug.
Mary Balogh's Regency romances are pretty well known. This is one of the "Huxtable" series, which I don't, personally, like as well as her "Bedwyn" series. Neither series are very "historical," but they are enjoyable escape reads.
This children's novel is set in rural England with a boy moving to a new home, trying to make friends and deal with a bullying girl down the street. It also involves my own favorite board game, Scrabble. Eventually, however, it gets involved with the supernatural and a ghost.
In Oregon Territory, in 1855, 9 year-old Ben, the narrator, and his two older siblings, plant wheat and build a barn on their claim, while caring for their father, who has had a stroke that prevents him from moving or communicating except with eye-blinks.
A brief, but well-written and very moving story of "hope and resourcefulness," as the jacket blurb puts it.
I had already read and enjoyed the two mysteries (the first two of the series) in this beautiful book, but what made this book special was first, an introduction by the author, Ellis Peters, and second, a photographic essay by Rob Talbot on Shrewsbury, the town where most of of series takes place, and the nearby area of Wales, Brother Cadfael's original country.
"Betsy-Tacy" is the first of a series of children's stories about the friendship between two little girls in a small Mid-Western town in the nineteenth century. It was one of the first chapter books my mother read to me when I was a child, back in the 1940s. The series begins when Betsy and Tacy are both five years old, and goes on until Betsy is a young woman. It was a much different world back then!
This was written, of course, as a tract against cruelty to animals, especially horses - at a time before the invention of the automobile - but it is also an absorbing story, the autobiography of a horse. It is much better written than its American imitator "Beautiful Joe." Sewall makes you really feel what a horse had to endure, in what amounts to slavery to humans.
In his life, Black Beauty encounters all sorts of owners, from noblemen to coal carters, and the equine vicissitudes he doesn't experience himself (such as military use) are recounted to him by other horses he meets.
Most memorable is his life as a cab horse, and here I was surprised by how much discussion there was of politics and of the exploitation of the cab drivers by their employers.
Very well-written children's novel about work in a logging camp in 1898. No Paul Bunyan tall tale here, only a realistic story, by an author who has written other historical tales about young people at work in North America. Since reading this book, I have already read another of his ("The Broken Blade") and liked it very much.
The book also has a glossary of logging camp slang.
A riveting children's book about blind teen-ager up in a small plane with her uncle. When a flying bird rams into and breaks the windshield, and her uncle is injured and unconscious, Debbie calls a Mayday on the radio, and with the help of pilots in the air and on the ground, she is finally able to land the plane safely, although she's scared stiff all the time.
The book is only 154 pages long, but it is full of action and tension, and you won't want to put it down until the heroine, Debbie, is safely down!
Apparently abandoned by her hippie mother and brought up in a Catholic orphanage, Jerry goes to stay with her great-aunt in New Mexico, who, though an observant Catholic, follows family customs that eventually reveal her as a descendent of Spanish Jews who came to the New World to escape the Inquisition, eventually intermarrying with the local Native Americans. When Jerry investigates an ancient trunk in the cellar, voices from the past take up the story of generations fleeing imprisonment, torture and burning at the stake. This is an important part of history for young people to know, but there are many unanswered questions, including what did happen to Jerry's mother?