Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Staff Pick: Soft Rain

Staff Pick: Soft Rain

Soft Rain, a nine-year-old Cherokee girl, is forced to relocate, along with her family, from North Carolina to the West. Author: Cornelia Cornelisson

Imagine going to your school one day and being told that there will be no more school for you and your Cherokee classmates. Imagine being forced by soldiers to leave your home with your mother and walk to another state to live. Imagine not being able to take your grandmother along because she is blind. This is the situation that nine-year-old Soft Rain faces strengthened by the stories she remembers. How would you handle it? Join her and walk with her for a time on the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

Recommended by: Tamara Baumgartner – Lawrence Branch

Here are some books about The Trail of Tears:

The Trail of Tears Why Did Cherokees Move West? Nellie the Brave The Journal of Jesse Smoke
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Staff Pick: Armel’s Revenge

Staff Pick: Armel’s Revenge

Armel's Revenge

Christophe, a Rwandan refugee in England, is entrusted with looking after Armel, a new boy in class, but Christophe soon discovers that Armel’s hostility stems from a tragedy that occurred in the country they once called home. Author: Nicki Cornwell

Beware of the poison of the past, try not to get infected (Cornwall 53),” is a prevailing theme of Armel`s Revenge by Nicki Cornwall. Christophe experienced the ethnic cleansing in Rwanda when he was too young to understand it. He and his family sought asylum in Great Britain and tried to forget the past. The painful memories lie in the shadows of his mind until a new student arrives who has his own demons to fight and sees Christophe as the enemy. How will he deal with it and what will he learn about his past?

Recommended by: Lindsey Haddix, Nora Branch Library

More Staff Picks

More stories about refugees surviving the most difficult of situations:
Christophe's Story A Long Walk to Water The Lost Boys of Sudan Brothers in Hope
A Hair in the Elephant's Trunk Gervelie's Journey: a Refugee Diary
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Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad

This book doesn’t have a single word in it. Not one. The story is told entirely in picture, and you have to look at the pictures carefully to figure out what is going on. The little girl on the cover is headed to the barn. Why do you think she is looking over her shoulder like that? She looks a little scare to me. Her feet are all business, heading purposely in one direction but her eyes and her head, they are definitely on alert. Open this one to answer this question for yourself – would you be brave enough to do what she does?

 

 

Websites:

Books:

Freedom's aCalling Me Underground American Archaeology Uncovers the Underground Railroad Moses
Freedom Song Henry's Freedom Box Eliza's Freedom Road January's Sparrow
Unspoken
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Staff Pick: Eight Cousins

Staff Pick: Eight Cousins

Orphaned Rose Campbell finds it difficult to fit in when she goes to live with her six aunts and seven mischievous boy cousins.

“Louisa May Alcott is most famous for her story of the four sisters in Little Women but she wrote about other well-behaved, strong-willed girls, too, and Rose Campbell is one of them. Orphaned Rose has been sent to her aunts to await the arrival of her guardian uncle, and she is very unhappy: lonely without her father; uncertain of her affection for her aunts; and shy of her seven rowdy boy cousins. But most of all, she is fearful that her uncle will be strict and unkind. To Rose’s relief he is neither, and he even encourages her to give up her prim and proper ways. Soon Rose is running, boating and even riding horses, as well as gently bossing the boy cousins! This book was written over 100 years ago, so some of it seems very old-fashioned (one of the aunts disapproves of slang) but some things could happen today, as when Rose sneakily has a friend pierce her ears! Mostly, it is just a story of a young woman having adventures and learning from them who she wants to be.”

Recommended by: Doriene Smither – Pike

If you like sassy girls learning how to be confident and strong and occasionally take on the boys…try one of these:

Caddie Woodlawn Roller Skates All of a Kind Family Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farm Anne of Green Gables
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Staff Pick: The Lions of Little Rock

Staff Pick: The Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock

Krisitin Levine’s sensitive and engaging novel The Lions of Little Rock takes place during the struggle to integrate public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958. The narrator is 12 year old Marlee , who seldom speaks to anyone except family members. Math whiz Marlee prefers numbers to words, “ In math, you always get the same answer, no matter how you do the problem. But with words, blue can be a thousand different shades!” That changes when she becomes friends with Liz, a new girl at school. Their friendship is disrupted when Liz suddenly disappears from school after it is discovered that she is black and not welcome at the still segregated school. The story that follows is not only about Marlee finding her voice in many ways, but also about the courage it took for individuals in the Little Rock community to find their voices, come together, and stand up for what is right. The author successfully combines themes of friendship, family, and profound issues in our society with a light enough touch that makes the book a pleasure to read, and encourages the reader to reflect on all the issues the story presents.

Recommended by: Amy Friedman, The Learning Curve@Central Library

More Staff Picks

More books about school integration in Little Rock:

The Little Rock Nine Stand Up for Their Rights Little Rock Girl 1957Little Rock Nine
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