Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

Books Set in the 1960s

Books Set in the 1960s


Countdown Countdown (1962)
Wiles, Deborah
Franny Chapman just wants some peace. But that’s hard to get when her best friend is feuding with her, her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting an old war in his head. Her saintly younger brother is no help, and the cute boy across the street only complicates things. Worst of all, everyone is walking around just waiting for a bomb to fall. It’s 1962, and it seems the whole country is living in fear.
Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam (1960s)
Kadohata, Cynthia
Trained to sniff out bombs and traps, Cracker the German Shepherd is prepared for action in Vietnam, but when she is teamed up with Rick, a young man whose family doubts he can handle infantry life, the new soldier must find a way to build trust between the two so that they can do their jobs well and make it back alive. A Junior Library Guild selection
Dead End in Norvelt Dead End in Norvelt (1962)
Gantos, Jack
In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.
Newbery Medal winner 2012
Criss Cross Criss Cross (1960s)
Perkins, Lynne Rae
Teenagers in a small town in the 1960s experience new thoughts and feelings, question their identities, connect, and disconnect as they search for the meaning of life and love. Newbery Medal Winner 2006
Gentle’s Holler Gentle’s Holler (1960s)
Madden, Kerry
In the early 1960s, twelve-year-old songwriter Livy Two Weems dreams of seeing the world beyond the Maggie Valley, North Carolina, holler where she lives in poverty with her parents and eight brothers and sisters, but understands that she must put family first. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2008-2009, 6-8 Nominee
Glory Be Glory Be (1964)
Scattergood, Augusta
In the summer of 1964 as she is about to turn twelve, Glory’s town of Hanging Moss, Mississippi, is beset by racial tension when town leaders close her beloved public pool rather than desegregating it.
Kaleidoscope Eyes Kaleidoscope Eyes (1968)
Bryant, Jennifer
In 1968, with the Vietnam War raging, thirteen-year-old Lyza inherits a project from her deceased grandfather, who had been using his knowledge of maps and the geography of Lyza’s New Jersey hometown to locate the lost treasure of Captain Kidd. A Junior Library Guild selection
Kizzy Ann Stamps Kizzy Ann Stamps (1963)
Watts, Jeri Hanel
Taking things in stride is not easy for Kizzy Ann, but with her border collie, Shag, at her side, she sets out to live a life as sweet as syrup on cornbread.
Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me (1969)
Marino, Nan
Frustrated with ten-year-old Muscle Man McGinty constantly telling lies, Tamara dreams of the day when it all catches up to him and the entire town sees him for who he is, but when an incredible event takes place in the summer of 1969, Tamara gains a new sense of spirit towards her fellow man that alters her outlook on life in the most surprising way.
One Crazy Summer One Crazy Summer (1968)
Williams-Garcia, Rita
In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2012-2013, 4-6 Nominee. A Junior Library Guild selection
The Rock and the River The Rock and the River (1968)
Magoon, Kekla
In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father’s nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party. 2010 Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award; 2010 ALA Notable Books for Children
Sources of Light Sources of Light (1962)
McMullan, Margareth
Fourteen-year-old Samantha and her mother move to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962 after her father is killed in Vietnam, and during the year they spend there Sam encounters both love and hate as she learns about photography from a new friend of her mother’s and witnesses the prejudice and violence of the segregationists of the South. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2012-2013, 6-8 Nominee
This Means War This Means War (1962)
Wittlinger, Ellen
In 1962, when her best friend Lowell begins to hang around new friends who think girls are losers, Juliet, a fearful fifth-grader, teams up with bold, brave Patsy who challenges the boys to a series of increasingly dangerous contests.
A Thousand Never Evers A Thousand Never Evers (1963)
Burg, Shana
As the civil rights movement in the South gains momentum in 1963–and violence against African Americans intensifies–the black residents, including seventh-grader Addie Ann Pickett, in the small town of Kuckachoo, Mississippi, begin their own courageous struggle for racial justice. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2011-2012, 6-8 Nominee
Twerp Twerp (1960s)
Goldblatt, Mark
Returning after a week-long suspension from his 1960s Queens school, Julian accepts an offer from his English teacher to keep a journal and writes about the incident, which involved blowing up homemade fireworks, maintaining his record as the fastest kid in school and writing a disastrous love letter for a friend.
Uncle Andy's Uncle Andy’s (1962)
Warhola, James
The author describes a trip to see his uncle, the soon-to-be-famous artist Andy Warhol, and the fun that he and his family had on the visit.
War & Watermelon War & Watermelon (1969)
Wallace, Rich
As the summer of 1969 turns to fall in their New Jersey town, twelve-year-old Brody plays football in his first year at junior high while his older brother’s protest of the war in Vietnam causes tension with their father.
The Watson's Go to Birmingham--1963 The Watson’s Go to Birmingham–1963 (1963)
Curtis, Christopher Paul
The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963. Newbery Honor Book; Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book, 1996
The Wednesday Wars The Wednesday Wars (1967)
Schmidt, Gary D.
During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker’s classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.
Yankee Girl Yankee Girl (1964)
Rodman, Mary Ann
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When her FBI-agent father is transferred to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1964, eleven-year-old Alice wants to be popular but also wants to reach out to the one black girl in her class in a newly-integrated school.


Blowin' in the Wind Bob Dylan Puff the Magic Dragon Waking Up is Hard to Do Yellow Submarine
Max Said Yes The Woodstock Story Elvis Jimi : sounds like a rainbow : a story of the young Jimi Hendrix The Beatles were fab (and they were funny)


Marching for freedom : walk together, children, and don't you grow weary March on! : the day my brother Martin changed the world Freedom on the Menu Sit In
To the Mountaintop Miles to Go to Freedom The 1960s The 1960s
The 1960s Decade in Photos The 1960s Mods and Hippies The 1960s from the Vietnam War to Flower Power We March
We've got a job : the 1963 Birmingham Children's March I Have a Dream The Civil Rights Act of 1964 The Vietnam War
César : sí, se puede! = yes, we can! Jack's path of courage : the life of John F. Kennedy Mission Control This is Apollo Moonshot the Flight of Apollo 11


Sandy's circus : a story about Alexander Calder Fabulous a Portrait of Andy Warhol


Twelve rounds to glory : the story of Muhammad Ali Wilma unlimited : how Wilma Rudolph became the world's fastest woman You never heard of Sandy Koufax?! Clemente!


Peter, Paul & Mommy
All You Need is Love
All Together Now
Bedtime with the Beatles
Kidz Bop sings the Beatles
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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?





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
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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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