Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Julie Takes a Stand by Megan McDonald

Julie Takes a Stand is the second book about Julie, the American Girl from 1974. Julie participates in the wagon train east to commemorate the bicentennial and then runs for study body president for her elementary school. My sons, especially my 11-year-old, loved the book. American Girl really is historical fiction done right. It tells the story on a kid’s level, but still is as accurate as possible. The last few pages are historical background showing where they got the ideas for what happens to Julie in the book. Julie Takes a Stand makes an excellent family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 124
Pages Read in 2019: 31,734
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

Kaya: Smoke on the Wind by Janet Shaw

Kaya, a Native girl in 1764, experiences the death of a loved one and coming to terms with her own failings. American Girl books are everything right about historical fiction for kids. They tell the story in a way that gives the history as well as keeping it interesting for children. Kaya: Smoke on the Wind is no exception. I highly recommend this book to kids (boys and girls) of all ages. It makes a great read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 117
Pages Read in 2019: 30,047
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

Hula for the Home Front by Kirby Larson

The second book in the American Girl Nanea series, Hula for the Home Front sees Hawaii continuing to deal with the aftermath of Pearl Harbor through the win at Midway. The story addresses many very serious topics like worrying about an older brother enlisting in the military, all written in a way kids can understand. The last few pages give the history of what was happening during the time period of the book and a little more information about things mentioned in the book like Dogs for Defense. I highly recommend this book to kids who enjoy historical fiction. It makes a great family read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 115
Pages Read in 2019: 29,710
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

The Spirit of Aloha by Kirby Larson

The Spirit of Aloha is the first book about Nanea, American Girl’s 1941 doll. She’s a Hawaiian girl living on Oahu where her father works nights at Pearl Harbor. It’s easy to guess what the big event in her life, and the focus of this book, is. As with all American Girl books, it’s told simply so kids can understand, but still tackles hard things like rounding up those of Japanese descent and the bottle shortage that made it difficult to treat people in the hospital. I highly recommend this book to kids. It makes a great family read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 113
Pages Read in 2019: 29,194
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

Allies by Alan Gratz

Allies is written in the same style as Refugee by the same author. The point of view regularly changes as the storylines slowly converge. This one covers midnight to midnight on June 6th, 1944, more commonly known as D-Day. Some events are compressed to make it all happen within that 24 hour time frame (those changes are explained in the notes after the story). While Allies is aimed at middle grade kids, it doesn’t shy away from difficult topics including racism within the troops, the desire of some soldiers to kill Nazis to get back at them, and the many, many deaths on that fateful day. It’s very well written. I highly recommend this book.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 111
Pages Read in 2019: 28,817
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: Vine Review

Journey by James A. Michener

Just before the turn of the century gold was discovered in the Klondike. Journey tells the tale of a group of Englishmen plus one Irishman as they attempt to take an all-Canadian route rather than go through Alaska to find gold. Ill-prepared, they experience many hardships along the way. As with all Michener novels, sometimes you aren’t sure if it really is fiction or actually non-fiction because of the way he wrote. Even though it’s fiction, I still learned a lot about that gold rush. I recommend this book to historical fiction that is heavy on the historical fans.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 100
Pages Read in 2019: 25,574
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

The brave children of Norway are tasked with riding sleds filled with gold bullion literally under the noses of the occupying Germany troops in order to get the money to America and keep it from falling into enemy hands. The story is well-written and interesting. I highly recommend Snow Treasure to tweenage kids.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 81
Pages Read in 2019: 21,727
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian