Category Archives: Historical Fiction

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

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

The Woodlawn family live in pioneer times Wisconsin. Caddie has been allowed to run wild with her brothers leading to lots of adventures. It’s a cute story and easy for younger kids to read. I recommend it people of all ages. It makes a great family read aloud.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 54
Pages Read in 2019: 14,452
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

Soft Rain by Cornelia Cornelissen

Soft Rain is the story of the Trail of Tears told from the point of view of a young Cherokee girl. It is, as would be expected, very sad, though there are several hopeful points. It’s aimed at middle grade kids so it is simple and reads fast. I highly recommend it to kids who are learning about the Trail of Tears.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 42
Pages Read in 2019: 10,918
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

Waiting for the Rain by Sheila Gordon

Tengo is black, Frikkie is white. They are childhood friends in apartheid South Africa. As Tengo grows, he wants to get an education and be something other than a low-paid farmhand. Frikkie just wants to run the farm and is taught by his family to be racist while thinking he is not racist because he does things like giving cast-offs to the blacks (this rang very true to me as I have met white South Africans today with that exact attitude). Time passes and protests and things begin to happen in the years before the end of apartheid. The book, ultimately, is about friendship even when you don’t understand each other and about anger that leads to change. I recommend it to middle school age kids learning about apartheid.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 41
Pages Read in 2019: 10,803
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz