Category Archives: Historical Fiction

The Big Break by Megan McDonald

An expanded version of the original first Julie book, The Big Break is all about the 1974 American Girl doll. The story is well-written and has lots of little callouts to the time period. The last couple pages give non-fiction information about life as Julie would’ve experienced it and explains why certain things were included (like Julie struggling with her parents’ divorce and working to get on the boy’s basketball team at school). I recommend this book to kids who enjoy American Girl books. It makes an excellent family read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 17
Pages Read in 2020: 4372
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Vine Review

Kit: Read All About It! by Valerie Tripp

Kit is the American Girl doll from 1934. In Kit: Read All About It!, her first book, she has to deal with her father’s job loss, her home becoming a boardinghouse, and that her friend’s family doesn’t seem to be affected by the Great Depression. It’s great historical fiction for middle grade age kids. The end gives some extra factual information about the Depression and how life was in the early 1930s. I recommend this book for kids who like history.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 13
Pages Read in 2020: 3570
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction

Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley

Scarlett is really long, but in a good way. Even though it is written by someone other than Margaret Mitchell, the author captured the essence of Scarlett O’Hara perfectly. The book follows Scarlett as she meets more of her family in America, goes to Ireland, and finally grows up. I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Gone With the Wind.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 2
Pages Read in 2020: 1224
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Good Luck, Ivy! by Lisa Yee

Good Luck, Ivy! focuses on Ivy, the best friend of the 1974 American Girl doll, Julie. Ivy is a Chinese-American gymnast who has to make a hard choice between going to her family reunion (and eating Chinese food… again) or going to her gymnastics tournament (and risk falling off the beam… again). As with all American Girl books, it’s historical fiction written in a way that really interests kids. I highly recommend this book to both girls and boys.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 125
Pages Read in 2019: 31,819
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Filed under Children, Historical Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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