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Find more Top 10 Historical Fiction for Youth
This year’s top 10 historical fiction titles will transport young people from ancient times to 1960s America, with stops in different countries and centuries. All were reviewed in Booklist between April 15, 2014, and April 1, 2015.
Black Dove, White Raven. By Elizabeth Wein. 2015. Disney/Hyperion, $17.99 (9781423183105). Gr. 8–11.
Deftly weaving in details about the 1935–36 Italo-Ethiopian War, Wein uses the essays, journal entries, and flight logs of teens Teo and Emilia to help tell the
stunning story of their attempt to flee Ethiopia. (See our starred review on p.00.)
Bo at Iditarod Creek. By Kirkpatrick Hill. Illus. by LeUyen Pham. 2014. Holt, $15.99 (9780805093520). Gr. 3–6.
Alaskan mining towns of the 1930s are the setting for this sequel to Bo at Ballard Creek (2013), winner of the Scott O’Dell Award. More adventures await Bo and her little brother, Graf, in this illustrated, episodic novel.
Forbidden. By Kimberley Griffiths Little. 2014. Harper, $17.99 (9780062194978). Gr. 9–12.
In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, almost 4,000 years ago, lives Jayden’s tribe, believers in one God. Life seems preordained for Jayden, but with a few twists of fate, she finds herself on a perilous—inner and outer—journey.
Gone Crazy in Alabama. By Rita Williams-Garcia. 2015. Amistad, $16.99 (9780062215871). Gr. 5–8.
The Gaither sisters visit their extended family in Alabama—but this family is tied up in knots. Full of personal drama, the story also introduces the complex, entwined southern heritage of whites and African and Native Americans.
The Madman of Piney Woods. By Christopher Paul Curtis. 2014. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780545156646). Gr. 5–8.
This companion to Elijah of Buxton (2007), a Newbery Honor book, is set in 1901 Canada, where African Canadian Benji and Irish Canadian Red both have intriguing encounters with a strange hermit living in the forest.
Mending Horses. By M. P. Barker. 2014. Holiday, $17.95 (9780823429486). Gr. 6–10.
After Irish immigrant Daniel is accused of stealing a horse, he heads out on the road with two friends, one of them a girl in disguise. A skillful evocation of race, class, and gender in nineteenth-century New England.
The Paper Cowboy. By Kristin Levine. 2014. Putnam, $16.99 (9780399163289). Gr. 5–8.
This powerful story looks at 1950s life, when tensions over communism were running high. Twelve-year-old Tommy, a bully from an unhappy home, ruins a man’s livelihood with a false accusation but then feels guilty enough to try and make amends.
Revolution. By Deborah Wiles. 2014. illus. Scholastic, $19.99 (9780545106078). Gr. 6–9.
In this second book in the Sixties Trilogy, the action shifts to Greenwood, Mississippi, focusing on Freedom Summer and its effects on the town. Illustrated with outstanding photos, period artwork, and snippets of songs.
Vango: Between Sky and Earth. By Timothee de Fombelle. Tr. by Sarah Ardizzone. 2014. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763671969). Gr. 9–12.
Vango’s life is a mystery, but readers will follow him as he flees Paris and travels across Europe by foot, train, and even airship, with a variety of pursuers close behind. A compelling, colorful, and page-turning adventure.
X. By Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon. 2015. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763669676). Gr. 9–12.
The third daughter of Malcolm X, with the award-winning author Magoon, writes a painfully candid, fictionalized biography of her late father, one of the seminal figures of the 1960s. Satisfying and never simplistic.
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