Historical Fiction for Children
Bartone, Elisa. Peppe the Lamplighter. B293p
Peppe's father is upset when he learns that Peppe has taken a job lighting the gas street lamps in his New York City neighborhood.
Benchley, Nathaniel. Sam, the Minuteman. B457sa
An easy-to-read account of Sam and his father fighting as minutemen against the British in the Battle of Lexington.
Brenner, Barbara. Wagon Wheels. B8382w
Shortly after the Civil War a black family travels to Kansas to take advantage of the free land offered through the Homestead Act.
Bridges, Shirin Yim. Ruby’s wish. B8513r
In China, at a time when few girls are taught to read or write, Ruby dreams of going to the university with her brothers and male cousins.
Bruchac, Joseph. Crazy Horse’s Vision. B886cr
A story based on the life of the dedicated young Lakota boy who grew up to be one of the bravest defenders of his people.
Bunting, Eve. Gleam and Glow. B943gl
After his home is destroyed by war, eight-year-old Viktor finds hope in the survival of two very special fish.
Cohen, Barbara. Molly's Pilgrim. C6782m
Told to make a doll like a Pilgrim for the Thanksgiving display at school, Molly's Jewish mother dresses the doll as she herself dressed before leaving Russia to seek religious freedom--much to Molly's embarrassment.
Collier, John. The Backyard. C6998b
A child imagines what has taken place in his backyard, from the present all the way back to the creation of the world.
Cooney, Barbara. Hattie and the Wild Waves. C7754h
A young girl from Brooklyn, New York enjoys her summer at the beach where she can paint and listen to the wild waves.
Crews, Donald. Bigmama’s. 921 C927b
Visiting Bigmama's house in the country, young Donald Crews finds his relatives full of news and the old place and its surroundings just the same as the year before.
Engle, Margarita. Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba. M2962t.
Escaping from Nazi Germany to Cuba in 1939, a young Jewish refugee discovers that the Nazi darkness is never far away.
Esbaum, Jill. Ste-e-e-e-eamboat A-comin! E741s
The townfolk of a small village on the banks of the upper Mississippi come vividly alive at the sound of a whistle and the holler of "Ste-e-e-e-eamboat a-comin'!"
Flournoy, Valerie. Tanya’s Reunion. F6433ta
Tanya learns about the history of the farm in Virginia where Grandma grew up.
Gerrard, Roy. Wagons West. G378w
A rhyming story of a family's move by wagon train between Missouri and Oregon in the 1850's and their daughter's role in outwitting cattle thieves.
Hall, Donald. Ox-Cart man. H175o
Describes the day-to-day life throughout the changing seasons of an early 19th-century New England family.
Hancock, Sibyl. Old Blue. H235o
An old steer that likes to sleep around the campfire with the cowboys leads the rest of the cattle on a trail drive.
Hegamin, Tony. Most Loved In All The World. H462m
Mama is an agent on the Underground Railroad. She teaches her daughter the value of freedom through a gift of love and sacrifice.
Heide, Florence Parry. Sami and the Time of the Troubles. H465sa
A ten-year-old Lebanese boy goes to school, helps his mother with chores, plays with his friends, and lives with his family in a basement shelter when bombings occur and fighting begins on his street.
Hiser, Berniece T. The Adventure of Charlie and His Wheat-straw Hat : A Memorat. H6734a
As money is short in seven-year-old Charlie's Appalachian home during the Civil War and there is not enough to buy the straw hat that Charlie wants to wear to school, he and his grandmother decide to make a hat themselves.
Hopkinson, Deborah. Apples to Oregon. H797a
A pioneer father transports his beloved fruit trees and his family to Oregon in the mid-nineteenth century. Based loosely on the life of Henderson Luelling.
Howard, Elizabeth Fitzgerald. Virgie Goes to School With Us Boys. H848v
In the post-Civil War South, a young African American girl is determined to prove that she can go to school just like her older brothers.
Johnson, Jane. Bertie on the Beach. J673b
Bertie goes with his English Victorian family to the beach, seems to do nothing right, and ends up watching some clowns who kindly take him onto the stage to watch.
Kinsey-Warnock, Natalie. The Canada Geese Quilt. K561c
Worried that the coming of a new baby and her grandmother's serious illness will change the warm familiar life on her family's Vermont farm, ten-year-old Ariel combines her artistic talent with her grandmother's knowledge to make a very special quilt.
Kroll, Steven. Oh, what a Thanksgiving! K937oh
David, a boy who thinks modern Thanksgivings are boring, imagines being at Plymouth Colony and celebrating the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims.
Levine, Ellen. Henry's Freedom Box. L6649h
A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.
Levinson, Nancy Smiler. Snowshoe Thompson. 921 T473l
One winter John Thompson skis across the Sierra Nevada Mountains and creates a path upon which mail and people may travel, thus earning his nickname "Snowshoe Thompson.”
Lyon, George Ella. Cecil’s Story. L991c
A boy thinks about the possible scenarios that exist for him at home if his father goes off to fight in the Civil War.
McDonald, Megan. The Potato Man. M1354p
Grandpa tells stories of the fruit and vegetable huckster in his childhood neighborhood, a man he learns to appreciate after a rocky start.
MacLachlan, Patricia. Three Names. M1615th
Great-grandfather reminisces about going to school on the prairie with his dog Three Names.
McGill, Alice. Molly Bannaky. M144m
Relates how Benjamin Banneker's grandmother journeyed from England to Maryland in the late seventeenth century, worked as an indentured servant, began a farm of her own, and married a freed slave.
McKissack, Patricia C. Goin’ Someplace Special. M1588g
In segregated 1950s Nashville, a young African American girl braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town: the public library.
Mochizuki, Ken. Baseball Saved Us. M688b
A Japanese American boy learns to play baseball when he and his family are forced to live in an internment camp during World War II, and his ability to play helps him after the war is over.
Monjo, F.N. The Drinking Gourd. M7445d
Sent home alone for misbehaving in church, Tommy discovers that his house is a station on the underground railroad.
Oberman, Sheldon. The Always Prayer Shawl. O122a
A prayer shawl is handed down from grandfather to grandson in this story of Jewish tradition and the passage of generations.
Olson, Arielle North. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter. O524l
When her father's return to a Maine lighthouse is delayed by a severe storm, Miranda must keep the light going despite brutal weather and her own illness.
Park, Frances. My Freedom Trip: A Child’s Escape From North Korea. P2354m
Based on the life of the author's mother, this is the story of her escape from North Korea.
Pennypacker, Sara. Sparrow Girl. P416s
When China's leader declares war on sparrows in 1958, everyone makes loud noise in hopes of chasing the hungry birds from their land except for Ming-Li, a young girl whose compassion and foresight prevent a disaster.
Polacco, Patricia. Pink and Say. P762pi
Say Curtis describes his meeting with Pinkus Aylee, a black soldier, during the Civil War, and their capture by Southern troops.
Reuter, Elisabeth. Best Friends. R4474j
Lisa and Judith, one German and the other Jewish, are best friends, until the Nazi propaganda machine at school declares that "Jews cause all the problems in Germany!"
Ringgold, Faith. Tar Beach. R5795t
A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. Based on the author's quilt painting of the same name.
Sandin, Joan. The Long Way to a New Land. S2168l
Carl Erik journeys with his family from Sweden to America during the famine of 1868.
Sandin, Joan. The Long Way Westward. S2168lw
Relates the experiences of two young brothers and their family, immigrants from Sweden, from their arrival in New York through the journey to their new home in Minnesota.
Santiago, Chiori. Home to Medicine Mountain. S235h
Two young Maidu Indian brothers sent to live at a government-run Indian residential school in California in the 1930s find a way to escape and return home for the summer.
Say, Allen. Grandfather’s Journey. S273g
A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather's journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.
Shea, Pegi Deitz. The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee’s Story. S5386w
A young girl in a Thai refugee camp finds the story within herself to create her own pa'ndau.
Sisulu, Elinor. The Day Gogo Went to Vote: South Africa, April 1994. S6237d
Thembi and her great-grandmother go together to vote on the momentous day when black South Africans are allowed to vote for the first time.
Smith, William Jay. Ho for a Hat! S664h
A young boy and his dog observe and try on a variety of hats throughout history.
Stanley, Diane. Saving Sweetness. S787s
The sheriff of a dusty western town rescues Sweetness, an unusually resourceful orphan, from nasty old Mrs. Sump and her terrible orphanage.
Talbott, Hudson. We’re Back! : A Dinosaur’s Story. T142w
Creatures from prehistoric time travel to the twentieth century and create excitement at the Museum of Natural History in New York.
Thomas, Joyce Carol. I Have Heard of a Land. T4585i
Describes the joys and hardships experienced by an African-American pioneer woman who staked a claim for free land in the Oklahoma territory.
Tompert, Ann. Jade Horse the Cricket and the Peach Stone.T6622ja
A boy overcomes a series of obstacles to bring a gift to the emperor in this tale set in ancient China.
Topooco, Eusebio. Waira’s First Journey. T675w
An Aymara Indian girl has many new experiences and learns more about the history of her people as she and her parents make the long journey from their home in the mountains of Bolivia to the market in Topojo.
Tunnell, Michael O. Mailing May. T9265m
In 1914, because her family cannot afford a train ticket to her grandmother's town, May gets mailed and rides the mail car on the train to see her grandmother.
Turner, Ann Warren. Katie’s Trunk. T944k
Katie, whose family is not sympathetic to the rebel soldiers during the American Revolution, hides under the clothes in her mother's wedding trunk when they invade her home.
Van Leeuwen. Across the Wide Dark Sea: The Mayflower Journey. V259ac
A boy and his family endure a difficult nine-week journey across the ocean and survive the first winter at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts.
Wahl, Jan. I Met a Dinosaur. W136im
After a visit to a museum of natural history, a young girl begins to see dinosaurs everywhere.
Wisniewski, David. Sundiata: Lion King of Mali. 966.2 W815s
The story of Sundiata, who overcame physical handicaps, social disgrace, and strong opposition to rule Mali in the thirteenth century.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Coming On Home Soon. W898c
It’s war time, and women are needed to fill the men's jobs. Ada Ruth and her grandma keep up their daily routine.
Ziefert, Harriet. A New Coat for Anna. Z653n
Even though there is no money, Anna's mother finds a way to make Anna a badly needed winter coat.
Historical Fiction for Young Adults
Anderson, Joan. 1787. A546s
As James Madison's aide during the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, young Jared Mifflin experiences a summer of adventure.
Avi. The Fighting Ground. A957f
Thirteen-year-old Jonathan goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the real war is being fought within himself.
Avi. Something Upstairs: A Tale of Ghosts. A957s
When he moves from Los Angeles to Providence, Rhode Island, Kenny discovers that his new house is haunted by the spirit of a black slave boy
Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. A957t
As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.
Beatty, Patricia. Jayhawker. B3698ja
In the early years of the Civil War teenage Kansan farm boy Lije Tulley becomes a Jayhawker.
Beatty, John. Who Comes to King’s Mountain? B3697wh
Living in the South Carolina hills in 1780, a young Scottish boy, whose own family is divided between Loyalist and rebel, must decide for himself which side he will follow.
Benchley, Nathaniel. A Necessary End. B457n
A young man's diary reveals the fears, frustrations, and humor which filled his three years in the Navy during World War II.
Blos, Joan. Brothers of the Heart: A Story of the Old Northwest, 1938-1838. B656b
Fourteen-year-old Shem spends six months in the Michigan wilderness alone with a dying Indian woman, who helps him to survive and mature.
Blos, Joan. A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-1832. B656g
The journal of a 14-year-old girl records daily events in her small New Hampshire town, her father's remarriage, and the death of her best friend.
Boyd, James. Drums. B789d
Johnny Fraser, the son of Scottish immigrants now living in North Carolina, goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and has adventures on both sides of the Atlantic.
Buss, Fran Leeper. Journey of the Sparrows. B9812j
Maria and her brother and sister, Salvadoran refugees, are smuggled into the United States in crates and try to eke out a living in Chicago with the help of a sympathetic family.
Cavanna, Betty. Ruffles and Drums. C377ru
Devoted to the revolutionary cause, sixteen-year-old Sarah finds it difficult to accept the presence of a young British officer convalescing in their Concord house.
Clapp, Patricia. I’m Deborah Sampson: A Soldier of the American Revolution. C589i
Relates the experiences of the woman who disguised herself as a man in order to enlist and fight in the American Revolution.
Clapp, Patricia. Witches’ Children: A Story of Salem. C589w
During the winter of 1692, when the young girls of Salem suddenly find themselves subject to fits of screaming and strange visions, some believe that they have seen the devil and are the victims of witches.
Collier, James Lincoln. The Bloody Country. C6997b
In the mid-eighteenth century a family moves from Connecticut to Pennsylvania and becomes involved in the property conflict between the two states.
Collier, James Lincoln. My Brother Sam Is Dead. C6997my
Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town.
Collier, James Lincoln. With Every Drop of Blood: A Novel of the Civil War. C6997wi
While trying to transport food to Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War, fourteen-year-old Johnny is captured by a black Union soldier.
Conrad, Pam. My Daniel. C754m
Ellie and Stevie learn about a family legacy when their grandmother tells them stories of her brother's historical quest for dinosaur bones on their Nebraska farm.
Conrad, Pam. Prairie Songs. C754p
Louisa's life in a loving pioneer family on the Nebraska prairie is altered by the arrival of a new doctor and his beautiful, tragically frail wife.
Cummings, Betty Sue. Hew Against the Grain. C9695h.
A young girl whose home is on the Virginia-West Virginia border loses her will to live after she becomes a victim of the cruelties of civil war.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons go to Birmingham--1963. C9785w 1995
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.
Edwards, Sally. George Midgett’s War. E261g
A fourteen-year-old and his father to set out for Valley Forge with supplies for Washington's army.
Fast, Howard. April Morning. F251a
The story of one day in the life of a young American boy in colonial Lexington, the day on which he joined the militia and saw his father shot down by the British.
Field, Rachel. Calico Bush. F455c
In 1743, thirteen-year-old Marguerite Ledoux travels to Maine as the indentured servant of a family that regards her as little better than the Indians that threaten them.
Fleischman, Paul. Bull Run. F5961bu
Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys, and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.
Forrester, Sandra. Sound the Jubilee. F7295s
A slave and her family find refuge on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, during the Civil War.
Fox, Paula. The Slave Dancer. F793s
Kidnapped by the crew of an Africa-bound ship, a thirteen-year-old boy discovers to his horror that he is on a slaver and his job is to play music for the exercise periods of the human cargo.
Fritz, Jean. Brady. F919b
A young Pennsylvania boy takes part in the pre-Civil War anti-slavery activities.
Geras, Adele. Voyage. G358v
Relates the experiences of a group of Jewish young people in the early 20th century as they journey from their homes in Eastern Europe to the United States in search of a new life.
Greene, Betty. Summer of My German Soldier. G7985s
Sheltering an escaped German prisoner of war is the beginning of some shattering experiences for a 12-year-old Jewish girl in Arkansas.
Hansen, Joyce. Out From This Place. H2497o
A fourteen-year-old black girl tries to find a fellow ex-slave who had joined the Union army during the Civil War during the confusing times after the emancipation of the slaves.
Hansen, Joyce. Which Way Freedom? H2497w
Obi escapes from slavery during the Civil War, joins a black Union regiment, and soon becomes involved in the bloody fighting at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.
Herman, Charlotte. A Summer on Thirteenth Street. H5503s
World War II affects Shirley Frances Cohen and her buddy Morton, Manny who joins the army, their parents, a German immigrant suspected of being a spy, and the other s.
Hiser, Berniece T. The Adventure of Charlie and His Wheat-Straw Hat: A Memorat. H6734a
As money is short in seven-year-old Charlie's Appalachian home during the Civil War, he and his grandmother decide to make a hat themselves.
Hooks, William H., Circle of Fire. H7845c
Shortly before Christmas, 1936, eleven-year-old Harrison overhears a notorious local bigot planning a Ku Klux Klan raid on a band of Irish tinkers and realizes he must do something.
Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils. H941a
Set in southern Illinois where Jethro Creighton is growing into manhood as his brothers and a beloved teacher leave to fight in the Union and Confederate armies.
Hunt, Irene. No Promises in the Wind. H941n
A fifteen-year-old boy struggles to survive and come to terms with inner conflicts in the desperate world of the Depression.
Keehn, Sally M. I Am Regina. K262i
Ten-year-old Regina's life changes forever when her father and brother are killed. Regina is captured by Allegheny Indians. Befriended by kindly Nonschetto, Regina begins her new life.
Keith, Harold. Rifles for Watie. K28r 1987
Jeff Bussey, a young Union volunteer, is sent to spy on Confederate Cherokee raiders.
Lester, Julius. This Strange New Feeling. L642s
One of the most complex periods in American history is illuminated by the love stories of three couples and their fights for freedom from slavery.
Levitin, Sonia. Annie’s Promise. L666an
Her experiences at a summer camp in the California mountains in 1945 give twelve-year-old Annie Platt new insight into her overprotective family of German-Jewish immigrants.
Levitin, Sonia. Journey to America. L660jo
A Jewish family fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938 endures innumerable separations before they are once again united.
Levitin, Sonia. Roanoke: A Novel of the Lost Colony. L666ro
An English youth and an Indian girl are caught up in the events leading to the mysterious disappearance of the colony at Roanoke Island.
Levitin, Sonia. Silver Days. L666si
Escaping from Hitler's Germany, a prosperous Jewish family lives in a New York City tenement until Papa decides to move the family to California.
Levoy Myron. Alan and Naomi. L667a
In New York of the 1940's a boy tries to befriend a girl traumatized by Nazi brutality in France.
Lingard, Joan. Between Two Worlds. L755b
Arriving in their new homeland, Canada, after World War II, a family of Latvian refugees is beset by serious illness and financial hardship, and the three children must go out and find jobs.
Mays, Lucinda. The Other Shore. M4742o
In 1911 Gabriella lives two lives, one in an American high school and the other with her immigrant family in Little Italy on New York's Lower East Side.
Mazer, Harry. The Last Mission. M476l
In 1944 a 15-year-old Jewish boy tells his family he will travel in the West but instead, enlists in the United States Air Corps and is subsequently taken prisoner by the Germans.
Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels. M9962fn
Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.
Myers, Walter Dean. The Glory Field. M9962gl
Follows a family's two hundred and forty-one year history away from and back to the small plot of land in South Carolina that they call the Glory Field.
Nelson, Theresa. And One for All. N431a
Geraldine's close relationship with her older brother Wing and his friend Sam changes when Wing joins the Marines and Sam leaves for Washington to join a peace march.
Nixon, Joan Lowery. A Dangerous Promise. N736dp
After being taken in by Captain Taylor and his wife in Kansas, twelve-year-old Mike Kelly and his friend Todd Blakely join the Union army as musicians and see the horrors of war firsthand.
Nixon, Joan Lowery. Land of Dreams. N736ld
In 1902 sixteen-year-old Kristin travels with her family from Sweden to a new life in Minnesota, where she finds herself frustrated by the restrictions placed on girls.
Nixon, Joan Lowery. Land of Hope. N736l
Rebekah, a fifteen-year-old Jewish immigrant arriving in New York City in 1902, almost abandons her dream of getting an education when she is forced to work in a sweatshop.
Nixon, Joan Lowery. Land of Promise. N736la
In 1902 fifteen-year-old Rose travels from Ireland to join family members in Chicago, where she must deal with her father's drinking and her brothers' dangerous involvement in politics.
O’Dell, Scott. Sarah Bishop. O 23sa
Left alone after the deaths of her father and brother and fleeing from the British who seek to arrest her, Sarah Bishop struggles to shape a new life for herself in the wilderness.
O’Dell, Scott. Sing Down the Moon. O23s
A young Navajo girl recounts the events of 1864 when her tribe was forced to march to Fort Sumner as prisoners of the white soldiers.
O’Dell, Scott. Streams to the River, River to the Sea. O23st
A young Indian woman, accompanied by her infant and cruel husband, experiences joy and heartbreak when she joins the Lewis and Clark Expedition seeking a way to the Pacific.
O’Dell, Scott. The 290. O 23tw
A shipyard apprentice finds high adventure aboard the S.S. Alabama, a Confederate ship which sails the Atlantic destroying Union vessels.
Paterson, Katherine. Lyddie. P2964l
Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s.
Reeder, Carolyn. Moonshiner’s Son. R327m
As he works with his father making moonshine in the remote hills of Virginia during Prohibition, twelve-year-old Tom learns about hard work and honesty.
Richter, Conrad. The Light in the Forest. R535l
Four-year-old John Butler is captured by the Delaware Indians. After 11 years among the Delaware people, he is forced to return to his original home and parents by the Boquet military expedition of 1765. But his deep love for and loyalty to his Indian parents and his cousin Half Arrow is his reason for rejecting the white man's civilization.
Rinaldi, Ann. The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre. R5782f
Fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the Boston household of John and Abigail Adams, is caught up in the colonists' unrest that eventually escalates into the massacre of March 5, 1770.
Rinaldi, Ann. In My Father’s House. R5782i
For two sisters growing