Click on a grade below to see a list of suggested historical fiction books for that level.
New Historical Fiction
Reading Level: Ages 9 - 12
In 1859 an orphaned eleven-year-old girl arrives in Chicago hoping to stay with her only living relative, Aunt Kitty. Her aunt prefers that Nell reside at the Chicago Home for the Friendless. And no wonder. There's bad blood between Kitty and Nell's family and Aunt Kitty is busy being the first woman detective for the Pinkerton Agency. Her aunt uses elaborate disguises in her undercover work as she solves murders and thefts and attempts to thwart an assassination. If Nell proves to be an able assistant perhaps her aunt will let her stay. Hannigan's fast paced novel combines adventure, humor, and history along with codes for readers to solve.
Meet author Kate Hannigan at the library on January 9th.
Reading Level: Grades K - 5
Ella Mae needs new shoes so her mother takes her to the town shoe store. After waiting while a white girl tries on pair after pair of shoes Ella May is shocked to learn that she is not allowed to touch any shoes until after she buys them. Although she likes her new shoes, the humiliation of the shopping trip gnaws at her until she and her sister come up with a plan to bring a true shoe store experience to all her neighbors.
Reading Level: Grades 1 - 3
During WWII the people of the Nazi occupied Danish town of Gilleleje helped 1,700 Jews escape to Sweden. This book tells the story of those brave residents and one night in particular when they had to figure out a new way to lead an escaping family to the ships that would take them to safety.
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6
In 1904, 11-year-old Frances and her younger brother Harold are sent on an orphan train heading to Kansas from New York. On the train they meet Jack, whose family could not afford to keep him. When they hear rumors about horrible conditions that await them in Kansas, the three children jump the train. They meet up with Alexander, a boy who has escaped from a work farm and set up his own "kids-only" town called Wanderville. There they find happiness until the unthinkable happens.
This is the first in a series of historical fiction.
Meet author Wendy McClure at the iRead kick-off on January 10.
Reading Level: Grade 6 & up
Written in verse from alternating viewpoints, this book gives the reader many different perspectives on the creation of the Panama Canal over a hundred years ago. We hear from howler monkeys, Theodore Roosevelt, a Cuban immigrant named Mateo, the trees, and many others who played a role in this large undertaking that connected the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.