New Historical Fiction

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Grave Robber's Secret by Anna Myers

 Reading Level: Grades 5-9

 Robby Hare's father decides that he will rob graves and sell the corpses to the medical school. His father forces Robby to help him with his grisly new venture. Although sickened by the task, Robby becomes fascinated with the study of medicine itself and one doctor takes an interest in the bright boy. Life changes when Mr. Burke and his daughter, Martha, come to live in the Hare family boardinghouse. Robby finds a friend in Martha and does not have to rob graves, but something much worse may be taking place in his home.

 The story is based loosely on real-life killers, Hare and Burke who sold the corpses to medical schools in Scotland in the 1820s. This is an interesting historical glimpse into the beginning of medical education.

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The Brave Cowboy by Joan Walsh Anglund

Reading Level: Ages 3+

Originally published in 1959, this small book is sure to warm your heart. Stark black and white illustrations of a young cowboy contrast wonderfully with red drawings of imaginary wild animals, Indians, and outlaws that our hero must face. Great for any imaginative reader.

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Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Reading Level: Grades 6+

Doug Swieteck and his lousy older brother just moved to a brand-new town that will be probably just as lousy as the old one - and with less baseball. And, just like in his old town, everyone who's anyone (teachers, the police, his dad, Lil Spicer down the street) thinks that Doug's just a skinny good-for-nothing kid who won't ever amount to anything except for trouble.

Despite Lil and Doug's initial dislike of each other, they begin to bond nonetheless. In his friendship with Lil, Doug manages to deal with his lousy situation, including his abusive father and older brother just back from Vietnam. Doug also finds solace in the public library's Audubon bird plates, first tracing the shapes and feathers with his fingers and then learning to draw them, with the help of a kind librarian.

Part laugh-out-loud, part tear-jerker, all American coming of age story, Okay For Now is not one to miss.

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