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Times Gone By Part II
Historical Fiction - A Selected Biography

Historical fiction takes children back in time, illuminates the past for them, and brings it vividly to life. Not only are children introduced to major events and figures through historical fiction but they also meet ordinary people and learn how they lived, what they believed and valued, and how they shaped and were shaped by their times. Historical fiction books are alive with adventure wherein children can visualize the sweep of history and discover how their present and future is connected to the people and events that came before.

The titles in TIMES GONE BY Part II are divided into specific eras. The individual entries within the sections are in chronological order beginning from prehistoric times to the present.

Prehistoric – 1700

Denzel, Justin
Boy of the painted cave
Although it is forbidden, Tao is determined to paint the animals he sees around him. (Older)

Dorris, Michael
Morning Girl
Twelve-year-old Morning Girl and her younger brother Star Boy tell of village life together during the year of 1492. (Older)

Bunting, Eve
I am the mummy Heb-Nefert
Now a mummy, Heb-Nefert remembers her life of privilege as the wife of the pharaoh’s brother in ancient Egypt. (Middle)

Park, Linda Sue
Single shard
Thirteen-year-old Tree-ear earns the chance to apprentice to the admired Korean potter Min. Local author. (Older)

Platt, Richard
Castle diary
When Tobias Burgess begins his duties as a page in his uncle’s castle, he also begins a diary complete with illustrations that give a detailed account of the castle’s residents. (Middle)

Blackwood, Gary
Shakespeare stealer
Widge knew that what his new master wanted him to do was wrong. Using the secret code of Charactery to copy Shakespeare’s Hamlet word for word was stealing, but what choice did he have? (Older)

Park, Linda Sue
Seesaw girl
Tradition forbids girls of noble families from going outside the family home until they marry, but ever-curious Jade Blossom finds a clever way to see beyond her narrow world. Local author. (Older)

1700 - 1800

Van Leeuwen, Jean
Across the wide dark sea
A young boy and his family and other immigrants endure a long and dangerous journey across the ocean on the Mayflower and bravely begin a settlement that becomes known as Plymouth Plantation. (Younger)

Fleming, Candace
The hatmaker's sign
After writing what he considers to be a perfect document (the U.S. Declaration of Independence), Thomas Jefferson becomes upset when Congress makes numerous changes. To help Jefferson deal with his hurt pride, Ben Franklin tells him a story about a hatmaker.  (Middle)

Borden, Louise
Sleds on Boston Common
Henry Price, a young American patriot, becomes upset that the British soldiers have taken over Boston Common and destroyed their sledding hill. On the day of his birthday,  with a new sled in hand, Henry bravely approaches General Thomas Gage and asks him to let the town children sled where they wish. (Middle)

Myers, Anna
The keeping room
With his father away fighting the British, Joey Kershaw is left with the responsibility of caring for his family during the Revolutionary War. When General Cornwallis and his men bring the war right to the Kershaw doorstep, Joey must deal with his feelings of war, violence, revenge, and even sympathy. (Older).

Walker, Sally
18 Penny Goose
The British soldiers were marching toward Letty’s house and she knew it was time to go and hide. Ma and Pa had packed the wagon full and now called for Letty to join them but how could she leave Solomon, her pet goose, behind? (Younger)

Bruchac, Joseph
Arrow over the door
An unexpected and historical meeting between a group of Quakers and the Indians who have surrounded them could become violent. Instead, it is resolved through mutual understanding and respect.  (Older)

Hansen, Joyce
The captive
When his father, an Ashanti chief, is betrayed and murdered, Kofi is sold into slavery and transported in chains to a Puritan farmer in Massachusetts. (Older)

1800 – 1860

Robinet, Harriette Gillem
Washington City is burning
When Tobias took Virginia out in the carriage, she had no idea she was running away -- no idea she would end up staying at the President’s house to serve Miss Dolley, and no idea she would be asked to help her own people escape to freedom. (Older)

Auch, Mary Jane
Journey to nowhere
In 1815, Remembrance “Mem” Nye and her family leave the comforts of their farm in Connecticut for the unknown perils of the wilderness in Western New York. In the midst of the journey through seemingly endless forests, Mem gets separated from her family and must learn  independence in order to survive and find her family. Local author. (Older)

Sanders, Scott Russell
Floating house
The McClure’s flatboat takes them down the Ohio River to Jeffersonville where they will settle and transform the boat into a house. (Younger)

Armstrong, Jennifer
Black-eyed Susan
Susie shares her love for the beauty and open space of the Dakota Territory with her mother who is homesick for Ohio and rarely goes outside their sod house. (Middle)

Glass, Andrew
The sweetwater run: The story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express
An adult Buffalo Bill Cody recalls his experiences as a teenage rider for the Pony Express and the events that shaped his life following the Civil War. (Younger)

Joosse, Barbara
Lewis and Papa
A father and son set off on a dangerous journey on the Santa Fe Trail, where they meet adventure and discover many things about each other. (Younger)

MacLachlan, Patricia
Sarah, plain and tall
Answering Papa’s ad for a new wife and mother for Caleb and Anna, Sarah leaves her beloved Maine seacoast to go west to the prairie. Will she stay? (Middle)

Tamar, Erika
The midnight train home
After riding the Orphan Train, the three O’Rourke children are separated and eleven-year-old Deidre is adopted by a minister and his wife. Sneaking out one night and boarding a midnight train, Deidre joins a vaudeville troupe in order to search out her family. (Older)

Van Leeuwen, Jean
Nothing here but trees
Life in the dense forest of Ohio is a challenge for a pioneer family who must clear the land for a cabin and a farm. (Younger)

Dadey, Debbie
Cherokee sister
Dressed in her friend’s clothes, Allie is mistaken for an Indian and forced to endure the Trail of Tears. (Older)

McCully, Emily
Bobbin girl
Ten-year-old Rebecca was happy to be able to work and help her family but work wasn’t always easy. Work at the mill was hard, rules were strict, and the conditions were sometimes dangerous. It wasn’t until wages were reduced and talk of a petition began that Rebecca was forced to decide for herself if justice was worth the risk of losing her job. (Younger)

Erdrich, Louise
The birchbark house
Rescued after a plague kills everyone on her island, a baby named Omakayas is adopted by a family from a neighboring tribe. (Older)

Giff, Patricia Reilly
Nory Ryan's Song
In 1845, a blight strikes the potatoes in the little village of Maidin Bay in Ireland. With the potatoes their only source of food and income, young Nory summons the courage to keep her family and neighbors alive while bravely hoping for a new beginning in America. (Older)

Helldorfer, Mary Claire
Hog music
When Lucy and her family move West, Aunt Liza sends her niece a birthday gift. By the time the box reaches Lucy, the gift has been transformed by the many people who have made the delivery possible. (Younger)

Paterson, Katherine
When Lyddie begins work in a textile mill, her goal is to save the family farm. Instead, she gains a sense of confidence and independence that will change her life. (Older)

Fleischman, Sid
Bandit's moon
What Annyrose wanted more than anything was to escape O.O. Mary’s barn and find her brother who had gone off north with the other gold diggers. But bad luck has a way of happening and instead of her brother, Annyrose became the traveling companion to the infamous, Mexican cutthroat Wakeen.  (Older)

DeFelice, Cynthia
The apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker
After his family dies of consumption in 1849, Lucas apprentices to a physician, who is also a dentist and an undertaker, and struggles to sort out the difference between science and superstition. (Older)

Kay, Verla
Gold fever
A pictorial view of the joys and hardships that took place during the California Gold Rush. (Younger)

Levitin, Sonia
Nine for California
Whether it’s hiccups or a buffalo stampede, there’s something in Mama’s bag of “everything we’ll need” to meet each crisis on the family’s journey to California in a crowded stagecoach. (Younger)

The barn
After their father is paralyzed by an accident, Ben and his older sister and brother struggle to build a barn by themselves, believing it may help him recover. (Older)

Karim, Roberta
Kindle me a riddle
The details of farm life during pioneer days are described in the riddles that a family shares throughout the day.  (Younger)

Moss, Marissa
Rachel's journal
During her family’s journey West with a wagon train, Rachel records their adventures using a book and pen that were parting gifts from her grandfather. (Middle)

Van Leeuwen, Jean
A Fourth of July on the plains
When the wagon train stops to celebrate the Fourth of July, Jesse and his friends surprise everyone with their rousing contribution to the festivities. (Younger)

Hathorn, Elizabeth
Sky sash so blue
A young slave girl offers her most prized possession, a sky blue sash, to help make her older sister’s wedding dress. In the end, the sash becomes the promise of freedom after the sister moves away. (Younger)

Hopkinson, Deborah
Under the quilt of night
In a mix of fact and folklore, the story traces the imagined journey of a slave girl and her family as they endure many hardships on their way to the freedom of the North. (Middle)

Johnston, Tony
The wagon
In the Carolinas a young black boy and his family sweat and struggle for their master until President Abe Lincoln writes some words. These words change the lives of slaves forever. (Younger)

Osborne, Mary Pope
Adaline Falling Star
With her Arapaho mother dead and her explorer father far away, Adaline is placed in the care of heartless relatives.  Her only hope for a better life is to run away into the wild and dangerous forest with only a mongrel dog for company.  (Older)

1861 – 1900

Fleischman, Paul
Bull Run
The first major battle of the Civil War is seen through the eyes of sixteen people, including a southern colonel, a Mississippi slave woman, the sister of a young soldier, and a photographer. (Older)

Polacco, Patricia
Pink and Say
If it weren't for Pinkus Aylee, a soldier of the 48th Colored, carrying and dragging Sheldon Russell Curtis to his Mama's home, Sheldon would have been left for dead. With Moe Moe Bay's help, both Pink and Sheldon, or Say, became stronger. When Pink started talking about "the sickness" and the need to return to camp, Say realized there was something he needed to tell Pink. The trouble was, he didn't know how. (Younger)

Reeder, Carolyn
Across the lines
Told alternatively from Edward’s and Simon’s points of view, the story explores the relationship between a boy and his slave and how it changes with the onset of the Civil War. Simon, a once dutiful servant to Edward, runs off to freedom when the Union Army invades Petersburg. (Older)

Ransom, Candice
The promise quilt
When Addie’s father leaves to become General Lee’s guide, Addie finds a way to remember him and fulfill his promise that she would be able to go to school and learn to read. (Younger)

Turner, Ann
Drummer boy
A thirteen-year-old boy hears Lincoln speak and is inspired to join the Union Army only to discover the terrible reality of the battlefield. (Middle)

Wisler, G. Clifton
The drummer boy of Vicksburg
Orion Howe, a 13-year-old drummer in the Union Army, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of Vicksburg. (Older)

Karr, Kathleen
The great turkey walk
Rustlers, locust swarms, rowdy soldiers, and friendly Indians are only some of what fifteen-year-old Simon encounters as he drives a flock of 1,000 turkeys from Missouri to Denver in hopes of making his fortune. (Older)

Winter, Jeanette
Klara's new world
Klara and her family decide to make the long and difficult boat journey from Sweden to America in search of a better life even though this means leaving behind family members and friends.  (Younger)

Roop, Peter and Connie
Good-bye for today
Keeping a journal while traveling on her father’s ship will preserve Laura’s memories of an interesting and, at times, terrifying experience. (Middle)

Howard, Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Virgie goes to school with us boys
Young Virgie is determined to make the seven-mile walk to join her older brothers at school. (Younger)

Bunting, Eve
Train to Somewhere
Marianne, her sister Nora, and twelve other orphans travel west with hopes of finding a home. (Younger).

Cross, Gillian
The great American elephant chase
Tad and Cissie cross half a continent with a large elephant in an attempt to save the animal from Hannibal Jackson, the villain who pursues them all the way to Nebraska.  (Older)

Duffy, James
Radical Red
Connor’s father is not pleased when she begins working for women’s rights. When her mother joins, their family changes forever. (Older)

Howard, Ellen
Gate in the wall
Emma's harsh life of poverty, hunger, and 10-hour workdays in the silk mill is completely changed when she gets a job on a canal boat and joins the world of the canal boat people. (Older)

Kay, Verla
Iron horses
Dramatic illustrations and rhythmic verse describe the building of the transcontinental railroad. (Younger)

McKissack, Patricia C
Run away home
In 1888, an African American girl, Sarah Crossman, sees a young Apache boy escape from a train that is taking him to a reservation. After the Crossman family nurses him back from swamp fever, he in return, helps them defend their farm against white supremacists. (Middle)

Ryan, Pam Munoz
Riding Freedom
Charlie (Charlotte) Parkhurst ran away from an orphanage and grew up to be a top notch stage coach driver, disguising her identity and posing as a man. Based on a true story. (Older)

DeClements, Barthe
The bite of the gold bug: A story of the Alaskan gold rush
In 1898, Bucky and his father make a long, arduous journey to Alaska to prospect for gold. What they encounter are insects, stormy seas, and treacherous mountain climbing with heavy packs on their backs. (Middle)

Holm, Jennifer
Our only May Amelia
With seven brothers in her tight-knit Finnish American family, May Amelia resents being told to act like a lady. She wants to have exciting adventures like her brothers. (Older)

McCully, Emily
An outlaw Thanksgiving
When their westbound train is stopped by a huge snowstorm, Clara and Mama unexpectedly end up spending Thanksgiving with the notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy. (Younger)

1900 - 1919

Taylor, Mildred
The well: David's story
In rural Mississippi, the Logan family shares their well water with black and white neighbors alike, but explosive tensions develop between the Logan boys and one of the nearby white families. (Older)

Hest, Amy
When Jessie came across the sea
In a small village in eastern Europe, thirteen-year-old Jessie is given a ticket to immigrate to America. Using the skills taught to her by the grandmother she left behind, Jessie stitches herself a new life. (Younger)

Ray, Mary Lyn
Basket moon
An eight-year-old boy diligently watches his father make baskets with the hopes that someday he can accompany his father on the monthly visits he makes to the city of Hudson to sell them. (Younger)

Say, Allen
Grandfather's journey
Three generations of the author's family are torn between their love for Japan and the United States. (Younger)

Partridge, Elizabeth
Clara and the Hoodoo man
When little Betsy becomes very sick, her older sister Clara takes a risk and asks for help from the herbal healer her mother calls the hoodoo man.  (Older)

Hurwitz, Johanna
Faraway summer
During the summer 1910, Dossi, a New York City Jewish girl, expects to spend the summer in her apartment. Instead, she goes on a Fresh Air Fund vacation to rural Vermont to stay with the Meades, a Christian family. It is an adventure for Dossi as she tries to befriend the Meade’s daughter while adjusting to the life in the rural community. (Older)

Tunnell, Michael
Mailing May
When her parents cannot afford a passenger train ticket for May to visit her grandmother in another town, her family eventually comes up with the creative idea to mail May parcel post, classified as a baby chick.  (Younger)


Bartone, Elisa
American too
Rosie finds a way to be a modern American girl while still fulfilling her immigrant parents’ desire to celebrate old country traditions. (Younger/Middle)

Lasky, Kathryn
Marven of the Great North Woods
When the influenza epidemic started to spread in Duluth, Minnesota young Marven’s parents sent him to a logging camp in French Canada. (Younger)

Hesse, Karen
Letters from Rifka
Separated from her family as they flee Russia to escape persecution, Rifka chronicles in letters to her cousin her struggles to join her family in America. (Older)

Borden, Louise
Good-bye, Charles Lindbergh
A young boy meets the famous aviator when, in an attempt to avoid the crowds, Lindbergh lands his plane in a small Mississippi farm field. (Middle)

Kroeger, Mary Kay
Even though his hero, Jack Dempsey, loses the big boxing match, Willie follows through with his promise to sell the Fight Extra newspaper. (Younger)

Mitchell, Magaree King
Uncle Jed's barbershop
Through family hardships and economic hard times, Uncle Jed never forgets his dream of owning a barbershop. (Younger)

Fuqua, Jonathon
In 1926, nine-year-old Darby writes a short article about racial equality and submits it to her small town newspaper in Marlboro County, South Carolina, unleashing the emotions and actions of the adults in town. (Older)


Adler, David
The Babe and I
During the hard times of the Great Depression, a young boy helps his family make ends meet after learning his father is out of work. While selling newspapers outside Yankee Stadium, he meets Babe Ruth whose victories he cries out everyday. (Younger)

Curtis, Christopher
Bud, not Buddy
Ten-year-old Bud searches for the man he believes to be his father, the talented H. E. Calloway. (Older)

DeFelice, Cynthia
Nowhere to call home
After her father commits suicide, Frankie decides that she would rather ride the rails with the hobos than live with her aunt. (Older)

Hesse, Karen
Out of the dust
The Oklahoma dust smothered everything Billie Jo loved. It choked the family farm, stole her mother and now threatened to rob Billie Jo of her dreams. (Older)

Rael, Elsa Okon
What Zeesie saw on Delancey Street
Seven-year-old Zeesie can’t decide what to do with her birthday money until she attends a package party where money is raised to help new immigrants. (Younger)

Ransom, Candice
Fire in the sky
Nine-year-old Stenny could think of nothing else but the Hindenburg airship that was to arrive in his hometown in New Jersey. But on May 5, 1937, no one, including Stenny, would soon forget the tragedy that would befall the Hindenburg. (Middle)

Reeder, Carolyn
Grandpa's mountain
Carrie’s grandfather is determined to stop the government from buying his land for a new national park. (Older)

Santiago, Chiori
Home to Medicine Mountain
Homesick for their family and traditions, two Native American brothers hop a freight train and escape from the harsh government-run boarding school where they have been sent.  (Younger)

Sorel, Edward
The Saturday kid
Leo daydreams of getting revenge on the neighborhood bully the way his Saturday morning movie heroes defeat evildoers, but it is Leo's own appearance in a newsreel that gives the bully his comeuppance. (Younger)

Turner, Ann
Dust for dinner
A family with two children struggle to keep their farm and to find jobs during the dust storms and the Great Depression. (Middle)


Ackerman, Karen
The night crossing
In 1938, the Nazi’s have begun to invade Austria and Clara’s Jewish family is no longer safe. Traveling by night, the family makes a perilous journey over the mountains to Switzerland carrying a few family heirlooms in their clothing. (Middle)

Borden, Louise
The little ships: The heroic rescue at Dunkirk in World War II
As World War II rages, a girl and her father join an armada of 800 ships to save British and French troops from the German army. (Younger)

Carey, Janet Lee
Molly's fire
Even though Molly and her mother received a telegram reporting that her father’s plane had been shot down, Molly refuses to believe her father is dead. While her grandmother grieves, Molly keeps herself busy looking for signs. (Older)

Giff, Patricia Reilly
Lily's crossing
World War II has changed everything for Lily. Margaret and her family moved to Michigan, Poppy moved overseas to an unknown location, and now Gram and the Orbans expect Lily to be friends with a stranger. (Older)

Hest, Amy
Love you, soldier
Nine-year-old Katie has waited two years, witnessed many changes, and wonders if her father will return from the war. (Middle/Older)

Lee, Milly
Nim and the war effort
Nim wants to win the prize for collecting the largest pile of newspapers for the war effort. Her grandfather’s firm yet loving guidance teaches her to be gracious in her moment of triumph.  (Middle)

Maguire, Gregory
The good liar
Marcel is one of three brothers, and compulsive liars, living in German-occupied France during World War II. The three boys befriend a German soldier stationed in their tiny village and lie about it to their mother. In the end, their mother teaches them an important lesson about keeping secrets. (Older)

Rinaldi, Ann
Keep smiling through
Determined to do her part for the United States during World War II, Kay discovers that doing right is not always an easy thing. (Older)

Uchida, Yoshiko
The bracelet
Eli knew that America was at war with Japan, but she couldn’t understand why  Japanese American families had to move to prison camps. Didn’t the government know these families, like her own, hadn’t done anything wrong? (Younger)


Curtis, Gavin
The bat boy and his violin
Reginald would rather play his violin than be the bat boy for his father’s Negro League baseball team. He learns how to combine both activities with amazing results. (Younger)

Hill, Kirkpatrick
The year of Miss Agnes
The year Miss Agnes came to teach at the one-room school in an Alaskan Athabascan Indian village life changed for everyone. (Middle)

Propp, Vera
When the soldiers were gone
During the German occupation, Henk lived with a Christian family. When his family was reunited, Henk did not recognize his parents. (Older)

Russell, Ching Yeung
First apple
Ying, who has never tasted an apple, saves up her money to buy one to share with her grandmother, only to be confronted by the class bully. (Older)

Vos, Ida
Anna is still here
Haunted by the war years she spent hiding from the Nazis in an attic room, Anna must now learn how to live a normal life again. (Older)

Miller, William
Night golf
James wanted to play golf but according to his father golf was a game “for white folks only.” For a time it seemed James’ dreams would never come true, but then he met Charlie who, under the cover of night, promised to teach James everything he knew. (Younger)


Curtis, Christopher Paul
The Watsons go to Birmingham -- 1963
Growing up in Flint, Michigan, ten-year-old Kenny’s life seems fairly normal until a visit to relatives in Alabama changes his life forever as he is faced with the realities of racial prejudice. (Older)

Nelson, Vaunda
Mayfield crossing
In their old school it didn't matter if you were black or white, but when the students from Mayfield Crossing are sent to a larger, all-white school they encounter racial prejudice for the first time. (Middle)

Whelan, Gloria
Goodbye, Vietnam
When Mai and her family stepped into the over-crowded boat for Hong Kong, she knew they were leaving everything familiar, good and bad, behind. Others had left Vietnam before them and had found promise. Mai hoped her own family would find the same. (Older)

Compiled by MCLS Children's Librarians