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Times Gone By
Historical Fiction for Children - A Selected Bibliography

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.

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A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, by E.L. Konigsburg.
As Eleanor of Aquitaine awaits Henry II’s arrival in heaven, she thinks back over their stormy life together. (Older)

What Happened in Hamelin, by Gloria Skurzynski.
On June 16, a certain flute player, when refused payment for luring the rats away from Hamelin, had his revenge. (Older)

Adam of the Road, by Elizabeth Gray.
Among the throngs that travel the roads of England - noblemen, peasants, merchants, thieves, pilgrims, troubadours, and jongleurs - 11-year-old Adam searches for his father, Roger the Minstrel, and Nick, a small red spaniel. (Older)

Innocent Wayfaring, by Marchette Chute.
Lady Anne Richmond knows that the only two choices she has in life are marriage or religious vows. She doesn’t relish the thought of either so she runs away and discovers adventure and romance on the road. (Older)

Harald and the Great Stag, by Donald Carrick.
Courageously, Harald tries to outwit the Baron and his hunters who want to kill the legendary Great Stag. (Younger)

A Tournament of Knights, by Joe Lasker.
Newly knighted Justin could lose half his land if Sir Rolf defeats him in the tournament. (Younger)

I, Juan de Pareja, by Elizabeth Trevino.
Juan de Pareja began life as a slave, but died as a free man and an accomplished painter. (Older)

The Warlock of Westfall, by Leonard Fisher.
Since Samuel Swift does not conform to the religious beliefs of the people of Westfall, they accuse him of witchcraft. (Older)

The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dalgliesh.
Eight-year-old Sarah accompanies her father into the wilds of Connecticut to cook for him while he builds a house. While waiting for the rest of the family to join them, she often needs to remind herself, “Keep up your courage.” (Middle)

Flame-Colored Taffeta, by Rosemary Sutcliff.
Could the injured young man Damaris aids be a smuggler or a spy wanted by the King’s men? (Older)

The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth Speare.
An unexpected friendship helps Matt survive during his months alone on the New England frontier. (Older)

Ben and Me, by Robert Lawson.
Benjamin Franklin, statesman and inventor, was helped by Amos the mouse when he invented the Franklin stove and conducted his “shocking” study of electricity. Together they traveled to France where Amos directed an army of mice. (Middle)

Guns for General Washington, by Seymour Reit.
The Knox brothers, Henry and Will, devise a daring plan to move 183 cannon from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston in the middle of a bitter winter. (Older)

The Fighting Ground, by Avi.
Experiencing twenty-four hours as a soldier during the American Revolution changes Jonathan’s perception of war. (Older)

Corduroy Road, by Patricia Clyne.
When Tib runs from his Tory uncle and helps a wounded American, he begins a journey down a secret road to help deliver the news of an American victory. (Middle)

The Sherwood Ring, by Elizabeth Pope.
Why have the ghosts of Peggy’s Revolutionary War ancestors returned to Rest-and-be-thankful? (Older)

The Cabin Faced West, by Jean Fritz.
Ann Hamilton finds life in the wilderness of Western Pennsylvania lonely with nothing but boys and babies for company, until a special visitor to Hamilton Hill gives her a new perspective. (Middle)

The Master Puppeteer, by Katherine Paterson.
The glittering world of the puppet theatre in Japan is the backdrop for the mystery that engulfs a young puppeteer apprentice and an underworld bandit. (Older)

Winter Hero, by James Collier.
Justin Conkey is hired out to the local tax collector for the non-payment of his brother-in-law’s taxes. Although Justin detests working for Major Mattoon, he stays there to spy for the local farmers involved in Shay’s Rebellion. (Older)

Thy Friend, Obadiah, by Brinton Turkle.
Young Obadiah has a new friend – a sea gull that follows him all around Nantucket Island. (Younger)

Streams to the River, River to the Sea, by Scott O'Dell.
When Sacagawea, a 13-year-old Shoshone Indian, married a Frenchman and traveled with him to St. Louis, they were hired as guides to Lewis and Clark. (Older)

A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32, by Joan Blos.
Catherine Hall, aged 13, writes in her diary about her widowed father, a matchmaking neighbor, her best friend Cassie, and a local thief. (Older)

Weasel, by Cynthia DeFelice.
When the renegade Indian Bureau agent the Shawnee call Weasel victimizes Nathan’s family and home, all he wants is revenge. (Older)

Follow the Drinking Gourd, by Jeanette Winter.
A simple folk song becomes the slaves’ guide to the Underground Railroad. (Younger)

Nettie's Trip South, by Ann Turner.
After witnessing a slave auction, Nettie becomes an ardent abolitionist. (Middle)

Cecil's Story, by George Lyon.
A timeless story about a child who waits at home for a father gone to war. (Younger)

1863    Gauch, Patricia
Thunder at Gettysburg, by Patricia Gauch.
The excitement of the approaching armies turns horrifying when Tillie is trapped on the battlefield. (Middle)

Charley Skedaddle, Patricia Beatty.
Young Charley runs from battle and thinks himself a coward. Meeting an old woman in the mountains and facing other dangers teaches him that there are many ways to show courage. (Older)

Death of the Iron Horse, by Paul Goble.
A group of young Cheyenne warriors attacks a mighty and terrifying steam locomotive. (Younger)

Shades of Gray, by Carol Reeder.
Will Page, who lost his entire family to the Yankees, doesn’t know how he can bear to live with the man he despises most - an uncle who refused to fight for the North or the South in the Civil War. (Older)

The Long Way to a New Land, by Joan Sandin.
Carl Erik and his family have the courage to leave everything they know in Sweden to come to America. (Younger)

The Sodbuster Venture, by Charlene Talbot.
Drought, fire, a plague of grasshoppers, and the threat of claim jumpers jeopardize Belle and Maude’s efforts to carve a 160 acre farm from the Kansas prairie. (Older)

Hooray for the Golly Sisters!, by Betsy Byars.
The zany Golly sisters travel the frontier entertaining the settlers. (Younger)

My Prairie Christmas, by Brett Harvey.
There are no evergreens on the prairie, so Elenore’s family devises different ways to celebrate their first Christmas in their new home. (Younger)

Anna, Grandpa, and the Big Storm, by Carla Stevens.
Anna’s grandpa is bored with city life until he and Anna are stranded on the Third Avenue El during the Great Blizzard of ’88. (Middle)

Prairie Songs, by Pam Conrad.
It took a special kind of stamina of body, mind, and heart to survive on the vast and lonely Nebraska prairie. (Older)

The Great Brain, by John Fitzgerald.
Tom Fitzgerald, 10 years old, has a genius for trouble and escaping its consequences. He can turn almost anything into a money-making venture, including the installation of indoor plumbing in the family home. (Middle)

The Night Journey, by Kathryn Lasky.
Rachie gets caught up in the exciting adventure of her great-grandmother’s escape from Czarist Russia. (Older)

Clara and the Bookwagon, by Nancy Levinson.
Clara gets the chance to read when the first traveling library, a horse-drawn book wagon, visits her farm. (Younger)

Watch the Stars Come Out, by Riki Levinson.
A little red-haired girl and her brother journey alone to join their parents in America. (Younger)

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, by Gloria Houston.
Even though her Papa is sent to war the year her family is to provide the Christmas tree for the Pine Grove Church, Ruthie and her mother are determined to keep the commitment. (Younger)

Ike and Mama and the Once-A-Year Suit, by Carol Snyder.
Mama is known as a thrifty shopper. When she heads to town to buy a suit for her son, Ike, his two cousins, and 11 other boys who need suits for Passover and Easter accompany her. (Middle)

Mississippi Bridge, by Mildred Taylor.
All the black passengers on the Jackson City bus are forced to give up their seats to late-arriving white passengers. (Middle)

The Elderberry Thicket, by Joan Zeir.
Franny wonders if she and her family can survive the hard times when her father is forced to leave home to find work. (Older)

The Eternal Spring of Mr. Ito, by Sheila Garrigue.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese-Canadians are forced to go to internment camps. Sara’s friend Mr. Ito refuses to go and entrusts her with his family’s 200-year-old bonsai tree. (Older)

My Daddy Was a Soldier, by Deborah Ray.
While her father is fighting in the Pacific, Jeannie’s life on the home front includes planting “victory” gardens, collecting scrap metal, and writing letters to daddy. (Younger)

Rain of Fire, by Marion Bauer.
Because Matthew won’t talk about his wartime experience at Hiroshima, Steve makes up stories about his older brother’s heroism. (Older)

The Gold Cadillac, by Mildred Taylor.
‘lois will never forget the trip she and her family make south in their brand new Cadillac and the racial prejudice they encounter. (Middle)

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