Secodnay Historical Fiction reading list

View all Recommendations by Age > Recommendations for Age 9-12 book lists; This list was last updated on 4/4/2013
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The Book Thief
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
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A Break with Charity
Susanna desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage. What she doesn't realize is that the girls are about to set off a torrent of false accusations leading to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people. Susanna faces a painful choice. Should she keep quiet and let the witch-hunt panic continue, or should she "break charity" with the group--and risk having her own family members named as witches?
Reader's guide included.
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Fallen Angels
An exciting, eye-catching repackage of acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers' bestselling paperbacks, to coincide with the publication of SUNRISE OVER FALLUJA in hardcover.

A coming-of-age tale for young adults set in the trenches of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, this is the story of Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren't the only hardships. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is even there at all.
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Bud, Not Buddy

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan, and when 10-year-old Bud decides to hit the road to find his father, nothing can stop him.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
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The Other Boleyn Girl
The #1 New York Times bestseller from “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory is a rich, compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue surrounding the Tudor court of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and the infamous Boleyn family.

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the king's interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.

With more than one million copies in print and adapted for the big screen, The Other Boleyn Girl is a riveting historical drama. It brings to light a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe, and survived a treacherous political landscape by following her heart.
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A Great and Terrible Beauty
It's 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence's most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?


From the Hardcover edition.
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Revolution
Readers of If I Stay and Elizabeth George will love Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light. Revolution artfully weaves two girls' stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love; it spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She's angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she's about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights' most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.
 
PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn't want—and couldn't escape.
 
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine's diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There's comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal's antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine's words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Praise for Revolution:

An ABA Indies Choice Young Adult Book of the Year
An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book
#1 Indiebound pick for fall 2010
A School Library Journal Best Book
A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book
Amazon.com Best Book of the Year

[STAR] "A sumptuous feast of a novel, rich in mood, character, and emotion."--School Library Journal, Starred

[STAR] "Every detail is meticulously inscribed into a multi-layered narrative that is as wise, honest, and moving as it is cunningly worked. Readers  . . . will find this brilliantly crafted work utterly absorbing."--The Bulletin, Starred

[STAR] "Brilliantly realized, complete, and complex. The novel is rich with detail, and both the Brooklyn and Paris settings provide important grounding for the haunting and beautifully told story."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred
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Mary, Bloody Mary
The story of Mary Tudor's childhood is a classic fairy tale: A princess who is to
inherit the throne of England is separated from her mother; abused by an evil
stepmother who has enchanted her father; stripped of her title; and forced to
care for her baby stepsister, who inherits Mary's rights to the throne. Believe it
or not, it's all true.
Told in the voice of the young Mary, this novel explores the history and intrigue
of the dramatic rule of Henry VIII, his outrageous affair with and marriage to the
bewitching Anne Boleyn, and the consequences of that relationship for his
firstborn daughter. Carolyn Meyer has written a compassionate historical novel about love and loss, jealousy and fear--and a girl's struggle with forces far
beyond her control.
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Keturah and Lord Death
Keturah, renowned for her storytelling, follows a legendary hart deep into the forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near—and learns then that death is a young lord, melancholy and stern. She is able to charm Lord Death with a story and gain a reprieve, but he grants her only a day, and within that day she must find true love. A mesmerizing love story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and high romance.
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A Song for Summer
A lyrical historical romance for fans of The English Patient

Eighteen-year-old Ellen never expected the Hallendorf school to be, well, quite so unusual. After all, her life back in england with her suffragette mother and liberated aunts certainly couldn't be called normal. but buried deep in the beautiful Austrian countryside, ellen discovers an eccentric world occupied by wild children and even wilder teachers, experimental dancers and a tortoise on wheels. And then there is the particurally intriguing, enigmatic, and very handsome Marek, part-time gardener and fencing teacher. ellen is instantly attracted to the mysterious gardener, but Hitler's reich is already threatening their peaceful world. only when she discovers Marek's true identity and his dangerous mission does ellen realize the depth of her feelings for him—and the danger their newfound love faces in the shadow of war.
release date: Jan 01, 2004
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I Am David
David's entire twelve-year life has been spent in a grisly prison camp in Eastern Europe. He knows nothing of the outside world. But when he is given the chance to escape, he seizes it. With his vengeful enemies hot on his heels, David struggles to cope in this strange new world, where his only resources are a compass, a few crusts of bread, his two aching feet, and some vague advice to seek refuge in Denmark. Is that enough to survive?
David's extraordinary odyssey is dramatically chronicled in Anne Holm's classic about the meaning of freedom and the power of hope.
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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Code Talker
"Readers who choose the book for the attraction of Navajo code talking and the heat of battle will come away with more than they ever expected to find."—Booklist, starred review

Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years.
But now Joseph Bruchac brings their stories to life for young adults through the riveting fictional tale of Ned Begay, a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy who becomes a code talker. His grueling journey is eye-opening and inspiring. This deeply affecting novel honors all of those young men, like Ned, who dared to serve, and it honors the culture and language of the Navajo Indians.

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

"Nonsensational and accurate, Bruchac's tale is quietly inspiring..."—
School Library Journal

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Falling Angels
Celebrate Tracy Chevalier's modern classic Girl With A Pearl Earring, featuring a gorgeous new edition illustrated with eight pages of Vermeer's masterworks. History and fiction merge seamlessly in this luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening.  The story of Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with a genius as she herself is immortalized in canvas and oil, is new again.

A Deluxe Edition of the National Bestseller with Over 2 Million Copies Sold:

  • Eight Pages of Full-Color Plates Include Every Vermeer Painting Discussed in the Book
  • French Flaps
  • Rough Front
  • a New Foreword
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Pandora of Athens
In this departure from our first person diaries, we leap into ancient times in a third person novel filled with action, adventure, and glory -- all the drama of life in ancient Greece.

Ancient Greece is brought brilliantly to life by renowned author Barry Denenberg.

Pandora is trapped in the roles laid out for Greek women by her narrow-minded father. Much to her despair,she is engaged to marry a man more than twice her age, so that Pandora waits with dread for her fourteenth birthday, when she'll be old enough to marry. But one day, when Pandora goes to fetch water, she meets the Wise One, who is also called Socrates, and what he tells her changes her life. During his famed trial, Pandora finds herself caught up in the intrigue and turbulent politics of ancient Athens.
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Emperor
From the author of the bestselling The Dangerous Book for Boys
 
Sweeping us into a realm of tyrants and slaves, of dark intrigues and seething passions, Conn Iggulden brings us a magnificent novel of ancient Rome—and of the early years of a man who would become the most powerful ruler on earth.

In a city of grandeur and decadence, beauty and bloodshed, two boys, best friends, dream of glory in service of the mightiest empire the world has ever known. One is the son of a senator. The other is a bastard child. As young Gaius and Marcus grow to manhood, they are trained in the art of combat—under the tutelage of one of Rome's most fearsome gladiators. For Marcus, a bloody campaign in Greece will become a young soldier's proving ground. For Gaius, the equally deadly infighting of the Roman Senate will be the battlefield where he hones his courage and skill. And for both, the love of an extraordinary slave girl will be an honor each will covet but only one will win. But as Rome is thrust into the grip of bitter conflict, as every Roman prepares to take sides in the coming battle, Gaius and Marcus's friendship will be put to the ultimate test.…
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Emperor
From the author of the bestselling The Dangerous Book for Boys
 
With an army made in his own image, Caesar brings a daring charge through Gaul, across the English Channel, and to the wilds of tribal Britain.


Having proved his valor in the slaves' revolt, the time has come for Caesar to enter the political battleground of Rome. Strengthened by the love of an older woman—and by the sword of his loyal friend, Marcus Brutus, Caesar battles the armies of the wilderness and forges his legend. All the while his political adversaries in Rome grow ever more powerful. So that when the fighting is over, Julius will face the greatest threat to him yet—a man who wants Rome for himself.
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Emperor
From the author of the bestselling The Dangerous Book for Boys
 
The year is 53 B.C. Julius Caesar approaches his final destiny—a destiny that will be decided not by legions but by his friend Brutus and a bewitching Egyptian queen named Cleopatra. . . .

Fresh from victory in Gaul, Julius Caesar leads his battle-hardened legions across the Rubicon.The armies of Rome will face each other at last in civil war, led by the two greatest generals ever to walk the seven hills. From the spectacles of the arena to the whispered lies of conspirators, author Conn Iggulden brings to life a world marked by fierce loyalty and bitter betrayal, with dark events shrouded in noble ideals.
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Goddess of Yesterday
Anaxandra is taken from her birth island at age 6 by King Nicander to be a companion to his crippled daughter, Princess Callisto. Six years later, her new island is sacked by pirates and she is the sole survivor. Alone with only her Medusa figurine, she reinvents herself as Princess Callisto when Menelaus, great king of Sparta, lands with his men. He takes her back to Sparta with him where Helen, his beautiful wife, does not believe that the red-headed child is Princess Callisto. Although fearful of the half-mortal, half-goddess Helen, Anaxandra is able to stay out of harm's way—until the Trojan princes Paris and Aeneas arrive. Paris and Helen's fascination with each other soon turns to passion and plunges Sparta and Troy into war. Can Anaxandra find the courage to reinvent herself once again, appease the gods, and save herself?

In Caroline B. Cooney's epic tale of one girl's courage and will to survive, Anaxandra learns that home is where you make it and identity goes deeper than just your name.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Mar 01, 1994
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A Break With Charity
Susanna desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage. What she doesn't realize is that the girls are about to set off a torrent of false accusations leading to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people. Susanna faces a painful choice. Should she keep quiet and let the witch-hunt panic continue, or should she "break charity" with the group--and risk having her own family members named as witches?
Reader's guide included.
release date: Jan 01, 1988
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release date: Jan 01, 2006
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Bud, Not Buddy
It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but he's on a mission. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: posters of Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression! Bud's got an idea that those posters will lead to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him.

Bud, Not Buddy is full of laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful characters, hitting the high notes of jazz and sounding the deeper tones of the Great Depression.
release date: Jan 01, 2010
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Chains
If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.
release date: Sep 23, 2008
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The Luxe

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899.

Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.

With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...

In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

release date: Jan 01, 2006
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The Secret Life of Bees
Now in paperback comes the intoxicating debut novel of one motherless daughter's discover of . . . the strange and wondrous places we find love (The Washington Post). A bestseller in hardcover, Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing work is set in South Carolina in 1964. A movie version is forthcoming from Fox Searchlight.
release date: Jun 10, 2008
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release date: Jan 01, 2004
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A Great and Terrible Beauty
It's 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence's most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Apr 01, 2001
Check price
Mary, Bloody Mary
The story of Mary Tudor's childhood is a classic fairy tale: A princess who is to
inherit the throne of England is separated from her mother; abused by an evil
stepmother who has enchanted her father; stripped of her title; and forced to
care for her baby stepsister, who inherits Mary's rights to the throne. Believe it
or not, it's all true.
Told in the voice of the young Mary, this novel explores the history and intrigue
of the dramatic rule of Henry VIII, his outrageous affair with and marriage to the
bewitching Anne Boleyn, and the consequences of that relationship for his
firstborn daughter. Carolyn Meyer has written a compassionate historical novel about love and loss, jealousy and fear--and a girl's struggle with forces far
beyond her control.
release date: Jan 01, 1998
Check price
A Song for Summer
'Superb characters...an original storyline, this novel makes for excellent reading.' - READING PANEL When Ellen Carr, daughter of a militant suffragette and raised to be an intellectual, takes a job in Austria as housemother at the Hallendorf School of Music, Drama and the Dance, she simply wants to cook beautiful food. What she finds is an eccentrically magical world occupied by wild children, naked Harmony teachers and experimental dancers. Life seems idyllic, but outside the castle Hitler's Reich is already casting its menacing shadow over Europe. Through her growing friendship with the mysterious groundsman Marek, Ellen encounters the dreadful reality of flight from Nazi Germany, and, on the brink of war, discovers a passion that will shape her life.
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I Am David
'You must get away tonight,' the man had told him. David escapes from the concentration camp where he has spent his entire life and flees across Europe. He is utterly alone - who can he trust? What will await him? And all the while, how can he be sure that they won't catch up with him ...This is the remarkable story of David's introduction to the world: sea, mountains and flowers, the colours of Italy, the taste of fruit, people laughing and smiling, all are new to David. David learns that his polite manner, his haunted eyes and his thin features are strange to other people. He must learn to fend for himself in this strange new world. This is The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas meets Jonathan Safran Foer for children. An incredible story of survival against all odds and self discovery.
release date: Jan 01, 2002
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Falling Angels
Griet, a tilemaker's daughter in 17th-century Holland, starts her first job as a servant in the Vermeer household. Through Griet's eyes, the story is told of the family, the small town of Delft, and life with an obsessive genius. Griet is drawn into Vermeer's life, but there is a price to pay.
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