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Historical Fiction

(AR Book Levels in Parenthesis)


*Ben & Me by Robert Lawson    (6.9)


Ever wonder where inventors get their ideas? As it turns out, the great inventor Benjamin Franklin got his best ideas from a mouse named Amos! Funny, interesting and wise, this classic tale has been a favorite for generations. Once you've met Amos and read his account, you'll never think of Ben Franklin-or American history-quite the same way.  Explore this historical time period even further in this new edition of award-winning author Robert Lawson's classic tale, with additional bonus material, including a map of Ben Franklin's travels!  Benjamin Franklin's companion, Amos the mouse, recounts how he was responsible for Franklin's inventions and discoveries. 


*The Birchbark House by Louise  Erdrich     (6.1)

In this story of a young Ojibwa girl, Omakayas, living on an island in Lake Superior around 1847, Louise Erdrich is reversing the narrative perspective used in most children's stories about nineteenth-century Native Americans. Instead of looking out at 'them' as dangers or curiosities, Erdrich, drawing on her family's history, wants to tell about 'us', from the inside. The Birchbark House establishes its own ground, in the vicinity of Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House' books.

*A Boy No More by Harry Mazer   (3.5)
Adam Pelko witnessed something horrible: the sinking of the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor with his father aboard. Since then, Adam and his mother and sister have moved to California, where they are trying to rebuild their lives. But no matter where Adam goes, he can't get away from the effects of the war. His best friend, Davi, has asked for help. Davi is Japanese American, and his father has been arrested, taken to Manzanar, a Japanese internment camp. Adam isn't sure what to do. If he goes to Manzanar and starts asking questions, he could be risking his own life. But can he simply do nothing and risk losing Davi's friendship forever? Are Davi, his father, and all the other Japanese Americans taken from their homes responsible for what happened at Pearl Harbor?

 *Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin   (4.6)
Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six:

The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to conscience.A Young Pioneer has a right to criticize shortcomings.

But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has awaited for so long, everything seems to go awry. He breaks a classmate's glasses with a snowball. He accidentally damages a bust of Stalin in the school hallway.  And worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was arrested just last night. Eugene Yelchin's moving story of a ten-year-old boy's world shattering is masterful in its simplicity, powerful in its message, and heartbreaking in its plausibility.

*Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis   (5)
 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.






*Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi    (4.0)
It’s 1951, and twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid who loves detective stories and radio crime dramas. When an FBI agent shows up at Pete’s doorstep, accusing Pete’s father of being a Communist, Pete is caught in a real-life mystery. Could there really be Commies in his family?



*Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac   (6.4)
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.

*Crow by Barbra Wright   (5.4)
The summer of 1898 is filled with ups and downs for 11-year-old Moses. He's growing apart from his best friend, his superstitious Boo-Nanny butts heads constantly with his pragmatic, educated father, and his mother is reeling from the discovery of a family secret. Yet there are good times, too. He's teaching his grandmother how to read. For the first time she's sharing stories about her life as a slave. And his father and his friends are finally getting the respect and positions of power they've earned in the Wilmington, North Carolina, community. But not everyone is happy with the political changes at play and some will do anything, including a violent plot against the government, to maintain the status quo. One generation away from slavery, a thriving African American community enfranchised and emancipated suddenly and violently loses its freedom in turn of the century North Carolina when a group of local politicians stages the only successful coup d'etat in US history. 

*Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine   (3.6)
If nobody wants him, that's fine. He'll just take care of himself. When his father dies, Dave knows nothing will ever be the same. And then it happens. Dave lands in an orphanage—the cold and strict Hebrew Home for Boys in Harlem—far from the life he knew on the Lower East Side. But he's not so worried. He knows he'll be okay. He always is. If it doesn't work out, he'll just leave, find a better place to stay. But it's not that simple. Outside the gates of the orphanage, the nighttime streets of Harlem buzz with jazz musicians and swindlers; exclusive parties and mystifying strangers. Inside, another world unfolds, thick with rare friendships and bitter enemies. Perhaps somewhere, among it all, Dave can find a place that feels like home. When orphaned Dave is sent to the Hebrew Home for Boys where he is treated cruelly, he sneaks out at night and is welcomed into the music- and culture-filled world of the Harlem Renaissance. 

*Dog Tags by C. Alexander London    (4.9-5.4)
Man's best friend goes to war. When Gus Dempsey joins the US Marine Corps, he knows without a doubt that he will make a great dog handler. He's always been good with dogs. In fact, he's often better with dogs than he is with people. But Loki is not the dog that Gus was expecting. Fun-loving and playful, Loki acts more like a pet than the well-trained, bomb-sniffing Marine that he's supposed to be. When Gus and Loki deploy to Afghanistan, though, they have no choice but to learn to work together. Because in war, getting along is a matter of life and death.

*Duke by Kirby Larson   (3.5) 
A poignant World War II story about a boy and his dog and his dad, and the many meanings of bravery, from Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson. Now in paperback! With World War II raging and his father fighting overseas in Europe, eleven-year-old Hobie Hanson is determined to do his part to help his family and his country, even if it means giving up his beloved German shepherd, Duke. Hoping to help end the war and bring his dad home faster, Hobie decides to donate Duke to Dogs for Defense, an organization that urges Americans to "loan" their pets to the military to act as sentries, mine sniffers, and patrol dogs. Hobie immediately regrets his decision and tries everything he can to get Duke back, even jeopardizing his friendship with the new boy at school. But when his father is taken prisoner by the Germans, Hobie realizes he must let Duke go and reach deep within himself to be brave. Will Hobie ever see Duke, or his father, again? Will life ever be the same?

*Family Tree by Ann M. Martin  (4.7)
Four generations. Four girls. One family.
An amazing four-book series from Ann M. Martin. In 1930, Abby Nichols is eight, and can't imagine what her future holds. The best things today would be having a dime for the fair, keeping her Pops from being angry, and saving up eighty-seven cents to surprise her little sister with a tea set for Christmas. But Abby's world is changing fast. Soon there will be new siblings to take care of, a new house to move into, and new friends to meet. But there will also be good-byes to say and hard choices to make. As Abby grows older, how will she decide what sort of life will fit her best?

*Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper   (5.9)
A friendship between a young Native American and a colonial New England settler endangers them both in this “simply unforgettable” (Booklist, starred review) adventure story from Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper. On the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can take only a bow and arrows, his handcrafted tomahawk, and the amazing metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk survives three moons by himself, he will be a man. John Wakely is only ten when his father dies, but he has already experienced the warmth and friendship of the nearby tribes. Yet his fellow colonists aren’t as accepting of the native people. When he is apprenticed to a barrel-maker, John sees how quickly the relationships between settlers and natives are deteriorating. His friendship with Little Hawk will put both boys in grave danger.

The intertwining stories of Little Hawk and John Wakely are a fascinating tale of friendship and an eye-opening look at the history of our nation. Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper also includes a timeline and an author’s note that discusses the historical context of this important and moving novel.

*Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood   (4.3)
A Mississippi town in 1964 gets riled when tempers flare at the segregated public pool. As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she'll be entering high school. Then there's her best friend, Frankie. Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they aren't. Maybe it's the new girl from the North that's got everyone out of sorts. Or maybe it's the debate about whether or not the town should keep the segregated public pool open. Augusta Scattergood has drawn on real-life events to create a memorable novel about family, friendship, and choices that aren't always easy. 

*Goodnight, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian   (4.8) 
London is poised on the brink of World War 11. Timid, scrawny Willie Beech — the abused child of a single mother — is evacuated to the English countryside. At first, he is terrified of everything, of the country sounds and sights, even of Mr. Tom, the gruff, kindly old man who has taken him in. But gradually Willie forgets the hate and despair of his past. He learns to love a world he never knew existed, a world of friendship and affection in which harsh words and daily beatings have no place. Then a telegram comes. Willie must return to his mother in London. When weeks pass by with no word from Willie, Mr. Tom sets out for London to look for the young boy he has come to love as a son. A battered child learns to embrace life when he is adopted by an old man in the English countryside during the Second World War.

*The Great Brain by John Fitzgerald   (5.2) 
The best con man in the Midwest is only ten years old.  Tom, a.k.a., the Great Brain, is a silver-tongued genius with a knack for turning a profit.  When the Jenkins boys get lost in Skeleton Cave, the Great Brain saves the day.  Whether it's saving the kids at school, or helping out Peg-leg Andy, or Basil, the new kid at school, the Great Brain always manages to come out on top-and line his pockets in the process.

*The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson   (4.6)
Eel has troubles of his own: As an orphan and a “mudlark,” he spends his days in the filthy River Thames, searching for bits of things to sell. He’s being hunted by Fisheye Bill Tyler, and a nastier man never walked the streets of London. And he’s got a secret that costs him four precious shillings a week to keep safe. But even for Eel, things aren’t so bad until that fateful August day in 1854—the day the deadly cholera (“blue death”) comes to Broad Street. Everyone believes that cholera is spread through poisonous air. But one man, Dr. John Snow, has a different theory. As the epidemic surges, it’s up to Eel and his best friend, Florrie, to gather evidence to prove Dr. Snow’s theory—before the entire neighborhood is wiped out.

*I Survived by Lauren Tarshis   (3.8-5.1)
Each book in my series tells a terrifying and thrilling story from history, through the eyes of a boy who lived to tell the tale.









*Into the Killing Seas by Michael P. Spradlin  (4.6)
When the ship goes down, the sharks come out....
Stranded in the war torn Pacific, Patrick and his younger brother Teddy are finally homeward-bound. They've stowed away on one of the US Navy's finest ships, and now they just need to stay hidden. But Japanese torpedoes rip their dream apart. And the sinking ship isn't the worst of it. Patrick and Teddy can handle hunger and dehydration as they float in the water and wait to be rescued. If they're smart, they can even deal with the madness that seems to plague their fellow survivors. No, the real danger circles beneath the surface. And it has teeth....
Based on the true events of the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis, author Michael P. Spradlin tells a harrowing story of World War II.

 
*Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry   (5.8)
A trainer’s support makes all the difference in this extraordinary tale of a horse who became a legend from Newbery Award–winning author Marguerite Henry, now available in a collectible hardcover gift edition. In 1791, a Vermont schoolmaster by the name of Justin Morgan comes home with a two-year-old colt named Little Bub. Taken as payment for an outstanding debt, the little colt doesn’t seem like he’s worth much, but the teacher asks one of his students, Joel Goss, to train the horse. Joel knows that the horse has great potential, and soon word about Little Bub spreads throughout the entire Northeast for his ability to work harder, run faster, and perform better than any horse in the area! This inspiring tale of a little workhorse who became one of the greatest breeding stallions of all time from Newbery Award–winning author Marguerite Henry features the original text and illustrations in a gorgeous collectible hardcover edition.

*Listen to the Moon by Michael Morpurgo  (5.9)
The year is 1915. The Scilly Isles, north of Cornwall, are somewhat sheltered from the fighting that rages on the continent, but not completely. Alfie Wheatcroft and his father find a girl stranded on the isolated island of St. Helen's—she is unable to speak, on the edge of death, and wrapped in a blanket labeled "Wilhelm." Alfie and his family take her in, hoping to help her regain her speech, mind, and memories. The community, however, worries that she might be a German—possibly a spy, or just an enemy. In fact, "Lucy's" story is longer, stranger, and more traumatic than they could imagine, and she has good reason for her amnesia, elective mutism, and desperate fear of the water. A framing device, built around the research of Lucy's future grandson, allows Morpurgo to shift among multiple narrators as he unspools the mystery of where she came from. Along the way, Morpurgo offers powerful descriptions of shipwreck, mass drowning, and devastation, as well as healing and growth.
  
 *Missing in Action by Dean  Hughes   (3.9)
A boy confronts prejudice and intolerance in this striking, “emotionally honest coming-of-age story” (Publishers Weekly) set on the American homefront during World War II, from the acclaimed author of Search and Destroy and Soldier Boys. Dirty. Lazy. Good-for-nothing. Jay Thacker is used to being called names because his dad is half Navajo. But he gets a chance at a new life and a new identity when he and his mom move to the small town of Delta, Utah, to live with Jay’s grandfather. In Delta, Jay can convince everyone, and maybe even himself, that his dad—who is missing in action as he fights in WWII—is really a POW and military hero, and not gone forever. As the summer wears on and Jay finds himself growing up a little faster than he expected, he learns to look at some truths that had previously been impossible to face. Truths about his father; about Ken, his new friend from the Japanese internment camp nearby; and about himself, too. In this understated and moving story, Dean Hughes offers a glimpse at the choices a boy must make as he decides what kind of man he’ll one day be.

*Number the Stars by Lois Lowry   (4.5)
As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family. Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war. With a new introduction by the author. In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis. 

*Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm   (4.8)
It isn't easy being a pioneer in the state of Washington in 1899, but it's particularly hard when you are the only girl ever born in the new settlement. With seven older brothers and a love of adventure, May Amelia Jackson just can't seem to abide her family's insistence that she behave like a Proper Young Lady. She's sure she could do better if only there were at least one other girl living along the banks of the Nasel River. And now that Mama's going to have a baby, maybe there's hope. Inspired by the diaries of her great-aunt, the real May Amelia, first-time novelist Jennifer Holm has given us a beautifully crafted tale of one young girl whose unique spirit captures the courage, humour, passion and depth of the American pioneer experience.

*Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse   (5.3)
This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, is the compelling tale of Billie Jo's struggle to survive during the dust bowl years of the Depression. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with the loss of her mother and her grieving father's slow deterioration. There is hope at the end when Billie Jo's badly burned hands are healed, and she is able to play her beloved piano again. The 1998 Newbery Medal winner.

*Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz  (4.9)
10 concentration camps.
10 different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly.
It's something no one could imagine surviving. But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face. As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him. And then Yanek himself is taken prisoner -- his arm tattooed with the words PRISONER B-3087. He is forced from one nightmarish concentration camp to another, as World War II rages all around him. He encounters evil he could have never imagined, but also sees surprising glimpses of hope amid the horror. He just barely escapes death, only to confront it again seconds later. Can Yanek make it through the terror without losing his hope, his will -- and, most of all, his sense of who he really is inside?


*Refugee by Alan Gratz  (5.3)
JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .
ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .
MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home. 

*Secrets of the Manor by Adele Whitby  (4.8-5.2)
Find out what secrets lurk within the walls of Chatswood Manor in this in this first book of a historical fiction mystery series that explores a family’s secrets throughout generations. The Chatswood family tree has many branches—and even more secrets. It’s the summer of 1914 in England, and Beth Etheridge, great-granddaughter of the original Elizabeth Chatswood, can’t wait for her twelfth birthday to arrive. That’s when she’ll receive her family’s heirloom “Elizabeth” necklace: one half of a heart encrusted with beautiful sapphires. (The companion necklace, encrusted with rubies, will be given to Beth’s American cousin and pen pal, Kate, later in the series.) But when family from France visits Chatswood Manor for the occasion and another family heirloom goes missing, Beth finds herself on a quest to clear the name of her lady’s maid and friend, Shannon. Her search for answers leads her to a hidden diary with clues to a much larger family mystery that dates back generations. What secrets are hidden away in Chatswood Manor?

*Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus   (5)
Shadow on the Mountain recounts the adventures of a 14-year-old Norwegian boy named Espen during World War II. After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen and his friends are swept up in the resistance movement. Espen gets his start delivering illegal newspapers, graduates to the role of courier, and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years under the Nazi regime, he gains—and loses—friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape on skis over the mountains to Sweden. Preus incorporates archival photographs and other images to tell this story based on the real-life adventures of Norwegian Erling Storrusten, whom Preus interviewed in Norway. 

*Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell   (4.9)

The Navajo tribe's forced march from their homeland to Fort Sumner by white soldiers and settlers is dramatically and courageously told by young Bright Morning. The Spanish Slavers were an ever-present threat to the Navaho way of life. One lovely spring day, fourteen-year-old Bright Morning and her friend Running Bird took their sheep to pasture. The sky was clear blue against the red buttes of the Canyon de Chelly, and the fields and orchards of the Navahos promised a rich harvest. Bright Morning was happy as she gazed across the beautiful valley that was the home of her tribe. She turned when Black Dog barked, and it was then that she saw the Spanish slavers riding straight toward her.

*The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox   (6)


One day, thirteen-year-old jessie Bollier is earning pennies playing his fife on the docks of New Orleans; the next, he is kidnapped and thrown aboard a slave ship, where his job is to provide music while shackled slaves "dance" to keep their muscles strong and their bodies profitable. As the endless voyage continues, Jessie grows increasingly sickened by the greed, brutality, and inhumanity of the slave trade, but nothing prepares him for the ultimate horror he will witness before his nightmare ends — a horror that will change his life forever.

*Soldier Dog by Sam Angus   (6)

With his older brother gone to fight in the Great War, and his father prone to sudden rages, 14-year-old Stanley devotes himself to taking care of the family’s greyhound and puppies. Until the morning Stanley wakes to find the puppies gone. Determined to find his brother, Stanley runs away to join an increasingly desperate army. Assigned to the experimental War Dog School, Stanley is given a problematic Great Dane named Bones to train. Against all odds, the pair excels, and Stanley is sent to France. But in Soldier Dog by Sam Angus, the war in France is larger and more brutal than Stanley ever imagined. How can one young boy survive World War I and find his brother with only a dog to help?

*Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper   (4.8)
When the Ku Klux Klan’s unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella’s segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this New York Times bestselling Depression-era “novel that soars” (The New York Times Book Review) that School Library Journal called “storytelling at its finest” in a starred review. Stella lives in the segregated South—in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community—her world—is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end.

*Survivors by Kathleen Duey    (4.6-5.6)
Will two kids escape the Titanic, the world’s most famous sinking ship? Find out in this gripping historical fiction, part of the Survivor series. Gavin Reilly is working in the Titanic’s galley to earn his passage from Ireland to America. He knows when he finally joins his brother in New York they’ll live their big dreams together. Karolina Green is devastated after the loss of her parents. She’s returning home to the United States from England with her Aunt Rose, and desperately dreams of fixing her shattered life in New York. But on a calm, clear night in April, those dreams turn into a nightmare. Rich and poor, famous and unknown, the hundreds of people aboard the Titanic find themselves at the mercy of the cold sea and the sinking ship. Few will live to remember the disaster the world still can't forget...will Gavin and Karolina be among the survivors?
 
*The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi   (5.3)
Thirteen-year-old Charlotte Doyle is excited to return home from her school in England to her family in Rhode Island in the summer of 1832. But when the two families she was supposed to travel with mysteriously cancel their trips, Charlotte finds herself the lone passenger on a long sea voyage with a cruel captain and a mutinous crew. Worse yet, soon after stepping aboard the ship, she becomes enmeshed in a conflict between them! What begins as an eagerly anticipated ocean crossing turns into a harrowing journey, where Charlotte gains a villainous enemy . . . and is put on trial for murder!

*Tucket by Gary Paulsen   (4.8-5.5)
Fourteen-year-old Francis Tucket is heading west on the Oregon Trail with his family by wagon train. When he receives a rifle for his birthday, he is thrilled that he is being treated like an adult. But Francis lags behind to practice shooting and is captured by Pawnees. It will take wild horses, hostile tribes, and a mysterious one-armed mountain man named Mr. Grimes to help Francis become the man who will be called Mr. Tucket.

*Vietnam by Chris Lynch   (5.3-5.4)
Morris, Rudi, Ivan, and Beck are best friends for life. So when one of them is drafted into the Vietnam War, the others sign up, too - each with a different branch of the US military.
Morris joins the US Navy, and he makes it his personal mission to watch over his friends from the USS Boston. But the Boston itself isn't safe from attack. And although Morris means to keep his friends safe, he may have his hands full just watching out for himself.




*War Horse by Michael Morpurgo   (5.9)
A powerful tale of war, redemption, and a hero's journey--now available in paperback!  In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?

*The Winter Pony by Iain Lawrence   (5.5)
In the forests of Siberia, in the first years of the 20th century, a white pony runs free with his herd. But his life changes forever when he's captured by men. Years of hard work and cruelty wear him out. When he's chosen to be one of 20 ponies to accompany the Englishman Robert Falcon Scott on his quest to become the first to reach the South Pole, he doesn't know what to expect. But the men of Scott's expedition show him kindness, something he's never known before. They also give him a name—James Pigg. As Scott's team hunkers down in Antarctica, James Pigg finds himself caught up in one of the greatest races of all time. The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen has suddenly announced that he too means to be first to the Pole. But only one team can triumph, and not everyone can survive—not even the animals.

* The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare   (5.7)
 Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.

*Written in Stone by Rosanne Parry   (5.3)
Pearl has always dreamed of hunting whales, just like her father. Of taking to the sea in their eight-man canoe, standing at the prow with a harpoon, and waiting for a whale to lift its barnacle-speckled head as it offers its life for the life of the tribe. But now that can never be. Pearl's father was lost on the last hunt, and the whales hide from the great steam-powered ships carrying harpoon cannons, which harvest not one but dozens of whales from the ocean. With the whales gone, Pearl's people, the Makah, struggle to survive as Pearl searches for ways to preserve their stories and skills.

Book descriptions from Barnes & Noble website

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