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Historical Fiction: Turn of the Century to the Present

This reading list features books set in the Turn of the Century all the way up to the present including Steampunk, the Gilded Age, the Russian Revolution, World Wars I & II, Pol Pot Cambodia, the Israel-Palenstine conflict and more!

You may have learned about these events at school, but these books are anything but boring. They make history come to life!

A Good American by Alex George

When Frederick and Jette must flee her disapproving mother in 1904, where better to go than America, the land of the new? By chance, they find themselves in Beatrice, Missouri. Not speaking a word of English, they embark on their new life together.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY, Jennifer Donnelly's astonishing debut novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.

Alligator Bayou by Donna Jo Napoli

Talullah, Louisiana. 1899. To 14-year-old Calogero, newly arrived from Sicily, Tallulah is a lush world full of contradictions, hidden rules, and tension between the Negro and white communities. Calogero’s family is caught in the middle: the whites don’t see them as equal, but befriending Negroes is dangerous. Every day brings Calogero and his family closer to a a terrifying, violent confrontation.

Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet

Who invented the first balloons for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”? Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg and his long-lasting gift to America --- the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Parade.

Broken Song by Kathryn Lasky

The year is 1897, and gifted violinist Reuven Bloom is fifteen years old. Life for the Jews in Russia is very hard. First Reuven’s best friend is captured to serve in the Tsar’s army, and then his parents and older sister are murdered. Reuven’s dreams of music must be set aside. Now he has only one goal: escape.

Brooklyn Rose by Ann Rinaldi

It's 1900 --- the dawn of a new century --- and never in her wildest dreams did fifteen-year-old Rose Frampton ever think she'd leave her family and home in South Carolina to live with a new husband in the land of the Yankees. But that is exactly what has happened.

Courting Trouble by Lisa Scottoline

When Anne Murphy, a redheaded smart, gorgeous, and young rookie at a Philadelphia law firm returns from a weekend away, her own photo is plastered all over the newspapers' front page proclaiming her murder. Anne sets out to find her killer, playing dead in order to stay alive. But her knack for courting trouble makes it almost impossible for Anne to play well with others, defend the lawsuit, and fight her urge to sleep with the enemy.

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

To get out of Mrs. Browning’s School for Girls, Prudence Galewski has to find a job fit for a young lady. But Prudence is fascinated by the human body. With some luck, she lands a position in a lab, where she’s swept into an investigation of the fever, one of medical history’s greatest mysteries.

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware

Two Jimmy Corrigans populate Chris Ware’s breakthrough graphic novel. The first, in 1893, is abandoned by his father in Chicago, never fully knowing why he’s been left. Flash-forward to his grandson, also named Jimmy Corrigan and also about to be abandoned by his father. Years later, when the second Jimmy, now an adult, finally meets up with his estranged dad, the book takes a moving and heartfelt turn.

The Big Burn by Jeanette Ingold

Jarrett is sixteen --- old enough to reject the railroad job his father wants him to take, old enough to court Lizbeth Whitcomb, old enough to join the fight against the forest fires that are destroying Idaho and Montana. About the big blow-up of 1910, THE BIG BURN is a portrait of the event that transformed forever the lives of the people at the front lines of the fires.

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Amelia van den Broek is haunted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, those around her begin to wonder if she’s not just the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Bella, newly arrived in New York, gets a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where Yetta from Russia works. Wealthy Jane learns of their terrible working conditions and becomes involved. Bella and Yetta are at work -- and Jane is visiting the factory -- on March 25, 1911, when a spark ignites some cloth and the building is engulfed in fire, leading to one of the worst workplace disasters ever.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson's spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men --- the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World's Fair, striving to secure America's place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death.

Thunderstruck by Erik Larson

In THUNDERSTRUCK, Erik Larson tells the interwoven stories of two men—Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication—whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time.

To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight by James Tobin

While the Wright brothers weren't the most well-funded or well-known, they were the first to successfully move their airplane toward flight. This wasn't without obstacles --- especially to get the world to acknowledge what they've done.

All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky by Joe R. Lansdale

The Depression strikes a fatal blow to Jack’s life when his mother dies of sickness and his father commits suicide. Left with nothing, Jack, his classmate, Jane, and her brother, Tony, take their neighbor’s car and strike out for something, anything, better. But what they get is a dangerous and heart-pounding adventure that will change their lives forever.

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Alex has escaped to a secluded forest in Michigan to confront her unknown future when an electromagnetic pulse explodes in the sky and instantly kills billions. She and a small band of survivors must struggle to survive the elements, each other, and the beckoning zombie apocalypse. 

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Written by Dai Sijie and translated by Ina Rilke

Part historical novel, part fable, part love story, BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS is a moving testament to the transformative power of literature. In 1971, as Mao's Cultural Revolution sweeps across China, two teenage boys are branded "ractionary intellectuals" and sent to live on a remote mountain. When they bargain their way into obtaining a forbidden Balzac novel from a friend, it opens up a new and dizzyingly vast world --- and leads to unexpected consequences that propel the novel to its stunning conclusion.

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker Powers. Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. When disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

It's 1941, and Lina is just like any other 15-year-old Lithuanian girl. That is, until Soviet officers barge into her home. Separated from her father, Lina, her mother and her brother travel north on a crowded train to a camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here, under Stalin's orders, they are forced to dig for beets --- and fight for their lives --- under the cruelest conditions.

Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle

 

It is spring 1929, and Prohibition is in full swing. So when Ruben and Jeddy find a dead body washed up on the shore of their small town, they are sure it has something to do with smuggling liquor. Then Ruben meets the daring captain of the Black Duck, the most elusive smuggling craft of them all, and it isn’t long before he’s caught in a war between two of the most dangerous prohibition gangs.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

From Manhattan speakeasies to downtown boarding houses, from the bridges of Brooklyn to estates on Long Island, BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS marks the beginning of a new series by The Luxe author Anna Godbersen, set in the last wild summer before the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society by Adeline Yen Mah

After enduring abuse at the hands of her cruel stepmother, Chinese Cinderella seeks refuge at a martial-arts school and joins a secret dragon society. When CC and her new comrades take on a daring mission to rescue a crew of WWII American airmen, they prove that true bravery knows no age barrier.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

In 1943, a British spy plane crashes in Nazi France, leaving the passenger “Verity” to be captured by the Gestapo and her best friend, Maddie, behind. When Verity’s captors tell her to confess or be executed, she writes her confession page by page --- uncovering her past, how she became friends with Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wreck, desperately hoping to make it home.

Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

On an Italian-occupied Greek island during WWII, Pelagia, a willful, beautiful local girl, has two suitors vying for her love: Mandras, a gentle fisherman turned ruthless guerilla, and the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli. Corelli's Mandolin is rich with loyalties and betrayals, and set against a landscape where the factual blends seamlessly with the fantastic.

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

It's 1962, and it seems everyone is living in fear. Twelve-year-old Franny Chapman lives with her family in Washington, DC, during the days surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis. Amidst the pervasive threat of nuclear war, Franny must face the tension between herself and her younger brother, figure out where she fits in with her family, and look beyond outward appearances.

Courting Trouble by Lisa Scottoline

When Anne Murphy, a redheaded smart, gorgeous, and young rookie at a Philadelphia law firm returns from a weekend away, her own photo is plastered all over the newspapers' front page proclaiming her murder. Anne sets out to find her killer, playing dead in order to stay alive. But her knack for courting trouble makes it almost impossible for Anne to play well with others, defend the lawsuit, and fight her urge to sleep with the enemy.

Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata

Told in part through the uncanny point of view of a German shepherd, Cracker! is an action-packed glimpse into the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of a dog and her handler. It's an utterly unique powerhouse of a book by the Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira.

Dear America: The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis - Seattle, Washington, 1941 by Kirby Larson

One fateful day in December 1941, Piper Davis awaits the news of her brother, a soldier on the battleship Arizona stationed in Pearl Harbor. She wonders about the fate of her brother while rationing and blackouts take hold in Seattle. Soon, Piper faces the incarceration of her Japanese neighbors. As she learns about the heartbreaking realities of war, Piper begins to understand that she has the power to make a difference.

Defiance: Resistance Book 2 by Carla Jablonski

World War II has taken its toll on the French countryside. German soldiers patrol the towns, searching for any challenge to their rule. The Tessier siblings, Paul, Marie, and Sophie, keep their noses clean and their faces blank, but all three are secretly doing their part for the Resistance...even if it ends up costing them their lives.

Devil on My Heels by Joyce McDonald

It’s 1959 in Benevolence, Florida, and life is as sweet as a Valencia orange for 15-year-old Dove Alderman. But there’s trouble brewing among the local migrant workers. Mysterious fires have broken out, and rumors are spreading that disgruntled pickers are to blame. Suddenly, black and white become a muddy shade of gray, and whispers of the KKK drift through the Southern air like sighs. The Klan could never exist in a place like Benevolence, Dove tells herself. Or could it?

Diva by Jillian Larkin

Parties, bad boys, speakeasies --- life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn't have been as magical as Clara thought. And if she has to be unhappy, she's going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.

Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs takes on her most personal case yet: a twisting investigation into the brutal killing of a street peddler that will take her from the working-class neighborhoods of her childhood into London’s highest circles of power.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

A tragedy forces Esperanza and her mother to flee their Mexican ranch for California during the Great Depression. They settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers, and Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances --- Mama's life and her own depend on it.

Eyes of the Emperor by Graham Salisbury

Eddy Okana lies about his age and joins the Army in his hometown of Honolulu only weeks before the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. Suddenly Americans see him as the enemy—even the U.S. Army doubts the loyalty of Japanese American soldiers. Then the Army sends Eddy and a small band of Japanese American soldiers on a secret mission to a small island off the coast of Mississippi. Here they are given a special job, one that only they can do. Eddy's going to help train attack dogs. He's going to be the bait.

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

All Ida Mae Jones wants to do is fly. Her daddy was a pilot, and years after his death she feels closest to him when she's in the air. But as a young black woman in 1940s Louisiana, she knows the sky is off limits to her, until America enters World War II, and the Army forms the WASP-Women Airforce Service Pilots. Ida has a chance to fulfill her dream if she's willing to use her light skin to pass as a white girl. She wants to fly more than anything, but Ida soon learns that denying one's self and family is a heavy burden, and ultimately it's not what you do but who you are that's most important.

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board. Secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is at it seems in this conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s trilogy.

Guardian by Julius Lester

In a time and place without moral conscience, fourteen-year-old Ansel knows what is right and what is true. But it is dangerous to choose honesty, and so he chooses silence. Now an innocent man is dead, and Ansel feels the burden of his decision. He must also bear the pain of losing a friend, his family, and the love of a lifetime.

Habibi by Craig Thompson

Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.

Harlem Summer by Walter Dean Myers

As an assistant at The Crisis, a magazine for the "new Negro," 16-year-old Mark Purvis rubs shoulders with Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. He's making money, but not enough. And when piano player Fats Waller entices him and his buddies to make some fast cash, Mark finds himself crossing the gangster Dutch Schultz.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

For years, sixteen-year-old Hattie's been shuttled between relatives. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she courageously leaves Iowa to "prove up" on her late uncle's homestead claim near Vida, Montana. With a stubborn stick-to-itiveness, Hattie faces frost, drought and blizzards. Despite many hardships, Hattie forges ahead, sharing her adventures with her friends through letters and articles for her hometown paper.

Hazel by Julie Hearn

London, 1913. Hazel Louise Mull-Dare has a good life, if a bit dull. Her adoring father grants her every wish, she attends a prestigious school for young ladies, and she receives no pressure to excel in anything whatsoever. But when an American friend convinces Hazel to take a stand for women’s suffrage, her rebellious stunt lands her in more trouble than she ever could have dreamed: Hazel is banished to her grandparent’s sugar plantation in the Caribbean. There she is forced to confront the dark secrets of her family—secrets of slavery—and a shame that lingers on.

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley

The precocious Flavia de Luce must solve a murder that took place while the entire village gathered to see a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern being filmed at the de Luces’ decaying English estate.

I Have a Dream Written by Martin Luther King, Jr., Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation's history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson's magnificent paintings, make for a picture book to be treasured by children and adults alike.

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins the night her father comes home bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the remaining vestige of childhood --- the mythical legends and poems her father told her.

Ingenue by Jillian Larkin

Clara was sure that once handsome, charming Marcus Eastman discovered her shameful secret, he'd drop her like a bad habit. Instead, he swept her off her feet and whisked her away to New York. Being with Marcus is a breath of fresh air—and a chance for Clara to leave her wild flapper ways firmly in the past. Except the dazzling parties and bright lights won't stop whispering her name...

Insight by Diana Greenwood

Along with the burdens of a difficult family, Elvira also bears a daunting secret --- she encouraged her father to enlist in WWII. Ever since he was declared missing in action, Elvira has felt responsible for his presumed death. But Jessie also carries a secret about the father she never met --- a secret so powerful that when her mother, Connie, learns of it, she sends the family on a journey to California with a traveling preacher. This powerful teen manuscript tells the story of a family's journey toward forgiveness and a young woman's journey toward faith.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.  Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides of the war. But their paths cross in the most unexpected way, taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure… One that will change both their lives forever.

Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet

Love won’t be easy for Clem Ackroyd, a working class boy who falls in love with the daughter of a wealthy landowner during the Cold War, when bombs could interrupt the peace and quiet of the English countryside at any moment.

Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan

This irresistible novel entangles an orphaned girl in a deceit filled plot. Young Rachel Sheridan is made to leave her beloved Africa for England, where she must pose as the deceased daughter of a nefarious couple in an effort to gain them an enormous inheritance. Her irrepressible spirit and extraordinary wit turn her from victim to heroine in a surprising and empowering tale of a remarkable young woman.

Lunch-Box Dream by Tony Abbott

Lunch-Box Dream presents Jim Crow, racism, and segregation from multiple perspectives.  In this story of witnessing without understanding, a naïvely prejudiced boy, in brief flashes of insight, starts to identify and question his assumptions about race.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In this literary tour de force, novelist Arthur Golden enters a remote and exotic world --- that of Sayuri, one of Japan 's most celebrated geisha, a woman who is both performer and courtesan, slave and goddess. The story follows Sayuri from her childhood in an impoverished fishing village to Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto.

My Own Revolution by Carolyn Marsden

Fourteen-year-old Patrik rebels against the communist regime in small ways whenever he gets the chance: spray-painting slogans, listening to contraband Beatles records, even urinating on a statue of Lenin under cover of night. But anti-Party sentiment is risky, and when party interference cuts a little too close to home, Patrik and his family find themselves faced with a decision --- and a grave secret --- that will change everything.

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

When soldiers arrive at his hometown in Cambodia, Arn is just a kid, dancing to rock 'n' roll, hustling for spare change, and selling ice cream with his brother. But after the soldiers march the entire population into the countryside, his life is changed forever. Based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, this is an achingly raw and powerful novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace, from National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick.

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

As the enemy lurks in the darkness, Thomas struggles to stay awake through the night. He has lived through the terror of gas attacks and watched friends die by his side. But in the morning, Thomas will be forced to confront an even greater horror. Each minute that passes brings Thomas closer to something he can't bear to to think about--the moment when the war and its horrific consequences will change his life forever.

Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand

In 1978, Merle is in her first year of art school. In 1870, poet Arthur Rimbaud is on the verge of breaking through to the images and voice that will make his name. But the meshed power of words and art thins the boundaries between the present and the past and allows these two troubled, brilliant artists to enter each other's worlds.

Rasputin's Daughter by Robert Alexander

Robert Alexander’s latest masterpiece once again conjures those turbulent days in a fictional drama of extraordinary depth and suspense. In the wake of the Russian Revolution, Maria Rasputin --- eldest of the Rasputin children --- recounts her infamous father’s final days, building a breathless narrative of intrigue, excess, and conspiracy that reveals the shocking truth of her father’s end and the identity of those who arranged it.

Ripper by Stefan Petrucha

Carver Young has always had big dreams of being a detective. Despite his humble upbringing in an orphanage, he gets his chance when he is adopted by Detective Hawking. But when he is thrown into the case of a vicious serial killer who has terrorized New York City, things quickly get real, and soon Carver finds his newfound stability thrown into disarray once again.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY is the story of African American Cassie Logan and her family, fighting to stay together and strong in the face of brutal racist attacks, illness, poverty, and betrayal in the Deep South of the 1930s.

Rumors: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen

After bidding goodbye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumors continue to fly about her untimely demise. As old friends become rivals, Manhattan's most dazzling socialites find their futures threatened by whispers from the past.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours... Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

Something Remains by Inge Barth-Grözinger

Inge Barth-Grözinger has brilliantly recreated the life of a Jewish family in a small German town during the Nazi era. Something Remains provides, with terrible, everyday detail, an answer to the impossible question: how could the Holocaust have happened?

Stormwitch by Susan Vaught

It is 1969, and Ruba has just moved to Mississippi from Haiti to live with her Grandmother Jones. It isn't long before Ruba finds herself threatened by the KKK and drawn into the fight for civil rights. But a hurricane barreling toward the coast changes everything, bringing Ruba and her family a measure of justice and a new acceptance.

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

She's fled from her family in Providence, Rhode Island, and she's broken off her tempestuous relationship with a boy named Billy, who's enlisted in the army. Nate Benedict is Billy's father. He's also a lawyer involved in the mob. He makes Kit a deal --- he'll give her an apartment and introduce her to a new crowd. All she has to do is keep him informed about Billy…and maybe do him a favor every now and then.

Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas

During World War II, a family finds life turned upside down when the government opens a Japanese internment camp in their small Colorado town. After a young girl is murdered, all eyes (and suspicions) turn to the newcomers, the interlopers, the strangers.

Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal by Mal Peet

When her grandfather dies, Tamar inherits a box containing a series of clues and coded messages. Out of the past, another Tamar emerges, a man involved in the terrifying world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland half a century before. His story is one of passionate love, jealousy, and tragedy set against the daily fear and casual horror of the Second World War — and unraveling it is about to transform Tamar’s life forever.

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

With her best friend murdered and her boyfriend Max, the main suspect, gone, Nora can barely manage to keep afloat. All she knows is that the entire nightmare is related to the ancient book translation they had been working on for a school project. Then she receives a coded message from Max begging her to join him in Prague. They have a chance to clear his name and finally solve a 400-year-old mystery --- which includes instructions on building a machine to talk to God.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Living in Germany during World War II, young Liesel Meminger 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.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

John Boyne's novel is the gripping story of two boys --- one the son of a commandant in Hitler's army and the other a Jew --- who come face-to-face at a barbed wire fence that separates, and eventually intertwines their lives.

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

When 16-year-old Helmut Hubner listens to the BBC news on an illegal short-wave radio, he quickly discovers Germany is lying to the people. But when he tries to expose the truth with leaflets, he's tried for treason. Sentenced to death and waiting in a jail cell, Helmut's story emerges in a series of flashbacks that show his growth from a naive child caught up in the patriotism of the times , to a sensitive and mature young man who thinks for himself.

The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick

It is 1915 and the First World War has only just begun. 17 year old Sasha is a well-to-do, sheltered-English girl. Just as her brother Thomas longs to be a doctor, she wants to nurse, yet girls of her class don't do that kind of work. Pretending to be a real nurse, Sasha goes behind the front lines searching for Thomas, risking her own life as she races to find him, and somehow prevent his death.

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Written when Carson McCullers was 23, her novel's heroine is the strange young girl, Mick Kelly. The setting is a small Southern town. The characters are the damned, the voiceless, he rejected. Some fight their loneliness with violence and depravity, some with sex or drink, and some --- like Mick --- with a quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

The History of the World According to Facebook by Wylie Overstreet

In August 2010, Wylie Overstreet published a satirical article called "If Historical Events Had Facebook Statuses" on the website CoolMaterial.com. Within a month, it had received 3 million views and had been "liked" by 120,000 Facebook users. In A WORLD HISTORY ACCORDING TO FACEBOOK, Overstreet expands this concept into a full-length history of the world, from its creation up through to the present day, as if Facebook had existed all along and Abraham Lincoln had written a status update about "taking the missus to the theater" on April 15, 1865 and Ben Franklin had done the same alerting his network that he'd signed the Declaration of Independence.

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander

The fascinating story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra as seen through the eyes of the Romanovs’ young kitchen boy, Leonka. Now an ancient Russian immigrant, Leonka claims to be the last living witness to the Romanovs’ brutal murders and sets down the dark secrets of his past with the imperial family. Does he hold the key to the many questions surrounding the family’s murder? Historically vivid and compelling, The Kitchen Boy is also a touching portrait of a loving family that was in many ways similar, yet so different, from any other.

The Miner's Daughter by Gretchen Moran Laskas

Backbreaking work, threadbare clothes, and black coal dust choking the air -- this is what a miner's daughter knows. Willa Lowell fears that this dust marks her to be nothing else, that she will never win against the constant struggle to survive. Willa yearns for a better life -- enough food to eat, clothes that fit, and a home free of black grit. When a much brighter future is suddenly promised to her family, Willa knows it is a miracle . . . until she discovers that every promise has a price.

 

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Set in South Carolina in 1964, THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES is the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina --- a town that holds the secret to her mother's past.

The Things They Carried: Twentieth Anniversary Edition by Tim O’Brien

They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated Bibles, each other. And, if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb. THE THINGS THEY CARRIED has become an unparalleled Vietnam testament, a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul.

The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf

Using the most famous passengers of the Titanic, poet Allan Wolf offers a breathtaking, intimate glimpse at the lives behind the tragedy, told with clear-eyed compassion and astounding emotional power.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

One of the best-loved stories of all time, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is Harper Lee's classic novel of a lawyer in the Deep South defending a black man charged with the rape of a white girl.

Tulsa Burning by Anna Myers

The day he buried his pa, Nobe Chase lost everything—his father, his home, and his dog, Rex. Worst of all, he had to move into town to live with Sheriff Leonard—dog killer, wife stealer, and secret law-breaker of all sorts. That day, Nobe found a new purpose for his life—revenge. Based on true events in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during May of 1921, Anna Myers has produced a powerful novel about a young man who must wrestle with his past and find the strength to pull free from the poisonous grip of hatred and abuse.

Vixen by Jillian Larkin

In this first installment of a new series set in the dangerous and exciting world of Chicago’s Prohibition-era speakeasies, an aspiring singer named Gloria embarks on a series of clandestine adventures, ultimately leading her into the arms of a black pianist. Meanwhile, Lorraine is hurt by her best friend’s secrecy and plans on ruining the reputation of Gloria’s country cousin, Clara. But nothing is as it appears: Clara hides a secret life of her own, and Lorraine is getting the attention she craves from all the wrong places.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

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.

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

With searing insight and clarity, Newbery Medal-winning author Cynthia Kadohata explores an important and painful topic through the eyes of a young girl who yearns to belong. Weedflower is the story of the rewards and challenges of a friendship across the racial divide, as well as the based-on-real-life story of how the meeting of Japanese Americans and Native Americans changed the future of both.

Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

It’s 1912, and as one of Britain’s most elite families, the Darlingtons of WENTWORTH HALL need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been…even as their carefully constructed facade rapidly comes undone. Maggie Darlington has a secret, and she’s not the only one…the handsome groom Michael, the beautiful new French nanny Therese, the Darlingtons’ teenage houseguests Teddy and Jessica, and even Maggie’s younger sister Lila are all hiding something, and one of these secrets has the power to ruin the Darlingtons forever.

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy

A look at women's history from aboard a bicycle, which granted females the freedom of mobility and helped empower women's liberation.

White Duck by Na Liu and Andrés Vera Marténez

The world is changing for two girls in China in the 1970s.  When their country's leader, Chairman Mao, dies, new opportunities begin to emerge. Da Qin and Xiao Qin soon learn that their childhood will be much different than the upbringing their parents experienced.

White Ghost Girls by Alice Greenway

White Ghost Girls is the story of Frankie and Kate, two American sisters living in a foreign land in a chaotic time. In Alice Greenway’s exquisite gem of a novel, two girls tumble into their teenage years against an extraordinary backdrop both sensuous and dangerous. This astonishing literary debut is a tale of sacrifice and solidarity that gleams with the kind of intense, complicated love that only exists between sisters.

Your Eyes in Stars by M. E. Kerr

Two unlikely friends–Elisa, a German outsider, and Jessie, the daughter of the local prison warden–meet during the Depression. In Elisa's far–off homeland, a new dictator is spreading the stain of hate, but the two girls are absorbed in matters closer at hand. Together they explore their small town, dream of the future, and talk about Slater Carr, the angel–faced prisoner whose nightly bugle rendition of Taps holds their small town in thrall and whose actions, one Halloween night, will change everything.

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon

A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this astonishing novel is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself.

Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia's last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family's future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood.

Beautiful Days: A Bright Young Things Novel by Anna Godbersen

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes the second book in an epic series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

Chasing Charity: Texas Fortunes Trilogy, Book 2 by Marcia Gruver

In this second book of the Texas Fortunes series, Charity Bloom is left stranded at the altar after her best friend takes off with her fiance. How will she ever show her face in town again? After Buddy Pierce discovers oil on the Bloom property, he realizes the real treasure may be above ground-in the form of Charity Bloom. Can he strike it rich in Charity? When her ex-fiance decides he wants her back, whom will Charity choose--the handsome roughneck or the deceitful rogue?

Envy: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen

Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South. 

Splendor: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

This is Manhattan, 1899. 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.

Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition by Karen Blumenthal

Filled with period art and photographs, anecdotes, and portraits of unique characters from the era, this book looks at the rise and fall of the disastrous social experiment known as Prohibition.

Black and White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Connor by Larry Dane Brimner

In the 1950s and early 60s, Birmingham, Alabama became known as Bombingham. At the center of this violent time in the fight for civil rights, and standing at opposite ends, were Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Connor. Author Larry Dane Brimner first covers each man's life and then brings them together to show how their confrontation brought about significant change to the southern city. 

Carlisle Vs. Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner and the Forgotten Story of Football’s Greatest Battle by Lars Anderson

In this stunning work of narrative nonfiction, Lars Anderson recounts one of college football’s greatest contests: Carlisle vs. Army, the fateful 1912 gridiron clash that had far-reaching implications both real and symbolic. Filled with colorful period detail, Carlisle vs. Army gives a thrilling, authoritative account of the events of an epic afternoon whose reverberations would be felt for generations.

Citizen Soldiers (Audio) by Stephen E. Ambrose

This sequel to D-DAY opens at 00:01 hours, June 7, 1944 on the Normandy Beaches and ends at 02:45 hours, May 7, 1945.  The experience of these citizen soldiers reveals the ordinary sufferings and hardships of war. They overcame their fear and inexperience, the mistakes of their high command and their enemy to win the war.

Columbine by Dave Cullen

On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school, Oklahoma-City style, and to leave "a lasting impression on the world." In the tradition of HELTER SKELTER and IN COLD BLOOD, COLUMBINE is destined to be a classic. A close-up portrait of hatred, a community rendered helpless, and the police blunders and cover-ups, it is a compelling and utterly human portrait of two killers-an unforgettable cautionary tale for our times.

Dancing In the Streets: A History of Collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich

In the acclaimed Blood Rites, Barbara Ehrenreich delved into the origins of our species' attraction to war. Here, she explores the opposite impulse, one that has been so effectively suppressed that we lack even a term for it: the desire for collective joy, historically expressed in ecstatic revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing. Original, exhilarating, and deeply optimistic, Dancing in the Streets concludes that we are innately social beings, impelled to share our joy and therefore able to envision, even create, a more peaceable future.

Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock by David Margolick

In 1957, a photograph was taken of a black high school girl walking stoically in front of Little Rock Central High School, being screamed at by a white girl. In this gripping book, David Margolick recounts how the photograph has unexpectedly followed both women throughout their lives.

Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them John McCain with Mark Salter

In Hard Call, acclaimed authors John McCain and Mark Salter describe the anatomy of great decisions in history by telling the remarkable stories of men and women who have exemplified composure, wisdom, and intellect in the face of life's toughest decisions. The authors identify six qualities typically represented in the best decisions: Awareness. Timing. Foresight. Confidence. Humility. Inspiration. These qualities are personified by the exceptional individuals in this book, each of whom made a hard call.

Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World by David Maraniss

From the critically acclaimed and bestselling author David Maraniss, a groundbreaking book that weaves sports, politics, and history into a tour de force about the 1960 Rome Olympics, eighteen days of theater, suspense, victory, and defeat. Using the meticulous research and sweeping narrative style that have become his trademark, Maraniss reveals the rich palate of character, competition, and meaning that gave Rome 1960 its singular essence.

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer's INTO THIN AIR and Sebastian Junger's THE PERFECT STORM comes this true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery --- and make history themselves.

The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War by David Halberstam

The Coldest Winter is contemporary history in its most literary and luminescent form. It is a book that Halberstam first decided to write more than thirty years ago and that took him nearly ten years to complete. It stands as a lasting testament to one of the greatest journalists and historians of our time, and to the fighting men whose heroism it chronicles.

The Mets: A 50th Anniversary Celebration by Andy Martino and Anthony McCarron

In honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the amazin’ New York Mets, the New York Daily News has created the definitive commemorative tome for fans.This fascinating narrative includes more than 200 of the Daily News’s greatest Mets images and a fantastic foreword by Ron Darling, making this a must-have book for fans everywhere. Ya gotta believe!

The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945 Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns

The vivid voices that speak from these pages are not those of historians or scholars. They are the voices of ordinary men and women who experienced—and helped to win—the most devastating war in history, in which between 50 and 60 million lives were lost. Enriched by maps and hundreds of photographs, including many never published before, this is an intimate, profoundly affecting chronicle of the war that shaped our world.

Unsettled: The Problem of Loving Israel by Marc Aronson

An exploration of the history of Isreal, it's relationships with its neighboring countries, and questions about what Isreal should be.

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