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Interested in books where the location is central to the story and the characters? Do you enjoy stories that are set in the past or in places far away? Or are you interested in finding out about a specific topic or the life of a unique person from history? Consider one of these books!
Historical Fiction (Novels in Verse)
All the Broken Pieces by
ISBN: 9780545080934, 240 pages
Publication Date: 2012-03-01
Airlifted from Vietnam at the end of the war and adopted by a loving American family, Matt Pin, 12, is haunted by what he left behind, even as he bonds with his new little brother and becomes a star pitcher on the school baseball team. Matt has two passions--piano and baseball--and one secret: he feels responsible for horrific injuries his little brother sustained in Vietnam during the war. Matt's painful memories are carefully captured by the fleeting but powerful images of the author's free verse: "We did not talk about / the American War, / how tanks lumbered / in the roads / like drunken elephants, / and bombs fell / from the sky / like dead crows." Working through his past, Matt comes to understand that remembering can open the door to hope.
Ronit and Jamil by
ISBN: 9780062458544, 192 pages
Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred.
ISBN: 9780310761839, 458 pages
Blade Morrison is on shaky ground. The death of his mother years ago still haunts him, and he's continually disappointed by his father Rutherford, a rock legend who has long grappled with drug and alcohol addiction. Rutherford's humiliating behavior at Blade's high school graduation and the revelation of a devastating family secret send the teenager reeling. Looking for answers, he heads to Ghana, where he begins to heal. A contemporary hero’s journey.
Under the Broken Sky by
ISBN: 9781250159212, 304 pages
When Soviet troops invade Japanese-occupied Manchuria during the last days of World War II, twelve-year-old Natsu Kimura must care for her younger sister as they struggle to survive and return to Japan. In a desperate move to keep her sister alive, Natsu sells Cricket to a Russian family. The journey to redemption for Natsu's broken family is rife with struggles, but Natsu is tenacious and will stop at nothing to get her little sister back.
The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by
ISBN: 9780763637033, 480 pages
Poet Allan Wolf recreates the 1912 sinking of the Titanic as observed by millionaire John Jacob Astor, a beautiful young Lebanese refugee finding first love, "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Captain Smith, and twenty others, including the iceberg itself. Telegraphs, undertaker's reports, photographs and other documents are included, offering an intimate glimpse at the lives behind the tragedy.
World Fiction (Novels in Verse)
ISBN: 0763665169, 208 pages
Set in Chopán, a Guatemalan village in 1981, this verse novel follows the life of Carlos, old enough to feed the chickens but not old enough to wring their necks as the story opens. Dissuaded by his mother from confronting soldiers who have murdered a neighbor, Carlos joins a band of guerillas in the hope of carrying a warning to his grandmother's mountaintop home.
Lion Island: Cuba's Warrior of Words by
ISBN: 9781481461122, 192 pages
This novel in verse is based on the true story of Antonio Chuffat, whose mixed Chinese African descent made him an ideal messenger and, later, story-recorder for the indentured Chinese and African slaves in Cuba in the late 1800s. Young Antonio and his friends, Wing and Fan, collude to help victims of forced-labor practices escape to freedom. While fighting for liberty for the Chinese, Antonio notices that no one is attempting to free the African side of his family, and Fan considers the way society limits her choices as a woman.
Paper Hearts by
ISBN: 9781481439831, 368 pages
In Auschwitz in 1944, Zlatka made a birthday card for her best friend, Fania. She stole and bartered for paper and scissors, secretly creating an origami heart. Then she passed it to every girl at the work tables to sign with their hopes and wishes for happiness, for love, and most of all—for freedom. This novel is based on the true story of the bond that helped both Fania and Zlatka hope for the best in the face of the worst. Their heart is one of the few objects created in Auschwitz, and can be seen today in the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.
The Red Pencil by
ISBN: 9780316247801, 368 pages
Life in Amira's peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind -- and all kinds of possibilities.
A Time to Dance by
ISBN: 9780399257100, 336 pages
In contemporary Chennai, India, teenage classical dancer Veda loses part of her right leg after an accident, and her teacher doesn't believe she can succeed even after being outfitted with a prosthesis. Veda joins a new studio, where her perfectionism and determination clash with her instructors' philosophy of emotional and religious expression. Veda sets aside her longing for applause and reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her, regaining her passion and finding a new peace.
Bomb:The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by
ISBN: 9781596434875, 304 pages
In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned three continents. Soviet informants infiltrated America's Los Alamos laboratory. Knut Haukelid heroically parachuted into Norway to destroy Germany's heavy water plant. And Robert Oppenheimer assembled the greatest scientific minds in the U.S., who under great duress designed the most lethal weapon in history.
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by
ISBN: 9780374313227, 160 pages
On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.
The Dark Game: True Spy Stories by
ISBN: 9780763629151, 256 pages
From clothesline codes to surveillance satellites and cyber espionage, Janeczko uncovers two centuries' worth of true spy stories in U.S. history. Did you ever wonder why invisible ink works? How a code breaker deciphers a message? Or whether dentistry could affect a secret agent's success? The answers to these questions and more can be found here.
Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina by
ISBN: 9780385755146, 256 pages
Publication Date: 2016-01-19
This is the memoir of Michaela DePrince, who lived the first few years of her life in war-torn Sierra Leone until being adopted by an American family. She tells of her journey of hard work, emotional strength, and supportive adoptive American parents that helped her build a life as a professional dancer, allowing her to pursue her passion for ballet. She gives an honest depiction of the physical and emotional struggles she faced to become a black classical ballerina. An uplifting story about overcoming the odds.
Undefeated : Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by
ISBN: 9781596439542, 288 pages
Proclaimed "the greatest all-around athlete in the world" by legendary football coach Glenn "Pop" Warner, Jim Thorpe dominated sports in the early 1900s. His natural athleticism, in tandem with Warner's innovative coaching style, helped establish the Carlisle Indian Industrial School's football program as one of the nation's best, eclipsing perennial gridiron powerhouses. But this is not just an underdog story. The author takes an unflinching look at the persecution of Native Americans and its intersection with the beginning of one of the most beloved -- and exploitative -- pastimes in America.