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Recommended reads on this page include histories of Danish teenagers who challenged Hitler and Nazi hunters and spies who traveled the world to capture a notorious criminal from the Third Reich. Travel back to 1960s Florida or Ancient Greece or Apartheid South Africa with historical fiction. Genre information can be found at the end of each book description.
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club, by Phillip Hoose
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by
ISBN: 9780374300227, 198 p.
Publication Date: 2015-05-12
At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys' exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. History books; Narrative nonfiction.
The Downstairs Girl, by Stacey Lee
The Downstairs Girl by
Publication Date: 2021-03-02
By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. First person narratives; Historical fiction.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by Victoria Schwab
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by
ISBN: 9780765387561, 448 p.
Publication Date: 2020-10-06
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. Historical fantasy; Multiple perspectives.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club, by Malinda Lo
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by
ISBN: 9780525555254, 416 p.
Publication Date: 2021-01-19
"That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other. Have you ever heard of such a thing?" Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father--despite his hard-won citizenship--Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day. Asian American fiction; Historical fiction; LGBTQIA fiction.
Lovely War, by Julie Berry
Lovely War by
ISBN: 9780147512970, 480 p.
Publication Date: 2020-02-04
The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: "Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another?" but her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music revealing that War is no match for the power of Love. Historical fiction; Love stories; Mythological fiction; War stories.
The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi, by Neal Bascomb
The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by
ISBN: 9780545431002, 272 p.
Publication Date: 2018-04-24
In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the head of operations for the Nazis' Final Solution, walked into the mountains of Germany and vanished from view. Sixteen years later, an elite team of spies captured him at a bus stop in Argentina and smuggled him to Israel, resulting in one of the century's most important trials -- one that cemented the Holocaust in the public imagination. This is the thrilling story of what happened between these two events. Biographies; Collective biographies; History books.
The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
The Nickel Boys by
ISBN: 9780345804341, 224 p.
Publication Date: 2020-06-30
Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children. When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. African American fiction; Historical fiction.
Sherwood, by Meagan Spooner
ISBN: 9780062422323, 496 p.
Publication Date: 2020-02-18
Robin of Locksley is dead. Maid Marian doesn't know how she'll go on, but the people of Locksley town, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, need a protector. And the dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff's right hand, wishes to step into Robin's shoes as Lord of Locksley and Marian's fiancâe. Who is there to stop them? Marian never meant to tread in Robin's footsteps--never intended to stand as a beacon of hope to those awaiting his triumphant return. But with a sweep of his green cloak and the flash of her sword, Marian makes the choice to become her own hero: Robin Hood. Fairy tale and folklore-inspired fiction; Historical fiction.
The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
The Song of Achilles by
ISBN: 9780062060624, 416 p.
Publication Date: 2012-08-28
Patroclus, an awkward young prince, follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. Set during the Trojan War. Adaptations; Historical fiction; Literary fiction; War stories.
Sunrise Over Fallujah, by Walter Dean Myers
Sunrise over Fallujah by
ISBN: 9780439916257, 320 p.
Publication Date: 2009-04-15
Robin "Birdy" Perry, a new army recruit from Harlem, isn't quite sure why he joined the army, but he's sure where he's headed: Iraq. Birdy and the others in the Civilian Affairs Battalion are supposed to help secure and stabilize the country and successfully interact with the Iraqi people. Officially, the code name for their maneuvers is Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the young men and women in the CA unit have a simpler name for it: WAR. Coming-of-age stories; Historical fiction; War stories.
When the Ground is Hard, by Malla Nunn
When the Ground Is Hard by
ISBN: 9780525515593, 288 p.
Publication Date: 2021-06-01
In Swaziland in the time of the British Protectorate, wealth and privilege are tightly bound to race. As a mixed-race girl, Adele considers herself above the native Zulus, but her relatively privileged status is compromised by the fact that her white father lives with his “real” family in Johannesburg. Nevertheless, Adele has managed to find a place with the popular girls at her boarding school, until the arrival of a new girl slams her down the social hierarchy. The girls share a love of reading and bond over a book and a series of disasters. Coming-of-age stories; Historical fiction.
White Rose, by Kip Wilson
White Rose by
ISBN: 9780358376699, 368 p.
Publication Date: 2021-01-12
Disillusioned by the propaganda of Nazi Germany, Sophie Scholl, her brother, and his fellow soldiers formed the White Rose, a group that wrote and distributed anonymous letters criticizing the Nazi regime and calling for action from their fellow German citizens. The following year, Sophie and her brother were arrested for treason and interrogated for information about their collaborators. This novel in verse recounts the lives of Sophie and her friends and highlights their brave stand against fascism in Nazi Germany. Biographical fiction; Historical fiction; Novels in verse.