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KCLS Recommends: Children's - World Historical Fiction

The Black Pearl
The Black Pearl By O'Dell, Scott, 1898-1989 (Book - 1967 ) J O'DELL Available in some locations

Annotation:(Mexico) In claiming a magnificent black pearl as his own, a sixteen-year-old youth enrages a fearful sea devil.

A Boy Called Dickens
A Boy Called Dickens By Hopkinson, Deborah (Book - 2012 ) E HOPKINSON Available in some locations

Annotation:(London 1824) As a child, Dickens was forced to live on his own and work long hours in a rat-infested blacking factory.

Breaking Stalin's Nose
Breaking Stalin's Nose By Yelchin, Eugene (Book - 2011 ) J YELCHIN Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 36 copies

Annotation:(Soviet Union, 1930s) In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist, but when police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs. Ages 9 – 12.

The Bronze Bow
The Bronze Bow By Speare, Elizabeth George (Book - 1961 ) J SPEARE Available in some locations

Annotation:(1st century Judea) When the Romans brutally kill Daniel bar Jamin's father, the young Palestinian searches for a leader to drive them out, but comes to realize that love may be a more powerful weapon than hate.

The Cheshire Cheese Cat
The Cheshire Cheese Cat A Dickens of A Tale By Deedy, Carmen Agra (Book - 2011 ) J DEEDY Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 41 copies

Annotation:(19th Century London) A community of mice and a cheese-loving cat form an unlikely alliance at London's Cheshire Cheese, an inn where Charles Dickens finds inspiration and Queen Victoria makes an unexpected appearance. Ages 8-12. J

Crispin The Cross of Lead By Avi, 1937- (Book - 2004 ) J AVI Available in some locations

Annotation:(14th century England) Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.

The Death-defying Pepper Roux
The Death-defying Pepper Roux By McCaughrean, Geraldine (Book - 2010 ) J MCCAUGHREAN Available in some locations

Annotation: (Early 20th-century France) Having been raised to believe he will die before he reaches the age of fourteen, Pepper Roux runs away on his fourteenth birthday in an attempt to elude his fate, assumes another identity, and continues to try to outrun death, having many adventures in the process. Ages 10-14

The Door in the Wall
The Door in the Wall By De Angeli, Marguerite, 1889- (Book - 1989 ) J DE ANGELI Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 45 copies

Annotation:(Medieval England) In the Middle Ages a young boy crippled by the plague becomes a page by proving his courage.

Elephant Run
Elephant Run By Smith, Roland, 1951- (Book - 2007 ) Y SMITH Available in some locations

Annotation:(Burma, WWII) Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father's plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, and when his father and others are taken prisoner and Nick is stranded with his friend Mya, they plan a daring escape on elephants. Ages 9-12

Hawksmaid The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian By Lasky, Kathryn (Book - 2010 ) J LASKY Available in some locations

Annotation: (12th Century England) Matty grows up to be a master falconer, able to communicate with the devoted birds who later help her and Fynn, also known as Robin Hood, to foil Prince John's plot to steal the crown. Ages 9-14.

The House of Sixty Fathers
The House of Sixty Fathers By De Jong, Meindert, 1910- (Book - 1956 ) J DE JONG Available in some locations

Annotation:(China 1930s) Alone in the sampan with his pig and three ducklings, a Chinese boy is whirled down a raging river, back to the town from which he and his parents had escaped the invading Japanese, and spends long and frightening days regaining his family and new home.

Journey to the River Sea
Journey to the River Sea By Ibbotson, Eva (Book - 2002 ) J IBBOTSON Available in some locations

Annotation:(Brazil 1910) Sent with her governess to live among the the dreadful Carter family in exotic Brazil, Maia endures many hardships before fulfilling her dream of exploring the Amazon River.

The Kite Rider
The Kite Rider A Novel By McCaughrean, Geraldine (Book - 2002 ) Y MCCAUGHREAN Available in some locations

Annotation:(13th century China) After trying to save his widowed mother from a horrendous second marriage, twelve-year-old Haoyou has life-changing adventure when he takes to the sky as a circus kite riders and ends up meeting the great Mongol ruler Kublai Khan.

Listening for Lions
Listening for Lions By Whelan, Gloria (Book - 2005 )

Annotation:(East Africa, 1918) Left an orphan after the influenza epidemic in British East Africa in 1918, thirteen-year-old Rachel is tricked into assuming a deceased neighbor's identity to travel to England, where her only dream is to return to Africa and rebuild her parents' mission hospital. Ages 9-12

A Million Shades of Gray
A Million Shades of Gray By Kadohata, Cynthia (Book - 2010 ) Y KADOHATA Available in some locations

Annotation:(Vietnam, 1975) In 1975 after American troops pull out of Vietnam, a thirteen-year-old boy and his beloved elephant escape into the jungle when the Viet Cong attack his village. Ages 9-12

Nory Ryan's Song
Nory Ryan's Song By Giff, Patricia Reilly (Book - 2000 ) J GIFF Available in some locations

Annotation:(Ireland 1845) When a terrible blight attacks Ireland's potato crop in 1845, twelve-year-old Nory Ryan's courage and ingenuity help her family and neighbor's survive.

Number the Stars
Number the Stars By Lowry, Lois (Book - 2011 ) J LOWRY All copies in use Availability details Holds: 5 on 9 copies

Annotation:(Denmark 1943) When the Jews are "relocated," Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family.

The Ravenmaster's Secret
The Ravenmaster's Secret Escape From the Tower of London By Woodruff, Elvira (Book - 2003 ) J WOODRUFF Available in some locations

Annotation:(18th century England) The eleven-year-old son of the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London befriends a Scottish rebel being held prisoner there.

Sahwira An African Friendship By Marsden, Carolyn (Book - 2009 ) J MARSDEN Available in some locations

Annotation:(Zimbabwe, 1964) The strong friendship between two boys, one black and one white, who live on a mission in Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe, begins to unravel as protests against white colonial rule intensify.

The Secret Journey
The Secret Journey By Kehret, Peg (Book - 2000 ) J KEHRET Available in some locations

Annotation:(19th century Africa) In 1834 when a storm at sea destroys the slave ship on which she is a stowaway, twelve-year-old Emma musters all her resourcefulness to survive in the African Jungle.

Secret of the Andes
Secret of the Andes By Clark, Ann Nolan, 1898- (Book - 1980 ) J CLARK Available in some locations

Annotation:(Peru, 1953) An Indian boy who tends llamas in a hidden valley in Peru learns the traditions and secrets of his Inca ancestors. Ages 9-12

Seven Paths to Death
Seven Paths to Death By Hoobler, Dorothy (Book - 2008 ) J HOOBLER Available in some locations

Annotation: (Japan, 1600 -1868) Samurai Seikei and Judge Ooka, his foster-father, seek seven men who have seven maps on their backs in order to locate a cache of dangerous weapons before they fall into the wrong hands. Ages 9-12

Splendors and Glooms
Splendors and Glooms By Schlitz, Laura Amy (Book - 2012 ) J SCHLITZ Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 36 copies

Annotation:(19th century London) When Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini's ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.

A Single Shard
A Single Shard By Park, Linda Sue (Book - 2001 ) J PARK Available in some locations Holds: 3 on 46 copies

Annotation:(12th century Korea) Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old-orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potter' village and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

Small Beauties
Small Beauties The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara By Woodruff, Elvira (Book - 2006 ) E WOODRUFF Available in some locations

Annotation:(Ireland, 1840’s) arcy Heart O'Hara, a young Irish girl who neglects her chores to observe the beauties of nature and everyday life, shares "family memories" with her homesick parents and siblings after the O'Haras are forced to emigrate to America in the 1840s. Ages 6-8

Shadow Spinner
Shadow Spinner By Fletcher, Susan, 1951- (Book - 1998 ) J FLETCHER Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 12 copies

Annotation:(Ancient Persia) When Marjan, a thirteen-year-old crippled girl, joins the Sultan's harem in ancient Persia, she gathers for Shahrazad the stories which will save the queen's life.

The Traitors' Gate
The Traitors' Gate By Avi, 1937- (Book - 2007 ) J AVI Available in some locations

Annotation:(England, 1849) When his father is arrested as a debtor in 1849 London, fourteen-year-old John Huffman must take on unexpected responsibilities, from asking a distant relative for help to determining why people are spying on him and his family. Ages 9-12

The Walls of Cartagena
The Walls of Cartagena By Durango, Julia, 1967- (Book - 2008 ) J DURANGO Available in some locations

Annotation:(17th century Columbia) Thirteen-year-old Calepino, an African slave in the Caribbean city of Cartagena, works as a translator for a Jesuit priest who tends to newly-arrived slaves.

When My Name Was Keoko
When My Name Was Keoko By Park, Linda Sue (Book - 2002 ) Y PARK Available in some locations

Annotation:(Korea, WWII) With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely. Ages 9-12

Will Sparrow's Road
Will Sparrow's Road By Cushman, Karen (Book - 2012 ) J CUSHMAN Available in some locations

Annotation:(England, 1599) In 1599 England, twelve-year-old lying, thieving Will Sparrow runs away, meets many colorful characters on the road, and then reluctantly joins a traveling "oddities" exhibit, where he learns to see beyond appearances. Ages 8 – 12.

Year of Impossible Goodbyes
Year of Impossible Goodbyes By Choi, Sook Nyul (Book - 1991 ) J CHOI Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 22 copies

Annotation:(Korea, 1945) A young Korean girl survives the oppressive Japanese and Russian occupation of North Korea during the 1940s, to later escape to freedom in South Korea. Ages 9-12

Yellow Star
Yellow Star By Roy, Jennifer Rozines, 1967- (Book - 2006 ) J ROY Available in some locations

Annotation:(WWII Poland) From 1939, when Syvia is four-and-a-half years old, to 1945 when she just turns ten, a Jewish girl and her family struggle to survive in Poland's Lodz ghetto during Nazi occupation.


Historical World Fiction books are based on historical events, either real or inferred. “World” books can be from any place on earth, however, the spirit of this booklist is to highlight the history and pasts of countries, regions and cultures outside the U.S.A. and to encourage children to travel outside of the “American” experience through literature to learn about the past. The list may include picture books, graphic novels, and chapter books. Books will be selected by qualified librarians based on their quality, availability and kid appeal.

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app11 Version draggan_fix Last updated 2014/11/20 11:49