Category Archives: Historical

The children of the king

kingThe children of the king
Call #:J HARTN
by Sonya Hartnett

Internationally acclaimed author Sonya Hartnett tells a hauntingly beautiful story set during World War II.
Cecily and Jeremy have been sent to live with their uncle Peregrine in the English countryside, safe from the war, along with a young refugee named May. But when Cecily and May find two mysterious boys hiding in the ruins of a nearby castle, an extraordinary adventure begins.

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Filed under Historical, Junior Fiction

Bo at Ballard Creek

boBo at Ballard Creek
Call #:J HILL
by Kirkpatrick Hill

“It’s the 1920s, and Bo was headed for an Alaska orphanage when she won the hearts of two tough gold miners who set out to raise her, enthusiastically helped by all the kind people of the nearby Eskimo village.

Bo learns Eskimo along with English, helps in the cookshack, learns to polka, and rides along with Big Annie and her dog team. There’s always some kind of excitement: Bo sees her first airplane, has a run-in with a bear, and meets a mysterious lost little boy.

Here is an unforgettable story of a little girl growing up in the exhilarating time after the big Alaska gold rushes.”

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Filed under For Everyone, Historical, Junior Fiction

Ghost Hawk

Ghost HawkGhost Hawk
Call #: J COOPE
by 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.”

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Touched by Fire

Touched by FireTouched by Fire
Call #: J WATTS
by Irene N. Watts

‘Let them burn. They’re a lot of cattle anyway.’
“A factory-owner’s response regarding the use of fire drills in March 1911.

“Touched by Fire, Irene N. Watt’s exquisite new novel, explores one family’s journey as they flee from the pogroms of Russia in 1905, where the Cossacks burn villages to the ground, to Berlin, Germany, where Jews have a hard time living and working in peace, to the streets of the Lower East Side in New York. Teenage Miriam gives a first-hand account of the excitement everyone feels about going to America, the “Golden Land,” the journey in steerage, the arrival at Ellis Island, and the discrimination the immigrants feel while seeking employment. When Miriam finally lands a job at the Triangle Shirt Waist Company as a cuff setter, she believes her future in the New World is finally secure. But on March 25, 1911, the fire that starts from overflowing bins of material scraps rages into what becomes known as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and Miriam’s life is forever changed.”

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Finding Zasha

zashaFinding Zasha
Call #: J BARRO
by Randi Barrow

“In 1941, the Germans began the long, bloody siege on Leningrad. During the chaos, twelve-year-old Ivan is sent to live with relatives when his mother’s job is moved to the mountains. But it is a long and dangerous journey to get out of Leningrad. After settling into a new town it falls under Nazi occupation and Ivan is picked by Axel Recht, an especially heinous soldier, to come work for the Nazis. One of Ivan’s more pleasant tasks is to train Alex’s dogs. Yet Ivan is determined to use his position to undermine the Nazis and rescue the dogs. But Ivan underestimates Axel’s attachment to Zasha and Thor, and soon finds himself being hunted by a ruthless soldier who will stop at nothing to get his dogs back. As World War II rages around them, Ivan must find a way to hide from Axel, protect Zasha and Thor, avoid the constant barrage of deadly bombings, and survive in the devastating conditions of a city cut off from the world.”

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Filed under Animals, Historical, Junior Fiction

Red River Stallion

Red River StallionRed River Stallion
Call #: J HARRI
by Troon Harrison

“When her mother dies, Rose is left feeling completely alone in the world, but the promise of a new friendship arrives on an English ship. Fireway, a red stallion, has made the long trip to North America and Rose falls in love with his beauty instantly. The horse is headed on a westward expedition to the Red River Valley—the same place where Rose’s father is rumored to be. Together, Rose and Fireaway make the journey. But bear attacks, roaring rapids, and other adventures are waiting at every turn.”

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Filed under Animals, Canadian, Historical, Junior Fiction

My Story: Wartime Princess

My Story Wartime PrincessMy Story: Wartime Princess
Call #: J WILDI
by Valerie Wilding

“It’s 1939, Europe is on the verge of war and Princess Margaret begins a diary to record her wartime experiences. But more exciting than blackouts, evacuees and doodlebugs is her sister Elizabeth’s blossoming romance with Prince Philip of Greece. Margaret dreams of a royal wedding, but Philip is sent to serve in the navy and Elizabeth longs to join the army. Will there be a fairy-tale ending?”

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Filed under Historical, Junior Fiction, War

Will Sparrow’s Road

Will Sparrow’s Road
Call #: J CUSHM
by Karen Cushman

“In his thirteenth year, Will Sparrow, liar and thief, becomes a runaway. On the road, he encounters a series of con artists—a pickpocket, a tooth puller, a pig trainer, a conjurer—and learns that others are more adept than he at lying and thieving. Then he reluctantly joins a traveling troupe of “oddities,” including a dwarf and a cat-faced girl, holding himself apart from the “monsters” and resolving to be on guard against further deceptions. At last Will is forced to understand that appearances are misleading and that he has been his own worst deceiver. The rowdy world of market fairs in Elizabethan England is the colorful backdrop for Newbery medalist Cushman’s new comic masterpiece.”

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Filed under Historical, Humour, Junior Fiction

The Lynching of Louie Sam

The Lynching of Louie Sam
Call #: J STEWA
by Elizabeth Stewart

“Racism, murder, and injustice wreak havoc in a frontier town.

“‘Without a word, Father pulled me up behind him into the saddle. I kept my face buried in his back so I wouldn’t have to see Louie Sam again. But I saw him in my mind, anyway. I will see him there forever.’

“Between 1882 and 1968 there were 4,742 lynchings in the United States. In Canada during the same period there was one–the hanging of American Indian Louie Sam.

“The year is 1884, and 15-year-old George Gillies lives in the Washington Territory, near the border with British Columbia. In this newly settled land, white immigrants have an uneasy relationship with the Native Indians. When George and his siblings discover the murdered body of a local white man, suspicion immediately falls on a young Indian named Louie Sam. George and his best friend, Pete, follow a lynch mob north into Canada, where the terrified boy is seized and hung.”

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Shadow on the Mountain

Shadow on the Mountain
Call #: J PREUS
by Margi Preus

“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 Norwegian resistance movement. Espen gets his start by delivering illegal newspapers, then 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.”

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Filed under Historical, Junior Fiction, War

Racing the Moon

Racing the Moon
Call #: J ARMST
by Alan Armstrong

“In the spring of 1947, outer space was an unexplored realm. But eleven year-old Alexis (Alex) Heart and her impulsive brother, Chuck, believe that the stars are within reach. In the midst of building their own rocket, Alex befriends Captain Ebbs, and an army scientist who is working to create food for future space travelers, and who is also a descendent of Captain John Smith. Alex soon introduces Chuck to her new friend, and the trio’s shared interest in space travel sets off a series of adventures that the three will never forget. From meeting pioneering German rocket scientist Dr. Wenher von Braun, and a thrilling sailing trip down the Potomac to an island on the Chesapeake where a top secret rocket launch is about to take place, Alex and Chuck are about to have their lives forever changed.”

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Two Crafty Criminals! And how they were captured by the daring detectives of the New Cut Gang

Two Crafty Criminals! And how they were captured by the daring detectives of the New Cut Gang
Call #: J PULLM
by Philip Pullman

“Benny Kaminsky and Thunderbolt Dobney lead a rag-tag gang of neighborhood rowdies. Their territory is the New Cut on London’s South Bank—a place bristling with swindlers, bookies, pickpockets, and the occasional policeman. And their aim is to solve crimes.

“When counterfeit coins start showing up in their neighborhood, Thunderbolt fears his own father may be behind the crime. But his friends devise a way to trap the real culprit. Then the gang takes on the case of some stolen silver. They have just two clues—a blob of wax, and an unusually long match. But even this slippery thief is unmasked by the determined kids of the New Cut.”

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Filed under Historical, Humour, Junior Fiction, Mystery

Breaking Stalin’s Nose

Breaking Stalin’s Nose
Call #: J YELCH
by Eugene Yelchin

“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.”

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The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Guest

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Guest
Call #: J WOOD
by Maryrose Wood

Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, ‘They must have been raised by wolves.’

“The Incorrigible children actually were.

“Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences—yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her.

“But hers is not the only family mystery to solve. When Lord Fredrick’s long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral’s prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles’ skills to find her.

“The hunt for the runaway ostrich is on. But Penelope is worried. Once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways? What if they never want to come back to Ashton Place at all?”

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Filed under Historical, Humour, Junior Fiction

The Mastermind Plot

The Mastermind Plot
Call #: J FRAZI
by Angie Frazier

“Suzanna ‘Zanna’ Snow can hardly believe her luck: She’s just arrived in Boston, the city she’s wanted to visit for as long as she can remember. Think of all the mysteries waiting to be solved here! Her grandmother and cousin, Will, welcome her warmly, but her famous detective uncle, Bruce Snow, seems anything but pleased. He doesn’t want Zanna meddling in his current case involving a string of mysterious warehouse fires along the harbor front. But Zanna can’t help herself. Is someone setting the fires? Just when she thinks she’s on to something, a strange man starts following her. Is he a threat? Zanna needs to solve the case before she has the chance to find out.”

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Filed under Historical, Junior Fiction, Mystery

Man Overboard!

Man Overboard!
Call #: J PARKI
by Curtis Parkinson

“During World War II, a German agent landed in Canada from a U-boat. Curtis Parkinson has used this true historical event to tell a fast-paced, exciting story. Sixteen-year-old Scott and his friend Adam find summer jobs as deckhands on the Rapids Prince, a ship that plies the waters between the town of Prescott, on the St. Lawrence River, and Montreal. Scott overhears convincing information that a German agent is actually on board the boat. He has a good reason for not telling anybody, but his silence eventually leads him into more trouble than he can imagine, including a possible murder and a kidnapping. It is up to the boys to expose the agent in order to save the Rapids Prince and the innocent passengers on board. Curtis Parkinson has written an impossible-to-put-down novel that combines history with high adventure.”

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Filed under Adventure, Historical

The Sleeping Army

The Sleeping Army
Call #: J SIMON
by Francesca Simon

“Freya is an ordinary girl living in modern Britain, but with a twist: people still worship the Viking gods. She’s caught in her parents’divorce, and shuttling between bickering adults is no fun. One evening, stuck with her dad on his night shift at the British Museum, she is drawn to the Lewis Chessmen and Heimdall’s Horn. Unable to resist, she blows the horn, waking three chess pieces from their enchantment; the slaves Roskva and Alfi, and Snot the Berserk. They are all summoned to Asgard, land of the Viking gods, and told they must go on a perilous journey to restore the gods to youth. If Freya refuses she will be turned into an ivory chess piece but, if she accepts her destiny and fails, the same terrible fate awaits her. Brilliantly funny, original and a wholly new take on the Norse myths – and the travails of contemporary family life.”

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Filed under Fantasy, For Everyone, Historical, Junior Fiction