MG Books Set During the Great Depression

After the roaring 20s came the economic slump of the 1930s. Millions of people could not make ends meet. Worsening the problem was the midwest drought that forced families to leave behind their homes and belongings in search of a better life. Travel back in time with one of these excellent books. Esperanza Rising by…

MG Stories Set in East Asia

China, Korea, and Japan have their histories. It’s unsettling, and yet fascinating. There’s China with its Cultural Revolution that killed millions. Japan and its power grab of Korea, then Pearl Harbor. Perhaps most disturbing is the inhumanity in North Korea that continues as this is written. These books will give you a better understanding of…

Vietnam War Stories

No war in history has stirred up as much controversy as the Vietnam War. A war that lasted 10 years and ended in American defeat. A war commanded by three presidents. A war that enlisted 25% of its soldiers through the draft. It was a tactical nightmare of jungle warfare unlike any America had ever…

Civil War Historical Fiction

Certain topics in historical fiction have struggled over the years. The Civil War tops that list. Many books once considered classics and award winners have not stood the test of time with today’s youth. They want drama, details, and an emotional connection. On the other hand, they want simplicity. Finally, after reading, or attempting to…

Middle Grade Baseball Stories

Opening Day. The National Anthem. Throwing out the first pitch. Peanuts and Cracker Jacks. These books capture the spirit of the American pastime. From dedicated sports authors Mike Lupica, Tim Green, and John Feinstein to those branching out into new territory, every book on this list is a winner. Mascot by Antony John Noah is…

Middle Grade Revolutionary War Stories

  Good Revolutionary War stories are hard to find. In all honesty, many of them are downright boring. This wasn’t an easy list to create. I tried to cover many different aspects of the war. These are my top picks for books that are the most likely to keep young people’s attention. If you like…

Middle Grade Books About Slavery

Slavery is right up there with some of the worst events in modern history. Our minds have a hard time believing that humans can be so cruel to one another. Because of that, we are drawn to it. We want to understand. These books capture the history in a way middle grade kids will enjoy….

Middle Grade Immigration Stories

You’ll never understand a person’s hardships until you walk a mile in their shoes. For most of us, the closest we can get is through a book that tells their story. From the difficult journey to the cultural barriers to the racism, immigrants must have guts of steel to make it in a new land.

Middle Grade Medieval Books

Medieval historical fiction is a hard sell for most kids. For a “sure thing” try Jennifer Nielsen’s The False Prince. For reluctant readers who need a quick read try either of Karen Cushman’s books or Sid Fleischman’s The Whipping Boy. They are short and full of humor. The rest are for true historical fiction fans.

Middle Grade Cold War Historical Fiction

The Cold War is a vague historical event to most kids. Because of that, it’s a hard sell. But there are some great historical fiction books out there needing to be read. All of these books deal with some aspect of Communism. Exposing truths in order to help kids understand the clash of ideology between…

Middle Grade Refugee Historical Fiction

Although refugee stories exist all across the globe, in all time periods, this group of books focuses on the tragedies in the Middle East and Africa. Almost always it is the result of a corrupt government or hatred between different ethnic or religious groups. Some of these books are newly published and some of them…

Middle Grade Stories in Verse

Stories in verse are great for understanding complex historical events and encouraging the reluctant reader. These selections are some of my favorites from authors who have already established themselves as exceptional writers. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse Told from the perspective of a young girl who recounts the frequent struggles against the dust…

Middle Grade WW2 Historical Fiction

No horror story matches that of the German and Soviet attempts at ethnic cleansing that occurred during World War 2. The attempt to control the lives of the innocent citizens continued well into the Cold War. These are some of the best written recreations of what happened during that time.

Civil Rights Historical Fiction

In choosing these historical novels, I aimed to capture of a variety of events from the  Civil Rights movement. You will find the Freedom Riders, Little Rock Nine, Ku Klux Klan, and Black Panthers in these pages.  You will also experience the day to day struggles of segregation in public places and the racist comments…