Tag Archives | historical fiction

Zane and the Hurricane

Zane and the Hurricane: a Story of Katrina, by Rodman Philbrick. Scholastic, 2014, 181 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity Level: 4 Zane does not want to spend a couple of weeks in New Orleans—Smellyville, he dubs it—but his mom has just discovered an almost-relative of his late father there and insists he […]

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Curiosity, by Gary Blackwood. Dutton, 2014, 310 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 11-12, Young Adult, ages 12-14 Maturity Level: 5 (Ages 12-14) Philadelphia, 1836: Rufus Goodspeed has led a sheltered life as the only child of his sheltered father, a Methodist minister. Partially crippled from birth (which birth also took his mother), Rufus feels […]

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Seven Stories Up

Seven Stories Up, by Laurel Snyder. Random House, 2014, 229 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-10 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Annie and her mom arrive in Baltimore on a sad mission: to say farewell to Annie’s grandmother, who is on her deathbed in the former luxury hotel built by her great-grandfather. Grandmother is […]

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Spy Catchers of Maple Hill

Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore. Bloomsbury, 2014. Age/interest level: 9-12. I thoroughly enjoyed Blakemore’s The Water Castle which came out in 2013. So, when I had the chance to scoop up Blakemore’s next one as a pre-publication copy at ALA this January (2014), I jumped at it. Spy Catchers is geared to a slightly younger […]

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The Shakespeare Stealer–and an Interview with Author Gary Blackwood

The Shakespeare Stealer (1998), Shakespeare’s Scribe (2000), and Shakespeare’s Spy (2003), by Gary Blackwood.  Penguin Group; Puffin Books.  Age/interest level: 12-16. True story: in 1998 I was shopping around a manuscript about a 14-year-old boy in 16th-century London who through a series of happy misfortunes becomes an actor in William Shakespeare’s theater company.  Before starting […]

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The Playmaker by (our very own) J. B. Cheaney

When I first read this book, I did not know Janie personally. I knew of her from WORLD Magazine, but it took a flyer at my local library for me to discover her middle grades fiction. I managed to finagle a face-to-face meet-up with Janie when she came to town for a Shakespeare Festival (and, like all […]

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On the Court and in the Woods: Books for Teen Boys

Will in Scarlet, by Matthew Cody.  Knopf, 20134, 272 pages.  Age/interest level: 12-up. We’re introduced to William Shackley as a callow, nervous 14-year-old on his first real wolf hunt.  He has expectations to live up to: heir apparent to the family estate while his father is away crusading with Richard the Lionheart, he’s spent most […]

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Tough Times: Two Middle-Grade Historical Novels for Boys

River Rats, by Leslie J. Wyatt.  Royal Fireworks Press, 2013, 212 pages.  Age/interest level: 10-14. Kenny Barton would be the first to admit he doesn’t have it too bad.  A Missouri farm boy’s life in 1940 doesn’t lack for hard work and long days, but when the work is done adventure calls: fields and woods […]

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Rounding Up Some Good YA Reads

As Hayley noted earlier this week, the much-heralded final volume of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy was a disappointment.  Much-heralded final volumes often disappoint, but what’s worse, they draw attention away from less-heralded novels that deserve notice.  These three titles range wide in content and theme, but all are worthy additions to the literary, mystery, and […]

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History in Graphic Format

As we conclude our History Month here at RedeemedReader, I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about historical fiction, church history, picture book biographies, general history, and more! One type of book we haven’t touched on is the graphic novel. A graphic novel will appear to be “just” a comic book to some, but the artists in […]

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Early America: Friendship and War

Friends of Liberty, by Beatrice Gormley.  Eermans, 2013, 184 pages.  Age/interest level: 8-14. Sally Gifford, as the daughter of an honest craftsman in 18th-century Boston, doesn’t have such a bad life, but it suffers by comparison with that of her new friend Kitty Lawson.  Except for one key fact the girls share: both have lost […]

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