Based in Truth: Historical Fiction We Love

Don’t let the recommended grades fool you – if you’re interested in a certain topic, you’re bound to love the book.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Forge. 2010. 7th Grade
Separated from his friend Isabel after their daring escape from slavery, fifteen-year-old Curzon serves as a free man in the Continental Army at Valley Forge until he and Isabel are thrown together again, as slaves once more. Sequel to Chains.
Ties in with: 7th Grade Social Studies & English

Bray, Libba. The Diviners. 2012. 11th Grade.
Seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, the curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.
Ties in with: 11th Grade Social Studies & English
Of interest to anyone taking a class about New York City’s history

Chibbaro, Julie. Deadly. 2011. 7th-8th Grade.
Set during the Typhoid Fever epidemic of 1906, Prudence Galewski leaves school to take a job assisting the head epidemiologist at New York City’s Department of Health and Sanitation. During a time when medicine and science was open only to men, she’ll have to prove to herself and the city that she can help solve one of the great medical mysteries of the time.
Ties in with: 7th Grade English, Social Studies, and Science

Johnson, Alaya Dawn. Moonshine: a novel. 2010. 11th Grade.
Zephyr Hollis is an underfed, overzealous social activist who teaches night school to the underprivileged of the Lower East Side. Strapped for cash, Zephyr agrees to help a student, the mysterious Amir, who proposes she use her charity work cover to bring down a notorious vampire mob boss. What he doesn’t tell her is why. Soon enough she’s tutoring a child criminal with an angelic voice, dodging vampires high on a new blood-based street drug, and trying to determine the real reason behind Amir’s request.
Ties in with: 11th Grade English & Social Studies
Of interest to anyone taking a class about New York City’s history

Meloy, Maile. The Apothecary. 2011. 8th Grade.
It’s 1952 and the Scott family has just from L.A. to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows – a fascinating boy who’s not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, the two must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all the while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies – Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.
Ties in with: 8th Grade English, Social Studies, and Science

Napoli, Donna Jo. The Wager. 2010. 10th Grade.
Having lost everything in a tidal wave in 1169 Sicily, nineteen-year-old Don Giovanni makes a simple-sounding wager with a stranger he recognizes as the devil but, while desperate enough to surrender his pride and good looks for three years, three months, and three days, he is not willing to give up his soul.
Ties in with: 10th Grade English and Social Studies, AP European History

Wein, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity. 2012. 10th Grade.
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must do to survive while keeping secret all that she can.
Ties in with: 10th Grade English and Social Studies, AP European History