Guide to children’s and YA historical novels for 2020

The Historical Novel Society lists mainstream and small press titles for readers aged 4 – 18. Details are compiled by Fiona Sheppard. The publisher recommended age category is represented as Pic (Picture Book 4/5+), Chap or ER (Chapter Book or Easy Reader), Mid-grd (Middle-Grade 8-12), 10+,  and YA (Young Adult 13+).

Other than short excerpts, please remember to link to this page rather than copying the entries – thank you!

For newer titles, check out of lists of forthcoming adult historical novels for 2021 and for children and YA for 2021.

January 2020

Beth Anderson, illus. E. B. Lewis, Lizzie Demands a Seat!, Calkins Creek, Pic 7+ (in 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar)

Julia Billet, illus. Claire Fauvel, (trans. Ivanka Hahnenberger), Catherine’s War, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (based on a true survival story of World War II, graphic novel follows a Jewish girl’s journey to the free zone of France)

Tonya Bolden, Saving Savannah, BloomsburyYA, YA (Washington DC 1919 ― brings the women’s suffrage movement to life with a teen girl finding her own way to change the world)

Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. James E. Ransome, Overground Railroad, Holiday House, Pic (a girl tells the story, in verse, of her train journey from North Carolina to New York City as part of the Great Migration)

Lesa Cline-Ransome, Leaving Lymon, Holiday House, Mid-grd (it’s 1946 and Lymon is uprooted from his life in the Deep South and moved up North)

Emily Conlan, Move the Mountains, A & U Children, Mid-grd (an interactive adventure set in 1951)

Joseph Elliott, The Good Hawk, Walker US, 10+ (a pair of teens sets out on a quest to rescue their clan from Nordic raiders in a historical fantasy set in the hills of ancient Scotland)

Andrew Fukuda, The Light Between Us, Tor Teen, YA (story of the unlikeliest of pen pals—a Japanese American boy and a French Jewish girl—as they fight to maintain hope in a time of war)

Dee Garretson, All Is Fair, Square Fish, YA (a young lady is pulled out of school and into a secret wartime mission with a dashing American spy)

Dee Garretson, Gone by Nightfall, Swoon Reads, YA (a young woman is torn between her home and her dreams on the eve of the Russian revolution)

Lori Haskins Houran, illus. Luke Flowers, The Tale of Paul Bunyan, Golden books, Pic 3+

Maureen Johnson, The Hand on the Wall, Katherine Tegen, YA (conclusion to the Truly Devious series as Stevie Bell solves the mystery that has haunted Ellingham Academy for over 75 years)

Anna-Marie McLemore, Dark and Deepest Red, Feiwel & Friends, YA (straddling five centuries novel centers on a young woman uncovering her family’s history while fighting her attraction to the wrong boy)

Jerdine Nolen, illus. James E. Ransome, Freedom Bird, Paula Wiseman, Pic (an enslaved brother and sister are inspired by a bird to escape to freedom)

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, illus. Iacopo Bruno, The Story Seeker, Henry Holt (BYR), Mid-grd (mystery adventure set in the iconic New York Public Library during the Roaring Twenties)

Mary Pope Osborne, illus. AG Ford, Narwhal on a Sunny Night, Random House BfYR, Chap (meet famous explorer Leif Erikson and help save a narwhal)

Lana Popovic, Blood Countess, Abrams, YA (tale of intrigue, mystery, and murder set amid young royals in 1602 Hungary)

Jodie Lynn Zdrok, Spectacle, Tor Teen, YA (a killer stalks the streets of 1887 Paris in this historical thriller)

February 2020

Selina Alko, Joni, HarperCollins, Pic (picture-book biography of the folk singer and feminist icon)

Veeda Bybee, illus. Alessia Trunfio, Lily and the Great Quake, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (a San Francisco earthquake survival story)

EM Castellan, In the Shadow of the Sun, Feiwel & Friends, YA (YA fantasy/romance novel set in 1661 Versailles)

Gwendolyn Clare, Mist, Metal and Ash, Square Fish, YA (in this alternate version of 19th-century Italy, a girl genius with the ability to write worlds into creation is the only one who can save the Earth)

Henry Cole, Another Quest for Celeste, Katherine Tegen, Mid-grd (1822 and a mouse called Celeste meets a tall, lanky boy wielding an ax: a young Abraham Lincoln)

Sassafras De Bruyn, The Hunter and His Dog, Eerdmans BfYR, Pic (the hunter and his dog begin a madcap chase across the world of Pieter Bruegel the Elder introducing young readers to the Flemish Renaissance)

Jim Di Bartolo, The Boy Who Became a Dragon, Scholastic Inc, Mid-grd (fictional biography of Bruce Lee)

Julie Gilbert, illus. Matt Forsyth, Daisy and the Deadly Flu, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (a 1918 influenza survival story)

Marthe Jocelyn, illus. Isabelle Follath, Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano, Tundra, Mid-grd (middle-grade mystery series starring young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector in England, 1902)

KT Johnston, illus. César Samaniego, Railway Jack, Capstone, Mid-grd (illustrated true story of a train track operator in South Africa, and his remarkable friend and co-worker Jack the Baboon)

Kirsten W. Larson, illus. Tracy Subsisak, Wood, Wire, Wings, Calkins Creek, Mid-grd (picture book biography explores the failures and successes of self-taught engineer Emma Lilian Todd as she designs an airplane)

Iszi Lawrence, The Unstoppable, Bloomsbury Children’s, Mid-grd (a story of the suffragettes with the jiu jitsu and roller skating left in)

Tricia Levenseller, Warrior of the Wild, Square Fish, YA (an 18-year-old Viking chieftain’s daughter is banished after being betrayed during her coming-of-age trial)

Adriana Mather, Killing November, Ember, YA (thriller set at a secretive boarding school where students are trained to carry on family legacies that have built and toppled empires)

Brad McLelland, Louis Sylvester, The Fang of Bonfire Crossing: Legends of the Lost Causes, Square Fish, 10+ (middle-grade western adventure series about a ragtag group of vigilante orphans)

Margi Preus, Village of Scoundrels, Amulet, 10+ (true story of a group of French teenagers who helped save refugees in WWII)

Candice Ransom, illus. Jamey Christoph, Bones in the White House: Thomas Jefferson’s Mammoth, Doubleday BfYR, Pic (story about Thomas Jefferson and his obsessive quest to find America’s first complete mastodon skeleton)

Doreen Rappaport, illus. Eric Valasques, Ruth Objects, Hyperion, Pic 6+ (fictional biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

Geoff Rodkey, illus. Hatem Aly, The Story Pirates Present: Stuck in the Stone Age, Yearling, Mid-grd (time-travel adventure doubles as a creative writing guide for young writers!)

Andrea L. Rogers, illus. Matt Forsyth, Mary and the Trail of Tears, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (a Cherokee removal survival story)

Danielle Rollins, Twisted Fates, HarperTeen, YA (follow up to time travel romance Stolen Time)

Lois Ruby, Red Menace, Carolrhoda Books, 10+ (is Marty’s family really part of a Red Menace working against the U.S.? And if they’re patriotic Americans who refuse to be bullied by the government, what will it cost them?)

Steven Sater, Alice By Heart, Razorbill, YA (a girl copes with grief and loss during WWII London with the help of her beloved copy of Alice in Wonderland)

Alisha Sevigny, The Lost Scroll of the Physician, Dundurn, Mid-grd (Sesha, daughter of the pharaoh’s royal physician, must find the scroll her father was transcribing before his death, to save the kingdom and her brother’s life)

Nikki Shannon Smith, illus. Alessia Trunfio, Sarah Journeys West, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (an Oregon Trail survival story)

Sherri L. Smith, The Blossom and the Firefly, G. P. Putnam’s Sons BfYR, YA (WWII romance between two Japanese teens caught in the cogs of an unwinnable war)

Geronimo Stilton, Time Warp, Scholastic, Mid-grd (Geronimo visits Plato in Ancient Greece, the mythical Atlantis and Stonehenge)

Jane Yolen, illus. Christine Davenier, Emily Writes, Henry Holt (BYR), Pic (imagined childhood biography of Emily Dickinson’s poetic beginnings)

Jane Yolen, illus. Khoa Le, Miriam at the River, Kar-Ben, Pic 7+ (Biblical story of baby Moses as told by his big sister)

Jodie Lynn Zdrok, Sensational, Tor Teen, YA (follow-up to Spectacle in which a killer haunts the Paris World’s Fair of 1889)

March 2020

Iris Argaman, illus. Avi Ofer, (trans. Annette Appel), Bear and Fred, Amazon Crossing Kids, Mid-grd (during World War II, Fred must leave his home and live in hiding, apart from the rest of his family, but he always keeps Bear by his side. Based on true events)

Avi, Gold Rush Girl. Candlewick, Mid-grd (story of a mud-caked, tent-filled San Francisco in 1848 with a willful heroine who goes on an unintended — and perilous — adventure to save her brother)

Michelle Barker, My Long List of Impossible Things, Annick, YA (explores the chaos and destruction of WWII from the perspective of the implications of the Soviet occupation on a German population grappling with the horrors of Nazism and its aftermath)

Helaine Becker, illus. Liz Wong, Pirate Queen, Pic (China early 1800s – a story of Zheng Yi Sao)

Sharon Cameron, The Light in Hidden Places, Scholastic, YA (story of Stefania Podgorska, a Polish teenager who chose bravery and humanity by hiding thirteen Jews in her attic during WWII)

Rob Currie, Hunger Winter, Tyndale, Mid-grd (story of one boy’s quest to find his father and protect his younger sister during the great Dutch famine of World War II)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapt. Stephanie Baudet, illus. Arianna Bellucci, A Scandal in Bohemia, Sweet Cherry Publishing, ER (fun series adapts the classic mysteries of Holmes & Watson for young readers)
Also: Silver Blaze

Katrin Hirt, illus. Laura Fuchs, Clara the Rhino, NorthSouth, Pic (based on the true story and friendship between an orphaned rhino and a sea captain in the mid-18th century)

Daphne Kalmar, A Stitch in Time, Square Fish, Mid-grd (an orphan grapples with her unpleasant aunt and the even more unpleasant idea of moving to Boston)

Diane Carmel Léger, The Lookout Tree, Nimbus, Mid-grd (spanning two decades of the events of the Deportation and the long struggle to reunite and resettle afterward, this novel is a testament to the determination of the Acadian people to survive and thrive in their homeland)

Abie Longstaff, illus. James Brown, The Trapdoor Mysteries: A Sticky Situation, Little, Brown BfYR, Mid-grd (a series about Tally, an orphaned servant girl who solves mysteries with the help of a secret library)

Amber Lough, Open Fire, Carolrhoda Lab, YA (captures the devastating toll of war and the impact of women’s struggles and solidarity, through the lens of a little-known slice of history)

Patricia Lyfoung, Scarlet Rose #5: You Should Let Me Die, Charmz, YA (in this installment, the Scarlet Rose must free her friend Guilhem from prison)

Adriana Mather, Hunting November, Knopf BfYR , YA (can November Adley find her missing father before her enemies find her? Sequel to Killing November )

Roy MacGregor, Christine MacGregor Cation, illus. Mathilde Cinq-Mars, Clarence’s Big Secret, Owlkids, Pic (based on true story of Clarence Brazier who kept secret for 100 years the fact that he couldn’t read)

Lori Mortensen, illus. Chloe Bristol, Nonsense! The Curious Story of Edward Gorey, Versify, Pic (children’s picture book profiling the eccentric, beloved writer and artist)

Helen Moss, illus. Misa Saburi, Time Dogs: Barry and the Great Mountain Rescue, Henry Holt (BYR), Chap (in 3rd adventure, Time Dogs are transported back to Swiss Alps in 1800)

Margi Preus, illus. Cheryl Pilgrim, The Littlest Voyageur, Margaret Ferguson Books, Mid-grd (1792 – a red squirrel stows away on a canoe to fulfill his dream of joining a group of voyageurs)

Benjamin Read, Laura Trinder, The Midnight Hour, Chicken House, Mid-grd (fantasy adventure in which Emily has to negotiate a Victorian London frozen in time and full of magic and monsters)

David Salter, 28 Days, Feiwel & Friends, YA (a novel of resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto)

Marcus Sutter, Soldier Dogs #6: Heroes on the Home Front, HarperFestival, Mid-grd (twin siblings give their dog to the Coast Guard during WWII—only to discover a German threat on their own home turf)

Stella Tarakson, illus. Nick Roberts, Jason’s Wild Winds!, Sweet Cherry Publishing, ER (fun-filled series about Greek mythology, adventure and what it means to be a hero)

Lila Quintero Weaver, My Year in the Middle, Candlewick, Mid-grd (in 1970, Alabama, blacks and whites don’t mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign, in the classroom Lu can’t stay neutral about the racial divide)

Mark Wilson, Eureka!, Lothian Children’s, Pic (story of the goldfields and the Eureka Rebellion inspired by real people and historical events)

April 2020

Audrey Ades, illus. Vivien Mildenberger, Judah Touro Didn’t Want to be Famous, Kar-Ben Pic 7+ (a successful shopkeeper, injured in War of 1812, Judah did his great philanthropic deeds in secret)

Samira Ahmed, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know, Soho Teen, YA (follows a Muslim-American teenager who partners with a descendant of French author Alexander Dumas to unravel a 19th-centry mystery)

Jeff Alt, illus. Hannah Tuohy, The Adventures of Bubba Jones 4: Grand Canyon National Park, Beaufort Books, Mid-grd (a brother and sister duo are part of a legendary time travel family with a mission to preserve and protect our national parks)

Cindy Anstey, Deadly Curious, Swoon Reads, YA (a young lady who aspires to be a detective investigates the murder of her cousin in this thriller set in London 1834)

Pam Berkman, Dorothy Hearst, illus. Claire Powell, Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold, Margaret K. McElderry, Chap (to save their family, Bo-Bo, a golden mutt, and her human brother Sheng must find a legendary treasure during the California Gold Rush)

Michael Burgan, Great Escapes #1: Nazi Prison Camp Escape, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (Royal Canadian Air Force officer Bill Ash escapes from a German POW camp during World War II)
Also: Great Escapes #2: Journey to Freedom, 1838

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapt. Stephanie Baudet, illus. Arianna Bellucci, The Copper Beeches, Sweet Cherry Publishing, ER (fun series adapts mysteries of Holmes & Watson for YR)
Also: The Bruce-Partington Plans

Sherry Ficklin, The Hollow Queen, Clean Teen, YA (as a princess of the Romanov Empire, Elizabeth has enjoyed a life of luxury and privilege, but the sudden deaths of her parents leaves her unprotected)

Riccardo Guasco, What a Masterpiece, Eerdmans BfYR, Pic (a boy’s daily routines bring him face-to-face with Escher’s winding stairs, Banksy’s balloon girl, Picasso’s dancing fauns, and many more)

Dan Gutman, Flashback Four #4: The Hamilton-Burr Duel, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (four brave friends head back in time to record the most infamous duel in U.S. history)

Monica Hesse, They Went Left, Little, Brown BfYR, YA (after release from Gross-Rosen concentration camp, a journey through Germany and Poland takes Zofia on a quest to find her brother)

P. J. Hoover, Homer’s Excellent Adventure, CBAY Books, Mid-grd (the Greek god Hermes sends Homer and best friend Dory back ten years to meet Odysseus and an entire crew of smelly sailors who set off on a journey filled with scary monsters, angry gods, and a very hungry cyclops)

June Hur, The Silence of Bones, Feiwel & Friends, YA (Joseon (Korea), 1800 ― a 16-year-old indentured servant within the police bureau becomes entangled in the politically charged investigation into the murder of a noblewoman)

Nicolas Jeter, illus. Sara Ugolotti, The Girl and the Cathedral, Bushel & Peck, Pic (a tribute to the long history of Notre Dame Cathedral)

Kathy Kacer, Louder Than Words, Annick, Mid-grd (3rd in Heroes Quartet series – based on the true story of one woman’s incredible heroism in the most dangerous of circumstance)

Gail Carson Levine, A Ceiling Made of Eggshells, HarperCollins, Mix-grd (story, about a smart young Jewish girl who is full of heart, and who travels across 15th-c Spain with her grandfather to help save her people)

Abie Longstaff, illus. James Brown, The Trapdoor Mysteries: The Scent of Danger, Little, Brown BfYR, Mid-grd (2nd in series about an orphaned servant girl who works at Mollett Manor)

Philippos Mandilaras, illus. Natalia Kapatsoulia, Theseus and the Minotaur, Faros, Pic (spark young children’s interest in Greek mythology)
Also: Odysseus and Penelope

Andy Marino, The Conspiracy (The Plot to Kill Hitler #1), Scholastic, Mid-grd (based on the real-life scheme, this trilogy puts two courageous kids at the center of the plot to kill Adolf Hitler)

Cori McCarthy, Amy Rose Capetta, Sword in the Stars: A Once & Future Novel, Jimmy Patterson, YA (Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur’s Grail)

Angela Misri, The Detective and the Spy, Cormorant, YA (4th in adventure series set in 1930s London)

Shira Nayman, River, Guernica Editions, YA (from the Australian Outback, to racist South Africa during World War II, to the midst of a pogrom in Lithuania, to the Babylon of biblical times, Emily has deep encounters with the young women she meets)

Anne Nesbet, Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen, Candlewick, Mid-grd (the adventurous life of Darleen Darling, the 12-year-old fictional star of a serial in 1914)

Heather Sanche, illus. Tara di Gesu, The Life of the Buddha, Bala Kids, Pic (classic tale follows Prince Siddhartha’s journey of truth-seeking and discovery, including his life-altering encounters with human suffering)

Sheila Seifert, Chris Brack, The Imagination Station: Poison at the Pump, Focus on the Family, Chap (Patrick and Beth travel back in time to London, England, during the cholera epidemic of 1854)

Suzanne Slade, illus. Cozbi A. Cabrera, Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, Abrams, Pic (biography of the Pulitzer Prize-winning African-American poet)

S. S. Taylor, illus. Ben Towle, Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean, Disney-Hyperion, Mid-grd (with an introduction by astronaut pioneer Eileen Collins, story focuses on Amelia’s triumphant crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 1928 – graphic format novel)

Deborah Wiles, Kent State, Scholastic Inc, YA (exploration of one of the darkest moments in our history, when American troops killed four American students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State)

Lucy Worsley, The Austen Girls, Bloomsbury Children’s, YA (explores the life of Jane Austen from the perspective of her nieces)

May 2020

David Almond, illus. David Litchfield, War is Over, Candlewick, Mid-grd (1918 – story, explores the fear and hope of children in time of war)

Barbara Bottner, I Am Here Now, Imprint, YA (coming-of-age novel in free verse set in the Bronx in the early 1960s)

Sigmund Brouwer, Innocent Heroes, Tundra, Mid-grd (stories of animals in the First World War)

Elizabeth C. Bunce, Premeditated Myrtle, Algonquin YR, 10+ (introduces a brilliant young investigator ready to take on hard cases and maddening Victorian rules for Young Ladies of Quality in order to earn her place among the most daring amateur detectives of her time)

Susan Kaplan Carlton, In the Neighborhood of True, Algonquin YR, YA (New York transplant Ruth Robb hides her Jewish identity to fit into the segregated Atlanta of the 1950s, until a hate crime forces her to come to face the whole truth about the choices she’s made)

Weng Wai Chan, Lizard’s Tale, Text, Mid-grd (adventure, set in a British colony in Asia in 1940 as the Japanese invasion of Singapore looms)

Gennifer Choldenko, Orphan Eleven, Wendy Lamb, Mid-grd (four orphans have escaped from the Home for Friendless Children. One is Lucy, who used to talk and sing but she doesn’t speak anymore)

Joanna Cooke, Call Me Floy, Yosemite Conservancy, Mid-grd (a girl persists against expectations and follows her dream in 19th century Yosemite)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapt. Stephanie Baudet, illus. Arianna Bellucci, The Six Napoleons, Sweet Cherry Publishing, ER (fun series adapts the mysteries of Holmes & Watson for young readers)

Maria Kiely, Which Way is Home?, Nancy Paulsen, 10+ (novel about a family escaping Czechoslovakia after the 1948 Communist takeover—based on the author’s own family history)

Kristin Lambert, The Boy in the Red Dress, Viking BfYR, YA (New Year’s Eve, 1929. Millie is emcee of the Cloak & Dagger, a speakeasy in the French Quarter, full of bootleg booze, cabaret acts, and where the New Orleans elite comes out to play)

Peter Lerangis, Throwback: The Chaos Loop, Harper Collins, Mid-grd (to set history right, Corey must return to the past and find a way to stop a cohort of Nazis who’ve evaded capture and escaped Germany for South America)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illus. G. Brian Karas, The Village Blacksmith, Candlewick, Mid-grd (a contemporary envisioning of Longfellow’s 19-century poem. Afterword about tools and trade of blacksmithing)

Abie Longstaff, illus. James Brown, The Trapdoor Mysteries: Thief in the Night, Orion Children’s, Mid-grd (3rd in series about an orphaned servant girl who works at Mollett Manor)

Sara Lundberg, (trans. B. J. Epstein), The Bird in Me Flies, Groundwood, Mid-grd (novel in verse about a young girl who dreams of being an artist, inspired by the life of Swedish artist Berta Hansson, 1910-1994)

Molly MacPherson, illus. Teresa Martinez, William Wallace, Kelpies, Pic (story of William Wallace’s decisive victory in the Scottish Wars of Independence reminds us that brain conquers brawn)

Andy Marino, The Execution: The Plot to Kill Hitler #2, Scholastic, Mid-grd (based on the real-life scheme to take down one of history’s greatest monsters)

Angela McAllister, illus. Jannicke Hansen, A World Full of Dickens Stories, Frances Lincoln, Mid-grd (illustrated anthology includes Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Hard Times, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, A Tale of Two Cities)

Tessa McWatt, illus. Zuzanna Celej, Where Are You, Agnes, Groundwood, Pic (Agnes Martin was born on the Canadian prairies in the early twentieth century and grew up to become a famous abstract expressionist artist)

Jeannie Mobley, The Jewel Thief, Viking BfYR, YA (slow-burn romance set in 17th century France, and based on the history of the Hope Diamond)

Christopher Myers, Henri is Full, Six Foot Press, Pic (there are days when an artist has no ideas left. For Henri Matisse, the great French artist, this is one of those days)

Laura Ruby, York: The Map of Stars, Walden Pond, Mid-grd (third and final volume in alternate history trilogy)

Angie Smibert, The Truce, Boyds Mills, Mid-grd (final book in the supernatural trilogy Ghosts of Ordinary Objects)

Lauren Soloy, When Emily Was Small, Tundra, Pic (a frolic through the garden helps a little girl feel powerful: Inspired by the writings of revered artist Emily Carr)

Hermione Tankard, Jeremy Tankyard (auth., illus.), Yorick and Bones, HarperAlley, Mid-grd (graphic novel series featuring an Elizabethan-era skeleton and the dog that digs him up)

Jordyn Taylor, The Paper Girl of Paris, HarperTeen, YA (a girl who sets out to discover the truth about her family’s past after she inherits a Parisian apartment that has been abandoned since the end of World War II)

Eve Titus, Cathy Hapka, illus. David Mottram, Basil and the Library Ghost, Aladdin, Mid-grd (next in series)

Elizabeth Wein, The Enigma Game, BloomsburyYA, YA (WWII Scotland –story of wartime secrets, intrigue and wild courage)

June 2020

Cindy Anstey, Deadly Curious, Swoon Reads, YA (1834 London – a young lady who aspires to be a detective investigates the murder of her cousin)

Traci Chee, We Are Not Free, HMH BfYR, YA (collective account of a group of 2nd-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II)

Winnifred Conkling, Ms. Gloria Steinem, Feiwel & Friends, YA (biography of the political and women’s rights activist)

Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl, Jo and Laurie, G.P Putnam Sons BfYR, YA (a romance starring Jo March (Little Women) and her best friend Laurie)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapt. Stephanie Baudet, illus. Arianna Bellucci, The Engineer’s Thumb, Sweet Cherry Publishing, ER (fun series adapts the mysteries of Holmes & Watson for YR)

Mary Helen Fein, Stitching a Life, She Writes, YA (a young Jewish girl from Russia comes alone across the Atlantic to the Lower East Side of New York in the year 1900 and devotes herself to bringing the rest of her family to safety)

Claudia Friddell, illus. Stacy Innerst, Saving Lady Liberty, Calkins Creek, Mid-grd (illustrated story of how the Statue of Liberty got its pedestal)

Kester Grant, The Court of Miracles, Knopf BfYR, YA (a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution)

Kathryn Lasky, Tangled in Time 2: The Burning Queen, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (time-travel series about newly orphaned Rose, who finds herself traveling between present-day Indiana and the royal English courts of Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor)

Julie Lee, Brother’s Keeper, Holiday House, Mid-grd (1950 – two children must escape North Korea on their own. Based on a true story)

Sonia Levitin, Journey to America, Aladdin, Mid-grd (1938―classic story about a young Jewish girl forced to flee her home)

Abie Longstaff, illus. James Brown, The Trapdoor Mysteries: The Lost Treasure, Orion Children’s, Mid-grd (4th in series about an orphaned servant girl who works at Mollett Manor)

Andy Marino, The Escape, Scholastic, Mid-grd (book 3 in The Plot to Kill Hitler series)

Jenny Moke, Hood, Disney-Hyperion, YA (Robin Hood and Marien’s teenage daughter joins the Merry Men to save her parents)

Daniel José Older, Thunder Run, Scholastic, Mid-grd (Dactyl Hill Squad book 3)

Patricia Hruby Powell, illus. R. Gregory Christie, Lift as You Climb, Margaret K. McElderry, Pic (story about civil rights activist Ella Baker)

Veronica Rossi, Rebel Spy, Delacorte, YA (reimagining of the story behind Agent 355—a New York society girl and spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War)

Karen Schwanbach, Starting from Senaca Falls, Random House BfYR, Mid-grd (celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment with a novel about women’s suffrage)

Lauren Tarshis, Georgia Ball, illus. Haus Studio, I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916, Graphix, Mid-grd (graphic novel adaptation)

Laura Wood, A Sky Painted Gold, Random House BfYR, YA (coming-of-age romance set in 1929 Cornwall)

July 2020

W. N. Brown, Great Escapes #3: Civil War Breakout, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (Civil War, 1863. Based on true events)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapt. Stephanie Baudet, illus. Arianna Bellucci, Charles Augustus Milverton, Sweet Cherry Publishing, ER (fun series adapts the mysteries of Holmes & Watson for YR)

Meg Caddy, Devil’s Ballast, Text, YA (based on the true story of pirate Anne Bonny)

Miriam Halahmy, Rip to the Rescue, Holiday House, Mid-grd (WW II adventure with a dog with special talents)

Will Hobbs, City of Gold, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (an odyssey set in the twilight of the Wild West)

Rehan Khan, A King’s Armour: The Chronicles of Will Ryde & Awa Maryam Al-Jameel, Bk 2, HopeRoad, YA (Istanbul, 1592: the arrival of a mysterious manuscript at the court of Sultan Murad III, claiming to know the location of the fabled Armour of King David, sends the Sultan into a frenzied desire to track it down)

Gordon Korman, War Stories, Scholastic, Mid-grd (a story of telling truth from lies — and finding out what being a hero really means)

Dawn Kurtagich, Teeth in the Mist, Little, Brown BfYR, YA ( genre-bending horror-fantasy, inspired by the legend of Faust, that spans generations as an ancient evil is uncovered)

Michelle Lovric, The Wishing Bones, Orion Children’s, Mid-grd (historical fantasy set on the canals of Venice in 1740)

Kate Messner, illus. Kelley McMorris, Attack on Pearl Harbor, Scholastic, Mid-grd (Ranger in Time series, book 12)

Emily Bain Murphy, Splinters of Scarlet, HMH BfYR, YA (historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark, where secrets can kill and magic is a deadly gift)

Mary Pope Osborne, illus. AG Ford, Hurricane Heroes in Texas, Random House BfYR, 6+ (the magic tree house whisks Jack & Annie back to Galveston, Texas, in 1900)

Linda Sue Park, Prairie Lotus, Clarion, YA (story about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend. Set in 1880 small town America)

Gary D. Schmidt, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Clarion, YA (set in 1912 and centered on a historical event: coming-of-age story of a white minister’s son who discovers joy through his friendship with a black girl)

Alisha Sevigny, The Desert Prince, Dundurn, Mid-grd (adventure series set in Ancient Egypt)

Stella Tarakson, illus. Nick Roberts, Odysseus’ Trojan Tricks, Sweet Cherry Publishing, Mid-grd (fun-filled series about Greek mythology, adventure and what it means to be a hero)

Gita Trelease, Liberté, Flatiron, YA (sequel to Enchantée)

Jeff VanderMeer, A Peculiar Peril, FS&G, YA (a teen’s quest to protect the world from a magic-filled alternate universe where history has been rewritten)

August 2020

Paro Anand, Being Gandhi, Harper Children’s, Mid-grd (novel that explores, not Gandhi the man or his life as a leader, but the Gandhian way that must remain relevant to us)

Carrie Arcos, Skywatchers, Philomel, YA (genre-bending mystery about the history of the Cold War and the UFO phenomenon)

Ruth Behar, Letters from Cuba, Nancy Paulsen, 10+ (inspired by author’s family history―a Jewish girl flees Poland on eve of WWII and makes a new life for herself in Cuba)

Pam Berkman, Dorothy Hearst, illus. Claire Powell, Minsha’s Night on Ellis Island, Margaret K. McElderry, 6+ (follow Minsha, a determined terrier, as she travels to Ellis Island in this third book of the ‘At the Heels of History’ series, inspired by important events)

Emma Carlson Berne, illus. Francesca Ficorilli, Rebecca Rides for Freedom, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (Girls Survive series. An American Revolution story)

Teri Bailey Black, Chasing Starlight, Tor Teen, YA (light-hearted, historical YA about the Golden Age of Hollywood)

Sigmund Brouwer, Clan, Tundra Books, Mid-grd (part survival story, part animal-human friendship story and part redemption story―follows the journey of Atlatl and the saber tooth cub he rescued from a dire wolf attack)

Veeda Bybee, illus. Andrea Rossetto, Li on Angel Island, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (Li, her mother, and her brother journey from China to America to join their father, but they are detained at the Angel Island immigration center)

Rachel Caine, Sword and Pen, Berkley (a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time – alternate history)

Elen Caldecott, The Short Knife, Andersen Press, 10+ (story of family, identity and language, set as the Saxons invade Britain in the 5th Century)

Terry Lee Caruthers, illus. Robert Casilla, The Big Day, Star Bright Books, Age 5-8 (story celebrates Agnes Sadler, the first Black woman to legally vote in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1919)

Janet Fox, The Artifact Hunters, Viking BfYR, 10+ (blends Indiana Jones-style treasure hunting with World War II spies and time travel adventure)

Helen Frost, Crossing Stones, Square Fish, YA (novel in verse about two families whose lives are forever changed by World War I)

Julie Kathleen Gilbert, illus. Jane Pica, Leah Braves the Flood, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (Girls Survive series. A Great Molasses flood story)

Kate Hannigan, illus. Patrick Spaziante, Mask, Aladdin, Mid-grd (The League of Secret Heroes Bk 2)

Leah Henderson, The Magic in Changing Your Stars, Sterling Children’s, Mid-grd (journey to 1939 Harlem in this time-travel adventure with an inspiring message about believing in yourself)

Kiku Hughes, Displacement, First Second, YA (teenager is pulled back in time to witness her grandmother’s experiences in WWII-era Japanese internment camp – graphic format)

Eva Ibbotson, Magic Flutes, Macmillan, YA (tale of intrigue and identity set in Austria 1922)

Evan Ibbotson, A Company of Swans, Macmillan, YA (tale of romance, freedom and the beauty of dance)

Haydn Kaye, The Girl Who Said No to the Nazis: Sophie Scholl and the Plot Against Hitler, Pushkin Childrens, Mid-grd (inspirational story of the students who defied the Nazis)

Catherine Johnson, Queen of Freedom: Defending Jamaica, Pushkin Childrens, Mid-grd (one woman masterminds slave resistance to British rule in 1720)

Eric A. Kimmel, illus. Alida Massari, Nicanor’s Gate, Kar-Ben, Pic (set in biblical times, the story of Nicanor’s Gate shows how a man’s faith is important to living a happy, fulfilled life)

Daniel Kirk, Newton and Curie, The Science Squirrels, Abrams BfYR, Pic (when an apple falls on his head, Newton the squirrel begins to wonder how the world works)

Valériane Leblond, The Quilt, Y Lolfa, Age 4-6 (a family leaves Wales in search of a better life in the USA, where their hand-stitched quilt proves a great comfort)

Kerri Maniscalco, Capturing the Devil, jimmy patterson, YA (next in series – Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil)

Lisa Maxwell, The Serpent’s Curse, Simon Pulse, YA (conclusion to The Last Magician series)

Amanda McCrina, Traitor, FSG(BYR), YA (the worlds of two teenage soldiers collide in surprising fashion in this novel of lies, spies, and survival, set in Poland, 1944)

Tehlor Kay Mejia, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears, Rick Riordan Presents, Mid-grd (inspired by the Mexican legend of La Llorona—12-year-old Paola overcomes evil with science and love)

Carrie Mesrobian, The Whitsun Daughters, Dutton BfYR, YA (ghost story about young women separated by centuries but connected by a desire to control their futures)

Daniel Nayeri, Everything Sad is Untrue, Arthur Levine, 10+ (autobiographical story of Daniel, who fled Iran as a small child and landed in middle school in Oklahoma where he was treated with curiosity and suspicion)

Eucabeth Odhiambo, Auma’s Long Run, Holiday House, Mid-grd (debut set in 1980s Kenya is a story of loss, grief, and the power of resilience; based on the author’s childhood in Kenya)

Kristina Perez, Bright Raven Skies, Imprint, YA (inspired by the legend of Tristan and Eseult― 3rd book in fantasy series about warring countries, family secrets, and star-crossed lovers)
Also: Wild Savage Stars

Rebecca Rissman, illus. Jacqui Davis, Audrey and Apollo 11, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (science-obsessed Audrey is a fifth grader who dreams of one day working at NASA, like her dad does)

Catherine Urdahl, illus. Gary Kelley, Virginia Was a Spy, Creative Editions, Mid-grd (fictional biography inspired by the life of WWII spy, Virginia Hall)

Nikki Shannon Smith, illus. Lisa Manuzak Wiley, A Star Like Jesse Owens, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (Matthew is a young African-American boy who dreams of becoming an Olympic runner like his hero, Jesse Owens)

Vesper Stamper, A Cloud of Outrageous Blue, Knopf BfYR, YA (story of a young woman paving her own path and falling in love during the Great Plague of 1348)

Marcus Sutter, illus. Andie Tong, Soldier Dogs #7: Shipwreck on the High Seas, HarperFestival, Mid-grd (1944―a merchant marine ship is attacked by Nazi subs)

Brandon Terrell, illus. Eva Morales, Archie Strikes Gold, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (Archie and his uncle travel to Dawson City to entertain the Yukon gold rushers)

Gareth Ward, The Rise of the Remarkables: Brasswitch and Bot, Andersen Press, 10+ (steampunk adventure set in Victorian York)

Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. Jeffery Boston Weatherford, Call Me Miss Hamilton, Carolrhoda, Pic (fictional biography of civil rights activist Mary Hamilton, who won a Supreme Court case stating that black people were entitled to the same courteous forms of address as white people)

Melissa Wiley, The Nerviest Girl in the World, Knopf BfYR, Mid-grd (a feisty girl from a family of ranchers lands a job as a daredevil stunt girl in the early days of silent film)

September 2020

Alex Alice, Castle in the Stars: A Frenchman on Mars, First Second, Mid-grd 10+ (fourth in illustrated adventure series set in a world where space exploration began during Victorian era)

Donovan Bixley, Downfall, Upstart Press, Mid-grd (humorous stories with a historical theme)

David Bowles, illus. Charlene Bowles, Rise of the Halfling King (Tales of the Feathered Serpent #1), Cinco Puntos Press, Chap (first of a series based on ancient Mesoamerican myths and legends)

Shirin Yim Bridges, illus. Alea Marley, Get Up, Elizabeth!, Cameron Kids, Pic (a humorous look at Elizabeth 1’s morning routines!)

Sabrina A. Brinson, Meet the Philadelphia Dolly Vardens, Treehouse, Pic (learn about the Philadelphia Dolly Vardens and the African American women’s professional baseball teams)

Dino Buzzati, The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily, Alma Classics, Mid-grd (story for children and an allegory for adults about the absurdity of war)

Don Callaway, The Captain’s Boy, Bancroft Press, Mid-grd (with his family murdered, 14-year-old Isaiah is plunged into the dangerous world of the American Revolution… on the side of the rebels)

Patricia Clapp, I’m Deborah Sampson, Ig Publishing, Mid-grd (tells the story of Deborah Sampson, a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to enlist and fight in the American Revolution)

J. Anderson Coats, The Green Children of Woolpit, Atheneum BfYR, 10+ (1160 – fantasy follows a girl who discovers two otherworldly children and finds herself trapped in an ancient bargain that threatens to destroy them all)

Tim Collins, illus. Isobel Lundle, The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World’s Worst Olympic Athlete, Jolly Fish, Mid-grd (Athens, 380 – puts readers inside the heads of unlucky people in unfortunate situations)
Also: The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World’s Worst Samurai (set in 16th-c Japan)

Géraldine Elschner, illus. Olivier Desvaux, The Little Dancer, Prestel Junior, Pic (illustrated story of the young ballerina who inspired the artist, Degas)

Catherine Fisher, The Clockwork Crow, Walker Books US, Mid-grd (story of family and belonging set in frost-bound Victorian Wales)

Samuel P. Fortsch, illus. Manuel Gutierrez, Pawtriot Dogs: Save the Sanctuary #1, Grosset & Dunlap, Mid-grd (new series spotlighting military rescue dogs)
Also Pawtriot Dogs: Everything’s Bigger in Texas #2; Pawtriot Dogs: Into the Storm #3; Pawtriot Dogs: On the Freedom Trail #4

Julie Fulton, illus. Patrick Corrigan, Mister T.V., Maverick Arts, Pic 7+ ( follows the life of John Logie Baird and the story behind the invention of the television)

Julia Gray, I, Ada: Rebel. Genius. Visionary, Andersen Press, YA (poignant portrayal of the young life of the 19th-century mathematician)

Eloise Greenfield, illus. Jan Spivey Gilchrist, The Great Migration, Amistad, Pic (five-part poem captures the emotions of hope, anxiety, and relief that prevailed during a significant era in African American history)

Nikki Grimes, One Last Word, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, Mid-grd (wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance)

Thomas Harding, illus. Britta Teckentrup, The House by the Lake, Mid-grd (story of a lake cottage near Berlin, Germany that played host to a Jewish doctor, a Nazi composer, wartime refugees, and a secret-police informant)

Kathy Kacer, The Brushmaker’s Daughter, Second Story Press, Mid-grd (a WWII upstander saves Lillian and her blind father from capture by the Nazis)

Deborah Kalb, illus. Robert Lunsford, Thomas Jefferson and the Return of the Magic Hat, SchifferKids, Mid-grd (Oliver is lent a magic hat that takes him back to the 18th/19th-C world of Thomas Jefferson)

Supriya Kelkar, The Sandalwood Pyre, Tu Books, Mid-grd (11-year-old Meera escapes life as a child bride in 1857 India only to end up as a servant to a British general in the East India Company)

Kara Kootstra, Bobby Orr, illus. Jennifer Phelan, Bobby Orr and the Hand-Me-Down Skates, Tundra, Pic (illustrated story of the hockey great)

Marthe Jocelyn, illus. Isabelle Follath, Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: Peril at Owl Park, Tundra, Mid-grd (series set in 1902 coastal England inspired by the imagined life of Agatha Christie as a child)

Thao Lam, The Paper Boat, Owlkids, Pic 6+ (tells the wordless story of one family’s escape from Vietnam)

George H. Lewis, A.D. Lubow, The Boy and the Boy King, American Uni. In Cairo Press, Pic (story of a friendship between a boy from New York City and the boy king, Tutankhamun)

Barbara Lowell, illus. Valentina Toro, Behind the Bookcase: Miep Gies, Anne Frank, and the Hiding Place, Kar-Ben, Pic (story of Gies and her brave act of helping to shelter Anne Frank’s family during WWII)

Susan K Marlow, Jem and the Golden Reward, Kregel, Chap (fiction series set during the Gold Rush)

Susan K. Marlow, Jem’s Wild Winter, Kregel, Chap (fiction series set during the Gold Rush)

Linda Elovitz Marshall, illus. Aura Lewis, Anne Frank: The Girl Heard Around the World, Orchard, Pic (Anne Frank and how she found her voice in a world determined to silence her)

Kwame Mbalia, Tristan Strong Destroys the World, Rick Riordan Presents, Mid-grd (Tristan Strong Book 2 in which Tristan must save his abducted Nana from a folktale villain)

Davide Morosinotto, (trans. Denise Muir) Red Stars, Pushkin Childrens, YA (tale of courage, bravery and love, in the face of the most terrifying danger imaginable)

Amy Novesky, illus. Julie Morstad, Girl on a Motorcycle, Viking, Pic (picture book story of a French journalist who was the first woman to ride a motorcycle around the world)

Tom Palmer, illus. Violet Tobacco, After the War, Conkers, Mid-grd (1945. Three boys are among three hundred children who arrive in the English Lake District, having survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps)

Tom Palmer, illus. Ollie Cuthbertson, Over the Line, Conkers, Mid-grd (based on the true story of WWI hero and soccer legend Jack Cock)

Andrea Davis Pinkney, illus. Brian Pinkney, Loretta Little Looks Back, Little, Brown BfYR, Mid-grd (illustrated novel illuminating the dramatic events that led to African Americans earning the right to vote)

Jessie Rinker, The Dare Sisters, Imprint, Mid-grd (three sisters hunt for Blackbeard’s legendary treasure)

Megan Rix, The Lost War Dog, Puffin, Mid-grd (the difficult and hopeful journey across wartime Germany of two best friends and the dog who brought them together)

Mara Rockliff, illus. R. Gregory Christie, Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Schwartz & Wade, Pic (fictionalised biography set in 1956)

Dianne K. Salerni, Eleanor, Alice and the Roosevelt Ghosts, Holiday House, Mid-grd (set in 1898 NYC – murderous ghosts and buried family secrets threaten young Eleanor and Alice Roosevelt)

Ruth Sepetys, The Fountains of Silence, Penguin YR, YA (Madrid 1957 – portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship)

Anthea Simmons, Lightning Mary, Andersen Press, Mid-grd (fictionalized biography of Mary Anning, the first female English paleontologist and fossil collector)

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Stolen Girl, Scholastic Inc, Mid-grd (follows a Ukrainian girl who was kidnapped as a child to be raised by a Nazi family)

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Trapped in Hitler’s Web, Scholastic, Mid-grd (in WWII, Maria and her Jewish friend Nathan flee the Ukraine — into the heart of Hitler’s Reich in Austria to hide in plain sight)

David Michael Slater, illus. Michelle Simpson, Stranger Danger, Corgi Bits, Mid-grd (Mr. Mensch takes the kids on a whirlwind adventure, all the way back to 1903 when immigrants arrived to the shores of New York)

Andy Stanton, The Paninis of Pompeii, Egmont UK, Mid-grd (a comic look at the last days of Pompei)

Heather Stemp, Amelia and Me, Nimbus, Mid-grd (1930 – after reading about Amelia Earhart in her friend’s scrapbook, twelve-year-old Ginny Ross decides to become a pilot)
Also: Under Amelia’s Wing (Ginny Ross Book 2)

Thomas Kingsley Troupe, illus. Maggie Ivy, Haunt and Seek, North Star, Mid-grd (stories of ghosts and mysterious hauntings grounded in its regional history. Author’s note provides historical origins)
Also: The Dead Below (set in Philadelphia)

Sally M. Walker, illus. Kayla Harren, Fiery Night: A Boy, His Goat, and the Great Chicago Fire, Capstone, Mid-grd (true story of Justin Butterfield, whose family—and pet goat—had to abandon their home during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871)

Sandra Neil Wallace, illus. Rebecca Gibbon, Marjory Saves the Everglades, Paula Wiseman, Pic (story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who saved the Florida Everglades from development and ruin)

Carole Boston Weatherford, Beauty Mark, Candlewick, YA (novel in verse about the life of Marilyn Monroe)

Deborah Wiles, illus. Daniel Miyares, Night Walk to the Sea, Schwartz & Wade, Pic (story of naturalist Rachel Carson)

Rita Williams-Garcia, A Sitting in St. James, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (stories set on an antebellum slave plantation)

Allan Wolf, The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep, Candlewick, YA (retelling of the ill-fated journey of the Donner party across the Sierra Nevadas during the winter of 1846–1847)

October 2020

Beth Anderson, illus. Jenn Harney, “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses, Calkins Creek, Pic 7+ (James “Smelly” Kelly used his super-senses and intelligence to make sure that the New York City subway in the 1930s ran safely throughout his lifetime and beyond)

Ayesha Harruna Attah, The Deep Blue Between, Pushkin Childrens, YA (a brutal slave raid tears two sisters apart, but no matter the obstacles they encounter, they remain bound together by their dreams, and slowly their fates draw them together)

Lindsay K. Bandy, Nemesis and the Swan, Blackstone, YA (in revolutionary Paris, the secrets behind an eerie set of brooches will either send Hélène d’Aubign to the guillotine or save her life)

Michael S. Bandy, illus. James E. Ransome, Northbound: A Train Ride out of Segregation, Candlewick, Pic (last story in a trilogy about the author’s life growing up in the segregated South)

Helaine Becker, illus. Kari Rust, Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of, Kids Can, Pic (fictionalised biography of a mathematical genius)

Julie Berry, Wishes and Wellingtons, Sourcebooks YR, Mid-grd (a magical fantasy adventure set in a Victorian London boarding school for upright young ladies)

Victoria Bond, Zora and Me: The Summoner, Candlewick, 10+ (upheaval in Zora Neale Hurston’s family and hometown persuade her to leave childhood behind and find her destiny beyond Eatonville)

Eric Bower, The Tremendous Baron Time Machine, Amberjack, Mid-grd (story of a reluctant hero forced to travel back in time to save his parents)

Ann E. Burg, Flooded, Scholastic Press, Mid-grd (based on true events – the disaster of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania dam collapse in 1889)

Michael Burgan, Who HQ, illus. Robert Squier, Who Was Confucius?, Penguin Workshop, Age 8-12  (biographical fiction about China’s most famous teach and philosopher)

Emma Carroll, Strange Star, Faber & Faber, Mid-grd (Switzerland, 1816. On a stormy summer night, Lord Byron and his guests are gathered round the fire telling ghost stories)

Sara Cassidy, illus. Sydney Barnes, Painted Fences, Heritage House, Pic (exploring themes of wartime resourcefulness, local history, friendship, and the reverberations of the past in the present day)

Patricia Clapp, I’m Deborah Sampson, Ig Publishing, 10+ (based on the true story of a Massachusetts woman who disguised herself as a man in order to serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War)

Samantha Cohoe, A Golden Fury, Head of Zeus, YA (a historical fantasy about the curse on the Philospher’s Stone)

Kara Lee Corthron, Daughters of Jubilation, Simon Pulse, YA (Jim Crow South – story follows a black teen as she finds her place among a family of women gifted with magical abilities)

Cary Fagan, illus. Enzo Lord Mariano, Maurice and His Dictionary, Mid-grd (graphic novel follows a young Jewish boy, Maurice, and his family as they flee their home in Belgium during the Second World War)

María José Ferrada, illus. Ana Penyas, Mexique, Age 7-10 (invites readers onto the Mexique with the “children of Morelia,” many of whom never returned to Spain during Franco’s almost forty-year regime)

Eric Gansworth, Apple: Skin to Core, Levine Querido, YA (features an Onondaga teen piecing together generations of family history in verse)

Alexandria Giardino, illus. Penelope Dullaghan, The Good Song, Cameron Kids, Pic (a picture story inspired by “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”)

Anna Godbersen, Beautiful Wild, HarperTeen, YA (19th-c historical romance fantasy)

Sarah Goodman, Eventide, Tor Teen, YA (Arkansas, 1907―when her father descends into madness, Verity Pruitt and her little sister Lilah find themselves uprooted from New York, on an orphan train to rural Arkansas)

A. B. Greenfield, illus. Sarah Horne, Ra the Mighty: The Crocodile Caper, Holiday House, Mid-grd (Ancient Egypt’s laziest detective must save a missing boy)
Also: Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery, Holiday House, Mid-grd (a precious tomb gets ransacked in the Valley of the Kings)

Finbar Hawkins, Witch, Zephyr, YA (debut about the power of women, witchcraft, fury, revenge and the ties that bind us. Set in 17th-century)

Kyandreia Jones, Choose Your Own Adventure Spies: Mary Bowser, Chooseco, Mid-grd (5th in series -1864. It’s the height of the Civil War and you are a spy living in Virginia)

Emily Lloyd-Jones, The Bone Houses, Little,Brown, YA (equal parts classic horror novel and original fairy tale)

Chris Lynch, Good Devils (Special Forces, Book 3), Scholastic Press, YA (first Special Force commando unit travels through Germany taking out Nazis as they go)

Mari Mancusi, Geeks and the Holy Grail, Little, Brown BfYR, Mid-grd (two best friends must get the Holy Grail into King Arthur’s hands so he can drink from it and recover from a deadly illness)

Kerri Maniscalco, Kingdom of the Wicked, Jimmy Patterson, YA (a young witch in 19th-century Italy seeks vengeance for the murder of her twin sister and encounters a troubled demon)

Brad Meltzer, illus. Christopher Eliopoulos, I Am Anne Frank, Dial, Pic (picture book focusing on the courage Anne showed during the Holocaust)

Donna Jo Napoli, In A Flash, Wendy Lamb, Mid-grd (two Italian sisters, living in Japan at the Italian embassy during WWII, become separated from their father when Italy surrenders to the allies)

Katrina Nannestad, We Are Wolves, ABC Books, Age 10-14 (towards the end of WWII, in East Prussia, two children fleeing incoming armies struggle to survive)

Antonis Papatheodoulou, illus. Iris Samartzi, Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, Faros Books, Pic (Great Little Classics series)

James Patterson, Kwame Alexander, illus. Dawud Anyabwile, Becoming Muhammad Ali, jimmy patterson, Mid-grd (depicts Clay’s life to age 17 including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing)

Ilyasah Shabazz, Tiffany D. Jackson, The Awakening of Malcolm X, FSG BfYR, YA (fictionalized account of Malcolm X’s adolescent years in jail)

Uri Shulevitz, Chance, FSG BfYR, 10+ (author’s account of his childhood escape from the terrors of the Holocaust)

Liesl Shurtliff, Time Castaways #3: The Forbidden Lock, Katherine Tegen, Mid-grd (Captain Vincent fractures the delicate fabric of time and space to rewrite history as he wants it, and it’s up to the Hudson kids to defeat this time-traveling villain once and for all)

Lindsay Smith, The Shadow War, Philomel, YA (five teens in WWII Germany attempt to access dark energy from a world parallel to our own to bring down the Third Reich)

Kathy Stinson, illus. Marie Lafrance, The Lady with the Books, Kids Can, Pic (a fictionalized retelling of how one woman brought a world of books to children in Germany after World War II, and changed their lives forever)

Tanya Unsworth, The Time Traveller and the Tiger, Zephyr, Age 9+ (Time unravels as Elsie tumbles back to India to meet a young Uncle John on a tiger hunt)

Alex Wheatkem, Cane Warriors, Black Sheep, YA (Moa, a fourteen-year-old slave, gets caught up in the most significant slave rebellion in Jamaican history, paying homage to freedom fighters all over the world)

Barry Wittenstein, illus. Kristen Howdeshell & Kevin Howdeshell, Oscar’s American Dream, Anne Schwartz Books, Pic (when Oscar lands on Ellis Island, he has only a suitcase and a dream—to own his own barbershop)

November 2020

Leanne Baugh, Wild Bird, Red Deer Press, YA (though set 160 years ago, the story spotlights a young girl’s yearning to involve herself in meaningful work in a society that thinks women are little more than decoration)

Karen Cushman, Alchemy and Meggy Swann, Clarion, Mid-grd (Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann)

Tony Evans, illus. Felix Bennett, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four, Baker Street, Mid-grd (Holmes and Walson retold for young children)

Maria Jose Ferrada, illus. Ana Penvas, Mexique, Eerdmans, Mid-grd (depicts the journey of 456 refugee children who fled Mexico to escape the Spanish Civil War)

Chloe Gong, These Violent Delights, Simon Pulse, YA (Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River)

Christopher Healy, A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem #3: The Final Gambit, Walden Pond, Mid-grd (action adventure alt-history series conclusion)

Harry Kleinhuis, Athabasca, Red Deer Press, YA (set in 1930s, a story of reconciliation and forgiveness between father and son)

Mackenzi Lee, The Madness Blooms, Flatiron, YA (romantic historical saga about gender, politics and self-identity)

Sam Maggs, illus. Kendra Wells, Tell No Tales, Amulet, Mid-grd (adventure inspired by the historical exploits of real-life female pirates)

Simon Mason, Bandit’s Daughter: Kung Fu Girl in Ancient China, Pushkin Childrens, Mid-grd (a kung fu prodigy’s unstoppable rise to become a great general)

Davide Morosinotto, Red Stars, Delacorte BfYR, 10+ (takes readers along on the journeys of two twelve-year-old siblings, separated just before the Nazi siege of their city)

Sally Nicholls, illus. Kate McKendrick, The Silent Stars Go By, Andersen Press, Mid-grd (WWI family saga with a Christmas setting)

Michelle Paver, Viper’s Daughter, Zephyr Children’s, Mid-grd (book seven in Stone Age series)

Don Tate, William Still and His Freedom Stories, Peachtree, Pic (William Still collected stories of those who had traveled north to freedom on the Underground Railroad)

Gill Tavner, illus. Karen Donnelly, Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop, Baker Street, Mid-grd (classic retold for young children)

Emma Theriault, The Queen’s Council Rebel Rose, Disney Hyperion, YA (1789 and France is on the brink of revolution. Belle has finally broken the Enchantress’s curse, restoring the Beast to his human form as Prince Adam)

Lisa Williamson, The Mysterious Life of Dr Barry: A Surgeon Unlike Any Other, Pushkin Childrens, Mid-grd (story of a surgeon who disguised herself as a man)

Karen M. McManus, The Cousins, Delacorte, YA (three cousins, whose parents are all disinherited, are invited to spend the summer with their estranged grandmother, and learn their family’s dark secrets)

December 2020

Blake Fite, illus. Audrey Dorman, Echoes of Newtown, Morgan James Fiction, Mid-grd (in postbellum Shenandoah Valley, the paths of two runaway boys and a stalwart pair of young girls unexpectedly collide)

Maika Moulite, Maritza Moulite, Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, Inkyard Press, YA (Haiti’s history is uncovered along with family secrets and a family curse which has spanned generations)

Mary Pope Osborne, illus. AG Ford, Warriors in Winter, Random House BfYR, Chap (Magic Treehouse meets the Romans)

Steven Otfinoski, Great Escapes #4: Survival in the Wilderness, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (follow three valiant Navy officers as they try to escape the harsh Canadian wilderness)


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