Monday, July 4, 2011

List of the Week (#2): America, America! read!

This year, in honor of the 4th of July, instead of just chowing down on hot dogs and gawking at fireworks, try celebrating Independence Day through your reading as well. Here's a chronological list of historical fiction that will walk you through the (sometimes inspiring, sometimes saddening) history of the U. S. of A.:

1) Native Americans (before the European "discovery" of America):
-Children of the Longhouse and other novels of Joseph Bruchac
-The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich (not pre-European but focuses on and celebrates Native American life/heritage)

2) Early European Settlements and the Salem Witch Trials:
A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Beyond the Burning Time by Kathryn Lasky

3) The Colonies, Revolution and Formation of the U.S.A.:
Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

4) Slavery and the Civil War:
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
My Name is Not Angelica by Scott O'Dell
Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen

5) Life on the Prairie/Western Expansion:
The Little House collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Hard Gold by Avi

6) The Industrial Revolution and Immigration:
Lyddie and Bread and Roses, Too by Katerine Paterson
Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop
My Antonia by Willa Cather (Beautiful. Not YA literature, really--just, human literature. So if you're human, you should read it.)
Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
The Traitor other books in the "Golden Mountain Chronicles" by Laurence Yep

7) Segregation during the Jim Crow Era:
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and other novels by Mildred D. Taylor
Sounder by William H. Armstrong
A Yellow Watermelon by Ted M. Dunagan
Jericho Walls by Kristi Collier

8) The Great Depression:
Out of the Dust by Katherine Hesse
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

9) WWII:
Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
American Girl by Tony Talbot
Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

10) Social/Class Tension and Rebellion: The 1950's, 60's and 70's:
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Just Like Martin by Ossie Davis
Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez

Generally good/prolific children's and young adults' American historical fiction authors:

-Scott O'Dell (Native American experience and Revolutionary War)
-Elizabeth George Speare (Native American and Pre-Revolutionary Colonial America)
-Laurie Halse Anderson (Colonial America and Revolutionary War)
-Avi (Revolutionary War)
-Ann Rinaldi (Revolutionary and Civil War)
-Laurence Yep (Chinese-American experience)
-Karen Hesse (late 1800's-Great Depression)
-Katherine Paterson (1900's-1940's)
-Richard Peck (early 1900's/Great Depression)
-Mildred D. Taylor (Segregation and Civil Rights Movement)