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(Grade Levels 5-6)

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A Braid of Lives: Native American Childhood* Neil Philip Stories of Native-American childhood This is a compilation of stories told by Native Americans recalling experiences from their childhood, and what life was like. Wonderful photographs.
A Break with Charity: A Story About the Salem Witch Trials
Ann Rinaldi
Salem Witch Trials
In this story about the Salem Witch Trials a young girl is caught between fear and truth. She knows that a group of young girls have accused innocent people of witchcraft in order to hide their own experiments with the occult. However, she is afraid of what might happen if she tells the truth.
A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin Karen Hesse Civil War Fifteen-year-old Amelia works in her father's lighthouse on an island off Delaware's coast in 1860-1861.  She records in her diary how the Civil War is beginning to devastate her divided state.
Always Inventing: A Photobiography of Alexander Graham Bell Tom L. Matthews Biography in photos of Alexander Graham Bell and his inventions. Photographs by National Geographic.  Compelling text of Bell's amazing life and inventions combines with authentic photographs to make this magnificent book a "must have".
Angels of Mercy: The Army Nurses of World War II Betsy Kuhn World War II Together with photographs, this narrative describes the work of army nurses and their important contributions during World War II.  Their smiling faces belied the horrors and hardships.
Blizzard! The Storm That Changed America Jim Murphy The Great Blizzard of 1888 The Great Blizzard was a disaster that devastated lives and brought everyday activities from Virginia to Main to a standstill. Historical illustrations and photographs complement the text.
Buffalo Hunt** Russell Freedman Rituals and practices of Plains Indians associated with the Buffalo Hunt. Vivid portrayal of the rituals and practices of Plains Indians as they prepare for the Buffalo Hunt, participate in the hunt, prepare the animal for its many uses, and generally centered their lives around the buffalo.  Accompanying artwork is exceptional.
Casimir Pulaski: Soldier on Horseback* David Collins The life story of a revolutionary war hero The fist part of the story narrates Casimir Pulaski's involvement in the fighting between Poland and Russia. The second part involves Pulaski's involvement in the Revolutionary War.
Charlie Pippin* Candy Dawson Boyd A child learning about the Vietnam War and nuclear war during the mid nineteen eighties  Carlie is assigned to be on the war and peace committee at school and give a report about the Vietnam War.  Through her report she finds out about the events surrounding the War and how it forever effected her father and uncle.
Children of the Fire Harriette Gillem Robinet The Great Chicago Fire This is a story about a young girl, Hallelujah, who lives with a foster family after her mother died escaping to Chicago from a plantation in the South. Through the events surrounding the three day fire, Hallelujah learns about people of all colors and classes. She learns to value herself, and that all people are equal.
Children of the Wild West** Russell Freedman Westward migration and life in the old West. Rare photographs and text document westward migration and life in the old west, especially through the lives of children.  Both pioneer and native American lives are depicted.
Conestoga Wagons Richard Ammon Importance of the Conestoga wagon in American history Explains how the wagons were built, what they carried, and who drove them. Paintings by Bill Fransworth contribute to the reader's comprehension.
Daniel Boone and the Exploration of the Frontier Richard Kozar Biography of Daniel Boone A fine chronological rendering of Daniel Boone's life and explorations. The glossary and bold-type words are useful for reading instructions.
Darkness over Denmark: The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews Ellen Levine Danish rescue of Jews during World War II Story of the courageous men and women of Denmark who rescued nearly all of Denmark's Jews.
Dear Levi: Letters from the Overland Trail*
Elvira Woodruff
Westward Movement
Written as a series of letters from a 12-year-old boy to his younger brother Levi, this book describes the adventures and hardships encountered by those people who traveled the Overland trail. After the death of their parents, Austin, the older boy, travels west to check on their father's land claim, and to secure his family's future.
Dragon's Gate**
Lawrence Yep
Chinese Immigration
As a young boy, Otter immigrated to the United States from China with his father and uncle. In China they were part of the upper class, but in America they are forced to work on the transcontinental railroad in order to make a living. Otter struggles to hold onto his dream of returning to China where he can use his knowledge of new technologies to free China from the Manchus.
Fever 1793*  Laurie Halse Andreson The Yellow fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia


Vivid descriptions of the life and people of Philadelphia in the 1790's, as well as the Yellow Fever epidemic that killed thousands of people and terrorized the community.  Superior geography connections to the area within a hundred mile radius of Philadelphia. 
Fighting for Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II* Michael Cooper Japanese internment and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team An easy to understand, captive history of the long-standing prewar prejudice against the Japanese Americans, the Japanese internment during World War II, and the experiences of the Japanese American infantry battalion, the most highly decorated unit in U.S. Military history. Also explores the problems the Japanese Americans faced after the war. Excellent photographs.
Forging Freedom Hudson Talbot Saving Jews in Holland during World War II Jaap Penrat saved over four hundred Jews during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Penrat forged documents and led sham constructions crews to France, where the Underground helped the refugees get to Spain.
Foster's War Carolyn Reeder World War II on the home front.


Takes place from 1941-1943 in San Diego, California.  Foster and his family participate in all the wartime activities of a typical family.  His bestfriend is sent to a Japanese Internment camp.  His brother is killed in the Pacific. 
Grandpa's Mountain Carolyn Reeder Taking property away from people to make the Shenandoah National Park. The Great Depression Carrie spends her summers with her grandparents in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. This particular summer they must all grapple with the decision of the government to clear all homesteads out of the area that is designated to become the Shenandoah National Park. Grandpa uses every legal means to try to stop the movement. Others are happy with the offer of a home and land near schools and hospitals to replace their poorer accommodations in the mountains. Economic themes as well.
Hannah's Journal* Marissa Moss Immigration Ten-year-old Hannah and her fourteen-year-old cousin travel from Lithuania to America.  The story deals primarily with the pogroms that drove Jews out of Russia, the miserable conditions in steerage on board the immigrant ships, the problems at Ellis Island, but, ultimately, the joy of a free country.
Hannah's Winter of Hope Jean Van Leeuwen 1970, Revolutionary War Hannah and her family face many hardships during the winter of 1780 as the British capture her brother, a colonial soldier, and the family home is burned down.
Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of the Quilts and the Underground Railroad Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard

The Underground Railroad


The story is about the secret quilt system used by the Underground Railroad. Messages were hidden in quilt patterns that only other Underground Railroad workers were able to decipher.
Hostage to War: A True Story Tatjana Wassiljewa, translation by Anna Trenter German labor camps and Russia during WWII Tatjana is a young Russian girl, ten-years-old, when the Germans invade her town. After suffering through near starvation, she is taken by the Germans and placed in a labor camp. This story is a recollection of her stolen childhood and will to live written in journal format.
Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor* Russell Freedman Child Labor in the early 1900s This book contains amazing photographs, taken by Lewis Hine, of child labor in the United States before World War I. During this time, Hine was working as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee.
Kids on Strike Susan Campbell Bartoletti Child Labor in the late 1800s and early 1900s Strikes in the coal mines, cotton mills, and the garment industry show courageous individuals who helped change child labor laws in America.  More than one-hundred vivd photographs illustrate the working conditions.
Land of the Iron Dragon* Alida E. Young Construction of the transcontinental railroad, aided by Chinese immigrants Moving story of a fourteen-year-old Chinese boy who toiled on the transcontinental railroad from 1865-1869.  Paints vivid pictures of Chinese values and beliefs, the wild nature of the old west, and the maturing of a boy into a self-assured man.
Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters* Andrea Davis Pinkney Black Freedom fighters and civil rights.  This book is a compilation of short biographies about black women who fought for their rights and the rights of other people. The women covered in this book are; Sojourner Truth, Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Heights, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm. Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. 
My Daniel*
Pam Conrad
Pioneering life in Nebraska
An 80-year-old grandmother named Ellie visits the east coast for the first time in her life. She takes her grandchildren to the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaur remains that her brother found on their family's property years ago. She recalls his discovery of the dinosaur and the events that led to his death.
My Secret War: The Diary of Madeline Beck* Mary Pope Osborne World War II on the home front Madeline is in eighth grade when WWII starts.  She lives on Long Island with her mother.  Her father is a navy officer serving in the Pacific.  Many issues about living on the home front are covered through the journal entries.  Madeline and her friend Johnny start a war activism club for kids in their school.
No Promises in the Wind Irene Hunt The Great Depression Two brothers, Josh (15) and Joey (10) leave their home in Chicago in 1932 searching for survival. Their travels on the road lead them to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, carnival life, and back into a Nebraska Winter.  They encounter harsh realities, as well as kindness. 
One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping* Barry Denenberg Nazi annexation of Vienna, and immigration This is a story of a twelve-year-old Jewish girl, the disintegration of her life and family after the annexation of Vienna in 1938, and her experiences after she immigrates to New York City to live with her Aunt. 
Path of the Pale Horse Paul Feischman Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia, in 1793 Fourteen-year-old Lep is training to be a doctor under the guidance of Dr. Alexander Peale. Filled with suspense, this story tells how the yellow fever epidemic impacted people and the city of Philadelphia. It also sheds light on medical practices of the time.
Return to the Island Gloria Whelan American settlement In 1818, Mary lives on an island in the Great Lakes that has been settled by French, British, and Native Americans. This book tells you about the many different aspects of settlement during this time period including a Native American perspective, all rapped up in a love story.
Salsa Stories Lulu Delacre Latin American culture and traditions found in oral history Latin American family and friends tell some of their favorite stories that took place in a variety of Latin American countries. Fine examples of oral history.
Samurai of Gold Hill* Yoshiko Uchida Japanese immigration to the West coast  of the US in the 19th c. Based upon a true event, a small band of Japanese journeyed to Gold Hill, California to establish a tea and silk worm farm.  This is a story of their struggles in an alien land.
Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark Gail Langer Karwoski Lewis and Clark exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. Seaman was a 150-pound Newfoundland dog purchased by Meriwether Lewis in the Summer of 1803.  This well-researched and finely-written book chronicles the exploration of Lewis and Clark, focusing on the endearing and brave dog, Seaman.
Shades of Gray* Carolyn Reeder Civil War and Reconstruction Twelve-year-old Will Page loses his entire family in the Civil War at the hands of the Yankees.  He is sent to live with relatives he has never met in the war-ravaged Virginia Piedmont.  He is bitter about having to live with an Uncle who refuses to fight in the war.  Eventually, Will grows to understand that people have to stand up for what they believe.
Sleds on Boston Common: A Story from the American Revolution* Louise Borden American Revolution This is a folk story of four school children who want to go sledding on the Boston commons in 1774 where British troops are located, and how they deal with their predicament.
Snow Treasure* Marie McSwigan World War II in Norway, 1939-1940. True story.  After the nazi occupation of their country, Norwegian children were able to sled past nazi soldiers, carrying the country's cache of $9 million worth of gold bullion.  Mishaps add to the tension and excitement of this dangerous venture.
So Far From the Sea Eve Bunting Japanese Internment A Japanese-American family returns to Manzanar to visit the grave of the grandfather the children never knew. Their father was eight years old when he was interned there. The books gives insight into why the internment occurred, as well as an understanding of the injustices of the internment.
Steal Away Home**
Lois Ruby
Underground Railroad
In this book a modern-day girl helps readers to understand the events affecting the nation prior to the Civil War. After uncovering a boarded-up alcove Dana finds an old diary and skeleton in her family's new house. Through Dana's readings students learn about the Quaker family who once lived in the house and their involvement with the Underground Railroad.
Steal Away* Jennifer Armstrong Slavery and Freedom1 Two elderly women recount the story of their escape from the South and slavery during their adolescence in 1855.  One a Caucasian  orphan and the other a slave; they learn to understand each other, become friends, and share an everlasting bond on their trek North to freedom. 
Struggle for a Continent: The French and Indian Wars 1689-1763 Betsy Maestro Struggle between European nations for control of North America Informative and detailed account of the struggle between European nations for control of North America. Excellent maps and illustrations by Giulio Maestro.
Tales from Gold Mountain* Paul Yee Stories of the Chinese in the New World Series of eight stories of Chinese immigrants that combine frontier life with Chinese legend and folk traditions.  Backgrounds include the Gold Rush, the transcontinental railroad, and the settling of the West Coast in the nineteenth century.
The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal* Cheryle Harness The Erie Canal Descriptions are given and multiple colorful pictures and maps are displayed to explain how the Erie Canal was built and how the locks function. Illustrations and maps are outstanding and easy to understand.
The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin James Cross Giblin Biography of Benjamin Franklin This biography tells of Franklin's inventions, wisdom, public service while, at the same time, chronicling important events of the time in which he lived. Brilliant illustrations by Michael Dooling. Appendices of inventions, important dates, sayings from Poor Richard's Almanack, historic sites associated with Franklin's life, and biography source notes are especially useful.
The Black Soldier: 1492 to the Present* Catherine Clinton The history of black soldiers, as related to American history This is a succinct history of the contributions and hardships of black soldiers in their struggle for equality in the military, beginning with blacks who accompanied early explorers of the New World and concluding with those who served in the Gulf War in 1991-1992.
The Boys' War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War* Jim Murphy

The Civil War, and the efforts of boys under eight-teen on both sides.

This book discusses what is was like for soldiers fighting during the Civil War. There are many narratives, details, and photographs making the story personal.
The Eternal Spring of Mr. Ito Sheila Garrigue Japanese-American Internment during World War II Sara, a World War II British evacuee in Vancouver, is powerless to stop the detention of her friend Mr. Ito, along with other Japanese Canadians.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Cold War Ends* Nigel Kelly The Cold War This books explains how the Cold War began, persisted, and ended in a way that elementary students can understand.
The Great Fire* Jim Murphy The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 This is a vivid account of the Great Chicago Fire taken from the diaries, letters, and firsthand accounts of those who survived. Startling illustrations, photographs, and maps. One fully grasps the horror, panic, and helplessness of those who experienced the conflagration. Causes, results and myths are indicated. Well-researched.
The Ingenious Mr. Peale Janet Wilson A biography of Charles Wilson Peale This biography of Peale reveals a man with a multitude of talents and interests. Intertwined throughout the story are events in early American history and the famous people of the time in which he lived, 1741-1827.
The Journey: Japanese Americans, Racism, and Renewal Sheila Hamanaka Bill of Rights Using details from a five-panel mural, the author depicts the plight of Japanese Americans in World War II.
The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp* Barry Denenberg Japanese-American Internment during World War II The main character, Ben, describes the feelings toward Japanese-Americans in San Francisco just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the government taking his father away, and how the rest of his family had to move to Mirror Lake internment camp.  The majority of the book is about what life was like living in the internment camps.
The Journal of Otto Peltonen: A Finish Immigrant* William Durbin Immigration, working as a miner at the turn of the century, and unionization activities Otto is a fifteen-year-old boy who moves from Finland to Minnesota with his family.  His father works as a miner and lumberjack, and his family lives in a shack next to the mine.  The story deals with many issues related to the unionization of mine workers at the turn of the century, plus the hardships of an immigrant mining family. 
The Memory Coat Elvira Woodruff Immigration Cousins Rachel and Grisha leave Russia because of the pogroms only to face the possibility of being sent back to Ellis Island.  Grisha's had made him a coat of scraps from material from various memorable garments.  The coat is instrumental in solving his dilemma.
The Orphan Train* Joan Lowery Nixon The six children of the Kelly family are sent out West when their mother can no longer care for them to be adopted by other families. After Mr. Kelly dies, Mrs. Kelly finds herself unable to adequately take care for her children.  When her oldest boy is caught steeling and will be sent to jail, she sends her children from their home in New York, to the Western Frontier to be adopted by different families.  This story is one in a series of four, and focuses on the experience of the oldest sibling Frances. 
The Printer's Apprentice Stephen Krensky

Bill of Rights


This story presents the trial of John Peter Zenger, a 1700s New York newspaper publisher, whose landmark case significantly affected American journalism.
The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa* Patricia and Frederick McKissack Royal Kingdoms of medieval Africa This book accurately describes what life was like in Medieval Africa, including multiple historical points of view. In addition to recounting the past, the books explains the process of archaeological and historical research. (For more advanced readers.)
The Saga of Lewis and Clark into the Uncharted West Thomas Schmidt and Jermy Schmidt Lewis and Clark expedition Detailed narrative of the remarkable journey of Lewis and Clark and Corp of Discovery.  Eye-catching photographs and illustrations, maps, plant and animal listings, index, glossary, and expedition roster and substance.
The Tenement Writer: An Immigrant's Story* Ben Sonder Immigrant life in New York City, 1890-1920 A young Polish Jew, Anzia Yexierska, settles with her family in the Lower East Side of New York City.  The grim life immigrants lived is vividly portrayed.  Anzia ultimately becomes a noted writer despite extraordinary obstacles she must overcome.  True story.
Theodore Roosevelt, Letters from a Young Coal Miner (Dear Mr. President Series) Jennifer Armstrong Pennsylvania coal miner's strike in 1902 and President Theodore Roosevelt This story is composed of a series of letters that might have flowed between a thirteen-year-old Pennsylvania coal miner and President Teddy Roosevelt. They paint a vivid picture of life in the anthracite coal-minning region and of the strike that occured in 1902. They also reveal something of the life and beliefs of Teddy Roosevelt and his family.
Through My Eyes Ruby Bridges School integration in the 1960's This is Ruby Bridge's personal account of when, as a six-year-old African American, she integrated the New Orleans public schools in 1960.
Uncle Sam and Old Glory: Symbols of America Delno C. West and Jean M. West The meanings of symbols of America From the bald eagle and the buffalo to the Minuteman and the cowboy, the illustrations (by Christopher Manson) and text convey the history and meaning of fifteen traditional symbols of American identity.
Under the Blood-Red Sun** Graham Salisbury

Life in Hawaii immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Two boys are friends in Hawaii.  One has Japanese parents; one has Caucasian, United States parents.  Pearl Harbor is bombed, and their friendship is challenged.  The Japanese grandfather and father are arrested and sent to the mainland for the duration of the war.  Despite difficulties, the boys manage to maintain their friendship.
Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker Kathryn Lasky A biography of Sarah Breedlove Walker Sarah Breedlove was born in 1867 to former slaves, and even in childhood, searched for beauty. Despite prejudice and hardship, she created beauty products for black women. This is a story of an extraordinary entrepreneur.
We Want Jobs! A Story of the Great Depression* Rovert J. Norrell The Great Depression; Community activism The steel factories of Pittsburgh close and thousands of people lose their jobs.  Other businesses close from lack of customers, and more lose their jobs.  This true story is about one man who becomes a community activist and makes a difference in the lives of the people of his community.
When Justice Failed: The Fred Korematsu Story* Steven A. Chin Japanese Internment during World War II; the Supreme Court trial of Fred Korematsu who challenged the internment as a violation of Constitutional rights. Japanese Internment 
When the Soldiers Were Gone Vera W. Propp Return of a Jewish boy to his natural parents after World War II Benjamin, a young Jewish boy, was hidden with a Dutch family during World War II.  After the war he is returned to his parents, but he has little or no memory of them.  He is devastated to leave the Dutch family he considers his real family, and, only after a long adjustment period, does he accept his natural parents. 
White Lilacs*
Carolyn Meyer
Civil Rights
Rosa Lee is a young black girl who works as a serving girl for a white family in her Texas community. One day she overhears her employers discussing a plan to take black families' land to use as a city park. Rosa Lee tells her family what she heard and they react in a variety of ways. This story is based on a true event.

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