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Scott O'Dell Book Award

For almost 35 years, The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction has been given annually to an U.S. author for a meritorious book of historical fiction set in the Americas  and published in the previous year for children or young adults. Here are some of the previous winners. Named after the award's founder, acclaimed author of Island of the Blue Dolphins and other books, the award was intended to encourage writers to focus on historical fiction and increase the interest of young readers in how the country was shaped. For a complete listing, you can visit the award's website

 

The hired girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs chronicles her life in a journal when she leaves her family's farm in Pennsylvania to work as a hired girl in Baltimore in the summer of 1911.

Dash by Kirby Larson

When her family is forced into an internment camp, Mitsi Kashino is separated from her home, her classmates, and her beloved dog Dash; and as her family begins to come apart around her, Mitsi clings to her one connection to the outer world--the letters from the kindly neighbor who is caring for Dash.

Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill

"It's the 1920s, and Bo was headed for an Alaska orphanage when she won the hearts of two tough gold miners who set out to raise her, enthusiastically helped by all the kind people of the nearby Eskimo village"--.

The story continues in the sequel, Bo at Iditarod Creek.

Chickadee by Louise Erdrich

In 1866, Omakayas's son Chickadee is kidnapped by two ne'er-do-well brothers from his own tribe and must make a daring escape, forge unlikely friendships, and set out on an exciting and dangerous journey to get back home.

The finale to the story started in The Birchbark House and continued in The Game of Silence (which also won the year it was published) and The Porcupine Year

 

Dead end in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

The story continues in the sequel From Norvelt to Nowhere.

One crazy summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

The start of a series that continues with P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama.

The storm in the barn by Matt Phelan

In Kansas in the year 1937, eleven-year-old Jack Clark faces his share of ordinary challenges: local bullies, his father's failed expectations, a little sister with an eye for trouble. But he also has to deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl, including rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a shadowy illness.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Isabel's story continues in the sequel Forge

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

In 1860, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom.

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