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Suggested Historical Fiction by Grade Level

Interested in reading a story that takes place in a different time period? Try checking out one of these historic tales. Grade levels are suggested, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level. Under each grade is a link for even more titles.

Kindergarten

While riding his new bicycle Desmond is hurt by the mean word yelled at him by a group of boys, but he soon learns that hurting back will not make him feel any better.

Erandi's braids by Antonio Hernandez Madrigal

In a poor Mexican village, Erandi surprises her mother by offering to sell her long, beautiful hair in order to raise enough money to buy a new fishing net.

When his father leaves to fight in World War I, Mikey joins the Central Park Knitting Bee to help knit clothing for soldiers overseas.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Madeline, smallest and naughtiest of the twelve little charges of Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.

The other side by Jacqueline Woodson

Two girls, one white and one black, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town.

More suggestions for Kindergarten

First Grade

Dear Mr. Washington by Lynn Cullen

In April, 1796, young Charlotte Stuart writes a series of letters to George Washington, whose portrait is being painted by her father, reporting on her efforts and those of her brothers to follow the rules of good behavior in the book Mr. Washington gave them. Includes historical notes.

Dust for dinner by Ann Warren Turner

Jake narrates the story of his family's life in the Oklahoma dust bowl and the journey from their ravaged farm to California during the Great Depression.

The Golly Sisters go West by Betsy Cromer Byars

May-May and Rose, the singing, dancing Golly sisters, travel west by covered wagon, entertaining people along the way.

The Hallelujah Flight by Phil Bildner

In 1932, James Banning, along with his co-pilot Thomas Allen, make history by becoming the first African Americans to fly across the United States, relying on the generosity of people they meet in the towns along the way who help keep their "flying jalopy" going.

Temple cat by Andrew Clements

A temple cat in ancient Egypt grows tired of being worshipped and cared for in a reverent fashion and travels to the seaside, where she finds genuine affection with a fisherman and his children.

More suggestions for First Grade.

Second Grade

Baseball saved us by Ken Mochizuki

A Japanese American boy learns to play baseball when he and his family are forced to live in an internment camp during World War II, and his ability to play helps him after the war is over.

The big balloon race by Eleanor Coerr

Ariel almost causes her famous mother to lose a ballon race and then helps her to win it.

When brothers Taro and Jimmy and their mother are forced to move from their home in California to a Japanese internment camp in the wake of the 1941 Pearl Harbor bombing, Taro daringly escapes the camp to find fresh fish for his grieving brother.

In her diary, a young girl writes about her life and the events surrounding the beginning of the American Revolution in Philadelphia in 1776.

The Golly Sisters go West by Betsy Cromer Byars

May-May and Rose, the singing, dancing Golly sisters, travel west by covered wagon, entertaining people along the way.

More suggestions for Second Grade

Third Grade

Emily's fortune by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

While traveling to her aunt's home in Redbud by train and stagecoach, quiet young Emily and her turtle, Rufus, team up with Jackson, fellow orphan and troublemaker extraordinaire, to outsmart mean Uncle Victor, who is after Emily's inheritance.

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris

Morning Girl, who loves the day, and her younger brother Star Boy, who loves the night, take turns describing their life on an island in pre-Columbian America; in Morning Girl's last narrative, she witnesses the arrival of the first Europeans to her world.

Night boat to freedom by Margot Theis Raven

At the request of his fellow slave Granny Judith, Christmas John risks his life to take runaways across a river from Kentucky to Ohio. Based on slave narratives recorded in the 1930s.

A cabin boy describes sailing with Columbus.

Twenty and ten by Claire Huchet Bishop

Twenty school children hide ten Jewish children from the Nazis occupying France during World War II.

More suggestions for Third Grade.

Fourth Grade

The Abernathy boys by L. J Hunt

In 1860, eleven-year-old Becky Thatcher, new to St. Petersburg, Missouri, joins the boys at school in a bet to steal from the Widow Douglas in hopes of meeting a promise to have adventures that she made her brother, Jon, before he died.

The kite fighters by Linda Sue Park

In Korea in 1473, eleven-year-old Young-sup overcomes his rivalry with his older brother Kee-sup, who as the first-born son receives special treatment from their father, and combines his kite-flying skill with Kee-sup's kite-making skill in an attempt to win the New Year kite-fighting competition.

The lacemaker by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

In 1788, eleven-year-old Isabelle, living with her lacemaker grandmother and mother near the palace of Versailles, becomes close friends with Marie Antoinette's daughter, Princess Therese, and finds their relationship complicated not only by their different social class but by the growing political unrest and resentment of the French people.

Whittington by Alan W. Armstrong

Whittington, a feline descendant of Dick Whittington's famous cat of English folklore, appears at a rundown barnyard plagued by rats and restores harmony while telling his ancestor's story.

More suggestions for Fourth Grade.

Fifth Grade

Cecile : gates of gold by Mary Casanova

In 1711, twelve-year-old Cecile Revel unexpectedly gets the chance to serve Louis XIV's sister-in-law at the palace of Versailles, but instead of a dream come true, life at court proves to be complicated and precarious.

Bass Reeves was the most successful federal marshal in the United States, although he was born into slavery. He never drew his gun first and yet rounded up hundreds of outlaws and was shot at countless times without being hit. He served the law with honor and courage that he was known and respected all over the Indian Territory..

In 1911, Turner Buckminster hates his new home of Phippsburg, Maine, but things improve when he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from a poor, nearby island community founded by former slaves that the town fathers-- and Turner's-- want to change into a tourist spot.

Maroo, a girl of the late Ice Age, must take charge after her father is killed, and lead her little brother, mother, and aged grandmother to the safety of the winter camp before the first blizzards strike.

Unsinkable by Gordon Korman

More suggestions for Fifth Grade

Sixth Grade

Journey to the river sea by Eva Ibbotson

Sent with her governess to live with the dreadful Carter family in exotic Brazil in 1910, Maia endures many hardships before fulfilling her dream of exploring the Amazon River.

Lyddie by Katherine Paterson

Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s.

Milkweed : a novel by Jerry Spinelli

A story of a young orphan surviving the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.

Stowaway by Karen Hesse

A fictionalized journal relates the experiences of a young stowaway from 1768 to 1771 aboard the Endeavor which sailed around the world under Captain James Cook.

As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.

More suggestions for Sixth Grade

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