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I’ve read some great historical fiction recently, ranging from 1840′s Ireland to 1950′s New Jersey.    First up is the Children of the Famine trilogy by Marita Conlon-McKenna.  This juvenile fiction series follows 3 Irish children, orphaned in the Great Famine, as they search for a new home and a place to belong.  It would be interesting to compare with Nory Ryan’s Song.

Moving to the 1870′s and Idaho Territory.  In Jenny of the Tetons, Carrie is orphaned by an Indian attack as her family makes its way to Oregon.  With no where else to go, Carrie makes her home with Beaver Dick, a trapper and his Shoshoni wife, Jenny.  Beaver Dick and Jenny are based on real people, and each chapter begins with an excerpt from Beaver Dick’s journal.

Private Peaceful is the battlefield reflections of a 16 year old private in the British army.  The tension builds with each chapter as a crucial night comes to an end.  An excellent choice for middle school boys.

And finally, we have Newbery Honor winning Penny from Heaven.  11 year old Penny lives with her mother and her mother’s parents.  While her life with her mother’s family is quiet and controlled, it is her dead father’s family that provides noise and excitement.  During one eventful summer, Penny discovers the secrets behind her father’s death, and brings both sides of her family together.