Historical Fiction


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Stay Where You Are & Then Leave Cover Image
By John Boyne, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781627790314
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Henry Holt & Company - March 25th, 2014

As with all John Boyne’s writing, I was quite taken with this book. He tells good stories of historical circumstances and through the perspective of his characters provides an intimate look of the times. This story is a good introduction to the First World War, of how the war affects a soldier, his loved ones, conscientious objectors, and of the public’s dawning recognition of what then was called “shell shock.”



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Under a Painted Sky Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399168031
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - March 17th, 2015

Missouri, 1849. Here you'll find horses, lassos, the gold rush...and a Chinese musician fleeing town with a runaway slave. The only catch, they're both girls. To keep safe on the Oregon Trail, Samantha and Annamae disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy and join up with a band of cowboys. The cowboys become unexpected allies, but the girls soon find that even with friends, it's difficult to hide on the open trail.


The War That Saved My Life

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The War That Saved My Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803740815
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Dial Books - January 8th, 2015

This is a most remarkable story, and though a middle grade book I would recommend to any reader. World War II historical fiction, it tells of two children sent from London to the countryside to spend the duration of the war with a single woman living on the outskirts of town. Sound predicable? With Bradley’s storytelling of great nuance, it is anything but.



Death Coming Up the Hill

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Death Coming Up the Hill Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544302150
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 7th, 2014

Ashe has plans for 1968--in particular, going to college so he doesn't get drafted and sent to Vietnam. I'm not a fan of novels-in-verse, but this time it works: the book is written in a series of haikus, and the number of syllables in each chapter represents the number of casualties each month.


Magnolia City

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Magnolia City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780758292759
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - April 1st, 2014

The glittering world of high-society Houston in the 20s is brought to life through Hetty Allen in this evocative debut novel. Caught up in a rivalry between two men that is not only for her affections, but in business as well, Hetty's world is made real through intense, clearly-researched details and a gripping plot in which its romance is interwoven with an frenetic oil drama that's nearly impossible to put down.


The Devil in the Marshalsea

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The Devil in the Marshalsea Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544176676
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Mariner Books - June 10th, 2014

Listed as one of the best crime novels of the year by The Guardian (UK), this is historical fiction at its best. So thoroughly researched and evocatively written you can feel and smell London - in particular the Marshalsea debtors' prison - of 1727. This rip roaring tale does not give us the sentimental Marshalsea of Dickens' Little Dorit but something entirely more brutal, corrupt and festering in its insidious detail. Any fans of David Liss' Benjamin Weaver series will love this.

Susannah V.

The Miniaturist

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The Miniaturist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062306814
Availability: Hard to Find--Contact us for More Info
Published: Ecco Press - August 26th, 2014

A magical and haunting book about a young bride who is given a miniature model of her house that predicts the future. Set in a vividly-drawn Golden Age Holland and with writing so beautiful it will make you cry, this is a perfect book to transition out of beach reading.


The Daughters of Mars

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The Daughters of Mars Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476734620
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Washington Square Press - May 6th, 2014

The Daughters of Mars is a moving, meaty story of two Australian sisters who volunteer as nurses during World War 1. I was enthralled from page one with its combo of plot, character and rich historical setting. The women travel from Australia to Egypt to Europe and back again and we see the changing, volatile world through their eyes. This book is a strong and satisfying read that I think lots of readers will love.


Song of the Shank

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Song of the Shank Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555976804
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Graywolf Press - June 17th, 2014

This is a monumental work, less a story of a particular person living in a particular time, and more a field of experience that flows around and through our baffling, corrupt, dangerous, and racist world. But for all the sorrow and death, all the war and poverty, all the crime and injustice, Allen reminds us our world is also a world of music, where, maybe every century or so, fate and genetics align to give us a someone like Blind Tom,  who can channel all the potential power, passion, and joy of music, into a song on his piano. Song of the Shank is a masterpiece.



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