Category Archives: historical

Loving Vs. Virginia

Loving Vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Shadra Strickland is a large, beautifully made historical novel-in-verse. Well-researched (there are lists of the author’s interviews and sources in the back) … Continue reading

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Full Cicada Moon

Set in 1969, Marilyn Hilton‘s Full Cicada Moon is Mimi’s story of moving to Vermont, where finding acceptance is difficult because her mother is Japanese and her father is black. What’s more, Mimi wants to be an astronaut and is interested in woodworking, rather … Continue reading

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Dark Shimmer

Dark Shimmer, Donna Jo Napoli‘s newest reworked fairy tale, set in medieval Laguna Veneta, Italy, is the story of Snow White’s stepmother and how she came to be evil enough to attempt murder four times. Named Docle (Sweet) in this story, we … Continue reading

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Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba

Beginning with June of 1939, Daniel, a German Jew, flees Germany by boat. He is alone because his parents only had enough money to pay for one person’s passage. The boat’s passengers are refused entry to the United States and Canada, … Continue reading

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The Birchbark House

When I was a child, I read The Little House books, mostly because many raved about how good they were. My sister’s read them. I got through them all. Louise Erdrich has outdone them, though, with The Birchbark House, the story of Omakayas, an Ojibwa girl, as … Continue reading

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Bread and Roses, Too

A historical novel about both the mill strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts and how the people of Barre, Vermont provided help for children of the strike, Bread and Roses, Too, written by Katherine Paterson, follows Rosa and Jake and their vastly different experiences. … Continue reading

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Three Books Featuring Emily Dickinson

I have unintentionally read three books about Emily Dickinson, only one of which did I realize was going to feature the late poet. It’s easy to become enamoured with Emily Dickinson, reclusive, poignant word artist. Here they are in order of … Continue reading

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I, Too, Am America

Bryan Collier has an amazing collection of picture books and this one, which illustrates Langston Hughe’s poem, I, Too, Sing America, is another mixed media beauty.  It begins on a train, a Pullman porter serving wealthy white passengers and relegated to the kitchen to … Continue reading

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Wonderstruck

My nine-year-old loved this book. She told me to make sure I really paid attention to the pictures because they tell a different story than the words. She was right, of course. Brian Selznick‘s Wonderstruck tells two distinct stories, one in words … Continue reading

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All Different Now

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom  is a picture book about the day slaves were set free. It shows the slow progression that word-of-mouth took to tell slaves everywhere about freedom, and then the celebration that ensued. Angela Johnson, … Continue reading

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