Picks for Teen Readers
Chains: Seeds of America
After being sold to a cruel family in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
What I Saw and How I Lied
Set in 1947, with her stepfather Joe back from the war and family life returning to normal, teenage Evie, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome change her life and that of her family forever. Winner of the National Book Award.
Call Me the Canyon
Fifteen-year-old Madolen, who is half Navajo, grew up with her prospector father in Glen Canyon at the end of the 19th century. They are joined by a Mormon family who offer to take her in and teach her to read. Later she strikes out on her own and becomes a canyon guide for a handsome archaeologist.
The Red Necklace:
a story of the French Revolution
In the late eighteenth-century, Sido, the twelve-year-old daughter of a self-indulgent marquis, and Yann, a fourteen-year-old Gypsy orphan raised to perform in a magic show, face a common enemy at the start of the French Revolution. The adventure continues in The Silver Blade.
Thirteen-year-old Hazel leaves her comfortable 1913 London home to live in the Caribbean on her grandparents' sugar plantation where she discovers some shocking family secrets.
Set in late nineteenth-century England, country girl Mary relates the unhappy conclusion to her experiences as a young servant in an aristocratic London household. Years later, James describes how he comes to leave his beloved foster family to live and be educated at London's famous Foundling Hospital.
The Goldsmith’s Daughter
In the ancient city of Tenochtitlan, the people live in awe of Emperor Montezuma and in fear of blood-hungry gods. Into this world, a girl named Itacate is born, facing a life of submission and drudgery. But Itacate has a secret passion for goldwork, a task forbidden to women.
Powerful, sad, and disturbing, Guardian is the story of a rural southern town in 1946 in which a white man and his son witness the lynching of an innocent black man. Book includes historical note on lynching.
Bloody Jack: being an account of the curious adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy
Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London in the early 1800’s, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates. First in a series.
Hush: an Irish Princess’ tale
Melkorka, a princess of ancient Ireland, is kidnapped by Russian slave traders. She not only learns how to survive but to challenge some of the brutality of her captors, who are fascinated by her apparent muteness and the possibility that she is enchanted.
Bread and Roses, Too
Jake and Rosa, form an unlikely friendship as they try to survive and understand the 1912 Bread and Roses strike of mill workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
From his 1776 Pennsylvania homestead, thirteen-year-old Samuel, sets out toward New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British soldiers and Indians who kidnapped them after slaughtering most of their community. Includes historical notes.
A moving war time romance. Tamar is grief-stricken by the puzzling death of her beloved grandfather. She slowly begins to uncover the secrets of his life in the Dutch resistance during the last year of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
Viking Warrior: Denmark A.D. 845
Despite being the son of a chieftain and a princess, fourteen-year-old Halfdan lives as a slave in Denmark in A.D. 845. Through a tragic bargain he gains his freedom and sets out to claim his birthright. First in a series.
Set in Nazi-occupied Warsaw just before the Warsaw ghetto uprising, this novel tells a tale of heartbreak, hope, and survival though the bright eyes of a young orphan.