Archive for ‘Historical Fiction’

May 27, 2011

Back of the Bus

Back of the Bus
Author: Aaron Reynolds
illustrator: Floyd Cooper
Copyright 2010 Philomel Books
ISBN: 978-0-399-25091-0
Genre: Multicultural

Written with unique differences in language of African Americans during the mid-1950’s, Back of the Bus presents the reader with a fictional tale of a boy riding the bus with Rosa Parks.  Through this young man’s perspective, the reader learns about Parks and how she refused to move from her seat when a white man wished to sit down.  This quality children’s book can spark a discussion about the injustices of the Civil Rights era and how they might have been viewed by a young child at that time.

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May 27, 2011

Out of the Dust

Out of the Dust
Author: Karen Hesse
Copyright 1997 Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 0-590-37125-8
Genre: Historical Fiction

Out of the Dust is a beautifully written story about a young girl named Billie Jo who is coming of age during the Dust Bowl.  Living in the panhandle of Oklahoma, Billie Jo faces several tragedies as she faces the many hardships that the rest of the nation also faced during the Great Depression.  Written in a poetic style, the words and layout of the story accentuate Billie Jo’s emotions as she discusses the happenings of her life during her teenage years.  Vivid language and a unique writing style bring the Dust Bowl era to life for readers of all ages.  It is definitely an enjoyable read!

May 25, 2011

Saving Strawberry Farm

Saving Strawberry Farm
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrator: Rachel Isadora
Copyright 2005 Greenwillow Books
ISBN: 978-0-688-17401-9
Genre: Historical Fiction

Before beginning a new history lesson or starting to read a new book about a historical event, it is beneficial to read a shorter story that can help illustrate the new information that will be presented to the reader.  Saving Strawberry Farm is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that presents many of the ideas surrounding the Great Depression in a simple way that new learners can understand.  A young boy goes to the corner store to buy some ice for an Independence Day picnic, and while there he learns that a neighbor’s strawberry farm is being auctioned by the bank.  In an effort to save the farm, Davey alerts the townspeople using a trick often employed during the Great Depression.  This story provides talking points for teachers to begin discussions about the hardships of poverty, the differences in daily life, and the efforts of townspeople to support each other.  It is an excellent story that brings this era to life.