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Welcome to the book blog, featuring reviews for teens from InfoSoup librarians and users!

historical fiction

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Author: Aline Sax

This is a sobering story of WWII Warsaw. Misha’s family has been relocated to the ghetto where Jews die daily from starvation and disease. He goes to extreme lengths to help provide for his family, even resorting to crawling through the sewers to get to the outside world to retrieve food. Eventually, the ghetto is emptied out as many Jews are relocated to concentration camps. Fear and anger are prominent emotions for Misha—and despite struggling to survive--he takes a stand in the Warsaw Uprising. Told through text and blue-and-white illustrations, this hybrid novel is a gut-wrenching, poignant tale of survival amidst oppression.

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Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stokett

The Help is a book that takes place in Jackson, Mississippi during civil rights movements. It is told from the point of view of 3 different ladies, Abileen a black maid, Minny a black maid as well, and skeeter who is a white and a righter against segragation. It is a really awesome book and everyone should read it!

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Author: Ruta Sepetys

I love historical fiction. I know, I know…sounds nerdy, right? I can accept that judgment. So with so many books to read and so little time to read them all, I choose to multitask. A well written novel rocks. A well written novel that teaches me something about a different era or culture rocks my socks off (ok, now I am really deserving of the nerdy label)! This winter I read Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys and it quickly became a go-to recommendation for my adolescent students. Because I enjoyed her first book so much, I decided to give her book Out of the Easy a try.

Why try to get “out of the easy?” Well, it's 1950 and eighteen year old Josie is trying desperately to escape her life in the Big Easy—New Orleans. And trust me, there is a lot for her to escape: her pitiful mother who doubles as a prostitute, the brothel Josie cleans, and the horrible mix-up romance she endures. If the definition of serendipity is everything wonderful happening at once, then Josie’s life is the opposite. Jo wants to not only escape New Orleans, she wants to attend Smith College in Massachusetts. Things in the Big Easy go from bad to worse through a series of events that leaves her life in shambles. I found myself frantically turning the pages, anxious to learn if Jo was accepted in the college of her dreams. Would she ever be able to leave her old life behind and overcome her fear of following in her mother’s footsteps?

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Author: Allan Wolf

i love this book because of how diffrent people spoke in it and it was some of the characters are real people who were on board the ship that fateful night. Some of the characters are real people who were on board the ship that fateful night. The book is hard to put down. The book is good for people who dont like to read as much and people who do like to read. If you like the titanic this is the book for you:D

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Author: Patrice Kindl

If you are a fan of Jane Austen, especially her book Pride and Prejudice, you will want to pick up Keeping the Castle. Our seventeen year-old heroine, Althea, has the burden of supporting her mother, younger brother, and two dead weight stepsisters. The family home, Crawley Castle, is a money pit to say the least, so Althea's only hope is to marry a rich man. Suitors are hard to come by when you live in a distant small town, but soon handsome Lord Boring comes to to stay at his relatives' home nearby. He also brings a rather annoying friend, Mr. Fredericks, who sets Althea's temper on fire. Althea sets her sights on becoming Lady Boring, but her stepsister seems to have the same goal.

Will Althea marry Lord Boring and save crumbling Crawley Castle? Will another rich suitor come her way that she could even *gasp* love? Will those stepsisters ever help out around the house? Will Mr. Fredericks ever stop being so rude? Tune in to the delightful Keeping the Castle and get lost in this fun historical romance.

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Author: John Boyne

This is a Holocaust-era story told from the viewpoint of nine-year-old Bruno. Bruno, his sister Gretel, and his Mother and Father (the commandant) are transferred from Berlin by the Fury (Fuhrer) to live at Out-With, not too far from a concentration camp. Bruno befriends a Jewish boy named Shmuel and they meet by the fence for regular visits. One day Shmuel offers Bruno a pair of striped pajamas. Bruno climbs under the fence to help Shmuel find his missing father. Chilling.

Together Apart
Author: Dianne E. Gray

Visit Nebraska after January 1888, when a blizzard killed 500 to 1000 people living on the prairie. Eliza leaves her family on the prairie to live in town and work for a widow with progressive ideas. In part, she has done so because she has always been a free spirit, however she is also avoiding the absence of her two brothers that were killed in the blizzard. Eliza's forward-thinking boss suits her very well, but will the rest of the community allow them to support themselves? What about Isaac, who has escaped his difficult step-father and been accused of theft? You will enjoy this historical fiction with a gentle romance. 

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Author: Lee Roddy

"Where Bugles Call" is the sequel to "Call of Courage". It is the second book in the Between Two Flags series. It is NOT in Infosoup; I had to get it through an Interlibrary Loan. "Where Bugles Call" is twice as good as its prequel. The characters are stronger, more developed, and more believable. The setting is broadened, the plot thickens, and the three protagonists are each closer to their goals. One should definitely read the series. It is so worth it!

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Author: Scott O'Dell

This amazing fictional account of Karana, a young woman who was abandoned for 18 years on an island off of the coast of California, describes what daily life must have been like for her. We also question, how would it feel to be so isolated? She actually loved nature so much that isolation was not such a big deal for her. This book makes you reflect!!

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Author: Suzanne Fisher Staples

This was a very sad but educational book about Afghanistan under the Taliban. Our two main characters are female--one born and raised in Afghanistan and one born and raised in New York who chooses to become Muslim. First, the book tracks both females individually. Eventually, their paths cross and they learn from one another. We learn about the violence, the fear, the oppression. At the end of the book, we are introduced to a measure of hope. Good YA title.