Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
It’s 1960 and twelve-year-old Anita de la Torreis lives with her family in the Dominican Republic under the terror of the Trujillo regime. Eager to escape the dictatorship, Anita and her family prepare to flee to America but quickly discover freedom comes at a cost.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Author Mildred Taylor expertly captures the effects of harsh racism, poverty, and betrayal in the lives of an African American family living in the 1930s Deep South. Reminiscent of the classic To Kill a Mocking Bird, this is one piece of historical fiction no one should miss.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A heralded favorite of both teens and adults, The Book Thief is a captivating story about the redemptive power of books set against the backdrop of 1939 Nazi Germany. The film adaptation of this #1 New York Times bestseller hit theaters last year, and you can rent or own it now.
Then by Morris Gleitzman
Felix and Zelda escape the death camp train but now they’re running for their lives. How can two kids survive Nazi-occupied Poland? This courageous story of hope, love, and family is a page-turner your teen won’t want to put down.
Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer
Author Carolyn Meyer has a special knack for teen fiction and has written numerous books about famous women in history. This story focuses on the tumultuous teen years of Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VII and half sister to Queen Elizabeth.
The Samurai’s Tale by Erik C. Haugaard
A story of redemption and honor, The Samurai’s Tale follows the orphan Taro on his quest to become a samurai and reclaim his family legacy.
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier
This beloved classic tells the story of the American Revolution through the eyes of young Tim Meeker and his family. With the threat of war, and division among his own family members, Tim must decided where his loyalty lies.
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
The Chosen is a wise, mature tale centered around two boys, their fathers, and the Jewish faith. Growing up in 1940s Brooklyn, Reuven and Danny forge an unlikely friendship and together face the challenges of adolescence and religious convictions.
About the Author: Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and now calls Chicago home. In her free time you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, running along Lake Michigan, or checking out a new restaurant. If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.