New Historical Fiction
Reading Level: Grades 7+
First Mate Jack Sparrow, an employee of the East India Trading Company, is somewhere in the Caribbean when his cargo ship is attacked. Luckily, the pirate captain of the attacking ship is a friend of Jack’s, and doesn’t steal his entire cargo. Unluckily, Captain Baimbridge, furious at being attacked, boarded, and stolen from by a female pirate, tries to attack la Dona Pirata. In the ensuing swordfight, Baimbridge suffers from a heart attack and dies, leaving Jack in charge of the ship (though not officially captain… yet.)
Across the ocean, a princess and her brother set sail from a magically hidden island in search of their missing father. They are captured and sold into slavery, but not before Princess Amenirdis casts a protective spell over herself, altering her appearance to that of an old ugly hag. Separated from each other by the cruel slave trade, Amenirdis (now calling herself by the name Ayisha) longs for her brother and hopes for a chance at freedom.
Back at port, EITC employee Cutler Beckett comes into possession of a few pieces of golden jewelry he believes are connected to the legendary island of Kerma - and if he can locate the slave these pieces were stolen off of, he can locate Kerma’s treasure. His hunt soon leads him to suspect Ayisha’s involvement with the royal Kerman family, though her disguise and self-imposed language barrier deter Beckett’s ability to question her further.
Upon Jack’s return to shore with the pirate-lightened cargo ship, and explanation to Cutler Beckett the events of the pirate attack, he is promoted to Captain (huzzah! huzzah!) and given command of the vessel Wicked Wench. Beckett, ironically convinced that Ayisha was once a slave on the island of Kerma, tells Cap’n Jack to offer the woman escape from Beckett’s ownership and then charm her into giving up the location of the island. Then, Jack is to return to Beckett with the coordinates and the fabled Kerman treasure - and Beckett will set sail for Kerma with a dozen slave ships, prepared to snatch up the citizens.
Of course, we all know Cap’n Jack to be a moral man. Don’t we? And of course, Cap’n Jack has another plan up his sleeve - one that doesn’t involve stealing an entire population to be slaves or giving Cutler Beckett any treasure at all.
In The Price of Freedom, Pirates of the Caribbean fans will get to know Jack in an entirely new light than the four movies and love him all the more for it. His wobbling morality and quick wit, paired with his prowess at the helm (of both a ship and a woman) make him an entirely lovable, dimensional character. Yet one doesn’t have to have seen the movies to fall in love with this adventurous naval romp. It's not one to miss.
Reading Level: Grades 4-6
Because of Hitler's unrelenting bombing of London, many families chose to move their children away from the city. When her parents decide to bring 11-year-old Felicity across the ocean to live with her father's extended family in Maine, Felicity finds herself thrust into the middle of a dark family secret.
Other stories of children torn from their homes by war include:
Reading Level: Grades 2-4
If one of your friends came up to you and told you there was a man-eating shark in Lake Michigan, right off the shore of Highland Park, you'd probably laugh at them. That's what happened when Chet, a ten year old boy living in New Jersey in 1916, sees a shark fin in the river near his house. But no one believes him. A few days later, Chet hears about a shark attacking a person just up the coast - but his friends don't believe that either - there's no way a shark would ever attack a person. But Chet knows what he saw in the river, and he believes the newspaper story. How can he stop his friends from continuing to swim in the river?
(Based on a True Story)
More survival stories:
Reading Level: Grades 8+
Kate Brian expands the back story of her Private series in this gripping prequel.
16-year-old Eliza is delighted when her mother decides to send Eliza away to the Billings School for Girls. Finally, she will have a chance to spread her wings away from her mother's eagle eye. But the expectations for upper class girls at the beginning of the 20th century are stifling whether enforced by her mother or the teachers at the school.
When a forbidden moonlight excursion lands Eliza and three friends in trouble, they are sentenced to weeding the school garden. There Eliza uncovers a buried cache of dangerous books that lead the girls into supernatural danger.
Other eerie boarding school tales include :
Reading Level: Grades 7-9
16-year-old Prudence Galewski knows she should be grateful to be a scholarship student at Mrs. Browning's School for Girls but she finds her lessons in typing, literature and deportment oppressive. Prudence doesn't want to be a wife and mother or a secretary at a bank. She wants to know what causes diseases and how to prevent them even though girls in the early 19th century were not supposed to be interested in such unladylike things.
Prudence gets her chance when she is hired as Mr. Soper's assistant at the New York Department of Health and Sanitation. But soon Prudence has reason to doubt the wisdom of her career path when an investigation of a string of typhoid cases leads her and Mr. Soper down a path of controversy and danger.
Other historical stories of strong young women include: