New Historical Fiction

Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge

Reading Level: Grades 5-7

11-year-old Tracy has been in America for six years. She doesn't remember much about her years in Vietnam. Not until she and her friend Stargazer discover her father's old ammo box in the garage. Stargazer breaks off the lock and opens the box. Her father finds them just as they pull out the military dogtag. His cold, hard anger sends Stargazer running for home.

During that steamy summer of 1980, powerful memories come back to haunt both Tracy and her father, memories that may force them apart forever.

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More books by Elizabeth Partridge

Other stories of the lingering effects of war include:

Drita My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard and

All the Broken Pieces: A Novel in Verse by Ann Burg

The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom by A. C. Crispin

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.

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More books by A.C. Crispin

Pirates of the Caribbean movies

The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone

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.

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More books Phoebe Stone

Other stories of children torn from their homes by war include:

Good Night Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian and

Is It Night or Day? by Fern Schumer Chapman

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