New Historical Fiction

Johnny Swanson by Eleanor Updale

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

When 11-year-old Johnny, the very shortest boy in his class, steals money from his mother and answers an ad promising to give him the "secret to instant height", he is dismayed to receive a note advising him to "stand on a box." Angry and ashamed, Johnny begins his own mail order scam thus setting a series of events in motion which may lead to his own mother's death.

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More books by Eleanor Updale

Other stories of questionable young entrepreneurs include:

The Great Brain by John Dennis Fitzgerald

The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron R. Hawkins and

The Beloved Dearly by Doug Cooney

Karma by Kathy Ostlere

Reading Level: Grades 7+

The year is 1984. Fifteen year old Maya packs a suitcase for a trip to India with her father. They are going to lay Maya's recently deceased Hindu mother to rest. Not long after they arrive, however, tumultuous religious differences between the Sikhs and Hindus explode into violence when prime minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated.

Maya and her father, a Sikh, are caught in the middle of the clash and separated when their hotel is attacked. Afraid for her safety because of her Hindu-Sikh parents and her sex, Maya quickly hacks off her long ponytail with a pair of scissors and runs, forgetting her mother's ashes in the hotel room.

The next hours are harrowing for Maya as the riots swell around her, Sikhs and Hindus fighting unrelentingly around her. When she finally emerges from the violence, rescued by a kind desert family but traumatized into muteness, it is only the 17-year old son, Sandeep, devoted to helping Maya find her father, that can save her again.

This historical fiction romance in diary-format free verse will have you turning pages back again and again to reread Maya and Sandeep's words and longing for more after the end. Karma is fraught with emotion, culture, violence, religion fear, but most importantly, family.

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More books by Cathy Ostlere

 

Other novels you might like:

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger

Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth

For older readers:

Sold by Patricia McCormick

Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

Reading Level: Grades 6-9

14-year-old Sherlock Holmes is thrust into a deadly adventure when he is sent to live with eccentric relatives during the school holidays

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More books by Andy Lane

Other engrossing Holmesian spin-offs include:

Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock

The Case of the Missing Marquess: A Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer and

The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie King

 

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