New Historical Fiction

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

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.

Check availability of this book

More books by Julie Chibbaro

Other historical stories of strong young women include:

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Parade of Shadows by Gloria Whelan and

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

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.

Check availability of this book

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.

Check availability of this book

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

Pages