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Escape by Sea

L. S. Lawrence (2009), 195 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Adventure, Fiction, Historical
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When ancient Carthage is invaded by the Roman Army, young Sara's life will never be the same again. Follow her swashbuckling adventures at sea as she and her father escape Carthage on one of his trading vessels. This book is crammed with interesting details about life in the ancient world and what trade and sailing were like in those times, as well as being a great adventure story.
Reviewed by: msp
Date read: 12/10/2009
ISBN-10: 0823422178
ISBN-13: 9780823422173
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Esperanza Rising

Pam Munoz Ryan (2000), 262 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Historical
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Esperanza is the daughter of a rich rancher and landowner in Mexico during the Great Depression. She has all the love, dresses, and dolls a young girl could want. Tragically, her father is killed by bandits the night before her thirteenth birthday. Her greedy uncles burn down her home, take over the land and are forcing her mother into marriage. To escape from their power, the two stow away in a cart with the help of a devoted family that worked for them. After a long and tiresome train ride, the group arrives in Los Angeles and then travels by truck to the San Fernando Valley. They find employment at a migrant worker camp and establish friendships with the other families. Esperanza has a difficult time adapting to the poor living conditions, hard work and lack of money in her new life but when her mother becomes ill, she discovers she has more courage and strength than she ever thought. Her only wish now is for her grandmother to be with them. Will her wish come true? How will Abuelita escape without her uncles finding out?
Awards nominated: 2004 Rebecca Caudill Nominee
Reviewed by: rn
Date read: 8/29/2012
ISBN-10: 0439120411
ISBN-13: 9780439120418
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Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Jacqueline Kelly (2009), 352 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Fiction, Historical
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Growing up in Texas with six brothers and the name Calpurnia is tough enough, but then it is summer and it is hotter than hot. Calpurnia is very curious about the world around her and with the guidance of her grandfather, she explores the river and the natural world around her. She learns to sharpen her observation skills and fills her notebook with interesting facts. Through the year, we share in Calpurnia's fascinating world of 1899 and all the discoveries that were taking place at the turn of the century.
Similar books: The Penderwicks The Penderwicks on Garden Street
Awards nominated: Rebecca Caudill Award Nominee 2012
Awards won: Newbery Honor 2010
Reviewed by: adf
Date read: 2/1/2010
ISBN-10: 0805088415
ISBN-13: 9780805088410
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Fancy That

Esther Hershenhorn (2003), 32 pages
Illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Audience: Preschool - 1st Grade
Category: Historical, Picture Books
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When the Biddle family is orphaned in 1841, the oldest boy, Pippin, decides to become a limner (traveling portrait painter) like his father had been. He desperately needs the funds to keep his three younger sisters from the poorhouse. Unfortunately, he paints his subjects as they appear, not how they want to appear, so he has little success. Wearily, he makes his way back home to Pennsylvania, where his sisters have a wonderful surprise in store for him!
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 5/18/2009
ISBN-10: 0823416054
ISBN-13: 9780823416059
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Fever 1793

Laurie Halse Anderson (2002), 272 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Historical
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In the Philadelphia of 1793; sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook lives with her mother and grandfather. When the yellow fever epidemic strikes, she flees the city with her grandfather, leaving her ailing mother behind. They are forced to cope with the horrors of the yellow fever epidemic. Matilda learns about strength, perseverance, and self-reliance, especially after her grandfather's death.
Awards won: Rebecca Caudill Award
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/29/2009
ISBN-10: 0689848919
ISBN-13: 9780689848919
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Reader Comments
5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 booksBest Book by Far, Hands Way Up
Commenter: Aj, grade 9
I first read this is 4th grade, and I think I have reread this every year of my life. This is my favorite book. And Fever has inspired me to read every book by Laurie Halse Anderson. She is such a terrific writer. This book will make you think in a totally new way and will really inspire you to read historical fiction. It isn't boring in the least and it is kid friendly. I think this book should be a requirement to get out of school, everyone should read such a great book. It's my absolute favorite. Happy Reading!
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