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Middle Grade Historical Fiction

Curated by Sierra Dertinger
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The War I Finally Won book
7.0
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The War I Finally Won
Written & illustrated by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A New York Times bestseller Like the classic heroines of Sarah, Plain and Tall, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables, Ada is a fighter for the ages. Her triumphant World War II journey continues in this sequel to the Newbery Honor-winning The War that Saved My Life When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was–damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. Who is she now? World War II rages on, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, move with their guardian, Susan, into a cottage with the iron-faced Lady Thorton and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded home is tense. Then Ruth moves in. Ruth, a Jewish girl, from Germany. A German? Could Ruth be a spy? As the fallout from war intensifies, calamity creeps closer, and life during wartime grows even more complicated. Who will Ada decide to be? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

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The War That Saved My Life book
7.0
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The War That Saved My Life
Written & illustrated by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Thoughts from Sierra Dertinger
This is my favorite book I have ever read and it is what made me fall in love with historical fiction. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley has a way with words, character development, and a way to grab the reader's emotions so well. The second book in this series was just as wonderful!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.

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I Am Defiance: A Novel of WWII book
6.3
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I Am Defiance: A Novel of WWII
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Jenni L. Walsh delivers a gripping story about a real-life youth resistance group in World War II Germany, and about the power of thinking for yourself in the fight against hatred.
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Prisoner B-3087 book
6.0
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Prisoner B-3087
Written by Alan Gratz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
Survive. At any cost.
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Blackbird Girls book
6.0
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Blackbird Girls
Written by Anne Blankman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Like Ruta Sepetys for middle grade, Anne Blankman pens a poignant and timeless story of friendship that twines together moments in underexplored history.
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  • Letters from Cuba - Sierra Dertinger -

    What stands out about this book is that it is written solely in letter form. Letters are written by brave and strong Esther, a Jewish girl from Poland, to her sister Malka. The catch is that she is actually fleeing her homeland of Poland to the country of Cuba as a refugee. Life in Poland is getting rougher and rougher because of the start of WWII, Nazis, and Hitler. Esther flees to Cuba where her father is working tirelessly to earn enough money to pay for steerage tickets for the rest of his family. He doesn't do well, but when Esther comes along and shows her ways of sewing stunning dresses she helps alleviate some of the stress on her father. This letter format is different and unique to other historical fiction stories, but so is the story itself. Typically we read stories for Jews fleeing their country to the United States or Canada, but not to Cuba. Ruth Behar does a phenomenal job blending the history of this Jewish family along with other cultures of other characters like African and Chinese traditions. The feeling of hope was a huge theme in this story and it resonates with me and thinking about the real families that had to voyage through the unknown to find peace. I absolutely loved Ruth's work yet again. Lucky Broken Girl was just as beautifully crafted as this one!

  • War Stories - Sierra Dertinger -

  • Prairie Lotus - Sierra Dertinger -

  • A Long Walk to Water - Sierra Dertinger -

Forge book
5.8
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Forge
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

For many readers, <i>Forge</i> “will be one of the best novels they have ever read” (starred review from <i>Kirkus Reviews</i>) </b> <p/>Blistering winds. Bitter cold. And the hope of a new future. In this compelling sequel to <i>Chains</i>, a National Bo

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Chains book
5.8
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Chains
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.

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Stella by Starlight book
5.8
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Stella by Starlight
Written & illustrated by Sharon Draper
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

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Ashes book
5.5
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Ashes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

Return to the American Revolution in this blistering conclusion to the Seeds of America trilogy that began with the bestselling National Book Award Finalist <i>Chains</i> and continued with <i>Forge</i>, which <i>Kirkus Reviews</i> called “the best book you’ll ever read.” <p/>As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge–but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state–where bounty hunters are thick as flies. <p/>Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom, in this grand finale to the acclaimed <i>New York Times </i>bestselling trilogy from Laurie Halse Anderson.

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White Bird book
5.3
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White Bird
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Inspired by her blockbuster phenomenon Wonder, R. J. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with an unforgettable, Sydney Taylor Book Award-winning story of the power of kindness and unrelenting courage in a time of war.
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