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Reviews by Category: Historical Fiction

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1538959036
Antonio Iturbe
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Friday, Mar 23, 2018

This book is based on the incredible true story of the Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus. She was taken from the Terrezin ghetto in Prague, and she is adjusting to life in the Nazi camp with her mother and father. And when the Jewish leader Fredy Hirsch asks her to protect the 8 precious books prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. This is the story of how she became the librarian of Auschwitz. This girl risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust despite constant danger every day.

This book is at times horrifying and joyful. It contains...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1263156036_fallout
Todd Strasser
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Monday, Jul 10, 2017

In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy,...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1232018036_the_wave
Todd Strasser
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Thursday, Jun 22, 2017

This book is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school class in 1969.

When history teacher Burt Ross’ students can not seem to understand the powerful forces of group pressure that helped create the rise of Nazism, he decides to create the Wave, with its rules of “strength through discipline, community, and action.” It quickly spreads throughout the school. But as almost all of the students join in, Laurie Saunders and David Collins recognize its frightening momentum and must stop it before something awful happens.

It was a easy read, being a very small book,...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1471686036_unbound
Ann E. Burg
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Thursday, Apr 20, 2017

When Grace is called to work in the Big House from the slave cabins, her family warns her to keep her eyes down and watch her mouth, or there could be disastrous consequences. But she makes a grave mistake, and she and her family must flee deep into the dangerous woods, braving slave patrollers, deadly wild animals, and the uncertainty that they will ever be free.

This is a marvelous story for middle schoolers to imagine themselves as Grace and to really put themselves in her shoes. Given how the evil of slavery still touches our country, I hope every child in grade 4 through 6...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1476602036_projekt_1065
Alan Gratz
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Thursday, Apr 13, 2017

Michael O'Shaunessey, like all his other classmates, is part of the Hitler Youth. He participates in their book burnings and horrific games, but he secretly despises everything the Nazis stand stand for. He has a dangerous secret that he must protect at all costs, he and his parents are spies. He is just playing the part so he can get insider information. Soon he hears about Projekt 1065, a secret Nazi war mission that he has to stop. But to do that he must prove his loyalty to the Third Reich no matter the cost...

Started out a little slow for me, but the last 150 pages I could not...

Staff Review
Book cover
Frances Hardinge
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Thursday, Jan 5, 2017

What had she just done? She had obediently opened a door and stepped through into blackness, without even knowing if there was a floor on the other side.

Teen Review
Monday, Jun 20, 2016

After all of Jacky’s family dies from a disease outbreak, she is forced to dress as a boy and work as a ship’s boy to survive. Now she no longer has to scavenge for food or fight for survival in the streets. As she becomes a skilled and respected member of the crew, she must use every ounce of her wit and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret.

Excellent story! I tend to like those gender-bending characters in general, but Jacky was especially well done. She proves herself worthy in combat, but doesn't relish it. She plays a boy because it will secure her food and...

Teen Review
Alison Goodman
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Wednesday, Jun 8, 2016

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

My favorite thing about...

Staff Review
Christopher Paul Curtis
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Told from the point-of-view of 10-year-old Kenny, it's really his big brother Byron who's the hero of this funny, emotional sucker-punch of a novel. Byron, thirteen, is a juvenile delinquent--a black sheep--according to Kenny, and pretty much everyone else in the so-called "Weird Watsons" family. But in the end it's Kenny who helps Byron overcome his depression over witnessing tragic events during a trip to visit their grandmother in Birmingham, Alabama during the height of the struggle for Civil Rights. 

Teen Review
Anthony Marra
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a historical fiction set mainly in 1996 and 2004. The novel opens with Dokka, a villager in the town of Eldar in Chechnya is kidnapped by the Feds, leaving behind his daughter Havaa. A kind neighbor, Akhmed takes it upon himself to care for her and brings her to a local hospital where he hopes she can find refuge. This novel is beautifully written with gorgeous intertwining storylines.

The cover is beautiful and the novel is wonderfully and lyrically written. Everything is described in detail and in the end it was well worth the read. I'm glad I...

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