ARC Reviews, Children, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction

Julie: The Big Break by Megan McDonald

Grades 3 – 5

The Big Break: A Julie Classic Volume 1

Julie is a young girl in the 1970s who loves shooting hoops with her dad. When she finds out there is a basketball team at her school, she desperately wants to join. However, the team is only for boys and there is no girls’ team. The coach laughs at her when she asks to join the boys’ team, and she is crushed. Julie decides to fight for her place on the team anyway, but will she succeed?
Thanks to SLJ for a review copy of this book.
ARC Reviews, Children, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction

Melody: No Ordinary Sound by Denise Lewis Park

Grades 3 – 5

Melody: No Ordinary Sound

This book takes place in the 1960s, when Black Americans faced segregation and civil injustice. Nine-year-old Melody is excited to sing her first solo at her church’s Youth Day, and has to choose the songs she sings wisely. She elicits advice from her older brother and sister, and is inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. Then, when tragedy strikes, Melody is stunned into silence. Can she find her voice again and speak out for civil rights?

Thanks to SLJ for a review copy of this book.

Adventure, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Mystery

The Story Collector by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb & Iacopo Bruno

Grades 4 – 6 

the story collector

Eleven-year-old Viviani Fedeler spent her entire life in the New York Public Library, and knows every inch of it like the back of her hand. Then she becomes convinced that the library is haunted. Merit Mubarak teases her for it, but Viviani is on a mission to find out if the library really is haunted, or if it’s all in her head. This middle grade historical fiction novel was inspired by the true story of Viviani Joffre Fedeler.

ARC Reviews, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Series

Abigail Adams: Pirate of the Caribbean by Steve Sheinkin

Grades 3-6

abigail adams

This book is a fresh new way to teach kids about history. Centered around the time period of Abigail Adams, the story follows Abby, a history student whose friends think history is boring. When she hears this, Abigail Adams goes on a mission to change their minds! She escapes the White House and becomes a Caribbean Pirate. Can Abby fix history before it’s too late?

Thanks to School Library Journal for a review copy of this book.

Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction

The Duchess by Danielle Steel

Ages 18+

the duchess

Angelique Latham loves her job working as a nanny for a rich family in England. When she is unexpectedly fired and left without a reference letter, she is unable to find other work. Discouraged, she travels to Paris to seek work instead. While she is still unable to be a nanny without references, fate intervenes and she meets a young woman who has just fled a madam who treated her badly. Then Angelique has an idea to open a house of pleasure that protects its women and serve only certain clients.

ARC Reviews, Historical Fiction, YA Fiction

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio G. Iturbe

Grades 9-12

librarian of auschwitzThis novel is based on the real story of Dita Kraus, who was a prisoner at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Her Jewish leader, Freddy Hirsh, asks her to take charge of eight books that prisoners manage to sneak in with them.She became known as the “librarian of Auschwitz” because she made books available to the other prisoners no matter what the cost. Dita’s story is one of courage and hopefulness at one of the darkest periods in history.

Thanks to School Library Journal for a review copy of this book.

Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Grades 3-6

one crazy summer

Delphine and her two younger sisters are sent to visit their birth mother, Cecile, during the summer of 1968. They travel all the way from Brooklyn to Oakland, California and they’re not sure what to expect. When they arrive, they find that Cecile isn’t happy to have them visit, and wants them to attend the Black Panther summer camp. They came with one thing to accomplish: to get to know their mother better. However, Delphine fears this might be an impossible task, given how outlandish their mother is.