Experiencing America's Story through Fiction: Historical Novels for Grades 7-12

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Historical fiction helps young adults imagine the past through the lives and relationships of its protagonists, putting them at the center of fascinating times and places--and the new Common Core Standards allow for use of novels alongside textbooks for teaching history. Perfect for classroom use and YA readers' advisory, Crew's book highlights more than 150 titles of historical fiction published since 2000 that are appropriate for seventh to twelfth graders. Choosing award-winners as well as novels which have been well-reviewed in Booklist, The Horn Book, Multicultural Review, History Teach, Journal of American History, and other periodicals, this resource assists librarians and educators by

  • Spotlighting novels with a multiplicity of voices from different cultures, races, and ethnicities
  • Featuring both YA novels and novels written for adults that are appropriate for teens
  • Offering thorough annotations, with an examination of each novel's historical content
  • Providing discussion questions and online resources for classroom use that encourage students to think critically about the book and compare ideas and events in the story to actual history

This book will help teachers of history as well as school and public librarians who work with youth to promote a more inclusive understanding of America's story through historical fiction.

Hilary Susan Crew

Hilary Susan Crew is a former associate professor at Kean University, where she taught children's and young adult literature and was coordinator of the Educational Media Specialist Program. She has written numerous articles and three books in the field of children's and young adult literature, including Is It Really Mother Dearest? Daughter-Mother Narratives in Young Adult Fiction (2000); Women Engaged in War: A Guide to Resources for Children and Young Adults (2007); and Donna Jo Napoli: Writing with Passion (2010). She also reviews books for VOYA Magazine.

"Definitely for sharing, using, and collection building."
— The School Librarian's Workshop

"Perhaps most impressive is the list's diversity, both in the multicultural voices represented and in the books' actual contents … Educators tasked with creating interdisciplinary units on American history would do well to start here."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Crews's careful annotations include a succinct summary of the book along with valuable evaluative commentary. Also included are two to four suggestions for using each book in history classes, some of which suggest additional sources such as related texts, primary sources, and outstanding historical websites. The selection of books embodies a multitude of perspectives and truly represents the diversity of the United States. This outstanding bibliography is perfect for teachers, librarians, or history fans searching for just the right book."

"The summaries of the titles are thorough and the discussion suggestions are helpful ... Recommended for middle and high school libraries, public libraries, and middle and high school history teachers."
— Catholic Library World

"This book provides great insight into utilizing the extensive historical fiction genre to connect students to American history in schools and libraries … helpful to educators looking to integrate the genre into their lesson planning as well as to librarians creating programming for young patrons."
— Reference Reviews