October 20, 2006

Children's history book bonanza

I've been behind in my blog reading as well as posting about the good tidbits I've come across, so I'll start now. Consider it my belated Canadian Thanksgiving gift or early Halloween treat.

Chris Barton at Bartography has a post, U.S. History is for the birds, where Chris explains why he and his kids are going to continue their picture book study of American history but change from a chronological approach to a more thematic one. And the current theme is birds (something I can appreciate, with three kids who wanted to have "Bird School" all summer), with some terrific titles, including The Bald Eagle's View of American History by first-time children's author and stamp collector C.H. Colman and illustrated by Joanne Friar.

Karen at lightingthefires has a post stuffed with suggested Canadian historical fiction picture books, and if the books in that list aren't enough, she closes with a few other lists for good measure. I see some old favorites on Karen's list, and some exciting new prospects.

Then, there's the unflagging Fuse #8, in a category all by herself, who's been on a historical fiction roll that I hope isn't coming to an end anytime soon. These are all new titles, brand new for 2006. For each title, listed in no particular order, I've put the link to Fuse #8's review first, followed by a link to the book itself:

Review of Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Lawson, about Hattie, age sixteen in 1917 and an orphan with her own Montana homestead.

Review of Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium by Carla Killough McClafferty

Review of Escaping into the Night by D. Dina Friedman, about a young Jewish girl's escape from the Warsaw Ghetto.

Review of A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant, set in Restoration England

Review of Desperate Journey by Jim Murphy, set in the early days along the Erie Canal.

Review of Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and Other Wily Characters by Patricia McKissack; not exactly historical fiction, but sounds like a dandy yarn with good pictures to boot.

Review of Hero of the High Seas: John Paul Jones and the American Revolution by Michael L. Cooper; from National Geographic Children's Books.

Review of Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson, inspired by the 1912 "Bread and Roses strike" in the textile mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Review of The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages, set in 1943, about young Dewey Kerrigan whose father has been working in Los Alamos on a top secret and mysterious “gadget” that will help America win the war.

Review of The Wonder Kid by George Harrar, set in the 1950's and touching on the golden era of comic books, polio, and fallout shelters.

Review of Homefront by Doris Gwaltney; life for 12-year-old Margaret Ann, who lives in a small southern town during WWII, is difficult enough even before the arrival of her pretty but scheming English cousin.

Thanks, all!

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