As as you would imagine, Gathered: A Novel of Ruth by LeeAnn Setzer (Cedar Fort, 2003) is a fictionalized retelling of the story of Ruth from the Bible, from when she first marries Naomi’s son until her betrothal and marriage to Boaz. Reading this well-researched historical fiction gave me a fresh new perspective on Ruth’s

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Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Scholastic, 2018) is a story about a family of immigrants from China who are trying to achieve the American dream, but they haven’t been having much success. In this first novel of a middle-grade series, Mia begins to see just how she can help her family with her skills and

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Riding an ostrich? It’s a long shot, but Suzy Bowles hopes that’s her key to finally leaving her small Michigan town in Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird (Knopf, 2021). Her story entails a one-of-a-kind summer in the 1920s in this historical fiction novel for young readers. Long Road to the Circus is

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As a woman, getting a medical degree in the 1880s was no small task, and Martha Hughes Cannon was determined to do so in order to better serve those in her Utah pioneer community. Her Quiet Revolution by Marianne Monson (Shadow Mountain, 2020), a work of historical fiction, captures the life of this frontier doctor,

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The Left Behinds series so far contains two different historical fiction novels with time travel adventures in which preteens must save the day. In The iPhone that Saved George Washington, three kids travel to 1776 to discover that George Washington has been shot. Can they reverse this alternate history before history is changed forever? In Abe

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Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan is a powerful story about a rich and spoiled Mexican girl whose sudden impoverishment in the 1930s takes her into the migrant worker camps of California. It teaches much about the Great Depression as well as discrimination during that period.  At the beginning of the novel, Esperanza lives a

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I love Jane Yolen’s talent for writing extends from children’s picture books and poetry to middle grade and older books! Her books almost always seem to delight or intrigue me, and her recent contribution to the middle grade bookshelf is no exception. Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen (Macmilian Children’s Publishing Group, October 2014) is a fantasy novel

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Love by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers, June 2014) is a World War II historical fiction novel for teenagers with an amusing role reversal! Much like in stories like The Prince and the Pauper, in Love by the Morning Star, two girls get assigned to the wrong roles. When

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Sometimes a clever and intriguing storyline makes a novel great. Sometimes, it is the interaction of a number of interesting characters. And other times, a novel is great because of the carefully developed setting that gives life to the situations and characters. In One Came Home (January 2013, Knopf Books for Young Readers), Amy Timberlake

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Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse (1991) is a coming-of-age story, this time dealing with a 12-year-old Russian immigrant traveling alone. But Rifka is not an ordinary traveler. She expects to do “everything” once she reaches America, but first, she has to get there. When sickness keeps her behind, she learns to survive on her

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