The Wolves of Willoughby Chase / Joan Aiken
A wicked governess makes life miserable for Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia when Bonnie’s parents leave Willoughby Chase for a sea voyage.
Chains / Laurie Halse Anderson
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
Al Capone Does My Shirts / Gennifer Choldenko (Book 1 of the Al Capone at Alcatraz Series)
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.
Bud, Not Buddy / Christopher Paul Curtis
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father–the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.
The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 / Christopher Paul Curtis
The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.
Catherine, Called Birdy / Karen Cushman
The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.
The Midwife’s Apprentice / Karen Cushman
In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife, and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate / Jacqueline Kelly (Book 1 of the Calpurnia Tate Series)
In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.
Number the Stars / Lois Lowry
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
Anne of Green Gables / L.M. Montgomery (Book 1 of the Anne of Green Gables Series)
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.
A Long Way From Chicago / Richard Peck (Book 1 of the A Long Way From Chicago Series)
A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer / Mark Twain
The adventures and pranks of a mischievous boy growing up in a 19th-century Mississippi River town as he plays hooky on an island, witnesses a crime, hunts for pirate’s treasure, and becomes lost in a cave.
Treasure Island / Robert Louis Stevenson
While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a notorious pirate’s fortune.
Moon Over Manifest / Clare Vanderpool
Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.
Little House on the Prairie / Laura Ingalls Wilder (Book 2 of the Little House Series)
A family travels from the big woods of Wisconsin to a new home on the prairie, where they build a house, meet neighboring Indians, build a well, and fight a prairie fire.