Location

Author

Title

Era

YA AUC

Auch, Mary Jane

Ashes of Roses

1911

 

Sixteen-year-old Rose Nolan and her family are grateful to have finally reached America, the great land of opportunity. Their happiness is shattered when part of their family is forced to return to Ireland. Rose wants to succeed and stays in New York with her younger sister Maureen. The sisters struggle to survive and barely do so by working at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. Then, just as Rose is forming friendships and settling in, a devastating fire forces her, Maureen, and their friends to fight for their lives. Surrounded by pain, tragedy, and ashes, Rose wonders if there’s anything left for her in this great land of America.

YA BAR

Bartoletti, Susan

The Boy Who Dared

WWII/

Holocaust

 

Just as the Nazis are rising to power, Helmuth Hübener, a German schoolboy, is caught up in all the swashbuckling bravado of his time. The handsome stormtrooper uniforms, the shiny jackboots and armbands, the rousing patriotism all serve to draw him into this bright new world full of promise and hope. In the beginning his patriotism is unwavering. But every day the rights of people all over Germany are diminishing. Jews are threatened and their businesses are being destroyed. The truth has been censored, and danger lurks everywhere. Anybody can turn on you. The world has turned upside down: Patriotism means denouncing others, love means hate, and speaking out means treason. How much longer can Helmuth keep silent?

YA BRA

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker

The Lacemaker and the Princess

French Revolution

 

Eleven-year-old Isabelle is a lacemaker in the town of Versailles. One day as she delivers lace to the palace, she is almost trampled by a crowd of courtiers -- only to be rescued by Marie Antoinette. Before Isabelle can believe it, she has a new job -- companion to the queen's daughter. Isabelle is given a fashionable name, fashionable dresses -- a new identity. At home she plies her needle under her grandmother's disapproving eye. At the palace she is playmate to a princess. Thrown into a world of luxury, Isabelle is living a fairy-tale life. But this facade begins to crumble when rumors of starvation in the countryside lead to whispers of revolution. How can Isabelle reconcile the ugly things she hears in the town with the kind family she knows in the palace? And which side is she truly on?

 

YA CHA

Chapman, Fern

Is It Night or Day?

WWII

 

It’s 1938, and twelve-year-old Edith is about to move from the tiny German village she’s lived in all her life to a place that seems as foreign as the moon: Chicago, Illinois. And she will be doing it alone. This dramatic and chilling novel about one girl’s escape from Hitler’s Germany was inspired by the experiences of the author’s mother, one of twelve hundred children rescued by Americans as part of the One Thousand Children project.

YA COM

Compestine, Ying Chang

Revolution is Not a Dinner Party

China Cultural Revolution (1970s)

 

Nine-year-old Ling has a very happy life. Her parents are both dedicated surgeons at the best hospital in Wuhan, and her father teaches her English as they listen to Voice of America every evening on the radio. But when one of Mao’s political officers moves into a room in their apartment, Ling begins to witness the gradual disintegration of her world. In an atmosphere of increasing mistrust and hatred, Ling fears for the safety of her neighbors, and soon, for herself and her family. For the next four years, Ling will suffer more horrors than many people face in a lifetime. Will she be able to grow and blossom under the oppressive rule of Chairman Mao? Or will fighting to survive destroy her spirit and end her life?

YA DAV

Davis, Tanita S.

Mare’s War

Modern/WWII

 

Octavia and Tali are dreading the road trip their parents are forcing them to take with their grandmother over the summer. After all, Mare isn’t your typical grandmother. She drives a red sports car, wears stiletto shoes, flippy wigs, and push-up bras, and insists that she’s too young to be called Grandma. But somewhere on the road, Octavia and Tali discover there’s more to Mare than what you see. She was once a willful teenager who escaped her less-than-perfect life in the deep South and lied about her age to join the African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.

YA DUN

Dunlap, Susanne

The Musician’s Daughter

18th Century Europe

 

Amid the glitter and glamour of musical and court life in 18th century Vienna, fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria Shurman is trying to solve a brutal mystery. Who killed her father, an acclaimed violinist, and stole his valuable Amati violin? When Haydn himself offers her a position as his assistant, it gives Theresa access to life in the palace–and to a world of deceit. Theresa uncovers blackmail and extortion even as she discovers courage and honor in unexpected places: from a Gypsy camp on the banks of the Danube, to the rarefied life of the imperial family. And she feels the stirrings of a first, tentative love for someone who is as deeply involved in the mystery as she is.

YA FLE

Fletcher, Christine

Ten Cents a Dance

WWII

 

With her mother ill, it's up to fifteen-year-old Ruby Jacinski to support her family. But in the 1940s, the only opportunities open to a Polish-American girl from Chicago's poor Yards is a job in one of the meat-packing plants. Through a chance meeting with a local tough, Ruby lands a job as a taxi dancer—a girl paid ten cents to dance with any man—and soon becomes an expert in the art of "fishing" as she works her patrons for meals, clothes, even jewelry.
Drawn ever deeper into the world of dance halls, jazz, and the mob, Ruby gradually realizes that the only one who can save her is herself.

YA GRA

Grant, K.M.

Green Jasper

Medieval

 

Just returned from the Crusades, brothers Gavin and Will find home changed more than they'd expected - in fact home is a very dangerous place indeed. Ellie is reluctantly preparing for her wedding to Gavin. He's not the problem - marriage is. To Ellie, it means a) servitude, b) no independence and c) certain death in childbirth before she's 18. But marriage, it turns out, is the least of her worries. King Richard has been declared dead and his brother John is claiming the throne. Hartslove castle is attacked on the day of the wedding - and Ellie is kidnapped by one of Prince John's supporters. Gavin knows he should try to rescue her - but can't help thinking that a one-armed knight is no use to anyone, especially a beautiful girl like Ellie. It's left to William and his horse Hosanna to rescue Ellie and prove that King Richard is still alive - but success in both is marred by a tragedy that none of them will ever forget.

YA IBB

Ibbotson, Eva

A Company of Swans

1912

 

For nineteen-year-old Harriet Morton, life in 1912 Cambridge is as dry and dull as a biscuit. Her stuffy father and her oppressive aunt Louisa allow her only one outlet: ballet. When a Russian ballet master comes to class searching for dancers to fill the corps of his ballet company before their South American tour, Harriet’s world changes. Defying her father’s wishes and narrowly escaping the clutches of the man who wishes to marry her, Harriet sneaks off to join the ballet on their journey to the Amazon. There, in the wild, lush jungle, they perform Swan Lake in grand opera houses for the wealthy and culture-deprived rubber barons, and Harriet meets Rom Verney, the handsome and mysterious British exile who owns the most ornate opera house. Utterly enchanted by both the exotic surroundings and by Rom’s affections, Harriet is swept away by her new life, completely unaware that her father and would-be fiancé have begun to track her down...

YA KIE

Kiem, Elizabeth

Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy

Cold War

 

Marina is born of privilege. Her mother, Sveta, is the Soviet Union's prima ballerina: an international star handpicked by the regime. But Sveta is afflicted with a mysterious second sight and becomes obsessed with exposing a horrific state secret. Then she disappears.
 
Fearing for their lives, Marina and her father defect to Brooklyn. Marina struggles to reestablish herself as a dancer at Juilliard. But her enigmatic partner, Sergei, makes concentration almost impossible, as does the fact that Marina shares her mother's “gift,” and has a vision of her father’s murder at the hands of the Russian crooks and con artists she thought they'd left behind. 
 
Now Marina must navigate the web of intrigue surrounding her mother's disappearance, her ability, and exactly whom she can—and can't—trust.

YA KLE

Klein, Lisa

Love Disguised

17th Century Europe

 

Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever. After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, Will jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor. There, Will meets the unusually tall (and strong) Meg who has earned the nickname "Long Meg" for her height. She's also fleeing her own past as an orphan turned thief. Disguised as "Mack," Meg was once a member of a band of boy thieves who betrayed her. When Will is robbed by those same villains, Meg disguises herself as "Mack" again--telling Will that Mack is her twin brother--in order to help Will recover his money. As Mack, she finds true friendship with Will. But is there more? And who is Meg really fooling with her disguise?

YA LAW

Lawrence, Iain

B for Buster

WWII

 

Nicknamed after his hometown of Kakabeka, Canada, Kak dreams of flying with the Allied bombers in World War II. So at 16, underage and desperate to escape his abusive parents, he enlists in the Canadian Air Force. Soon he is trained as a wireless operator and sent to a squadron in England, where he's unabashedly gung ho about flying his first op. He thinks the night ops over Germany will be like the heroic missions of his favorite comic-book heroes. Good will vanquish evil. But his first time out, in a plane called B for Buster, reveals the ops for what they really are—a harrowing ordeal.
The bombing raids bring searchlights...artillery from below...and night fighters above hunting to take the bombers down. One hit, Kak knows, and B for Buster, along with him and his six crewmates, could be destroyed.

YA LAW

Lawson, Julie

Ghosts of the Titanic

1912/2012

 

When twelve-year-old Kevin Messenger's father inherits a house in Halifax, Canada, left to him by a complete stranger named Angus Seaton, Kevin decides to investigate. His puzzling discoveries lead to troubling dreams and a voice calling to him for help. A parallel narrative tells the dramatic story of Angus Seaton, who worked on one of the ships responsible for recovering bodies and personal effects after the Titanic sank.

YA LEE

Leeds, Constance

The Unfortunate Son

Medieval

 

What does it mean to be lucky? Luc doesn't really know. He was born with just one ear, his father constantly berates him, and his younger brother is already bigger and stronger than he is. But when he is chosen to become an apprentice to a local fisherman, his life takes a turn for the better. Luc is a natural at sea, and before long he and a teenage girl who lives with the fisherman form a strong bond. That bond is tested when Luc is taken captive by a band of merciless pirates, and sold into slavery.

YA LON

Longshore, Katherine

Tarnish

16th Century (Tudor)

 

When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

YA LYN

Lynch, Chris

Casualties of War

Vietnam War

 

Morris, Rudi, Ivan, and Beck are best friends for life. So when one of the teens is drafted into the Vietnam War, the others sign up, too. Although they each serve in a different branch, they are fighting the war together -- and they promise to do all they can to come home together.

Of the four, it's Beck that has the most to lose. He's the smart one of the bunch, and he could be -- SHOULD be -- going to college. His parents certainly think so. But he has a pact to honor, and so Beck enlists in the US Air Force.

As their tours of duty near completion and the war itself spirals further out of control, the four best friends are at last on a collision course. Will they all survive long enough to be reunited?

YA LYN

Lynch, Chris

Free-Fire Zone

Vietnam War

 

Four best friends. Four ways to serve their country.

Morris, Rudi, Ivan, and Beck are best friends for life. So when one of the teens is drafted into the Vietnam War, the others sign up, too. Although they each serve in a different branch, they are fighting the war together -- and they promise to do all they can to come home together.

Rudi is perhaps the most concerned about whether or not he'll be able to keep that promise. After all -- and he'd be the first to admit this -- he's not the most capable guy. He's not smart like Beck, or brave like Ivan. He lacks the strength of Morris's moral convictions.

But once Rudi is pulled kicking and screaming into the Marines, he at last finds something he's good at: following orders. Will that be enough to keep him alive? And if he does survive the war, will his best friends even recognize him on the other side?

YA LYN

Lynch, Chris

I Pledge Allegiance

Vietnam War

 

Morris, Rudi, Ivan, and Beck are best friends for life. So when one of the teens is drafted into the Vietnam War, the others sign up, too. Although they each serve in a different branch, they are fighting the war together--and they pledge to do all they can to come home together.

Haunted by dreams of violence and death, Morris makes it his personal mission to watch over his friends--and the best place to do that is in the US Navy. Stationed off the coast of Vietnam on the USS Boston, Morris and his fellow sailors provide crucial support to the troops on the ground.

But the Boston itself isn't safe from attack. And as Morris finds his courage and resolve tested like never before, he keeps coming back to a single thought.

He made a pledge. He must keep them safe.

YA LYN

Lynch, Chris

Sharpshooter

Vietnam War

 

Some things are worth fighting for.

Of all his friends, Ivan is the only one looking forward to war.

That's because Ivan has never backed down from a fight--especially when it comes to fighting for what's right. He has protected his friends from bullies for years. And now, as war erupts in Vietnam, Ivan wants nothing more than to fight for his country, just as his father did in World War II.

Enlisting in the United States Army, Ivan is trained to be a sniper. And he's good at it. Very good. But Vietnam is not the war he was expecting. Somehow the glory and heroism of his father's war stories do not come so easily in the jungle.

Now, for the first time, Ivan is forced to question what he's really fighting for . . . and whether it's a fight he can hope to win.

YA MCK

McKernan, Victoria

The Devil’s Paintbox

19th Century

 

When orphans Aiden and Maddy Lynch first meet trailrider Jefferson J. Jackson in the spring of 1865, they're struggling to survive on their family's drought-ravaged Kansas farm. So when Jackson offers an escape - a 2000-mile journey across the roughest country in the world - Aiden knows it's their only choice.

They say there are a hundred ways to die on the Oregon Trail, and the long wagon journey is broken only by catastrophe: wolf attacks, rattlesnakes, deadly river crossings, Indians, and the looming threat of smallpox, 'the devil's paint.' Through it all, Aiden and Maddy and a hundred fellow travelers move forward with a growing hope, and the promise of a new life in the Washington Territory. But one question haunts them: who will survive the journey?

YA MYE

Myers, Walter Dean

Fallen Angels

Vietnam War

 

A coming-of-age tale for young adults set in the trenches of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, this is the story of Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren't the only hardships. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is there at all.

YA PAR

Park, Linda Sue

When My Name was Keoko

WWII

 

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them - even their names - are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

YA REE

Reeves, Amy

Renegade

19th Century Europe

 

The Conclave—a secret group with twisted ideals and freakish practices—has been wiped out, thanks to Arabella Sharp. Now there’s a new malevolence afoot. Fishermen are getting killed, their partially devoured bodies washing up on the shores of Scotland. Is the Ripper responsible? Or have the Conclave’s sinister experiments left behind something more monstrous? Abbie fears the worst when her beloved Dr. William Siddal vanishes. To save the man she loves, Abbie must comply with the Ripper’s dreadful orders—and put her own life in grave danger.

YA REE

Reeves, Amy

Ripper

19th Century Europe

 

It’s 1888, and after her mother’s sudden death, Abbie is sent to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. When she begins volunteering at Whitechapel Hospital, Abbie finds she has a passion for helping the abused and sickly women there.

But within days, patients begin turning up murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. As more women are murdered, Abbie realizes that she and the Ripper share a strange connection: she has visions showing the Ripper luring his future victims to their deaths—moments before he turns his knife upon them. Her desperation to stop the massacres leads Abbie on a perilous hunt for the killer. And her search leads to a mysterious brotherhood whose link to the Ripper threatens not just London but all of mankind.

YA ROS

Ross, Elizabeth

Belle Epoque

19th Century Europe

 

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive.

Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect adornment of plainness. 

But Isabelle has no idea her new "friend" is the hired help, and Maude's very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.  

YA ROW

Rowell, Rainbow

Eleanor & Park

1980s

 

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried. Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and, in Eleanor's eyes, impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by. Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mixed tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.

YA SMI

Smith, Sherri L.

Flygirl

WWII

 

Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her. When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots—and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.

YA STR

Strykowski, Marcia

Call Me Amy

1970s

 

For Amy Henderson, 1973 has been a lonely year of so many awkward moments she's actually lost count. Things turn around quickly when she assists in the rescue of an injured seal pup. To help save Pup, she forms an unlikely alliance with a questionable boy in a worn-out army jacket, as well as a peculiar older woman the kids in town refer to as "Old Coot."

Amy soon finds that people aren't always what they seem, as she nurtures Pup back to health with the help of her two new companions, Craig and Miss Cogshell. Unexpected detours occur as an ill-intentioned harbormaster hunts down Pup and a group of nosy popular girls set their affections on Craig.

As if these weren't obstacles enough, an even graver challenge presents itself soon thereafter, threatening the future of the entire town--and Amy's life as well.

YA TAT

Tate, Eleanora

Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance

1920s

 

It's 1921, and when Celeste Lassiter Massey goes to stay with her Aunt Valentina in Harlem, she is not thrilled to trade her friends and comfortable North Carolina surroundings for scary big city life with a famous actress. While Celeste absorbs the excitement of the Harlem Renaissance in full swing, she sees as much grit as glamour. A passionate writer, talented violinist, and aspiring doctor, Celeste eventually faces a choice between ambition and loyalty, roots and horizons. The decision will change her forever.

YA YOL

Yolen, Jane

Queen’s Own Fool: a novel of Mary, Queen of Scots

Europe – 16th Century

 

Called La Jardiniere, a resourceful and clever jester to the queen's court, Nicola was a most unlikely person to end up "fool" and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots. But Nicola isn't an ordinary comedian clowning before the court; her sharp tongue is rare amongst the fawning nobles. As fate takes Mary from France to Scotland, and into confrontations with rebellious lords and devious advisors, Nicola remains deep in the queen's inner circle. But when the Scots start to turn on Queen Mary, Nicola struggles to find something-anything-that she, just a fool, can do to save her friend.

YA ZUS

Zusak, Markus

The Book Thief

WWII

 

Death himself narrates the story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it to lull her to sleep when she’s roused by regular nightmares about her younger brother’s death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayor’s reclusive, and especially her foster parents.

Last Updated: 9/18/2013