Unknown: Genre and Historical Fiction Essay
Unknown: Genre and Historical Fiction
Crispin: the Cross of Lead. Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in 14th-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret. Newbery Medal. AR 7. 0/Level 5. 0. Historical Fiction. Avi. Nothing but the Truth: a Documentary Novel. A ninth-grader’s suspension for singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during homeroom becomes a national news story. Newbery Honor. AR 4. 0 pts/Level 3. 6. Fiction. Barrett, Tracy. Anna of Byzantium.
In the eleventh century the teenage princess Anna Comnena fights for her birthright, the throne to the Byzantine Empire, which she fears will be taken from her by her younger brother John because he is a boy. AR 8. 0 pts/Level 6. 4. Historical Fiction. Barron, T. A. The Lost Years of Merlin. Prequel to The Seven Songs of Merlin. A young boy who has neither identity nor memory of his past washes ashore on the coast of Wales and finds his true name after a series of fantastic adventures. Blackwood, Gary L. The Shakespeare Stealer.
A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare’s acting troupe in order to steal the script of “Hamlet,” but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty. AR 7. 0 pts/Level 5. 2. Historical Fiction. Blackwood, Gary L. Shakespeare’s Scribe. Sequel to: The Shakespeare Stealer. In plague-ridden 1602 England, a fifteen-year-old orphan boy, who has become an apprentice actor, goes on the road with Shakespeare’s troupe, and finds out more about his parents along the way. AR 10. 0 pts/Level 6. 1. Historical Fiction. Blackwood, Gary L. Shakespeare’s Spy.
Sequel to: Shakespeare’s Scribe. The winter of 1602 brings many changes for Widge, a young apprentice at London’s Globe Theatre, as he becomes infatuated with Shakespeare’s daughter Judith, attempts to write a play, learns more about his past, endangers himself to help a friend, acquires a new identity, and finds a new purpose in life. AR 11. 0 pts/Level 5. 7. Historical Fiction. Bradbury, Ray. Dandelion Wine. In a small town in 1928, a twelve year-old boy savors the magic of childhood and the wonders of summer. AR 10. 0 pts. Fiction. Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre.
The story of an orphaned young English woman who accepts employment as a governess at Thornfield Hall, a country estate owned by the mysteriously remote Mr. Rochester. AR 33 pts/Level 7. 9. Classic Fiction. Crossley-Holland, Kevin. At the Crossing-Places. Sequel to: The Seeing Stone. Thirteen-year-old Arthur, now serving as a squire to Lord Stephen of Holt Castle, turns his attention to fulfilling some of his other dreams, such as meeting his birth mother, marrying the beautiful Winnie, and most of all, becoming a Crusader. AR 12. 0 pts/Level 4. 4 Fiction. Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Seeing Stone.
Book One. In late 12th century England, a thirteen-year-old boy named Arthur recounts how Merlin gives him a magical seeing stone which shows him images of the legendary King Arthur, the events of his life seem to have many parallels to his own. AR 10. 0 pts/Level 4. 3. Fiction. Curry, Jane Louise. The Black Canary. As the child of two musicians, twelve-year-old James has no interest in music until he discovers a portal to seventh-century London in his uncle’s basement, and finds himself in a situation where his beautiful voice and the fact that he is biracial might serve him well.
AR 8. 0 pts/Level 6. 1. Cushman, Karen. Catherine, Called Birdy. 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. AR 8. 0 pts/Level 6. 4. Historical Fiction. Cushman, Karen. Matilda Bone. Fourteen-year-old Matilda, an apprentice bonesetter and practitioner of medicine in a village in medieval England, tries to reconcile the various aspects of her life, both spiritual and practical.
AR 5. 0 pts/Level 5. 7. Historical Fiction. Cushman, Karen. The Midwife’s Apprentice. 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. Newbery Medal. AR 3. 0 pts/Level 6. 0. Historical Fiction. DeAngeli, Marguerite. The Door in the Wall. In the Middle Ages a young boy crippled by the plague has an adventurous journey from London to the castle where he becomes a page.
AR 4. 0 pts/Level 6. 2. Historical Fiction. Edwards, Julie Andrews. Dragon: Hound of Honor. In medieval France, an Irish wolfhound helps solve the murder of his master, the beloved son of the Count de Montdidier and leader of the Royal Bodyguard in the court of Charles V. In the Noble and Dangerous Times of medieval France, the young knight Aubrey de Montdidier, nephew of the Count of Montargis, has been strangely murdered. His friend the brave Sieur DeNarsac, captain of the count’s men-at-arms, and Thierry, a young page, must now solve the tragic mystery.
Yet it is a magnificent white wolfhound by the name of Dragon — Montdidier’s faithful companion — who brings an unexpected, shocking conclusion to the puzzle of his master’s untimely death. New York Times best-selling authors Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton weave a tapestry of intrigue, power, loyalty, and friendship in this novel based on the captivating French legend of Montargis. AR 5. 0 pts/Level 5. 8. Historical Fiction. DePrau, Jeanne. The City of Ember.
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions. AR 9. 0 pts/Level 5. 0. Fantasy Fiction. Farmer, Nancy. The Sea of Trolls. After Jack becomes apprenticed to a Druid bard, he and his little sister Lucy are captured by Viking Berserkers and taken to the home of King Ivar the Boneless and his half-troll queen, leading Jack to undertake a vital quest to Jotunheim, home of the trolls. AR 16. 0 pts/Level 4. 7.
Norse Mythology – Fiction. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. The tragic story of the wealthy Jay Gatsby and his attempt to win back the love of Daisy Buchanan. AR 8. 0 pts/Level 7. 3. Classic Fiction. Flake, Sharon G. The Skin I’m In. Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, uncomfortable because her skin is extremely dark, meets a new teacher with a birthmark on her face and makes some discoveries about how to love who she is and what she looks like. AR 4. 0 pts/Level 4. 1. Fiction. Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. AR 4. 0. Level 5. 1.
Classic Fiction. Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. Newbery Honor. AR 9. 0 pts/Level 5. 2. Fiction. Jarvis, Robin. The Alchemist’s Cat. Will Godwin escapes to London and becomes an assistant to the evil alchemist, Elias Spittle, who sends Will on an errand where he finds and rescues a mother cat and her kittens which sparks an extraordinary tale of sorcery and murder. AR Level 6. 4. Fantasy Fiction.
Kelly, Eric Philbrook. The Trumpeter of Krakow. A Polish family in the Middle Ages guards a great secret treasure and a boy’s memory of an earlier trumpeter of Krakow makes it possible for him to save his father. Newbery Medal. AR 10. 0/Level 7. 0. Historical Fiction. Keyes, Daniel. Flowers for Algernon. AR 13. 0 pts/Level 5. 8. Modern Classic Fiction. Knowles, John. A Separate Peace. Gene Forrester looks back 15 years to a World War II year in which he and his best friend Phineas were roommates in a New Hampshire boarding school.
Their friendship is marred by Finny’s crippling fall, an event for which Gene is responsible and one that eventually leads to tragedy. AR 10. 0 pts/ Level 6. 9. Classic Fiction. Levitin, Sonia. The Cure. A young boy living in 2407 collides with the past when he finds himself in Strasbourg in 1348 confronting the anti-Semitism that sweeps through Europe during the Black Plague. AR 9. 0 pts/Level 4. 7. Fantasy Fiction. Lupica, Mike. Summer Ball. Thirteen-year-old Danny must prove himself all over again for a disapproving coach and against new rivals at a summer basketball camp. AR Level 5. 3. Sports Fiction.
Marsh, Katherine. The Night Tourist. After 14-year-old classics prodigy Jack Perdu has a near fatal accident he meets Euri, a young ghost who introduces him to New York’s Underworld, where those who died in New York reside until they are ready to move on, and Jack vows to find his dead mother there. AR Level 4. 8. Edgar Award Best Juvenile Mystery 2008. McKay, Hilary. Permanent Rose. While trying to reconnect with her friend Tom, who has returned to the United States without leaving a forwarding address, eight-year-old Rose inadvertently discovers the identity of her adopted sister Saffy’s father.
AR 6. 0 pts/Level 4. 7. Meyer, Carolyn. Mary, Bloody Mary. Mary Tudor, who would reign briefly as Queen of England during the mid-sixteenth century, tells the story of her troubled childhood as daughter of King Henry VIII. AR 8. 0 pts/Level 6. 3. Historical Fiction. McNaughton, Janet Elizabeth. The Secret under My Skin. In the year 2368, humans exist under dire environmental conditions and one young woman, rescued from a work camp and chosen for a special duty, uses her love of learning to discover the truth about the planet’s future and her own dark past.
AR 10. 0 pts. /Level 4. 1. Science Fiction. Murdock, Catherine. Princess Ben: Being a Wholly Truthful Account of Her Various Discoveries and Misadventures, Recounted to the Best of Her Recollection, in Four Parts. A girl is transformed, through instruction in life at court, determination and magic, from sullen, pudgy, graceless Ben into Crown Princess Benevolence, a fit ruler of the kingdom of Montagne as it faces war with neighboring Drachensbett. AR 11. 0 pts/Level 7. 9. Nanji, Shenaaz. Child of Dandelions.
In Uganda in 1972, fifteen-year-old Sabine and her family, wealthy citizens of Indian descent, try to preserve their normal life during the 90 days allowed by President Idi Amin for all foreign Indians to leave the country, while soldiers and others terrorize them and people disappear. AR 7. 0 pts/Level 4. 8. Historical fiction. Osborne, Mary Pope. The Final Battle. Presents an excerpt from Homer’s Odyssey where Odysseus returns to Ithaca and finds that he must fight to regain control from those who are plaguing his family. Classical Mythology. Fiction. Osborne, Mary Pope. The Gray-Eyed Goddess.
Retells the part of Homer’s Odyssey in which Odysseus is trapped on Calypso’s island and his son Telemachus goes in search of him. AR 1. 0 pt/Level 5. 3. Classical Mythology. Fiction. Osborne, Mary Pope. The Knight at Dawn. The magic tree house whisks Jack and Annie back to the Middle Ages, where they explore a castle and are helped by a mysterious knight. AR 1. 0 pt/Level 2. 9. Time Travel — Fiction. Osborne, Mary Pope. The Land of the Dead. A retelling of part of The Odyssey in Odysseus and his fleet continue their journey and encounter giant cannibals, a beautiful witch, and the Land of the Dead.
AR Fall 2006. Classical Greek Mythology – Fiction. Osborne, Mary Pope. Sirens and Sea Monsters. Retells the part of Homer’s “Odyssey” in which Odysseus meets Circe and struggles against the Sirens and Scylla and Charybdis. AR 1. 0 pt. /Level 5. 3. Classical Greek Mythology – Fiction. Park, Linda Sue. A Single Shard. Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters’ village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself. Newbery Medal. AR 6. 0 pts/Level 6. 6. Historical Fiction.
Peet, Mal. Keeper. Paul Faustino learns about world-famous goalkeeper, El Gato’s encounter with a mystical mentor named the Keeper, in the South American rain forest and the magical lessons he learned under his tutelage that helped him become the best in the world. AR 8. 0 pts/Level 5. 1. Sports Fiction. Bildungsroman. Philip, Neil. Robin Hood. Recounts the life and adventures of Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw of Sherwood Forest who dedicated himself to fighting tyranny. Folklore—Adaptations and retellings. Prevost, Guillaume. The Book of Time.
Sam Faulkner travels back in time to medieval Ireland, ancient Egypt, Renaissance Bruges, and even Dracula’s Castle in search of his missing father. AR 9. 0 pts/Level 5. 6. Time travel. Pyle, Howard. Otto of the Silver Hand. Classic Fiction. Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. (Book 1) Percy, expelled from six schools, for being unable to control his temper, learns the truth from his mother that his father is the Greek god Poseidon, and is sent to Camp Half-Blood where he is befriended by a Satyr and the demigod of Athena who join him in a journey to the Underworld to retrieve Zeus’ lightning bolt and prevent a catastrophic war.
AR 13 pts/Level 4. 7. Riordan, Rick. The Sea of Monsters. (Book 2) Percy and his friends set out to find his best friend, Grover, who is held prisoner on an island somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, before heading out to save Camp Half-Blood from the mythological monsters. AR 9. 0 pts/Level 4. 6. Riordan, Rick. The Titan’s Curse. (Book 3) When the goddess Artemis disappears while hunting a rare, ancient monster, a group of her followers joins Percy and his friends to find and rescue her before the winter solstice, when her influence is needed to sway the Olympian Council regarding the war with the Titans.
AR 10. 0 pts/ Level 4. 2. Scott, Michael. The Alchemyst. While working at summer jobs in San Francisco, twins Sophie and Josh find themselves caught up in the deadly, centuries-old struggle between rival alchemists, Nicholas Flamel and John Dee, over the possession of an ancient and powerful book. AR 14. 0 pts/Level 6. 4. Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Exploits of Frankenstein, an idealistic Genevan student of natural philosophy, who discovers at the university the secret of imparting life to inanimate matter. Classic Science Fiction. Sonnenblick, Jordan. Zen and the Art of Faking It.
When thirteen-year-old San Lee moves to a new town and school for the umpteenth time, he is looking for a way to stand out when his knowledge of Zen Buddhism, gained in his previous school, provided the answer – and the need to quickly become a convincing Zen master. AR 7. 0 pts/Level 5. 2. Spinelli, Jerry. Smiles to Go. Will Tuppence’s life has always been ruled by science and common sense but in ninth grade, shaken up by the discovery that protons decay, he begins to see the entire world differently and gains new perspective on his relationships with his little sister and two closest friends.
AR 5. 0 pts/Level 3. 3. Spinner, Stephanie. Quiver. Sixteen-year-old Atalanta, abandoned as an infant, has grown to become a renowned archer and swiftest mortal alive due to the intervention of Artemis, goddess of the hunt, so when the father who forsook her so many years before issues an ultimatum that Atalanta marry and produce an heir, she counters with the condition that the man she weds must be able to best her in a footrace or die. AR 4. 0 pts/Level 5. 0. Classical Greek Mythology—Fiction. Staples, Suzanne Fisher Dangerous Skies.
Hypocrisy and prejudice twist events in such a way as to implicate two children, one from a prominent white family and the other an African-American, in a murder. AR 9. 0 pts/Level 5. 8. Verne, Jules. A Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Professor Hardwigg, his nephew Harry, and their guide Hans explore a volcanic crater in Iceland that leads them to the center of the Earth and to incredible and horrifying discoveries. AR 17. 0 pts/Level 9. 9. Classic Fiction. Wells, H. G. (Herbert George) The Time Machine. A scientist invents a time machine and uses it to travel to the year 802,701 A.
D. , where he discovers the childlike Eloi and the hideous underground Morlocks. AR 6. 0 pts/Level 7. 4. Classic Science Fiction. Wells, H. G. (Herbert George) The War of the Worlds. AR 11. 0 pts/Level 9.. 1. Classic Science Fiction. Winthrop, Elizabeth. The Castle in the Attic. A gift of a toy castle, complete with silver knight, introduces William to an adventure involving magic and a personal quest. AR 6. 0 pts/Level 4. 9. Fiction. White, T. H. (Terence Hanbury). The Sword in the Stone. AR 16. 0 pts/Level 7. 5. Classic Fiction. King Arthur Legend. Woodruff, Elvira.
The Ravenmaster’s Secret: Escape from the Tower of London. The son of the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London befriends a Jacobite rebel being held prisoner there. AR 7. 0 pts/Level 5. 2. Fiction. Yolen, Jane. Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast. Twelve-year-old Atalanta discovers a home and friendship with a bear, misunderstanding from town-dwellers, and grudging respect from the great hunter Orion, as she and the bear pursue the mysterious creature that killed her father. Classical Greek mythology. Fictional retelling. Yolen, Jane. Jason and the Gorgon’s Blood.
Jason, who will grow up to become the head of the Argonauts, leads five other boys on a dangerous quest to save the kingdom of Iolcus, learning along the way what it means to be in command. Classical Greek mythology. Fictional retelling. Yolen, Jane. Odysseus and the Serpent Maze. Thirteen-year-old Odysseus, who longs to be a hero, has many opportunities to prove himself during an adventure which involves pirates and satyrs, a trip to Crete’s Labyrinth, and the two young girls, Penelope and Helen, who play a major role in his future life. AR Fall 2006. Classical Greek mythology.
Fictional retelling. Yolen, Jane. Sword of the Rightful King. Merlinnus the magician devises a way for King Arthur to prove himself the rightful king of England–pulling a sword from a stone–but trouble arises when someone else removes the sword first. AR 10. 0 pts/Level 5. 1. Fiction. Zindel, Paul. The Doom Stone. When fifteen-year-old Jackson visits his aunt in England, he becomes caught up in a chase to capture an unknown creature who is stalking and killing people on the plains surrounding ancient Stonehenge. AR 5. 0 pts/Level 5. 2. Fiction. NONFICTION Armstrong, Lance.
It’s not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. Celebrates the triumphant career of Lance Armstrong, five-time winner of the Tour de France. AR Level 6. 7. Autobiography. Carson, Ben. Gifted Hands: the Ben Carson Story. The story of an African-American neurosurgeon that spent his childhood in inner-city Detroit. Autobiography. Dyer, Daniel. Jack London: a Biography. Jack London, known as one of the great American adventure story authors, led a life as exciting and colorful as the Fiction he created, trying his hand at everything from the Klondike gold rush, to sailing around the world.
AR Fall 2006. Biography. Galloway, Priscilla. Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed. Describes a wide range of occupations in the Middle Ages in a humorous manner. Gunther, John. Death Be Not Proud. AR 8. 0 pts. /Level 8. 0. Classic Fiction. Howarth, Sarah. Medieval People. Describes the everyday lives of thirteen medieval people, through the use of quotations, case studies, and illustrations of the time. Roles include the chronicler, the king, the pope, bishop, knight, pilgrim, lady, herald, monk, doctor, heretic, mason, and the merchant.
Howarth, Sarah. Medieval Places. Lies, Betty Bonham. Earth’s Daughters: Stories of Women in Classical Mythology. Describes the women in classical mythology and presents more than sixty stories about them on themes such as the creation, pride, beauty, and jealousy, courage, independence, and more. AR 13. 0/Level 7. 0. Classical Mythology. Li-Marcus, Moying. Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China during the Cultural Revolution. The author reveals the events of her life from age twelve to adulthood when the cultural revolution of Mao Zedong destroyed family customs and life as they knew it.
AR 7. 0 pts/Level 7. 1. Biography. MacDonald, Fiona. How Would You Survive in the Middle Ages? Transports readers back to medieval times by giving detailed information on the aspects of daily life. Nonfiction. Mah, Adeline Yen. Chinese Cinderella: the True Story of an Unwanted Daughter. The author tells the story of her painful childhood in China where she lived until the age of fourteen with her father, stepmother, and siblings, all of whom considered her bad luck because her mother died shortly after giving birth to her. AR 8. 0 pts/Level 5. 7. Memoir. Nelson, Peter.
Left for Dead: a Young Man’s Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis. Recalls the sinking of the U. S. S. Indianapolis at the end of World War II, the Navy cover-up and unfair court martial of the ship’s captain, and how a young boy helped the survivors set the record straight fifty-five years later. Nonfiction. Nye, Naomi Shihab. 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East. Philbrick, Nathaniel. Revenge of the Whale: the True Story of the Whaleship Essex. Recounts the 1820 sinking of the whaleship “Essex” by an enraged sperm whale and how the crew of young men survived against impossible odds.
Based on the author’s adult book In the Heart of the Sea. AR 9. 0 pts/Level 8. 3. Nonfiction. Wiesel, Elie. Night. An autobiographical narrative, in which the author describes his experiences in Nazi concentration camps. AR 4. 0 pts/Level 4. 8. Classic Memoir. SERIES AND AUTHORS Barron, T. A. The Lost Years of Merlin and all books in this series. Accelerated Reader. Canfield, Jack. Chicken Soup series. Creech, Sharon. Farley, Walter. Black Stallion series. Funke, Cornelia Caroline. Inkheart series. Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza series. Follow Joey with his ADHD in this boys’ favorite series.
George, Jean Craighead. Gutman, Dan. Honus & Me (Baseball Card Series) Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Hobbs, Will. Try any of his adventure and survival books. Jacques, Brian. Redwall series. Korman, Gordon. Lawrence, Iain. The Wreckers, The Smugglers, etc. Lewis, C. S. The Chronicles of Narnia and try another series by Lewis … Lewis, C. S. Out of the Silent Planet. The first of a trilogy. The title of the second: Perelandra, and the third: That Hideous Strength. A philologist is kidnapped and taken via spaceship from England to Malacandra where he escapes and goes on the run.
AR 10. 0 pts/Level 7. 4. McCaffrey, Anne. Fantasy Fiction series. Michaelsen, Ben. Nix, Garth: Sabriel Lirael Abhorsen. Nix, Garth: Mister Monday series. Oppel, Kenneth. Paulsen, Gary. Philbrick, W. R. (W. Rodman) Freak the Mighty, Max the Mighty. Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel): The Hobbit: or, there and back again. AR 16. 0 pts/Level 6. 6. Classic Fantasy Fiction. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. AR 29. 0 pts/Level 6. 1. Classic Fantasy Fiction. Woodson, Jacqueline. Try her books which are especially enjoyed by African American middle school students.