Avi. Crispin: Cross of Lead. (Hyperion Books for Children, 2002)
Susan Campbell Bartoletti. The Boy Who Dared. (Scholastic, 2008)
A gritty story of a boy's courage and defiance in Nazi Germany. This story is based on real events and
it shows. It will have you on edge to the very last page; what more could you ask of historical fiction?
Joseph Bruchac. Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two. (Speak, 2005)
Christopher Paul Curtis. The Watsons Go to Birmingham. (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1995)
Paul Dowswell. Eleven Eleven. (Bloomsbury, 2012)
November 11, 1918, 5:00am. Old men, who get to decide these things, decide that World War I, “The
Great War”, would end in six hours. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month; it
had a nice sound to it. It gave the old men time to tell everyone and make sure everyone was on
board. It also gave young men six hours to die.
Dotti Enderle. Crosswire. Calkins Creek, 2010.
A teenage boy experiences the danger and struggle of the taming of the Texas plains when his
family's ranch is threatened by violent gangs who cut fences, kill livestock, and threaten ranchers in a
war to keep the plains open. In a time and place where the law doesn't really exist, it is a man, his
gun, and the courage to use it that stands between life and death, but is Jesse really ready to stand
up and be that man?
Nancy Bo Flood. Warriors in the Crossfire. (Boyd's Mill Press, 2010)
This is a story of native peoples caught in the crossfire of World War II in the Pacific. The people of
Saipan Island huddle between the occupying Japanese, who vow death to all rather than surrender,
and the Americans who are said to be so vicious they eat children. Who do you fight for? Who do you
fear most? And does it take more courage to fight or to survive?
Helen Hemphill. The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones. (Front Street, 2008)
The Wild West held the promise of freedom and opportunity, and probably for none more so than the
newly freed African Americans after the Civil War. But the reality was harsh, life was hard, and for
Prometheus Jones slavery was not left completely behind. This is a rousing Western tale full of
action, adventure and courage.
Chris Lynch. Gold Dust. (HarperCollins, 2000)
Chris Lynch. “Vietnam” (Series)
I Pledge Allegiance. [Book One] (Scholastic, 2011)
Sharpshooter. [Book Two] (Scholastic, 2012)
Free-Fire Zone. [Book Three] (Scholastic, 2012)
“There are no Zippo boats there yet, boys, and the nearest jets carrying napalm got blown away on
the ground. VC are entrenched in Mangrove swamps and jungle and tunnels so deep, they must’ve
been living there for years, waiting. Everybody is waiting on us, and we are letting men die every extra
second. I can promise you this, men. You have never been more needed in your entire sorry lives than
you are needed right this minute.”
Gary Paulsen. The Rifle. (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1995)
Gary Paulsen. Woods Runner. (Wendy Lamb, 2010)
If your first thought was "Johnny Tremain", try this instead.
Gary Paulsen's true strength may not be action/adventure but historical fiction. This fast-moving tale
from the Revolutionary War encompasses not just the cities but the frontier, which is often lost in
history. Short passages of historical fact are woven in with the narrative, making it read like both
history and compelling story. This is one of Paulsen's best.
When he's done reading this one, give him Paulsen's "The Rifle".
Margi Preus. Shadow on the Mountain. (Amulet, 2012)
Real people fought the Nazis in a thousand small ways, and the people of Norway fought among the
longest. The Nazis were sure that the blond-haired, blue-eyed people of Norway would welcome them
with open arms, and there they would hold out until the end in “Fortress Norway”. They were wrong.
Shadow on the Mountain, based on the actual stories of the Resistance, shows the heroic courage of
those who not only fought the Nazis, but refused to lose what made them better than their enemies to
Robert Sharenow. The Berlin Boxing Club. (HarperTeen, 2011)
Any real sports fan will tell you, sports are life. So for a Jewish boy growing up in Nazi Germany,
nothing is more natural than strapping on the gloves and getting into the ring. Punishing, sure, but in
and out of the ring, Karl Stern is fighting for his life.
Roland Smith. Elephant Run. (Hyperion Books for Children, 2007)
Bibi Dumon Tak. Soldier Bear. (Eerdmans Books, 2011)
Who would have imagined that the most human thing in an inhuman war would end up being a bear?
based on true events!
|Books For Boys
Suggestions by Michael Sullivan
Teen Boys: Historical Fiction
|The Web Home of Michael Sullivan
teacher, librarian, chess instructor, author, storyteller, expert on boys and reading.
Todd Strasser. Fallout. (Candlewick, 2013)
Alternate history. What really happened, followed by what might have happened after. Todd Strasser,
author of The Wave, is the master of making world shaking events very personal. So when air raid
sirens go off in 1963, after weeks of frightening radio stories about the chance of nuclear war and
frantic air raid drills in school, the narrow entrance to a bomb shelter becomes a door from certain
death to a very uncertain life. First question: who goes through that door. Bigger question: who will
come back out?