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
Christopher Paul Curtis. The Watsons Go to Birmingham. (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1995)
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)
Andrew Matthews. The Way of the Warrior. (Dutton Children’s Books, 2008)
Harry Mazer. A Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor. (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2001)
Harry Mazer. A Boy No More. (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2004)
Walter Dean Myers. Patrol: an American Soldier in Vietnam. (HarperCollins, 2002)
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".
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
Middle School Boys: Historical Fiction
|The Web Home of Michael Sullivan
teacher, librarian, chess instructor, author, storyteller, expert on boys and reading.
Simon Scarrow. Fight for Freedom. [Gladiator, Book 1] (Disney, 2012)
Ancient Rome, a world of noble ease and brutal slavery. Marcus may have only known the ease of a
slave owning family, but at age ten he is thrown into the violence and terror of the gladiator schools,
where slaves fight to the death for the pleasure of those they serve. Honor? Purpose? Even
humanity seems out of reach. There is only the fight to live.
Deborah Hopkinson. The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel.
A dread disease arises in a poor and packed neighborhood in 19th century London, and in days six
hundred are dead. The poor die in droves while the rest of the city stands back in horror, so it is up
to a boy of the streets, and the sewers, to head off the disease before it takes everyone he loves.