Thursday, October 11, 2007

Looking for Book Suggestions

The other day Pippi noticed that there were a lot of interesting things in her social studies book. Things like the California Gold Rush, the dust bowl and World War II, but she doubts they'll ever get that far in the book (The book starts in pre-historic times)so she thought it might be nice to read some books set in those time periods. Actually, she specifically wants books set in the 1st half of the 20th century in America (where people aren't riding in buggies and wearing sun bonnets). They don't have to be specific about a topic - just using the time period.

She's ten - so some books are naturally going to be inappropriate (I won't be recommending The Grapes of Wrath to her anytime soon). She is an advanced reader so she can move beyond the American Girl books (though she did recently re-read the Kit ones to get a feel for the depression).

Any suggestions welcome. Thanks


Barb, sfo said...

I'd recommend the "All of a Kind Family" series by Sydney Taylor. They're about a Jewish family, pre-World War I, in New York City. They may be hard to find....

"The Great Brain" series by John Fitzgerald is wonderful for late-19th century Utah--with a Catholic family as the centerpiece. Yeah, in Utah. Go figure. They're funny, too.

Pearl S. Buck's "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John" takes place in Korea during the war.

Eleanor Estes has some very good books for girls Pippi's age. They don't have as specific a historical setting as the others.

Happy reading!!

Liz B said...

As soon as I get my schedule at work, let's figure out when to meet. I have a feeling Pippi would enjoy the old Mary Rose in Boarding school books, all set in the early 20th century.

Other books:

Hattie Big Sky. Definately on the top end in terms of reading level & content, but it was Newbery so the age is OK, I adored it, and I cannot recall anything age inappropriate in it.

The Anne books by LM Montgomery goes up to WWI. Tho, honestly, at her age I only enjoyed the first couple.

I've heard good things about the Mable Riley series, but have not read them myself.

Al Capone Does My Shirts is a possibility.

The Lois Lenski books, such as Strawberry Girl; I think many of them are out of print, tho.

Joan lowery Nixon: her Ellis island series, and Orphan Train series (just double check, as I know she writes both YA and J and I always get confused)

Of course, the Betsy Tacy books

Bud Not Buddy

Mildred Taylor wrote both J & YA set during that time, but I forget which titles are which right now

Liz B said...

oops, how could i forget? Eleanora Tate's Celeste's Harlem Renaissance, which gives vivid pictures of both NC and Harlem in the 1920s. While I didn't read it yet, my mother did and gives it a big thumbs up.

Esther said...

Ditto on AOAKF series by Sydney Taylor and the Great Brain.

HipWriterMama said...

Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler have a series of books called "The Century Kids." They explore historical events through a family's point of view. I haven't read them yet, but thought it sounded quite interesting. It starts from the late 1800's to the 20th century.

Christine M said...

Thanks for all the suggestions. It looks like Eleanor Estes' The Middle Moffat may win because it is actually sitting on her 'to be read' shelf.

Amy Caroline said...

It has been awhile since I read it, but Out of the Dust by Hesse is an award winning book (Newberry, etc) about a girl living in the dust bowl. It is written in poem form too.

Liz B said...

If Pippi likes books in verse, there was one out last year about the Lindbergh kidnapping trial, told from the POV of a (made up) girl attending the trial: The Trial by Jen Bryant.

misskate said...

Wreck of the Ethie by Hyland.

Love reading all the other suggestions!

Megan Germano said...

A book I really liked was Fair Weather by Richard Peck. Maybe that is going too far back in history, but anywho here is my review for the book
I would say I had other historical fiction on my site as well, but I am not sure it is exactly what you are looking for?

Mordena said...

Hi, Liz B sent me.

The Elizabeth Enright books about the Melendys -- The Saturdays, The Four-Story Mistake, Then There Were Five, and Spiderweb for Two -- World War II years. My ten-year-old loves them.
Bud, Not Buddy -- oops, someone beat me to it!
Journey to Welcome by Jo Christian Babich (you'll have to order it from B&N, I think) -- Texas during World War II.
A Drowned Maiden's Hair is set in 1909.
The Borning Room by Paul Fleischman -- encompasses Civil War until World War I.
Tomie dePaola's autobiographical books, starting with 26 Fairmont Avenue -- pretty easy reads but I think they're great.

Becky said...

I second (or third, by now!) the All of a Kind Family, Great Brain, and Melendy series...

I have a ten-year-old daughter too, and besides the above, she's also enjoyed "Roller Skates" by Ruth Sawyer; and "The Year of Miss Agnes" by Kirkpatrick Hill, about a one-room schoolhouse in Alaska in the 1940s. The last one we have is a paperback edition from the "Aladdin Historical Fiction" series, which might be worth looking into.

And slightly off the beaten track is "The Pushcart War" by Jean Merrill, written in 1964 but set in the 1980s. Definitely different, and very good.

Jen Robinson said...

Liz B. sent me, too. Most of what I would have suggested is already on your list. But I would also highly recommend The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages. I also like The Railway Children, which is set in very early 1900s.

Wishing your daughter many hours of happy reading.

Becky said...

Here LIes the Librarian by Richard Peck (1904ish)
The Teacher's Funeral by Richard Peck (world war iish)
On Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck (world war ii)
Black duck by Janet Taylor Lisle (prohibition)
Billy Creekmore by Tracey Porter (1905)
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt (1960s)
The Miner's Daughter by Gretchen Laskas (1930s)
Firestorm by Deborah Hopkinson (1906)
The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman (1950s)
The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages (world war ii)
The Night of the Burning by Linda Press Wulf (World war i but not set in america)
Singing Hands by Delia Ray (1940s)
Bread and Roses Too by Katherine Paterson (1912)

Liz B said...

Chiming in on All of a kind And Christine, have you all visited the tenement museum in NYC? Well worth the trip. I know I missed the Estes books growing up, but read the Melendy books out of order.

What was that book where the building elevator took the girl back in time? and she and her father ended up moving to the past? darn it...

I loved Roller Skate by Sawyer and remembered being "meh" about the sequel. And the daPaolo books; another great pick, while Pippi would move thru them quickly they are a great memoir of midcentury life.

Mordena said...

Elevator book is Time at the Top (followed by All in Good Time) by Edward Ormondroyd, but it's set in the 1960s, going back to 1890s. Love those books!

How about A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter?

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

Reporting per instructions at Liz B's....

"What was that book where the building elevator took the girl back in time? and she and her father ended up moving to the past? darn it..."

Time at the Top, by Edward Ormondroyd. There's a sequel, All in Good Time. Excellent books, especially the former, but they're set in the 1950s and 1890s.

I'll chime in on the recommendations for the Melendy books, the All-of-a-Kind Family books (I still need to read the last one), and Here Lies the Librarian. Richard Peck's A Long Way from Chicago (Newbery Honour book) and its sequel, A Year Down Yonder (Newbery Medal book), have been recommended by my wife; they're next on my TBR list.

Swallows and Amazons (plus 11 sequels, by Arthur Ransome)!!!!!!!

The two Gone-Away Lake books (Elizabeth Enright) and the three Invisible Island books (Dean Marshal) are late '40s/early '50s, but they're not too different from books published right before or during WW II.

A lot of the Stratemeyer books are available on-line at Gutenberg - Rover Boys, Outdoor Girls, the original Tom Swift, &c. (Check the "Stratemeyer Syndicate" article at Wikipedia, and look at the links at the bottom of the page.) I've downloaded books from each of the three series I mentioned so I can read them.

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

(Actually, the Swallows & Amazons books are set in 1930s England, but I recommend them anyway.)

SamRiddleburger said...

Got to go with Queenie Peavey by Robert Burch!

Charlotte said...

I love The Ornament Tree, by Jean Thesman (women's rights and more on the West Coast, 1918), and After the Dancing Days (WWI soldiers coming home) by Margaret Rostkowski.