Grades 5 and 6
Youth Services Department
Skokie Public Library
Lasky, Kathryn. A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple. 1996.
(J Fiction LAS)
Twelve-year-old Mem is traveling on the Mayflower with her family. Her diary describes the relentless persecution of Puritans in
England, the endless days aboard ship, and her joy at finally reaching land and helping to build the Plymouth Settlement.
Rinaldi, Ann. The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce, a Pilgrim Boy. 2000.
(J Fiction RIN)
Jasper is a fourteen-year-old indentured servant traveling aboard the Mayflower. In return for his passage to the New World and
room and board, Jasper must work without pay for seven years. This is his story.
Wisler, G. Clifton. This New Land. 1987.
(J Fiction WIS)
Richard Woodley is a ten-year-old who writes of his family’s decision to travel to the New World on the Mayflower,
and the voyage itself. Fascinated with the beautiful ship, Richard spends his time learning everything he can about sailing.
Duey, Kathleen. Sarah Anne Hartford: Massachusetts, 1651. 1996.
(J Fiction DUE)
Rules of behavior were very strict among the Puritans. When Sarah and her friend Elizabeth break the Sabbath by running and
laughing, they must face severe punishment.
Hurst, Carol Otis. A Killing in Plymouth Colony. 2003.
(J Fiction HUR)
Eleven-year-old John Bradford is the son of the governor of Plymouth Colony. When the colony has to solve its first murder,
John’s already strained relationship with his father is put to the test.
Sheely, Robert. In the Hands of the Enemy. 2003.
(J Fiction SHE)
Fourteen-year-old John is completely and utterly lost in the forest. John is terrified, afraid to make a sound; he has been told that
ruthless savages inhabit the woods around Plymouth Plantation. He finds help from an unexpected source.
Revolutionary War Period
Clapp, Patricia. I’m Deborah Sampson: A Soldier in the War of the Revolution. 1977.
(J Fiction CLA)
There really was a woman fighting in the Revolutionary War disguised as a man. This is the story of how she decided to join the
Continental army — and how she was able to keep her secret throughout the war.
Collier, James Lincoln. My Brother Sam is Dead. 1974.
*(J Fiction COL)
Tim Meeker has always looked up to his big brother Sam. Now Sam has become part of the Revolutionary Forces. But their
father is loyal to the British. Where do Tim’s loyalties lie?
Peck, Robert Newton. Hang for Treason. 1976.
(J Fiction PEC)
Seventeen-year-old Able Booker’s dad is a “Tory,” a settler who is loyal to the British. But Able has different ideas.
Determined to become a Revolutionary after a friend of his is hanged by the British, Able joins the secret patriot group known as
Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys.
McMullan, Margaret. How I Found the Strong: A Civil War Story. 2004.
(J Fiction MCM)
Frank Russell wants more than anything to fight for the Confederacy with his father and older brother, but at ten years old, he’s
just too young. He must remain on his family’s Mississippi farm with his mother, grandparents, and Buck, the family’s slave. But
being at home doesn’t keep Frank from learning firsthand the realities of war — and the horrors of slavery.
Pearsall, Shelley. Trouble Don’t Last. 2002.
(J Fiction PEA)
Eleven-year-old Samuel is a slave on a Kentucky plantation. When Samuel accidentally drops a plate, the cruel plantation owner
becomes furious with him. Samuel’s friend, an older slave named Harrison, decides that escape from the plantation is the only way
to protect Samuel, and together they begin their perilous journey on the Underground Railroad.
Taylor, Mildred D. The Land. 2001.
*(J Fiction TAY)
Paul Edward’s father was a white plantation owner, and his mother was a slave. Raised by both his parents, he is looked upon as
an outsider by both races. As he grows, Paul Edward learns the harsh realities of racism and longs for one thing: his own land.
Cushman, Karen. Rodzina. 2003.
*(J Fiction CUS)
In the late 1800s, trains traveled from big cities like Chicago and New York to the western states. These trains were called “orphan
trains,” because they carried thousands of impoverished city children in the hopes that frontier families would adopt them. Twelve-
year-old Rodzina, an orphan train passenger, tells us her story.
Nixon, Joan Lowery. A Family Apart. 1988.
*(J Fiction NIX)
It is 1856. Mrs. Kelly, a young New York City widow, faces the fact that she can no longer financially care for her six children.
She makes the agonizing decision to put them aboard an orphan train, hoping that they will find better lives. Thirteen-year-old
Frances Mary feels angry, frightened and abandoned as she travels west with her younger brothers and sisters.
Antle, Nancy. Beautiful Land: A Story of the Oklahoma Land Rush. 1994.
(J Fiction ANT)
In the late nineteenth century, the government opened up a section of Oklahoma for homesteading by anyone who would make the
trip west to claim parcels of land. Twelve-year-old Annie Mae and her family join the race to claim land for their own.
Cushman, Karen. The Ballad of Lucy Whipple. 1996.
*(J Fiction CUS)
Lucy’s mama has dragged the family from their home in New England to Lucky Diggins, California, in hopes of striking it rich in
the California gold rush. But all Lucy sees is a rowdy town filled with old tents and boisterous miners.
McCaughrean, Geraldine. Stop the Train. 2001.
*(J Fiction MCC)
During the famed Land Rush, a train drops a group of hopeful settlers in what they have been told is a brand new town—Florence,
Oklahoma. There is only one problem. The only thing real about Florence is its name!
World War I
Jones. Elizabeth McDavid. The Night Flyers. 1999.
*(J Fiction JON)
Twelve-year-old Pam and her dad raise night-flying homing pigeons. While her father fights in World War I, Pam’s pigeons
begin to disappear at the same time a mysterious stranger comes to town.
Kudlinski, Kathleen V. Hero Over Here. 1990.
(J Fiction KUD)
Ten-year-old Theodore wants to fight in Europe like his father and brother. But instead he finds himself taking care of his
desperately ill mother and sister during the deadly flu outbreak of 1918.
Levine, Beth Seidel. When Christmas Comes Again: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer. 2002.
(J Fiction LEV)
Simone Spencer’s diary tells us about World War I from a seventeen-year-old’s point of view. Until the war, Simone’s main
interests were school, parties and clothes. But war changes everything, even for a New York society girl, and soon Simone finds
herself in France, working for the Army Signal Corps.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy. 1999.
*(J Fiction CUR)
Ten-year-old Bud decides to escape his cruel foster parents, and sets off to find the jazz musician he believes is his father.
On the way he meets all kinds of interesting — and hilarious — characters.
De Young, C. Coco. A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. 1999.
(J Fiction DEY)
Eleven-year-old Margot Bandini writes in desperation to the president’s wife when the bank threatens to take her home because
her father cannot pay the mortgage. Will Mrs. Roosevelt actually read the letter?
Janke, Katelan. Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards. 2002.
(J Fiction JAN)
Grace Edwards’ fictionalized diary tells the story of what it was like to live in the Dust Bowl, a part of the country that was
plagued by drought during the Great Depression.
World War II
Avi. Don’t You Know There’s a War On? 2001.
*(J Fiction AVI)
The year is 1941 and Howie Crispers is eleven years old. Howie has a huge crush on his teacher, Miss Gossum. When Howie and
his friends learn that Miss Gossum is going to be fired, they decide to find out why.
Gaeddert, LouAnn. Friends and Enemies. 2000.
(J Fiction GAE)
In August 1941 William and his family move to Plaintown, Kansas, where he quickly becomes friends with Jim, another high
school freshman. But then Pearl Harbor is attacked, and Jim and his family refuse to support the war. How can William continue to
be friends with someone who won’t even fight Hitler?
Hahn, Mary Downing. Stepping on the Cracks. 1991.
(J Fiction HAH)
Sixth-graders Margaret and Elizabeth think it’s easy to tell what is right and wrong and good from bad. Fighting for our
country is right; fighting on the other side is wrong. And the neighborhood bully, Gordy, is definitely wrong! But when the girls
discover a secret Gordy is hiding, suddenly right and wrong don’t seem quite as clear.
Patneaude, David. Thin Wood Walls. 2004.
(J Fiction PAT)
Eleven year-old Joe Hamada has a happy life in Seattle — until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. With that one historical event,
everything in Joe’s life changes. He loses his friends, his home, even his dad. Find out what it was like to be of Japanese descent in
a country at war with the Japanese, an experience shared by thousands of Americans just like Joe.
Antle, Nancy. Lost in the War. 1998.
(J Fiction ANT)
Seventh-grader Lisa’s parents met in Vietnam. Her dad was a soldier who lost his life there, and her mother was a nurse. Now, a
decade later, her mother is haunted by traumatic memories of the war. Can Lisa help her mom heal?
Paterson, Katherine. Park’s Quest. 1988.
*(J Fiction PAT)
Park’s dad died in Vietnam, but his mom won’t answer Park’s questions about him. Visiting his grandfather’s farm, Park begins to
understand his father for the first time.
* denotes books available on audio
“United States Historical Fiction: Grades 5 and 6” developed by Mary Michell for Skokie Public Library
Skokie Public Library Trustees: John Graham, President; Diana Hunter, Vice President/President Emerita;
Dayle Zelenka, Secretary; Richard Basofin; Susan Greer; Zelda Rich; John M. Wozniak
Director: Carolyn A. Anthony 2C1007