History & Historical Fiction
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Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart's desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters. (cataog summary)
If you like the adventure and drama of Where the Red Fern Grows, you might enjoy these titles as well:
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm. (catalog summary)
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
After his parents separate, Leigh Botts moves to a new town with his mother. Struggling to make friends and deal with his anger toward his absent father, Leigh loses himself in a class assignment in which he must write to his favorite author. When Mr. Henshaw responds, the two form an unexpected friendship that will change Leigh's life forever. (catalog summary)
This ad ran in the newspaper on April 7, 1925
ATTENTION! NURSE GRADUATES
with a sense of adventure! Your own horse, your own dog, and a thousand miles of Kentucky mountains to serve. Join my nurses’ brigade and help save children’s lives. Write to:
Hyden, Kentucky, U.S.A.
It may have been the 20th century in the cities and towns, but in the Appalachian Mountains, it might as well have been the 18th century. Most medicine came from a granny-woman who did her best, but without knowing more or having modern medicines and equipment, a granny-woman’s best often wasn’t good enough to save lives.
Mary Breckinridge trained as a nurse in World War I and started the Frontier Nursing Service. To bring medical treatment to the people who needed it, her nurses would have to ride many miles and endure much hardship. But she and her nurses would also have to earn their trust, for mountain people are wary of outsiders.
George Washington, like his English relatives before him, loved to ride horseback through the Northern Virginia fields, jumping over walls and fences, in pursuit of wily foxes. For foxes will grab a farmer’s chickens as a hearty meal, and George Washington was a farmer.
Cinnabar is a red fox who plays his part in the sport and hasn’t been caught yet, though, in this imaginative telling, he carefully keeps what he considers his appointments with the hunters at one o’clock. Told from the fox’s point of view, his happy return to his mate Vicky and his cubs is cause for sweet celebration.
“He saw the crowd roar.”
One of the best baseball players never heard the crowd cheer for him. William Hoy was born on an Ohio farm in 1862. When he was only a toddler, he caught meningitis and lost his hearing. He went to the state’s school for the deaf where he learned to communicate with sign language. William did well and graduated as valedictorian, but there was one thing he could not do while he was in school—play baseball.
It’s the summer of 1975, and Raymie Clarke has a plan. Two days earlier, in the greatest tragedy of Raymie’s life, her father ran away from home with a woman who was a dental hygienist. But to make things right again, all Raymie has to do is learn how to twirl a baton, enter the Little Miss Central Florida Tire pageant, and win. Then her dad will see her picture in the paper and come home . . . right?
Deep within the solitary, stone pyramids of Egypt, a lonely, mummified cat roams the ancient hallways searching for his young, royal owner Queen Hat-shup-set in Mummy Cat. Reminiscing, Mummy Cat shares the simplicity of living life with a queen, going through his days playing by the Nile riverbank, portrait drawing, and game playing. But one day, he and the queen were attacked by a scorpion! And two small bodies were laid to rest. Now, Mummy Cat waits for his Queen to appear after 3,000 years—will tonight be the night she finally returns?
During the day, Abe practices his violin to please his Jewish grandfather. His African-American neighbor Willie works to be as good at baseball as his father, a starter in the Negro leagues. But at night, the two boys meet Across the Alley in this story by Richard Michelson. Leaning out their bedroom windows, they swap hobbies and share dreams, until the night they are discovered.
Where Are the Great Plains?
The Great Plains are the part of North America east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Mississippi River. The American states that are part of this region are Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. The land there is flat and includes prairie, steppe and grassland.
Who Are the Plains Indians?
There were many differently-named tribes who lived on the Great Plains when the Europeans came, but they mostly shared a common culture because of living in similar environments. The buffalo (bison) was a major source of food along with other game and cultivated crops. They also gathered wild fruits and vegetables. Nomadic (roaming) tribes lived in large teepees, often painted with religious symbols. Tribes that did not roam often lived in earthen or grass lodges and would grow crops.
Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932
Youngest of several sisters and one boy-genius brother, Minnie is excited to have her Texas cousin Willie Faye come live with them. Willie Faye’s parents have died, and their farm is gone with the dust storms, so this dandelion puff of a girl is going to find a place with the Swift family in Kathryn Lasky’s Christmas After All.
The first colonists at Jamestown found life on the swampy tip of an Indian hunting ground by the James River to be grueling and often deadly. The Virginia Company hoped to make a start in this new world that would ultimately bring profits to King James, the men who ventured there, and, of course, the Virginia Company itself. But the coming of “the Starving Time,” sometimes hostile tribes, and sickness turned a dream into a nightmare.