A dramatic true story.
Recommended grade level: 7 and up
Pages: 304 (for ISBN 9780375867828)
Genre(s) and keywords: nonfiction, history
Topics: Russia, royalty, wealth, revolution
Themes: family, excess, class struggle, war, leadership
Summary: Here is the riveting story of the Russian Revolution as it unfolded. When Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew. Continue reading
An introduction to the world’s 5 largest religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.
Recommended grade level: 4-8
Pages: 128 (for ISBN 9781619303058)
Genre(s) and keywords: nonfiction
Topics: religion, religious conflict, coexistence, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam
Themes: moral codes, God/gods, the purpose of existence, the origins of the universe
Summary: Over 7 billion people live on the earth, and 84 percent of them describe themselves as being religious. What does that mean? Few topics incite such passion as religion. Why are humans invested in ideas that may never be proved? Why has religion played such an important role in history? Continue reading
Solid fantasy of the classic variety, heavy on both action and politics.
Recommended grade level: 6 and up
Pages: 355 (for ISBN 9781250067128)
Genre(s) and keywords: fantasy
Topics: race relations, women’s rights, class struggle, war, demons, magic, magic schools
Themes: inequality, social justice, perseverance, friendship
Summary: Fletcher is working as a blacksmith’s apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon, Ignatius, to an academy for adepts, where the gifted are taught the art of summoning. Continue reading
Blood and battles abound in the epic story of one of Japan’s first samurai.
Recommended grade level: 6 and up
Pages: 236 (for ISBN 9781580895842)
Genre(s) and keywords: nonfiction, action, history, international, Asia (Japan)
Tone/Style: grimly gleeful
Topics: samurai, medieval Japan, war, revenge
Themes: loyalty, honor, death
Summary: Child exile. Teenage runaway. Military genius. Immortal hero.
Yoshitsune had little going for him. Exiled to a monastery, he had no money, no allies, and no martial training. He wasn’t big or strong or good-looking. His only assets were brains, ambition, and a dream. But childhood dreams can change history.
This book feels a lot like historical fiction–but it’s not. A novel concept make this one memorable.
Recommended grade level: 7-12
Pages: 576 (for ISBN 9780062342157)
Genre(s) and keywords: historical fiction (not exactly, but historical fiction fans should like it), adventure, war
Tone/Style: thoughtful, despairing, gritty
This beloved tragicomedy is like hiding veggies in a smoothie: they won’t even notice it’s historical fiction!
Recommended grade level: 5-9
Pages: 264 (for ISBN 9780618724833)
Genre(s) and keywords: historical fiction, humor, award winners
Tone/Style: personal, embarrassed
Topics: school, theatre, baseball, the Vietnam War, Shakespeare
Themes: parent/child relationships, sibling relationships, teacher relationships, war, disappointment, parental approval, self-discovery
Summary: Holling Hoodhood is really in for it.
He’s just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. Why else would she make him read Shakespeare…outside of class? Continue reading
Inspiring, heartbreaking, and timely, this is must-read nonfiction.
Recommended grade level: 6-12
Pages: 240 (for ISBN 9780316327930)
Genre(s) and keywords: nonfiction, memoir, current events, international, diverse, Middle East (Pakistan), Kylie’s favorites
Tone/Style: personal, resolute
Topics: women’s rights, education, Al Qaeda, terrorism, war, Islam, assault, politics, activism, survival
Themes: social justice, courage, standing up for beliefs, reaching for dreams
Summary: I Am Malala. This is my story.
Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school. Continue reading