Supporting History Units – Connecting Historical Fiction with Primary Sources


The Library of Congress Primary Sources : The Dust Bowl
9780307284037 Out of the Dust
By: Karen HesseIn a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of depression.  Ages 10-14
1550747460 The Dust Bowl
By: David BoothConditions are dry on Matthew’s grandfather’s farm, and when Matthew asks if the farm will have to be sold, his grandfather tells him the story of how their family stayed through the Big Dry, also known as the Dust Bowl.  Ages 5-9
0816738068 Angels in the Dust
By: Margot Theis RavenGreat Grandma Annie reminisces about life on her family’s Oklahoma farm during the terrible drought of the 1930s when the region was known as the “Dust Bowl.”  Ages 7 and up

The Library of Congress Primary Sources : Japanese American Internment:
9780374302160 Paper Wishes
By: Lois SepahbanNear the start of World War II, young Manami, her parents, and Grandfather are evacuated from their home and sent to Manzanar, an ugly, dreary internment camp in the desert for Japanese-American citizens.  Ages 9-12
0684124971 Journey to Topaz: a story of the Japanese-American Evolution
By: Yoshiko UchidaAfter the Pearl Harbor attack an eleven-year-old Japanese-American girl and her family are forced to go to an aliens’ camp in Utah.  Ages 9-12
0823423751 Fish for Jimmy: inspired by one family’s experience in a Japanese American internment camp
By: Katie YamasakiWhen brothers Taro and Jimmy and their mother are forced to move from their home in California to a Japanese internment camp in the wake of the 1941 Pearl Harbor bombing, Taro daringly escapes the camp to find fresh fish for his grieving brother.  Ages 6-9

The Library of Congress Primary Sources : World War I
0545268877 War Horse
By: Michael MorpurgoJoey the horse recalls his experiences growing up on an English farm, his struggle for survival as a cavalry horse during World War I, and his reunion with his beloved master.  Ages 8-12
9780385907507 Moon Over Manifest
By: Clare VanderpoolTwelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.  Ages 10-14
0786289465 Private Peaceful
By: Michael MorpurgoWhen Thomas Peaceful’s older brother is forced to join the British Army, Thomas decides to sign up as well, although he is only fourteen years old, to prove himself to his country, his family, his childhood love, Molly, and himself.  Ages 10-14

The Library of Congress Primary Sources : WWII
9780803740815 The War That Saved My Life
By: Kimberly BrubakerBradleyA young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.  Ages 8-12
0006736777 Number the Stars
By: Lois LowryTen-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “reLCated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.  Ages 9-12
1615875824 The Book Thief
By: Markus ZusakTrying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.  Ages 13 and up

The Library of Congress Primary Sources : The Indian Removal Act/Native Americans:
9781585369843 Runs with Courage
By: Joan M. WolfIn the Dakota Territory in 1880, Four Winds, a ten-year-old Lakota girl, is taken from her family to a boarding school, where she is taught English and expected to assimilate into white culture.  Ages 9-12
0525475478 Sweetgrass Basket
By: Marlene CarvellIn alternating passages, two Mohawk sisters describe their lives at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, established in 1879 to educate Native Americans, as they try to assimilate into white culture and one of them is falsely accused of stealing.  Ages 9-12
9781937054533 How I Became a Ghost
By: Tim TingleA Choctaw boy tells the story of his tribe’s removal from its Mississippi homeland, and how its exodus to the American West led him to become a ghost –one able to help those left behind.  Ages 8-12


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