the witch of blackbird pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The Witch of Blackbird Pond takes place in 1687, well before the idea of the colonies uniting to form one independent country took root.  Even so, there is plenty of tension and trouble brewing between England and the Puritans as to who will rule the Connecticut Colony. Kit Tyler lives on her wealthy grandfather’s slave

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blood of the four

Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

In many ways, Blood of the Four is an amazing story. There are Four gods buried below the city.  The priesthood protects and grows powerful from their magic. The monarchy is descended from the Four and the blood of the gods flows in their veins. A mad queen wants all of the magic for herself.

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code talkers

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

Because of the top secret nature of the code talkers’ work, their role in World War II was unknown until it was declassified in 1969. Even now, with several books, movies and history programs on the topic, many people still don’t know the story of the Navajo code talkers. Joseph Bruchac’s book is the perfect introduction suitable

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vicious circle

Vicious Circle by C.J. Box

The Vicious Circle is a story about the cycle of wrong doing, justice, revenge … rinse and repeat. Joe Pickett is a game warden who is a stickler for the law. He is caught up in the circle of violent retribution when a rodeo star he helped put away is released from prison bent on

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the half drowned king

The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

The Half-Drowned King is about two young people, Ragnvald Eysteinsson and his sister Svanhild, who were raised by their stepfather following their father’s death. The stepfather takes over their lands and, in theory, Ragnvald should get them back when he becomes an adult. The story takes place in the ninth century in the lands that would

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walking the choctaw road

Walking the Choctaw Road by Tim Tingle

Tim Tingle is a Choctaw author, speaker and storyteller extraordinaire.  The stories in this book take place in several states and throughout history. My goal is to highlight a different book and author for every state. I’ve placed this book in Oklahoma, though it would be equally at home in any of the other states

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ship of dolls

Ship of Dolls by Shirley Parenteau

What a novel way to promote friendship between two countries: with dolls! Dr. Sidney Gulick, an American missionary who lived in Japan for 25 years, was dismayed over the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Japan in the early 1900s. His idea was to promote friendship between the two countries by sending U.S. dolls to

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good behavior by blake crouch

Good Behavior by Blake Crouch

Good Behavior is a set of three novellas about Letty Dobesh, a thirty something pickpocket and con woman who is good at her craft. She has just one problem, she is a little too fond of drugs and alcohol. She lost custody of her young son due to drug use and her goal is to get

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Dash by Kirby Larson

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, over 110,000 men, women and children of Japanese descent were forced from their homes and into internment camps. The majority of the interned were American born citizens. This story is based on the true story of Mitsue Shiraishi and her dog Chubby. Life in Seattle is good to 11-year

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navigating early

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Jack Baker’s mother has died and his father is away in the military.  Jack is sent to an all-boys boarding school in Maine where he meets Early Auden, an orphan. Early is an “odd” boy, according to Jack, who is fascinated and obsessed with the number Pi. Early can “read” stories in numbers and is

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esperanza rising

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Pam Ryan was inspired to write Esperanza Rising by her grandmother’s childhood experiences. Although it was written in 2000, Esperanza Rising is still extremely popular and part of many school curriculums.  Esperanza Ortega (13) is the doted on daughter of a wealthy rancher. She lives in luxury with servants to help in the house and

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my name is not easy

My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson

Debby Edwardson wrote that this story was inspired by the experiences of her husband and his two brothers while at a Catholic boarding school in the early 1960s. She also incorporated additional events of the time that had significant impacts on Native Alaskan communities. The audiobook starts out with an author’s note which contains several

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