Dark

Historical

By Anna B, Isaac F, and Lisa T.
October 27, 2021

Click on any book cover to go to the catalog and place a hold. Happy reading!

These lists are always changing. See something we missed? Send your suggestions our way!

For Grades 6th and up

Amber and Clay by Laura Schlitz

Bound by destiny, Melisto and Rhaskos–Amber and Clay–never meet in the flesh. By the time they do, one of them is a ghost. But the thin line between life and death is just one boundary their unlikely friendship crosses.

Becoming Muhammad Ali: a Novel by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander

A biographical novel tells the story of Cassius Clay, the determined boy who would one day become Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman

On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work–Chernobyl–has exploded.

Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh

A tale based on true events follows the coming-of-age of a girl who is motivated by an act of racism at school to learn about her ancestral heritage and her grandparents’ experiences as lost children during the Korean War.

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

Brandon is visiting his dad on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 when the attack comes; Reshmina is a girl in Afghanistan who has grown up in the aftermath of that attack but dreams of becoming a teacher–both are struggling to survive, both changed forever by the events of 9/11.

Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell

When Regina’s Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and her family must relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles, she goes on a quest to understand her identity as an Indian despite being so far from home.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Readers’ Edition (NF) by James Loewen

Criticizes the way history is presented in current textbooks, and suggests a fresh and more accurate approach to teaching American history.

Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.

One Real American: the Life of Ely S. Parker, Seneca Sachem and Civil War General (NF) by Joseph Bruchac

Parker was an attorney, engineer, and tribal diplomat. Raised on a reservation but schooled at a Catholic institution, he learned English at a young age and became an interpreter for his people. Includes archival photos, maps, endnotes, bibliography, and timeline.

Queen of the Sea (GN) by Dylan Meconis

A rich reimagining of history in this beautifully detailed hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.

The Radium Girls (NF) by Kate Moore

This Young Readers’ Edition illuminates the courage and tenacity of these incredible women, whose determination to fight back led to life-changing regulation, advanced nuclear research, and ultimately saved countless lives.

Rescue by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Meg watches the German soldiers in town, and sometimes carries messages for the French resistance–but suddenly things have gotten much more dangerous: there is a wounded British officer hiding in her grandmother’s barn and a family of German refugees who are trying to get to Spain.

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper

Liberated from Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945, Gerta has lost her family and everything she knew. Without her Papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and onto living her life.

For Grades 9th and up

All Out edited by Saundra Mitchell

This collection of short stories crosses cultures and time periods to shed light on a world where queer figures live, love and shape the world round them.

Butterfly Yellow by Thanhhà Lai

In the final days of the Vißt Nam War, Hłng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. When Linh is ripped from her arms, Hłng is left behind in the war-torn country. Six years later, Hłng is now in Texas as a refugee.

The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein

Told in multiple voices, fifteen-year-old Jamaican Louisa Adair uncovers an Enigma machine in the small Scottish village where she cares for an elderly German woman, and helps solve a puzzle that could turn the tide of World War II.

Fallout (NF) by Steve Sheinkin

With communism sweeping the globe, the two nations begin a neck-and-neck competition to build even more destructive bombs and conquer the Space Race.

Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

At the Castellana Hilton in 1957 Madrid, eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson connects with Ana Moreno through photography and fate as Daniel discovers the incredibly dark side of the city under Generalissimo Franco’s rule.

Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden

A young black woman in 1880s Savannah, Essie is trapped between the life she has and the life she wants– until she meets the richest and most cultured black woman she’s ever encountered and is transformed into Victoria: with a fine wardrobe, a classic education, and the rules of etiquette.

Kent State by Deborah Wiles

Told from different points of view–protesters, students, National Guardsmen, and “townies”–recounts the story of what happened at Kent State in May 1970, when four college students were killed by National Guardsmen, and a student protest was turned into a bloody battlefield

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malindo Lo

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. With deportation looming over her father–despite his hard-won citizenship–Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day

Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee

After smuggling herself onto the RMS Titanic, British-Chinese teenager Valora Luck reunites with her twin brother and tries to convince him that their acrobatic training could be their ticket to a better life.

March (GN series) written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; art by Nate Powell

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Rise and the Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming

First human to cross the Atlantic via airplane; one of the first American media sensations; Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite; loner whose baby was kidnapped and murdered; champion of Eugenics, the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding; tireless environmentalist.

Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton

Follows Ricky from 1987-1991, and Samuel in 2006, as they are abducted to serve as child-soldiers in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

For fourteen-year-old budding artist Minoru Ito, her two brothers, her friends, and the other members of the Japanese-American community in southern California, the three months since Pearl Harbor was attacked have become a waking nightmare.

Your Heart, My Sky: Love In a Time of Hunger by Margarita Engle

Summer, 1991. The people of Cuba are living in el periodo especial en tiempos de paz – the special period in times of peace. That’s what the government insists that this era must be called, but the reality behind these words is starvation.

Follow Happy Valley on Facebook