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Historical Fiction for Young Readers (Grades 4-8): An Introduction

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Enhance your historical fiction collection - and its popularity with readers and value in the classroom - with this wide-ranging guide. After discussion of various aspects of the genre (its importance, history, criteria for evaluation, and methods of presentation), the author takes an in-depth look at 80 of the best historical fiction novels published for this age group in Enhance your historical fiction collection - and its popularity with readers and value in the classroom - with this wide-ranging guide. After discussion of various aspects of the genre (its importance, history, criteria for evaluation, and methods of presentation), the author takes an in-depth look at 80 of the best historical fiction novels published for this age group in the last 10 to 15 years. For each title there is a brief introduction discussing setting, historical background, and point of view; a list of characters; a detailed plot summary; and ways to introduce the book to students, including important passages for reading or retelling. This versatile tool, written by a recognized expert in children's literature, can be used for readers' advisory, curricular support, title selection, and collection development. Grades 4-8.


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Enhance your historical fiction collection - and its popularity with readers and value in the classroom - with this wide-ranging guide. After discussion of various aspects of the genre (its importance, history, criteria for evaluation, and methods of presentation), the author takes an in-depth look at 80 of the best historical fiction novels published for this age group in Enhance your historical fiction collection - and its popularity with readers and value in the classroom - with this wide-ranging guide. After discussion of various aspects of the genre (its importance, history, criteria for evaluation, and methods of presentation), the author takes an in-depth look at 80 of the best historical fiction novels published for this age group in the last 10 to 15 years. For each title there is a brief introduction discussing setting, historical background, and point of view; a list of characters; a detailed plot summary; and ways to introduce the book to students, including important passages for reading or retelling. This versatile tool, written by a recognized expert in children's literature, can be used for readers' advisory, curricular support, title selection, and collection development. Grades 4-8.

14 review for Historical Fiction for Young Readers (Grades 4-8): An Introduction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I feel like a broken record with the reader's advisory books I've been picking up. Though it was published in 2008, this book doesn't contain any of the 'Historical Fiction' that you would be expecting. I also don't understand why the authors of these books or members of ALA don't just throw every 'well-written' and 'Well-received' book in the genre reader's advisory resources, because I know and the editor knows and the author knows that they exist, so then WHY are they only using titles that a I feel like a broken record with the reader's advisory books I've been picking up. Though it was published in 2008, this book doesn't contain any of the 'Historical Fiction' that you would be expecting. I also don't understand why the authors of these books or members of ALA don't just throw every 'well-written' and 'Well-received' book in the genre reader's advisory resources, because I know and the editor knows and the author knows that they exist, so then WHY are they only using titles that are 1) outdated, even by the publication standard, 2) no longer in circulation (unless its an award winner), 3) even as Historical Fiction goes, some of those subjects get outdated too. Sad. I really wanted to like this one too. :(

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Fitzgerald

    A mostly good book that includes a historical survey of the genre as well as sections that look at specific (recent) books. I was, however, flabbergasted by a ridiculous exaggeration in the introduction: "An often-quoted adage states that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. Here, historical fiction adds a different dimension to history than the one nonfiction provides. For example, textbooks can describe a battle, give statistics relating to it, and describe its effects, bu A mostly good book that includes a historical survey of the genre as well as sections that look at specific (recent) books. I was, however, flabbergasted by a ridiculous exaggeration in the introduction: "An often-quoted adage states that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. Here, historical fiction adds a different dimension to history than the one nonfiction provides. For example, textbooks can describe a battle, give statistics relating to it, and describe its effects, but there is no substitute for a novel in which this event becomes a first-hand experience in which the reader becomes personally involved. In superior historical fiction the reader experiences the horror, fear, carnage, brutality, heroism, squalor, and the sights and sounds of an event and it becomes a personal, memorable experience. In no other medium, is this total, special immersion possible." (p.2) I'm sorry, but no reader is *ever* experiencing what is happening in a book at first-hand. Please do not try to tell me that readers are ever really experiencing carnage or the sights or sounds of an event when they are reading about it. They might believe they have some kind of sense of what went on, but they really don't. They are in their comfy chair with a plate of cookies, not on the battlefield. Egads. How did this ever get by an editor? I also strongly dispute the "In no other medium" bit (and the extraneous comma) - why wouldn't a film or play or radio dramatization allow for a similar special immersion? I love books; I think historical fiction is wonderful; but this is just too much. See also how Gillespie surreptitiously switches from arguing against "nonfiction" but then uses only "textbooks" in his example. Surely other forms of nonfiction (diaries, biographies, even simple histories) can give readers that "different dimension" involving a much more personal experience. Fortunately, this bizarre excerpt doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the book. However, it's disappointing that there doesn't seem to have been a good editor assigned to this book. Quotes are not footnoted, and I find typos (Kipling wrote Puck of Pook's Hill, not Pock's), errors (the Oklahoma land run was not in 1983 - I assume 1893 was intended; the "grizzly details of war's horrors"), and omissions (Elizabeth George Speare wrote more than just four novels for young readers: The Prospering (1967) is not mentioned. Elsewhere, Patricia and John Beatty are said to have written ten books together; they wrote eleven). I also have to question including The Wolves of Willoughby Chase as one of ten basic classics in historical fiction for young readers published before 1980, simply because it is not set in an actual historical time - it's an alternate reality. On p.7, Gillespie states that "settings should be clear, appropriate, believable, and authentic" - so how is this authentic? I think it's a great book, but it's for a different top ten list.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    A wonderful list of historical fiction - listed by historical year. Includes a summary and pages for book top.

  4. 4 out of 5

    karen marcus

  5. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  6. 5 out of 5

    Betty Jo

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julissa

  10. 5 out of 5

    Asma

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lori

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Grubbs-Shaney

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kimberley Adair-Gagnon

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