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Step Back in Time

Homecoming is a time for many to look back and reminisce about the past 10, 20 or even 50 years. Since you don't have any old high school days to look back at yet, check out these YA titles that will take you back in time.

  • Anderson, Laurie Halse. Chains. YA AND. A fast paced novel about Isabel, a teenage slave trapped in New York City at the beginning of the American Revolution. Sold to ruthless, wealthy loyalists in Manhattan, Isabel is promised her freedom by the rebels if she agrees to spy. Impeccably researched with historical details that will transport the reader back to the 18th century.
  • Anderson, M.T. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation. YA AND.  Octavian’s mother may be royalty, and Octavian may receive the best education Boston has to offer in the years before the American Revolution, but Octavian comes to learn that his nobility and fine living is all a hoax: he and his mother are actually slaves, part of a terrible experiment being performed on African Americans.
  • Alvarez, Julia. Before We Were Free. YA ALV. Living in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s, 11-year-old Anita grows up quickly as trouble brews and she experiences the reign of a ruthless dictator and the rise of the Dominican Revolution.
  • Auch, Mary Jane. Ashes of Roses. YA AUC. Rather than returning to Ireland with the rest of her family, sixteen-year-old Rose stays to create a new life in New York and finds work at the Triangle Waist Company. But, when the factory catches fire in one of the worst industrial disasters in history, Rose is trapped and must fight for her life.
  • Avi, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. YA AVI. In 1802, prim and privileged twelve-year-old Charlotte joins a ship and its riotous crew for a transatlantic journey from England to Rhode Island. Her tough and rebellious personality suits the ship, but it’s exactly what gets her in trouble when the captain accuses her of murder.
  • Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker. YA BRU. At the age of six, Ned leaves his Navajo home to go to an English-speaking boarding school. Ten years later, he enlists in the U.S. Marines as a code talker, using his native Navajo language to communicate important information in a top-secret code during World War II.
  • Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham. YA CUR. Ten-year-old Kenny’s family is funny, feisty, and, to Kenny, totally weird. Since his brother, Byron, is on his way to becoming an “official delinquent,” his parents decide to move him from their home in Flint, Michigan, to Birmingham, Alabama, where life looks very different for the Watson family.
  • Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light. (Donnelly, Jennifer. Revolution.)
  • Godbersen, Anna. The Luxe. YA GOD. The first novel of this engrossing series follows several teens from different social classes, all living in Manhattan in 1899, and all involved in intertwining, scandalous, and captivating situations.
  • Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. YA HES. Fourteen-year-old Billie relates the hardships and hope of living through the Dust Bowl in this enjoyable and powerful novel in poems.
  • Hughes, Pat Raccio. Five 4ths of July. YA HUG (new). Jake learns to be careful what he wishes for when he spends July 4, 1777, wishing he had more adventure in his life. For the next four years, Jake finds intense adventure in battling the British army and fighting for his life.
  • Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky. YA LAR. With her future looking bleak, Hattie jumps at the chance to move from Iowa to Montana to tend to a homestead left to her by a deceased relative. As she embarks on this new adventure all by herself, she runs into a few surprises along the way, including the unexpected effects of World War I.
  • Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels. YA MYE. In this graphically realistic portrayal of the Vietnam War, seventeen-year-old Richie joins the service after his college plans fall through, detailing how war affects his friendships, his beliefs, and himself.
  • Na, An. A Step from Heaven. YA NA. Although Young Ju’s parents told her they moved from Korea to America to have a better life, both Young Ju and her parents are struggling to realize that dream in the States. With vivid details about what it’s like to be an immigrant, this novel follows Young Ju’s struggle to fit in and live the life her parents promised. 
  • Stuber, Barbara. Crossing the Tracks. YA STU (new). Fifteen-year-old Iris, who lives in Missouri in 1926, feels rejected by her father after her mother dies. She feels even more rejected when he sends her to be a caregiver for an elderly, sickly woman during the summer. While she doesn’t have high hopes for the summer, she learns valuable and often beautiful lessons about love, family, tragedy, and  growing up.
  • Zusak, Marcus. The Book Thief. YA ZUS.