American Historical Fiction






Date Pub

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Honeyman, Kay.   The Fire Horse Girl

When Jade Moon, born in the unlucky year of the Fire Horse, and her father immigrate to America in 1923 and are detained at Angel Island Immigration Station, Jade Moon is determined to find a way through and prove that she is not cursed.


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Watts, Irene N.   Touched by Fire

Fleeing the pograms in Russia and European anti-Semitism, teenaged Miriam arrives in America only to face anti-immigrant discrimination before landing a job in a clothing factory and witnessing the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.


Avi.   City of Orphans
In 1893 New York, thirteen-year-old Maks, a newsboy, teams up with Willa, a homeless girl, to clear his older sister, Emma, from charges that she stole from the brand new Waldorf Hotel, where she works. Includes historical notes.


Lai, Thanhha.  Inside Out & Back Again
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.


Senzai, N. H.   Shooting Kabul
Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the summer of 2001, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind.


Burg, Ann E.   All the Broken Pieces
Two years after being airlifted out of Vietnam in 1975, Matt Pin is haunted by the terrible secret he left behind and, now, in a loving adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound events forces him to confront his past.


Hesse, Karen.   Brooklyn Bridge
In 1903 Brooklyn, fourteen-year-old Joseph Michtom's life changes for the worse when his parents, Russian immigrants, invent the teddy bear and turn their apartment into a factory, while nearby the glitter of Coney Island contrasts with the dismal lives of children dwelling under the Brooklyn Bridge. (audiobook)


Applegate, Katherine.   Home of the Brave
Kek, an African refugee, is confronted by many strange things at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, as well as in his fifth grade classroom, and longs for his missing mother, but finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner.


Larson, Kirby.   Hattie Big Sky
After inheriting her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war being fought in Europe. Newbery Honor Book 2007.


Paterson, Katherine.   Bread and Roses, Too
Jake and Rosa, two children, form an unlikely friendship as they try to survive and understand the 1912 Bread and Roses strike of mill workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts.


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Currier, Katrina Saltonstall.   Kai’s Journey to Gold Mountain: an Angel Island story
In 1934, twelve-year-old Kai leaves China to join his father in America, but first he must take a long sea voyage, then endure weeks of crowded conditions and harsh examinations on Angel Island, fearing that he or his new friend will be sent home.


Gallo, Donald R., ed.   First Crossing: stories about teen immigrants
Stories of recent Mexican, Venezuelan, Kazakh, Chinese, Romanian, Palestinian, Swedish, Korean, Haitian, and Cambodian immigrants reveal what it is like to face prejudice, language barriers, and homesickness along with common teenage feelings and needs. (Short Stories collection)


Giff, Patricia Reilly.  A House of Tailors
When thirteen-year-old Dina emigrates from Germany to America in 1871, her only wish is to return home, but as the months pass while she lives with her uncle and his family, she finds herself thinking of Brooklyn as her home. (Paperback Collection)


Avi.   Silent Movie
In the early years of the twentieth century, a Swedish family encounters separation and other hardships upon immigrating to New York City until the son is cast in a silent movie, in a picture book that evokes an actual silent movie.


Giff, Patricia Reilly.  Maggie’s Door
In the mid-1800s, Nory and her neighbor and friend, Sean, set out separately on a dangerous journey from famine-plagued Ireland, hoping to reach a better life in America.


Pastore, Clare.   A Voyage from Cambodia in 1975
“After her Cambodian mother is murdered by the Khmer Rouge, Chantrea is able to escape to the United States to live with her American father.” - - Baker & Taylor


Denenberg, Barry.   One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping: the diary of Julie Weiss
During the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Austria, twelve-year-old Julie escapes to America to live with her relatives in New York City.


Na, An.   A Step from Heaven
A young Korean girl and her family find it difficult to learn English and adjust to life in America.


Raphael, Marie.   Streets of Gold
Marisia, a Polish teenager, comes to America at the turn of the twentieth century and must fend for herself on New York's Lower East Side.



Lasky, Kathryn.   Dreams in the Golden Country:  the diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish immigrant girl
Twelve-year-old Zippy, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, keeps a diary account of the first eighteen months of her family's life on the Lower East Side of New York City in 1903-1904.


Lawson, Robert.   The Great Wheel
Eighteen-year-old Conn leaves Ireland and sails to America, where he helps build the first Ferris wheel for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. 


Hesse, Karen.   Letters from Rifka
In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family’s flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America.


Cover image for Land of hope

Nixon, Joan Lowery.   Land of Hope
Rebekah, a fifteen-year-old Jewish immigrant arriving in New York City in 1902, almost abandons her dream of getting an education when she is forced to work in a sweatshop.


Yep, Laurence.   Dragonwings
In 1903 eight-year-old Moonshadow arrives in San Francisco from China and has to learn to adjust to life in America and a father who is a stranger to him.