Historical Fiction

True to the Old Flag

G.A. Henty

What would you say to a historical novel filled with action and adventure? What would you say to a book written with boys in mind by an author famous for his morally strong and upright heroes? What would you say to a book that gives the “other side” of the story?

Well, I would say – “sounds wonderful; bring it on!”

Old Sam, Dakota Trotter

Don Alonzo Taylor
Lorence Bjorklund

Fresh and as exciting as the first time I read it, Old Sam, Dakota Trotter is one horse of a story!

10-year-old Johnny Scott and his inseparable younger brother, Lee, go on a series of adventures in the Dakota territory with their beloved horse, Old Sam. From collecting buffalo bones to catching thieves to the thrilling climax at the 4th of July trotting race, the reader experiences the joys of two boys discovering the wonders and excitement of prairie life in the Dakota territory in the 1880s.

First Farm in the Valley: Anna's Story

Anne Pellowski
Roseanne Sharpe

It’s back in print! One of my favorite series for young children, the Latsch Valley Farm series (formerly called Polish American Girls series), is being reprinted. The first in the series, First Farm in the Valley: Anna’s Story is now available from Bethlehem Books with lovely new illustrations.

The Good Land

Loula Grace Erdman

Years ago the telephone company ran an ad that sang, “Reach out, reach out and touch someone.” But what if you were too afraid to reach out? What if you were too ashamed of your new circumstances to ask for help? That is the situation for the Warren family, a family that moves to the Texas Panhandle in The Good Land.

Close to the Wind

Peter Malone

Sometimes your casual pick-up-what-looks-good from the library hits jackpot--last week it was one of those instances for us. Close to the Wind by Peter Malone gets very close to being the picture book par excellence. In every aspect, this gem brings the very best of the world of picture books: beautiful, detail-rich illustrations, a captivating story, plenty of educational content, and great use of visual diagrams, side notes and explanatory illustrations.

The Secret of the Ruby Ring

Yvonne MacGrory
Terry Myler

If you looked into the mirror of your soul, would you like what you saw? What if the mirror was represented by another person?

Lucy is a modern Irish girl who has everything, a nice home and a loving family. On top of that, she is an outstanding student. But when she doesn't win the coveted prize for the best composition in her class, Lucy is devastated.

Assuming she was going to win, because she had won before, Lucy is bitter, angry and nasty to her best friend when she wins the prize, clearly revealing that Lucy is one very spoiled child. Not for long, however.

Red Butterfly

Deborah Noyes
Sophie Blackall

When I first read aloud Mary Daly's First Timeline to the children, it was the first time I had ever heard of the story of the young Chinese Princess and the cup of tea where the silk strands first unravel revealing themselves... such a captivating story.

Then Mary asked me to illustrate it for wider publication... and I just loved doing the Chinese teacup!

Well, last week at the library, browsing as I always do through the new picture books, I found a Chinese princess and the tale of the discovery of silk! I knew it as soon as I glanced at the cover.

The Lark in the Morn

Lark in the Morn
Elfrida Vipont

Full of imagination and an adventurous spirit, 12-year-old Kit likes nothing more than to roam the fields playing pretending games with her best friends, Pony and Helen. But life never stays the same. After an illness, Kit goes to live with her elderly Aunts and often visits her nearby cousins. In her cousins’ home, she is introduced to a totally new world of lively interests, music, and enduring friendships.


Evelyn Waugh

I usually make it a point not to read an introduction to a book; I never want to be prejudiced by someone else’s take on a story. But since this would be the fourth time I would read Helena by Evelyn Waugh, I decided to read the introduction by George Weigel in Loyola Press’ reprint of this classic. And I am so glad I did.

Bella at Midnight

Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley, 2006, HarperCollins Publishers, 278 pages, Hardcover.


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