Orphan Train Girl

Kline, Christina Baker. Orphan Train Girl: the Young Readers’ Edition of Orphan Train. New York: Harper, 2017.
Molly, a foster child in Maine, is court-ordered to do community service after stealing a book from the public library. Forced to help an elderly woman clean up her attic, she makes a friend who shares her own past as a homeless Irish-Catholic child sent out to work without pay in order to earn her keep. A powerful story based on history as explained – and illustrated with photographs – in an afterward. Highly recommended for readers 11 years old and up.

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Words on Fire

Nielsen, Jennifer A. Words on Fire. New York: Scholastic Press, 2019.
“In 1893 twelve-year-old Audra lives on a farm in Lithuania, and tries to avoid the Cossack soldiers who enforce the Russian decrees that ban Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language; but when the soldiers invade the farm Audra is the only one who escapes and, unsure of what has happened to her parents, she embarks on a dangerous journey, carrying the smuggled Lithuanian books that fuel the growing resistance movement, unsure of who to trust, but risking her life and freedom for her country.” – CIP
A 322-page historical novel highly recommended for readers 11 years old and up.

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Catch You Later, Traitor

Avi. Catch you Later, Traitor. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2015.
Twelve-year-old Pete Collison enjoys reading detective novels and listening to radio dramas. But in 1950s America, the government’s search for communist sympathizers leads to a real-life mystery when the FBI shows up at Pete’s home in Brooklyn, New York. Could there be Communist spies in his family? A note at the end of the story provides more information about this time in American history, describing the author’s connections to his own life growing up in New York City. A fast-moving suspenseful novel highly recommended for readers 11 years old and up.

Stories of controlling societies

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Plagues and Pandemics

Deadly Invaders

Grady, Denise. Deadly Invaders: Virus Outbreaks Around the World, from Marburg Fever to Avian Flu. Boston: Kingfisher, 2006.

An American Plague

Murphy, Jim. An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. New York: Clarion Books, 2003.  An extensively documented Newbery Honor Book by an award-winning writer. Recommended for competent and curious readers 12 years old and up.

Peters, Merilee. Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Epidemics. Toronto: Annick Press, 2014.

Saidmann, Frédéric. Wash Your Hands!: The Dirty Truth about Germs, Viruses, and Epidemics– and the Simple Ways to Protect Yourself in a Dangerous World. New York: Weinstein Books, 2008.