Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
In Renaissance Italy, Artemisia Gentileschi endures the subjugation of women that allows her father to take credit for her extraordinary paintings, rape and the ensuing trial, and torture, buoyed by her deceased mother’s stories of strong women of the Bible.
Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen
In Poland in the 1940s, the lives of twins Chaim and Gittel feel like a fairy tale torn apart as they must rely on each other to endure life in a ghetto and the horrors of a concentration camp where they lose everything but each other.
Hamilton and Peggy!: A Revolutionary Friendship by L.M. Elliott
In the throes of the Revolutionary War, Peggy Schuyler finds herself a central figure amid Loyalists and Patriots, spies and traitors, friends and family. Among those friends, she develops a relationship with Alexander Hamilton, who becomes romantically involved with her sister, Eliza.
What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper
Liberated from Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945, sixteen-year-old Gerta tries to make a new life for herself, aided by Lev, a fellow survivor, and Michah, who helps Jews reach Palestine.
Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
In a post-Second Civil War lawless West, sharpshooter Serendipity “Pity” Jones stars in, and lives at, the Theater Vespertine, but there is a dark cost to her freedom that Pity may not be willing to pay.
Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
Follows Dita Kraus from the age of fourteen, when she is put in charge of a few forbidden books at Auschwitz, through the end of World War II and beyond.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
At first glance, The Kite Runner didn’t really appeal to me. I know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes, you just can’t help it. Let me tell you that looking past the cover is the best decision I ever made. The Kite Runner is the most heart wrenching, touching story I have ever read. It uses history as background information to tie in with a beautiful, yet tragic story about a little boy named Amir and his best friend Hassan. Amir and Hassan grew up with the same surroundings, but lived in entirely separate worlds. Amir lived with his wealthy father, Baba, while Hassan was the son of Baba’s servant. Yet, they grew up as best friends. They loved flying kites together as a part of a tradition in their home, Kabul, yet they had their ups and downs, as many friends do. Unfortunately, as a result of a traumatic incident, Amir and Hassan were forced to part ways. This leads to Amir’s journey of forgiving himself for the incident and making up for it many, many years later.
This novel was so well written and I could not put it down. Hosseini used a lot of description to help visualize the plot and also used a lot of symbolism, which kept me interested. A true “roller coaster of emotions,” I’d recommend The Kite Runner to any young adult who likes historical fiction, along with stories about friendship and forgiveness, as it is a main theme of the novel.
Reviewed by Brina Patel