Nonfiction (4th Grade and Up)

Atkinson, Linda. In Kindling Flame: The Story of Hannah Senesh, 1921-1944.
A biography of a Jewish heroine whose resistance work during World War II made her a martyr and an inspiration to those with whom she worked.

Bitton-Jackson, Livia. I Have Lived a Thousand Years.
The author describes her experiences during World War II when she and her family were sent to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

Dana, Richard Henry. Two Years Before the Mast.
A riveting story of adventure and life at sea in the early nineteenth century. Richard Henry Dana is only 19 when he leaves Harvard for an arduous voyage among real sailors, storms, whales, and hardship, tracing a route from Boston to the California coast. Classics.

Filipovic, Zlata. Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo.
In a voice both innocent and wise, touchingly reminiscent of Anne Frank’s, Zlata’s Diary chronicles the life of a girl during war as the danger outside steadily invades her life — no more school, living without water and electricity, food in short supply.

Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl.
Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

Friedman, Ina R. Escape or Die.
In this extraordinary collection of true stories, 12 Jewish men and women–all under the age of 20 at the time–recount their incredible tales of surviving the Holocaust.

Gillespie, Sarah. A Pioneer Farm Girl.
Excerpts from the diary of Sarah Gillespie, a pioneer in Iowa in the nineteenth century. Includes sidebars, activities, and a timeline related to the era.

Greenwood, Barbara. A Pioneer Sampler.
Stories about a fictional pioneer family are integrated with period notes, recipes, crafts, games, and illustrations.

Heyerdahl, Thor. Kon-Tiki.
Kon-Tiki is the record of an astonishing adventure — a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. Intrigued by Polynesian folklore, biologist Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east, led by a mythical hero, Kon-Tiki. He decided to prove his theory by duplicating the legendary voyage.

Hooper, Meredith. Who Built the Pyramid?
Who did build the pyramid? In this innovative nonfiction title, everyone from the mighty king to the lowly water carrier claims to have built this massive monument.

Lichter, Uri. In the Eye of the Storm: A memoir of survival through the Holocaust.
The astonishing story of a father and three sons who, through boldness and initiative, survived the Holocaust while practicing their Jewish faith in secret.

Lord, Walter. A Night to Remember.
Lord, Walter. The Night Lives On.
The mighty Titanic struck an iceberg and sank on the night of April 14, 1912, carrying more than 1500 souls and uncountable secrets to the icy bottom of the mid-Atlantic. How could such a disaster have ever occurred?

Marx, Robert. Following Columbus: the Voyage of the Nina II.
The author recounts the building of a replica of the “Nina,” the smallest of Columbus’s three ships, and the re-enactment of the admiral’s first voyage across the uncharted Atlantic Ocean in 1492.

Moody, Ralph. Come on, Seabiscuit.
No one thought much of a knobby-kneed colt called Seabiscuit, but this eventual champion of thoroughbreds inspired a warmth and affection with horse lovers the world over.

Murphy, Jim. The Great Fire.
An account of the Great Chicago Fire combines archival photographs and drawings with personal accounts by its survivors and historical documents.

Murphy, Virginia Reed. Across the Plains in the Donner Party.
This book recounts the story of the Donner party and its gruesome end by presenting the edited memoirs of survivor Virginia Reed Murphy, age 12 during the trip; the letters and diary of Virginia’s stepfather; and excerpts from the journal of Patrick Breen, who faithfully recorded all of the horrific events that befell the Donners and their fellow emigrants.

North, Sterling. Rascal.
The author recalls his carefree life in a small Midwestern town at the close of World War I, and his adventures with his pet raccoon, Rascal.

Rabinovich, Schoschoana. Thanks to My Mother.
After struggling to survive in Nazi-occupied Lithuania, a young Jewish girl and her mother endure much suffering in Kaiserwald, Stutthof, and Tauentzien concentration camps and on an eleven-day death march before being liberated by the Russian army.

Renault, Mary. Lion in the Gateway: The heroic battles of the Greeks and Persians at Marathon, Salamis, and Thermopylae.
The Persian Wars were a momentous turning point in history; in this fascinating book, the author shows how the Greeks faced incredible odds and prevailed.

Robertson, Dougal. Survive the Savage Sea.
On June 15, 1972, the schooner Lucette, sailed by a Scottish ex-farmer and his family, was attacked by killer whales in the Pacific and sank in 60 seconds. This is the true story of the family’s grueling struggle to survive sharks, storms, and starvation for 37 days thereafter.

Spedden, Daisy C. Polar, the Titanic Bear.
Presents the story of a boy, his teddy bear, and their escape from the sinking Titanic, originally told to the boy by his mother shortly after their family’s escape from that tragedy.

Tessendorf, K.C. Wings Around the World: the American World Flight of 1924.
Describes the exploits of the first pilots to fly around the world.

Uden, Grant. Hero Tales from the Age of Chivalry.
Twelve true and stirring tales of the great age of chivalry tell of kings, queens, and knights-at-arms, of high deeds and courage in tournaments and on the battlefield.

 
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