Books: Fiction

Resource Type:

Reading Level:

    • ¡Si, Se Puede! Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A.

    • Book – Fiction. By Diana Cohn and illustrated by Francisco Delgado. 2008. 31 pages.
      A children’s book based on the true story of the Justice for Janitors strike.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction, Picture Books, Spanish/Bilingual | Time Periods: Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000, 20th Century | Themes: Labor, Latino, Organizing | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, Grades Pre-K-2
    • Aani and the Tree Huggers

    • Books – Fiction. By Jeannine Atkins. Illustrated by Venantius J. Pinto. 2000. 32 pages.
      Based on an event that took place in India in the 1970s, children and women in the village hug the trees to save them from being logged.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction, Picture Books | Themes: Environment & Food, Organizing, Women's History | Reading Levels: Grades Pre-K-2
    • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

    • Book – Fiction. By Sherman Alexie. 2007. 288 pages.
      Coming-of-age-tale set on Spokane Indian Reservation.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000, 20th Century | Themes: Native American | Reading Levels: Adult, High School
    • Alligator Bayou

    • Book – Fiction. By Donna Jo Napoli. 2010. 288 pages.
      Historical fiction for young adults based on the true story of the lynching of Italian Americans in late 19th century Louisiana.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 19th Century | Themes: Immigration, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: High School
    • Behind the Mountains

    • Book – Fiction. By Edwidge Danticat. 2004. 166 pages.
      A riveting novel detailing the struggles of a young Haitian girl as she adjusts to life in New York.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: 2001 - Present, 21st Century | Themes: Immigration | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • The Birchbark House

    • Book – Fiction. By Louise Erdrich. 1999. 244 pages.
      Historical fiction set in the mid-19th century in the Lake Superior area.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century | Themes: Native American | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • The Bobbin Girl

    • Book – Fiction. By Emily Arnold McCully. 1996. 36 pages.
      Historical fiction for upper elementary based on a true story about the Lowell textile workers.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction, Picture Books | Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, 19th Century | Themes: Labor, Organizing, Women's History | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5
    • A Boy from Ireland

    • Book – Fiction. By Marie Raphael. 2007. 224 pages.
      Historical fiction about the life of the Irish in New York City at the beginning of the 20th century for ages 12+.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, 20th Century | Themes: Immigration, Labor, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Bread and Roses, Too

    • Book – Fiction. By Katherine Paterson. 2006. 275 pages.
      Moving young adult historical-fiction novel based on a major strike in Lawrence, Mass., in 1912.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: World War I: 1910 - 1919, 20th Century | Themes: Immigration, Labor, Organizing | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Bull Run

    • Book – Fiction. By Paul Fleischman. 1993. 128 pages.
      A historical novel for middle school and above about the Civil War Battle of Bull Run drama told in 16 voices.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Catch a Tiger by the Toe

    • Book – Fiction. By Ellen Levine. 2005. 176 pages.
      A historical novel for middle school on McCarthyism.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, 20th Century | Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Media | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • Chain of Fire

    • Book – Fiction. By Beverley Naidoo, illustrated by Eric Velasquez. 1993. 256 pages.
      When the South African government forces a village to relocate, young protesters, who do not have the freedom of speech, organize a march against apartheid.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000, 20th Century | Themes: World History/Global Studies | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Chains

    • Book – Fiction. By Laurie Halse Anderson. 2010. 336 pages.
      Historical fiction based the life of a teenager in slavery during the Revolutionary War.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799 | Themes: African American, Slavery, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • Clic, Clac, Muu Vacas Escritoras

    • Book – Fiction. By Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Betsy Lewin. 2001. 32 pages.
      A barnyard struggle where the cows go on strike and the farmer is forced to negotiate.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction, Picture Books, Spanish/Bilingual | Themes: Labor, Organizing | Reading Levels: Grades Pre-K-2
    • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

    • Book – Fiction. By Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Betsy Lewin. 2000. 32 pages.
      A barnyard struggle where the cows go on strike and the farmer is forced to negotiate.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction, Picture Books | Themes: Labor, Organizing | Reading Levels: Grades Pre-K-2
    • Crow (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History
    • Crow

    • Book – Fiction. By Barbara Wright. 2012. 304 pages.
      Historical fiction about an Reconstruction era African American community violently robbed of its freedom and democracy in turn of the century North Carolina.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Media | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • Dayshaun’s Gift

    • Book – Fiction. By Zetta Elliott. 2015. 88 pages.
      Time travelling historical fiction for upper elementary school students on the New York City Draft Riots.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5
    • The Dreamer

    • Book – Fiction. By Pam Muñoz Ryan. 2010. 372 pages.
      An introduction to the life of Pablo Neruda as a child in historical fiction for young adults.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: World War I: 1910 - 1919, 20th Century | Themes: Art & Music, Language Arts, World History/Global Studies | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • Dzání Yázhí Naazbaa': Little Woman Warrior Who Came Home

    • Book – Fiction. By Evangeline Parsons Yazzie. Illustrated by Irving Toddy. 2005. 32 pages.
      Historical fiction for upper elementary about the Navajo Long Walk (forced removal by U.S. soldiers) of 1863-1864.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction, Picture Books | Time Periods: Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, 19th Century | Themes: Native American | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5
    • Escape from Texas: A Novel of Slavery and the Texas War of Independence

    • Book – Fiction. By James W. Russell. 2012. 210 pages.
      Historical fiction about the years leading up to the Texas War of Independence, based on the story of James Robinson, an enslaved man who fights for his freedom.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: 19th Century | Themes: Slavery | Reading Levels: Adult
    • Fire in the Hole!

    • Book – Fiction. By Mary Cronk Farrell. 2004. 176 pages.
      Based on the true story of a silver miners’ strike in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the book shows the desperate conditions of miners’ lives and how the striking miners were detained illegally in a late 19th century version of Guantanamo.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 19th Century | Themes: Labor, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8, High School
    • Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule

    • Book – Fiction. By Harriette Gillem Robinet. 1998. 144 pages.
      Historical fiction featuring 12-year-old Pascal, 8-year-old Nellie, and their older brother Gideon, a Union Army aide, as they claim and farm the land promised to them during Reconstruction.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, 19th Century | Themes: Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: Grades 6-8
    • Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins

    • Book – Fiction. By Carole Boston Weatherford. 2007. 32 pages.
      Historical fiction in an upper elementary picture book about the Greensboro sit-ins.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction, Picture Books | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Organizing | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5
    • Freedom Road

    • Book – Fiction. By Howard Fast. 1944. 294 pages.
      The politics and economics of Reconstruction told through memorable historical fiction.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction | Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, 19th Century | Themes: Economics | Reading Levels: High School
    • Freedom School, Yes!

    • Book – Fiction. By Amy Littlesugar. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. 2001. 40 pages.
      Historical fiction about the 1964 Freedom Schools for upper elementary.

    • Resource Types: Books: Fiction, Picture Books | Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 20th Century | Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Education, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5
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