Wartime Stories | Time (And Page) Traveling!

From presidential biographies to war time battles, these books will help teach history while allowing boys to imagine they are really there.


Wartime Stories

Discuss war and the way it changes countries, families, and politics. After reading these books, encourage boys to write letters to veterans of any war and mail them to your local Veterans Association.


Boys of Wartime: Daniel at the Siege of Boston

by Laurie Calkhoven
8-12 | Grades 3-7

Twelve-year-old Daniel Prescott cheered when the Sons of Liberty dumped English tea into Boston Harbor. Then King George sent his soldiers to take over Boston and its port. Now Daniel's home is a city under siege. When his father slips away to join the rebels, Daniel works in the family tavern and eavesdrops on Redcoat officers. He soon learns how to slip across British lines and becomes a messenger and spy, bringing vital news of the enemy to his father, and even to General Washington. To do so puts Daniel's life in danger. But, to a Patriot, liberty is well worth any risk.

The Case of the Deadly Desperados: Western Mysteries, Book One

by Caroline Lawrence
Ages 8-12 | Grades 3-7

When twelve-year-old P.K. (Pinky) Pinkerton's foster parents are murdered by Whittlin' Walt and his gang of ruthless desperados, Pinky goes on the run. He's forced into hiding with Ma's priceless last possession: the deed to a large amount of land and silver mines in the Nevada Mountains. But relying on disguises will only keep Pinky hidden for so long, and the desperados are quickly closing in...

Code Talker

by Joseph Bruchac
Ages 10 & up | Grades 5 & up

Though he was taught in boarding school (run by whites) that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay is learning otherwise. He and some other Navajo men have been recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, and their job is to send secret messages in their native tongue during World War II.

Don't Talk to Me About the War

by David A. Adler
Ages 8-12 | Grades 2-7

Thirteen-year-old Tommy Duncan just wants to root for the Brooklyn Dodgers and listen to his favorite radio programs, but it's 1940, and the world is about to change. The stories of a Jewish friend at school, however, begin to make the war more real to him, and Tommy, like the world around him, is sure to be forever changed.

Five 4ths of July

by Pat Raccio Hughes
Ages 12 up | Grades 7 up

On July 4th, 1777, fourteen-year old Jake Mallory wants nothing more than to get out from under the strict thumb of his father and see some adventure, but he must be careful what he wishes for. Over the course of four more 4ths, he finds himself in increasingly adventurous circumstances-from battling the British army to barely surviving on a prison ship to finally returning home, war-torn and weary, but hopeful for his and America's future.

March Toward the Thunder

by Joseph Bruchac
Ages 12 & up | Grades 6 & up

Louis Nolette is a fifteen-year-old Abenaki Indian from Canada who is recruited to fight in the northern Irish Brigade in the War Between the States. But war is never what you expect, and as Louis fights his way through battle after battle, he encounters prejudice and acceptance, courage and cowardice, and strong and weak leadership in the most unexpected places.

On The Wings of Heroes

by Richard Peck
Ages 9-11 | Grades 3-6

World War II has invaded Davy Bowman's boyhood. It's an intense, confusing time, and one that will spur Davy to grow up in a hurry.

War and Watermelon

by Rich Wallace
Ages 10 up | Grades 5 up

It's the summer of 1969. In New Jersey, twelve-year-old Brody is mostly concerned with the top ten hits on the radio and how much playing time he'll get on the football team. But when he goes along for the ride to Woodstock with his older brother and sees the mass of humanity there, he starts to wake up to the world around him-a world that could take away the brother he loves.


Time (And Page) Traveling!

One of the best ways to understand another time period is to talk to people who were there. That's often how an author begins writing an historical fiction novel (unless, of course, they're going way, way, WAY back in time. Encourage boys to talk to their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents about their lives when they were the student's age. TEACHERS: To demonstrate oral versus written histories, have boys present their histories orally to the rest of the class


Al Capone Does My Shirts

by Gennifer Choldenko
Ages 10 up | Grades 5 up

Moose and his family have just moved to a new neighborhood, and not the kind you'd expect, either. See, Moose's dad is an electrician, and he's just moved his family to Alcatraz for his new job at the prison. Where there is one VERY famous tenant...

Al Capone Shines My Shoes

Gennifer Choldenko
Ages 10 up | Grades 5 up

Moose is still living on Alcatraz with his family when a note, presumably from one of the convicts who do his laundry, turns up in his freshly-done shirt. Could the note be from Capone?

The Brooklyn Nine

by Alan M. Gratz
Ages 9-11 | Grades 3-6

In nine innings, this novel tells the stories of nine successive Schneider kids and their connection to Brooklyn and baseball. As in all family histories and all baseball games, there is glory and heartache, triumph and sacrifice.

Hurricane Song

by Paul Volponi
Ages 12 up | Grades 6 up

Miles has only lived in New Orleans with his dad, a musician, for a few months when Hurricane Katrina hits. Father and son haven't exactly been getting along. Miles is obsessed with football; his dad's passion is jazz. But when the storm strikes, they're forced to work through their differences to survive a torturous few days in the Superdome.

Time Warp Trio #1: Knights of the Kitchen Table

by Jon Scieszka
Ages 7-11 | Grades 1-6

Everyone's favorite time-travelers are changing their styles! The Time Warp Trio series now features a brand-new, eye-catching design, sure to appeal to longtime fans, and those new to Jon Scieszka's wacky brand of humor.

When the Whistle Blows

by Fran Slayton
Ages 10 & up | Grades 5 & up

Jimmy lives a typical boyhood in Rowlesburg, West Virginia, during the 1940s. But he knows his father belongs to a secret society and he's determined to uncover the mysteries behind it! It takes a midnight encounter with a train to show Jimmy the man his father really is.