An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy--Louis Charles, the lost king of France. FIC DOS Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1976.
A translation of nineteenth-century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel in which the four sons of Fyodor Karamazov, a man of immoral character, must contend with a criminal investigation and with their own inner questions about justice and the existence of God after they are involved in their father's murder.
FIC DOW Dowd, Siobhan. Bog Child. New York: David Fickling Books, 2008.
In 1981, the height of Ireland's "Troubles," eighteen-year-old Fergus is distracted from his upcoming A-level exams by his imprisoned brother's hunger strike, the stress of being a courier for Sinn Fein, and dreams of a murdered girl whose body he discovered in a bog. FIC DOW Dowd, Siobhan. A Swift Pure Cry. New York: David Fickling Books, 2006.
Coolbar, Ireland, is a village of secrets and Shell, caretaker to her younger brother and sister after the death of their mother and with the absence of their father, is not about to reveal hers until suspicion falls on the wrong person. FIC DRE Drew, Alan. Gardens of Water. New York: Random House, 2008.
After an earthquake hits Istanbul, Kurdish Muslim Sinan and his family are forced to live in a camp, set up by American missionaries and headed by his American neighbor who he always avoided, and much to his disapproval, while residing in the camp, his son is slowly converted to Christianity and his daughter falls in love with a seventeen-year-old American. FIC DUN Dunlap, Susanne Emily. Anastasia's Secret. New York: Bloomsbury, 2011.
As world war and the looming Russian Revolution threaten all they hold dear, Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II, and her family are being held in captivity, where she falls in love with one of their guards, a young man who has espoused the ideals of Lenin. FIC DUR Durbin, William. The Winter War : a novel. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2008.
When Russian troops invade Finland during the winter of 1939-40, Marko, a young polio victim determined to keep his homeland free, joins the Finnish Army as a messenger boy. FIC ELL Ellis, Deborah. No Safe Place. Toronto: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2010.
Fifteen-year-old Abdul, having lost everyone he loves, journeys from Baghdad to a migrant community in Calais where he sneaks aboard a boat bound for England, not knowing it carries a cargo of heroin, and when the vessel is involved in a skirmish and the pilot killed, it is up to Abdul and three other young stowaways to complete the journey. FIC ESQ Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate: a novel in Monthly Installments, with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies. New York: Anchor Books, 1995.
A romantic and poignant tale of love and family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico. Includes recipes for dishes prepared in the novel, such as quail in rose petal sauce and chiles in walnut sauce. FIC FAU Faulkner, William. The Fable. New York: Vintage Books, 1978.
A group of soldiers start a mutiny within a French regiment during World War I.
FIC FLO Flood, Bo. Warriors in the Crossfire. Honesdale: Front Street, 2010.
Joseph, living on the island of Saipan during World War II, learns what it means to be a warrior as he and his family struggle to survive in the face of impending invasion. FIC FLO Flores-Galbis, Enrique. 90 miles to Havana. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2010.
Julian's parents, hoping to protect him from the dangers of the turmoil in Cuba, send him to the United States in 1961 as part of Operation Pedro Pan, not realizing that life in a Miami refugee camp holds its own perils. FIC FOL Follett, Ken. Fall of Giants. New York: Dutton, 2010.
Five families become entangled in events from the beginning of the twentieth century, following as thirteen-year-old Billy begins working in the Welsh mining pits, an American law student gets a job with Woodrow Wilson's administration, two orphaned brothers try to leave their native Russia for the U.S., and Billy's sister's employer begins an affair with a spy at the German embassy in London. FIC FOR Forman, James D. A Fine, Soft Day. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1978.
A sensitive Catholic boy and his family become deeply involved in and emotionally affected by the escalating Protestant-Catholic conflict in Belfast. FIC FOR Forster, E. M. A Passage to India. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.
A classic account of the clash of cultures in British India after the turn of the century revealing the menace lurking just under the surface of ordinary misunderstanding. FIC FRI Friedman, D. Dina. Escaping into the Night. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.
Thirteen-year-old Halina Rudowski narrowly escapes the Polish ghetto and flees to the forest, where she is taken in by an encampment of Jews trying to survive World War II. FIC FUE Fuentes, Carlos. The Death of Artemio Cruz. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991.
A powerful Mexican newspaper owner recalls episodes of his earlier life as he lies confined to his bed, gravely ill. FIC GAA Gaan, Margaret. Red Barbarian. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1984.
Thirteen-year-old Charlie Tyson is sent to China by his unloving English father. Charlie remains there, marries Ling Ling, and has a prosperous life until Britain and China are at war. Charlie, separated from his family, is aware that their love may not endure. FIC GAL Gallaway, Morgana. The Nightingale. New York: Kensington Books, 2009.
Leila, the daughter of a respected judge in Mosul, Iraq, has been raised and educated as a modern woman, but when her domineering father decides to adhere to strict Muslim laws and announces his plans to arrange a marriage for her, Leila rebels, secretly taking a job at an American military base where she begins a forbidden romance. FIC GAR García Márquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. New York: Perennial Classics, 1998.
Translation of the Spanish novel which traces the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo, through the history of the Buendia family. FIC GLA Glatstein, Jacob. Emil and Karl. New York: Square Fish, 2008.
In Vienna, Austria, in 1940, two nine-year-old boys, one Jewish and one Aryan, are classmates and best friends when events of the Nazi occupation draw them even closer together as they fight to survive and escape together. FIC GOL Golden, Arthur. Memoirs of a Geisha: a novel. New York: Knopf, 1997.
Nitta Sayuri, a young Japanese woman who was taken from her home at the age of nine and sold into slavery as a geisha, discovers a rare opportunity for freedom when the outbreak of World War II forces an end to the only life she has ever known. FIC GON Gonzalez, Christina Diaz. The Red Umbrella. New York: Knopf, 2010.
In 1961 after Castro has come to power in Cuba, fourteen-year-old Lucia and her seven-year-old brother are sent to the United States when her parents, who are not in favor of the new regime, fear that the children will be taken away from them as others have been. FIC GOR Gordon, Sheila. Waiting for the Rain: a novel of South Africa. New York: Watts, 1987.
Chronicles nine years in the lives of two South African youths-- one black, one white-- as their friendship ends in a violent confrontation between student and soldier. FIC GRA Gratz, Alan. Samurai Shortstop. New York: Dial Books, 2006.
While obtaining a Western education at a prestigious Japanese boarding school in 1890, sixteen-year-old Toyo also receives traditional samurai training which has profound effects on both his baseball game and his relationship with his father. FIC GRE Greif, Jean-Jacques. The Fighter. New York: Bloomsbury, 2006.
Moshe Wisniak, a poor Polish Jew, uses his physical strength and cleverness to help him survive the horrors he is subjected to in the concentration camps of World War II. FIC HAM Hamley, Dennis. Without Warning: Ellen's story 1914-1918. Cambridge: Candlewick, 2007.
Ellen Wilkins must leave the safety of her home and family as the fighting of World War I threatens their village, placing Ellen close to the danger of the front lines and causing her to fear for her brother's life. FIC HAR Harris, Rosemary. Zed. London: Faber & Faber, 1984.
Zed, a Lebanese-British teenager, recalls the agonizing ordeal during which he, as a timid eight-year-old hostage of an Arab terrorist group, learned about courage.
FIC HEA Hearn, Julie. Ivy: a novel. New York: Atheneum, 2009.
In mid-nineteenth-century London, young, mistreated, and destitute Ivy, whose main asset is her beautiful red hair, comes to the attention of an aspiring painter of the pre-Raphaelite school of artists who, with the connivance of Ivy's unsavory family, is determined to make her his model and muse. FIC HEL Heller, Joseph. Catch-22. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1995.
Captain Yossarian, a paranoid bomber pilot stationed in the Italian theater during World War II, faces a "catch-22" in this comic novel when he wants to fly fewer combat missions. FIC HEM Hemingway, Ernest. True at First Light. New York: Scribner, 1999.
A fictionalized account of Hemingway's final African safari in which Hemingway's close friend leaves him in charge of the safari camp on the day a hostile tribe threatens to attack. FIC HES Hesse, Karen. Letters from Rifka. New York: Trumpet Club, 1992.
In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family's flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America. FIC HEU Heuston, Kimberley Burton. Book of Jude. Asheville: Front Street, 2008.
In 1989, when fifteen-year-old Jude's mother wins a Fulbright fellowship to study art in Czechoslovakia, the family postpones a planned move to Utah to join her, but the political situation and the move itself are too much for Jude, who is overwhelmed by a previously undiagnosed psychological disorder. FIC HIA Hiatt, Shelby. Panama: a novel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2009.
A fifteen-year-old Ohio girl, longing for adventure, gets her wish when she moves to Panama with her father who has been hired to work on the Panama Canal, and meets Federico, an aristocrat toiling as a digger. FIC HIG Higgins, Jack. The Eagle has Landed. New York: Berkley Books, 2000.
Paratrooper Kurt Steiner embarks on a suicidal mission when he is ordered by Adolf Hitler to lead a team of men into England on a mission to kidnap or kill Winston Churchill in 1943. FIC HOS Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead Books, 2004.
Amir, haunted by his betrayal of Hassan, the son of his father's servant and a childhood friend, returns to Kabul as an adult after he learns Hassan has been killed, in an attempt to redeem himself by rescuing Hassan's son from a life of slavery to a Taliban official. FIC HOS Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns. New York: Riverhead Books, 2007.
A novel set against the three decades of Afghanistan's history shaped by Soviet occupation, civil war, and the Taliban, which tells the stories of two women, Mariam and Laila, who grow close despite their nineteen-year age difference and initial rivalry as they suffer at the hand of a common enemy: their abusive husband. FIC HUG Hugo, Victor. Les Miserables. New York: Signet Classic, 1987.
Presents an English translation of the nineteenth-century French novel about Jean Valjean, a peasant who is released from prison, where he spent nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread for his starving family, only to find himself threatened by people and events from his past. FIC HUG Hughes, Dean. Soldier Boys. New York: Atheneum, 2001.
Two boys, one German and one American, are eager to join their respective armies during World War II, and their paths cross at the Battle of the Bulge. FIC IBU Ibuse, Masuji. Black Rain. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1979.
The story of a young woman who was caught in the radio-active "black rain" that fell after the bombing of Hiroshima. FIC JAB Jablonski, Carla. Resistance. New York: First Second, 2010.
Although their father is in a German P.O.W. camp, Paul and Marie are barely touched by World War II in Vichy, France, in 1942. But, when their friend Henri's parents disappear, the children decide to hide their Jewish friend from the Nazis and soon find themselves involved in the French Resistance.
FIC JAN Jansen, Hanna. Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 2006.
Jeanne, the only member of her family not murdered in the Rwandan genocide, struggles to start a new life without her family while coping with the violent memories that haunt her. FIC JEN Jenkins, Lyll Becerra de. The Honorable Prison. New York: Dutton, 1987.
Because of the moral stand taken by her father, a newspaper editor who has persistently attacked the military dictator ruling their Latin American country, Marta and her family find themselves prisoners of the government. FIC JIN Jin, Ha. Waiting. New York: Vintage/Random House, 2000.
Lin Kong, a doctor in the Chinese army, is caught between the conflicting claims of two utterly different women and trapped by a culture in which adultery can ruin careers and lives. FIC JOC Jocelyn, Marthe. Folly. New York: Wendy Lamb, 2010.
In a parallel narrative set in late nineteenth-century England, teenaged country girl Mary Finn relates the unhappy conclusion to her experiences as a young servant in an aristocratic London household while, years later, young James Nelligan describes how he comes to leave his beloved foster family to live and be educated at London's famous Foundling Hospital. FIC JOL Jolin, Paula. In the Name of God. New Milford: Roaring Brook Press, 2007.
Determined to follow the laws set down in the Qur'an, seventeen-year-old Nadia becomes involved in a violent revolutionary movement aimed at supporting Muslim rule in Syria and opposing the Western politics and materialism that increasingly affect her family. FIC KAW Kawabata, Yasunari. Thousand Cranes. New York: Vintage Books, 1996.
A young man is involved briefly with the two mistresses of his dead father and with the daughter of one of them. FIC KAZ Kazantzakis, Nikos. Zorba the Greek. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953.
Accompanying the narrator to Crete, Zorba, a Greek workman, supervises laborers at a mine, copes with mad monk in a mountain monastery, and embellishes the tales of his past adventures. FIC KEN Keneally, Thomas. Schindler's List. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982.
The true story of a man who took incredible risks and spent his considerable fortune to build a factory camp to protect Jews during World War II. FIC KES Kessler, Cristina. Trouble in Timbuktu. New York: Philomel Books, 2009.
Ignoring her parents' wishes, as well as the customary place of women in Timbuktu society, twelve-year-old Ayisha joins her twin brother in trying to stop a pair of tourists from stealing an ancient manuscript. FIC KIM Kim, Helen S. The Long Season of Rain. New York: Holt, 1996.
When an orphan boy comes to live with her family, eleven-year-old Junehee begins to realize that the demands placed on Korean women can destroy their lives. FIC KIN Kingsolver, Barbara. The Lacuna: a novel. New York: Harper, 2009.
Harrison William Shepherd, a man caught between two worlds, Mexico and the United States in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, finds himself pulled into some of the twentieth century's most tumultuous events as he searches for his true identity.
FIC KIN Kingsolver, Barbara. The Poisonwood Bible. New York: Harper Perennial, 1998.
Nathan Price and his family move to the Belgian Congo in 1959, and the experience they have while living in Africa affect each member of the family in a different way. FIC KIP Kipling, Rudyard. Kim. New York: TOR, 1999.
Kim's early years as an orphaned beggar in India lead to an exciting career in the British Secret Service. FIC KOE Koestler, Arthur. Darkness at Noon. New York: Bantam, 1961.
An aging revolutionary is imprisoned and tortured by the party to which he has dedicated his life.
FIC KOS Kosinski, Jerzy N. The Painted Bird. New York: Grove Press, 1995.
A young boy, abandoned by his parents during World War II, wanders alone from one village to another in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe.
FIC LAI Laird, Elizabeth. Kiss the Dust. New York: Puffin, 1994.
Her father's involvement with the Kurdish resistance movement in Iraq forces thirteen-year-old Tara to flee with her family over the border into Iran, where they face an unknown future. FIC LEV Levitin, Sonia. Room in the Heart. New York: Dutton, 2003.
After German forces occupy Denmark during World War II, fifteen-year-old Julie Weinstein and fifteen-year-old Niels Nelson and their friends and families try to cope with their daily lives, finding various ways to resist the Nazis and, ultimately, to survive. FIC LEZ LeZotte, Ann Clare. T4: a Novel in Verse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
After the Nazi party takes control of Germany, thirteen-year-old Paula, who is deaf, is forced to go into hiding because of Adolf Hitler's Tiegartenstrasse 4—T4—which was put in place to kill any mentally ill or disabled people. FIC LOR Lord, Bette. Spring Moon: a Novel of China. New York: HarperPaperbacks, 1990.
Beginning in 1892 when the slave girl of the child Spring Moon takes revenge on the House of Chang, this novel reveals the world of the inner courts in traditional China. FIC LOT Lottridge, Celia Barker. Home is Beyond the Mountains. Toronto: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2010.
Nine-year-old Samira is driven from her village, along with her family, when the Turkish army invades Persia in 1918, and after only she and her older brother survive the treacherous journey into the mountains, they are conveyed from one orphanage to another and eventually returned to their homes with help from Susan Shedd. FIC MAC MacColl, Michaela. Prisoners in the Palace: How Victoria Became Queen with the Help of her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel: a novel of Intrigue and Romance. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010.
Recently orphaned and destitute, seventeen-year-old Liza Hastings earns a position as a lady's maid to sixteen-year-old Princess Victoria at Kensington Palace in 1836, the year before Victoria becomes Queen of England. FIC MAI Mailer, Norman. The Naked and the Dead. New York: Picador/Henry Holt, 2000.
Norman Mailer's 1948 novel about a platoon of thirteen American foot soldiers attempting to take the Japanese-held Pacific island of Anopopei. FIC MAN Manivong, Laura. Escaping the Tiger. New York: Harper, 2010.
In 1982 twelve-year-old Vonlai, his parents, and sister Dalah, escape from Laos to a Thai refugee camp where they spend four long years struggling to survive in hopes of one day reaching America. FIC MAR Markandaya, Kamala. Nectar in a Sieve. New York: Signet Classic, 2002.
A traditional peasant woman in early twentieth-century India struggles with poverty and the changes arriving in her agrarian village, particularly the tanning factory that takes her son's life. FIC MCC McCarthy, Cormac. The Crossing. New York: Knopf, 1994.
In the 1930s, two teenager brothers whose ranch in New Mexico was raided by bandits, cross into Mexico to search for stolen horses. The novel follows them through the revolution-torn countryside, meeting soldiers, peasants, priests and thieves, all proffering advice. FIC MCC McCormick, Patricia. Sold. New York: Hyperion Books, 2006.
A novel in vignettes, in which Lakshmi, a thirteen-year-old girl from Nepal, is sold into prostitution in India. FIC MCE McEwan, Ian. Atonement: a novel. New York: Anchor Books, 2003.
Imaginative thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis, misinterpreting a scene between her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, the housekeeper's son, later accuses Robbie of a crime she has no proof he committed and spends years trying to atone for her actions. FIC MEA Mead, Alice. Dawn and Dusk. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
As thirteen-year-old Azad tries desperately to cling to the life he has known, the political situation in Iran during the war with Iraq finally forces his family to flee their home and seek safety elsewhere.
FIC MEY Meyer, L. A. Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy. Orlando: Harcourt, 2004.
Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates. FIC MEY Meyer, L. A. Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady. Orlando: Harcourt, 2005.
In 1803, after being exposed as a girl and forced to leave her ship, Jacky Faber finds herself attending school in Boston, where, instead of learning to be a lady, she battles her snobbish classmates, roams the city in search of adventure, and learns to ride a horse. FIC MIC Michael, Jan. City Boy. Boston: Clarion Books, 2009.
Young Sam is forced to make a rocky transition from his city home to a traditional rural life after his mother dies in Malawi and he goes to live with his Aunt Mercy and his cousins in a dirt-floored, one-room hut. FIC MIC Michener, James A.