Youth Easy Books

Historical Fiction: Afghanistan - China

Afghanistan

Ellis, Deborah, The breadwinner
In Afghanistan, a country controlled by the Taliban, a radical religious faction that allows only men to work and forbids women to go to school, work, or even outside thier homes with a male escort, a courageous young woman pretends to be a boy in war-torn Kabul in order to support her family.

Africa

Kehret, Peg. The secret journey
In 1834 when a storm at sea destroys the slave ship on which she is a stowaway, twelve-year-old Emma musters all her resourcefulness to survive in the African jungle.

Assyria, Ancient

Wilson, Diane L. To ride the gods' own stallion
After being taken as a slave to Nineveh, thirteen-year-old Soulai finds his life intertwined with that of the son of King Ashurbanipal and a magnificent stallion and gets a chance to prove to himself and others that he is not a coward.

Australia

Pople, Maureen. The other side of the family
Sent from England for safety during World War II to stay with an Australian grandmother known to hate her family, fifteen-year-old Katherine discovers a totally unexpected character and startling revelations about her family.

Canada

Yates, Elizabeth. With pipe, paddle, and song: A story of the French-Canadian voyageurs, circa 1750
A sixteen-year-old lad, who can paddle, sing, and swim, signs a three-year contract as a voyageur and joins an expedition to north-west Canada in 1750 to search for furs and his future.

Durbin, William. The broken blade
When an injury prevents his father from going into northern Canada with fur traders, thirteen-year-old Pierre decides to take his father's place as a voyageur.

Durbin, William. Wintering
In 1801, fourteen-year-old Pierre returns to work for the North West Fur Company and makes the long and difficult journey to a winter camp, where he learns from both the other voyageurs and from the Ojibwa Indians whose land they share.

Hudson, Jan. Sweetgrass
Living on the western Canadian prairie in the nineteenth century, Sweetgrass, a fifteen-year-old Blackfoot Indian girl, saves her family from a smallpox epidemic and proves her maturity to her father.

Central America

Cameron, Ann. Colibrí
Kidnapped when she was very young by an unscrupulous man who has forced her to lie and beg to get money, a twelve-year-old Mayan girl endures an abusive life, always wishing she could return to the parents she can hardly remember.

Mikaelsen, Ben, Tree Girl
When, protected by the branches of one of the trees she loves to climb, Gabriela witnesses the destruction of her Mayan village and the murder of nearly all its inhabitants, she vows never to climb again until, after she and her traumatised sister find safety in a Mexican refugee camp, she realizes that only by climbing and facing their fears can she and her sister hope to have a future.

China

Paterson, Katherine. Rebels of the heavenly kingdom
Abducted from his home by bandits, fifteen-year-old Wang Lee is rescued from slavery by a mysterious girl who introduces him to the Taiping Tienkuo, a secret society partly based on Christian principles and dedicated to the overthrow of the Manchu government.

Yep, Laurence. Spring Pearl: the last flower
Called boyish by her new family for being able to read and write, twelve-year-old orphaned Spring Pearl's "odd ways" help save the family during the 1857 Opium War in Canton, China.

De Jong, Meindert. The house of sixty fathers
Alone in a sampan with his pig and three ducklings, a little Chinese boy is whirled down a raging river, back to the town from which he and his parents had escaped the invading Japanese, and spends long and frightening days regaining his family and new home.