Escondido Public Library


Posts in Category: historical

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

A young boy named Huck Finn ventures out with his best friend Tom Sawyer. They encounter the world of discrimination and racism during their trip. In this coming of age novel, these two characters experience intellectual growth as well. 

I did really enjoy this novel. It dealt with racism and showed how society was back then. As the characters learned, the reader learned alongside them. 

Yes, I would recommended it. For adolescents, it's good to read a coming of age novel since they can relate to it better. If one enjoys learning about the deep racial issues back then and reading how a young boy reacts and learns from it; this is a novel you would enjoy. 

Johanna, 16


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The Crucible

by Arthur Miller

In 1692 Salem, Massachusetts there's tension rising in the town. Talk of witchcraft was the rumor people were gossiping about. Eventually many girls were accused of practicing witchcraft. This sent the town into a frenzy. Trials were conducted, people lied, and people questioned the situation. 

As a person interested in the history regarding the Salem Witch Trials, I definitely enjoyed this book. It gave me an insight on how people reacted and what they decided to do about this practice of witchcraft. With such little evidence, it was interesting to see how people jumped to conclusions. 

Yes, I would recommend it. It's a coming of age story and it teaches the consequences of lying. If anyone is interested in the Salem Witch Trials, this novel is for you. 

Johanna, 16


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Star Sand

by Roger Pulvers

Hiromi, a sixteen-year-old Japanese American girl, lives on a small Japanese island during World War II. Hiromi, not knowing which side of the war to be on, finds a cave that conceals an American and a Japanese soldier who have both fled from the war. Neither able to communicate with one another, Hiromi decides to be their translator while also providing them with food. Hiromi wrote her story in her diary, which is later found in the twenty-first century. Not knowing what happened to the three, one college student travels to the island to answer the mystery of what happened to Hiromi.

Star Sand is an amazing book that shows humans as kind and loving individuals who look past the race of a person and see the good inside one another. It also has an air of mystery to it.

I would strongly recommend this book to those who like to read historical fiction and mysteries. This book will keep you sitting on the end of your seat.

Emily, 15


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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

To Kill a MockingbirdThe book is about the Finch family taking on a court case. Supposedly a black man raped a white woman and it caused a big stir because some people believed he was innocent.

I liked it because it was in a way fighting racism. Back in the 30's a white man's word was always right over a black man's word but Atticus did not care and still took on the case.

I would recommend it to others who like sort of old timely books. I would also recommend it to people who like books on fighting racism.

Sabrina, 14


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by Daphne Du Maurier

RebeccaA shy young woman meets the mysterious Maxim de Winter at a hotel in Monte Carlo and gets swept up in a whirlwind romance and speedy marriage. As soon as she arrives at Manderley, the heroine feels the haunting presence of Maxim's first wife, Rebecca, lingering in the hearts and minds of Manderley's inhabitants. The heroine feels like she is always second behind Rebecca, who was beautiful, talented, and brilliant--or so everyone says--but as the story progresses, we realize nothing at Manderley is what it seems and everything leads up to the one last epic confrontation.

I originally wanted to read this book because my name is Rebecca, and I thought it would be funny to see myself as the heroine in a famous romance novel. I was surprised at the quality of du Maurier's writing which crafted a story I just couldn't put down. There was mystery, suspense and classic romance similar to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. This is a good book and it kept me guessing until the shocking conclusion.

I would recommend this book to people that liked the classic romances such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre since there is a lot of figurative language and detail that slows down the story in some places, but there are other parts that have non-stop suspense and action that make the pace very fast. Also you have to have patience since the beginning is a bit slow.

Rebecca, 17


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Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck

Two migrant workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, travel together looking for work and always hoping to save enough to settle down on their own piece of land. Things are looking up for them when they get hired as ranch hands, but just as their dream is within reach, their story screeches to a halt in unspeakable tragedy.

Steinbeck's portrayal of the Great Depression is poignant and incredibly powerful in its realism. Characters are developed nicely, all with a dream they strive for and fail to achieve. I was surprised by how much I felt for all the characters, from the gentle giant Lennie to the aging Candy.

I would recommend it because it is a great book with a believeable plot, realistic characters, historical significance and universal themes anyone can relate to.

Rebecca, 17


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Les Miserables

by Victor Hugo

Les MiserablesJean Valjean is a convict who has experienced great despair while in jail for 20 years, causing him to be spiteful. However, when a single act of kindness is shown, he pledges to be a better human being, but is halted by many obstacles that cause great despair.

Les Miserables is an incredible book. It has multiple powerful themes that connect to many people. The characters are very endearing. The overall story is very influential and captivating. Victor Hugo's masterpiece is very touching and leaves people speechless and crying.

This book is recommended to people of all ages. Jean Valjean and the other characters' journey will surely captivate readers.

CJ, 17


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Johnny Tremain

by Esther Forbes

Johnny Tremain coverThis book is about a teenage boy named Johnny Tremain who lives in Boston before the American Revolution. He is an apprentice silversmith, and one day he takes an order from John Hancock for a sugar basin he needs in the next week. Johnny takes the order despite his master's decline and Johnny decides to work on it on the Sabbath, a day that no one is supposed to work on. Through all of the hustle and bustle of trying not to get caught, Johnny accidentally spills silver onto his hand. They have to wrap it up and act as if nothing happened and they leave it like that for a couple weeks. When they finally unwrap his hand, they see that the skin on his palm has melded to his thumb, leaving his hand unusable. He ends up having to look for other jobs since he needed two hands to be a silversmith and meets a couple friends and ends up doing some pretty historical things.

I did not like this book, and I thought it was an okay read. The reason for this was because the book never caught my attention. I found it really hard to immerse myself into it.

I do not reccomend this book to others. I had some of my friends try to read it as well and they couldn't find it interesting either. I think that the only kind of people that would find this book interesting would be historical fanatics given the fact that it is based in the pre-Amercain Revolution era and has an appearence of a couple famous historical people.

Kevin, 14


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The Scarlet Letter

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

This book was about the life of a "harlot". While she only did what any other human being would, the world around Hester Prynne judges her to an extreme.

This book was a bit of a challenge, but had a very strong message and conveyed a very interesting tone.

This book would probably only be best for teens, or adults, with higher reading levels, but just because it is a challenge.

Khrystina, 17


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The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow

by Ann Turner

CoverIn January of 1864, a Navajo girl named Sarah Nita loses her family to some American troops. She and her sister Kaibah must flee to a canyon, where she finds people in the same tribe as her father. Once they get caught as well, she makes it her mission to find her lost family.

It was an interesting book. Not much big vocabulary, but Sarah Nita does tell nice stories. I liked it, and it was a good book.

If you are into Native Americans and nature, then this is the book you've been looking for!

Francesca, 12


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My Heart is on the Ground: the Diary of Nannie Little Rose

by Ann Rinaldi

Heart coverIn 1880, at the Carlisle school for Indians, a girl named Nannie Little Rose has to keep her friend out of trouble while she's on a mission of her own in the book named My Heart is on the Ground.

In my opinion, it was just another book. My Heart is on the Ground is average, nothing special.

I would recommend My Heart is on the Ground to children who like Indians, and the mystical world of spirits.

Francesca, 12


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Never Fall Down

by Patricia McCormick

Never Fall Down coverNever Fall Down is based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, a survivor of the brutal life in the Khmer Rouge, a communist party that had taken over Cambodia. Arn is a normal, if impoverished, boy who suddenly gets thrust into the violent life of the Khmer Rouge, and is made to commit to many things just to stay alive. Learning music is one. Handling a gun is another.

Never Fall Down was an amazing book. Powerful and poignant, it bound my heart and tugged at its strings to make a significant impact. Arn's story is memorable and something that I will read again and again.

I definitely recommend everyone to read this book. History junkies will especially like Never Fall Down. However, there are definitely some graphic aspects to this book, so read at your own discretion.

Erica, 16


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The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

The Color Purple might be a violent and challenging book; however, it has a very rich and deep meaning. Celie has become one of my favorite woman characters because of all she has endured in her life. Having to suffer seeing her two children taken from her at a young age and seen as subordinates, Celie still has hope in God. Woman are just as strong as men.

This book is an inspiration to a lot of woman who are suppressed by men. Celie is one of those characters you get very close and by the end of the book I was wishing it wouldn't end. Celie assumes her sister is dead after not hearing from her for years. The Color Purple has many twists and a very shocking ending.

I would recommend this book to older readers who want a challenge - it's an amazing book but is very explicit and has a lot of violent scenes. This book also has many racial and gender arguments and ventures into an era when women didn't wear pants and were looked upon as a man's property. The tile can be seen as a symbol throughout the story and is told like if you were reading through an old journal. Remember the reason this book is a challenge is because the speaker, Celie was learning how to write.

Lauren, 16


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