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KEY: jP = Picture Books; jZ = 1st and 2nd Grade Readers; jE = 3rd and 4th Grade Readers; JF = 5th Grade and Up

1970's

updated November 2014


Picture Books

Michelson, Richard BUSING BREWSTER
Bused across town to a school in a white neighborhood of Boston in 1974, a young African American boy named Brewster describes his first day in first grade. Includes historical notes on the court-ordered busing.
2010 unpaged


1st and 2nd Grades


3rd - 4th Grades


5th Grade and Up

Rockliff, Mara ME AND MOMMA AND BIG JOHN
Little John is proud of his mother's work as a stonecutter for a cathedral called "Big John," but struggles to understand the importance of spending so much time on one stone that no one will know Momma cut. Includes a history of New York City's Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
2012 unpaged

Agosin, Marjorie I LIVED ON BUTTERFLY HILL
From Booklist *Starred Review* Observant, curious 11-year-old dreamer Celeste Marconi wants to be a writer when she grows up. She embraces everything about her peaceful, magical harbor city of Valparaiso, Chile, from the pelicans who greet her every morning to the colors and flowers of the gardens. But when small things start to change—neighbors and classmates begin to disappear, and military ships crowd the harbor—she knows trouble of some kind is on the horizon. Words like subversive and dictatorship are whispered in conversation. Books are burned. Artists, educators, and those believing in equality for all are removed from society. No one feels safe. During the government takeover, Celeste’s parents—gentle and compassionate doctors who care for the poor—go into hiding and send her to live in America with her aunt. Like her Jewish grandmother who escaped Austria just before the Holocaust, Celeste learns to cope with exile, never allowing her homeland to fade from her heart. Agosín, an award-winning author, lived a similar multicultural, multigenerational story set around the Pinochet coup in the 1970s, and she writes of it with beauty and grace, telling a compelling tale that both enchants and haunts. Illustrations unseen. Grades 5-8. --Jeanne Fredriksen
2014 454 p.

Reiss, Kathryn THE TANGLED WEB
A Julie Mystery
American Girl
In 1977 San Francisco, Julie wants to be just like her new friend Carla, until she discovers that Carla is either in big danger or telling big lies.
2009 156 p.

Antle, Nancy LOST IN THE WAR
Twelve-year-old Lisa Grey struggles to cope with a mother whose traumatic experiences as a nurse in Vietnam during the war are still haunting her.
2000 137 p.

Brown, Jackie LITTLE CRICKET

After the upheaval of the Vietnam War reaches them, twelve-year-old Kia and her Hmong family flee from the mountains of Laos to a refugee camp in Thailand and eventually to the alien world of Saint Paul, Minnesota.
2004 252 p.

Christiansen, C.B. I SEE THE MOON
1978. In a small,old-fashioned farming community, 12-year-old Bitte learns the answer to the question "what is love?" when her older sister decides to place her unborn child up for adoption.
1994 115 p.

Cormier, Robert AFTER THE FIRST DEATH
The hijacking of a bus of children by terrorists seeking the return of their homeland is described from the perspectives of a hostage, a terrorist, an Army general involved in the rescue operation, and his son, chosen as the go-between.
1991 233 p.

Easton, Kelly THE LIFE HISTORY OF A STAR
For more than a year, fourteen-year-old Kristin uses her diary to record her confused thoughts about the physical changes brought on by adolescence and the emotional strain on her family of living with the "ghost" of her beloved older brother who was physically and mentally destroyed while serving in Vietnam.
2001 200 p.
Easton, Kelly THE LIFE HISTORY OF A STAR
For more than a year, fourteen-year-old Kristin uses her diary to record her confused thoughts about the physical changes brought on by adolescence and the emotional strain on her family of living with the "ghost" of her beloved older brother who was physically and mentally destroyed while serving in Vietnam.
2001 200 p.

Erskine, Kathryn SEEING RED
When twelve-year-old Frederick "Red" Porter's father dies in 1972, his mother wants to sell their automobile repair shop and move her two sons back to Ohio, but Red is desperate to stop the sale even if it means unearthing some dark family secrets in a Virginia rife with racial tensions.
1999 190 p.

Hahn, Mary Downing DECEMBER STILLNESS
Fourteen-year-old Kelly tries to befriend Mr. Weems, a disturbed, homeless Vietnam War veteran who spends his days in her suburban library, though the man makes it clear he wants to be left alone.
2013 334 p.
Holt, Kimberly WHEN ZACHARY BEAVER CAME TO TOWN
During the summer of 1971 in a small Texas town, thirteen-year-old Toby and his best friend Cal meet the star of a sideshow act, 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world.
1999 227 p.

Johnston, Tim NEVER SO GREEN
In Iowa in the 1970s, twelve-year-old Tex overcomes his self-consciousness about his deformed right hand to take baseball lessons from his stepfather and his tomboy stepsister, who harbors a dark secret.
2002 227 p.

LaFaye, A. STRAWBERRY HILL
During the summer of 1976, 12-year-old Raleia Pendle feels like a misfit with her hippie parents and begins a friendship with the town recluse.
1999 272 p.
Lai, Thanhha INSIDE OUT & BACK AGAIN
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.
2011 262 p.
Lewis, Catherine POSTCARDS TO FATHER ABRAHAM
When sixteen-year-old Meghan loses her leg to cancer and her brother to Vietnam, she expresses intense anger in postcards which she writes to her idol, Abraham Lincoln.
2000 288 p.
Lynch, Chris GOLD DUST
In 1975, twelve-year-old Richard befriends Napoleon, a Caribbean newcomer to his Catholic school, hoping that Napoleon will learn to love baseball and the Red Sox and eventually win acceptance in the racially-polarized Boston school.
2000 196 p.
Mathis, Sharon Bell TEACUP FULL OF ROSES
Joe's decision to leave home is prompted by despair over his mother's blindness to his younger brother's talents and his older brother's drug addiction.
1987 125 p.
McDaniels, Lurlene GARDEN OF ANGELS
In Conners, Georgia, 1974, fourteen-year-old Darcy tries to deal with her mother's battle with breast cancer as she faces new feelings for an outcast senior at her school and learns that the war in Vietnam is more than a school project.
2003 272 p.
Murphy, Pat THE WILD GIRLS
When thirteen-year-old Joan moves to California in 1972, she becomes friends with Sarah, who is timid at school but an imaginative leader when they play in the woods, and after winning a writing contest together they are recruited for an exclusive summer writing class that gives them new insights into themselves and others.
2007 288 p.
Newton, Suzanne I WILL CALL IT GEORGIE'S BLUES
Reverend Sloan is a time bomb waiting to go off. Behind his kindly public persona is an intolerant, demanding parent who terrorizes his children. Neal escapes through music, but his frail brother Georgie is headed for a breakdown.
1990 197 p.
Paterson, Katherine PARK'S QUEST
Eleven-year-old Park makes some startling discoveries when he travels to his grandfather's farm in Virginia to learn about his father who died in the Vietnam War.
1989 148 p.
Stead, Rebecca WHEN YOU REACH ME
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space. .
2009 199 p.
Woodson, Jacqueline FEATHERS
When a new, white student nicknamed "The Jesus Boy" joins her sixth grade class in the winter of 1971, Frannie's growing friendship with him makes her start to see some things in a new light.
2007 118 p.
Woodworth, Chris GEORGIE'S MOON
1970. With a chip on her shoulder and a talent for disruption, seventh-grader Georgie Collins moves with her mom to a small Indiana town, where they await the return of Georgie's father from Vietnam.
2006 167 p.