Children (Ages 2 to 7)
I Took a Walk written and illustrated by Henry Cole, Fiction, 2-7. This story was inspired by the author's childhood in Loudoun County. A visit to woods, pasture, creek, and pond brings encounters with various birds, insects, and other creatures of nataure. Flaps fold out to reveal the animals on each two-page spread. (Bank Street Best Books) [Greenwillow, 1998; ISBN 0-688-15115-9 $16.99 hdbk]
Sparks Fly High: The Legend of Dancing Point by Mary Quattlebaum, illus. by Leonid Gore. Picture book folktale, 4-8. This lively Colonial American folktale re-tells the story of the legendary dance contest between Colonel Lightfoot and the devil for a spit of land called Dancing Point along the James River, close to Colonial Williamsburg. [Farrar Straus Giroux 2006; ISBN 0-374-34452-3 $16]
Older Readers (Ages 8 and up)
Across the Lines by Carolyn Reeder. Historical fiction, 8-12. Edward, the 12-year-old son of a plantation family, spends the last year of the Civil War with relatives in the besieged city of Petersburg while Simon, his companion and servant, has attached himself to the Union Army outside the city. Specific settings: Petersburg and City Point. [Atheneum 1997; ISBN pbk. 0-380-73073-1 $5.99]
A. Linwood Holton, Jr. by Moira Rose Donohue. Nonfiction, ages 8-10. A leveled text biography for fourth graders with photographs, glossary and thought-provoking questions about the governor of Virginia from 1970 to 1974 and president of the Center for Innovative Technology. [State Standards Publishing, 2012; ISBN hrdcvr. 978-1-935884-61-3 $30.60/$22.95 schools, pbk. 978-1-935884-67-5 $14.60/10.95 schools]
Annie, Between the States by L. M. Elliott. Historic fiction, 12 and up. Based on the lives of real-life Virginia civilians and the Confederate and Union leaders fighting in the region, Annie, Between the States presents a teenaged girl's struggle to survive and understand the upheaval and moral dilemmas of the Civil War. Virginia Readers' Choice, high school master list, 2006-2007. [HarperCollins 2004; ISBN hdbk. 0060012110 $15.99, pbk. 0060012137 $6.99]
Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. by Moira Rose Donohue. Nonfiction, ages 8-10. A leveled text biography for fourth graders with photographs, glossary and thought-provoking questions about the first African American tennis player to win grand slam tennis tournaments around the world. [State Standards Publishing, 2012; ISBN hrdcvr. 978-1-935884-62-0 $30.60/$22.95 schools; ISBN pbk. 978-1-935884-68-2 $14.60/$10.95 schools]
Baron Von Steuben by Bruce Adelson. Biography, 10 and up. Biography of the Prussian general who trained the American army at Valley Forge in 1778 and commanded it in Virginia in the late 1770s, and to whom British General Cornwallis first surrendered at the Battle of Yorktown in Virginia at the end of the Revolutionary War. [Chelsea 2001; ISBN pbk. 0791063925 $9.95]
Blood on the River: James Town 1607 by Elisa Carbone. Historical fiction, 9 and up. Be prepared to be taken back to the year 1607 when 104 settlers landed in the New World. [Viking 2006; ISBN 0-670-06060-7]
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. Fiction, 10 and up. A boy and girl build a magic kingdom and a friendship, which tragedy disrupts. Also includes details of Washington, D.C. (Newbery Medal) [Crowell/HarperCollins 1977; ISBN hdbk. 0-690-01359-0 $15.95, pbk. 0-06-440184-7, $5.95]
Care and Feeding of Dragons, The by Brenda Seabrooke. Fiction, 7-10. When school starts, Alastair McKnight's pet baby dragon Spike has abandonment symptoms, which Alastair must cure while coping with his dragon of a teacher. [Dutton 1998; ISBN hdbk. 0-525-65252-3 $15.99]
Come Sing, Jimmy Jo by Katherine Paterson. Fiction, 10 and up. A shy boy becomes part of a country music act and learns the truth about his family. (ALA Notable) [Lodestar/Dutton 1985; ISBN hdbk. 0-525-67167-6 $15.99, pbk. 0-14-037397-7 $5.99]
Dark Passage: The Virginia Blue Ridge Tunnel, by Mary E. Lyons, ages 12+. Nonfiction. This Multi-Touch book for the iPad relates how a French engineer, Irish miners, and African Americans built the longest railroad tunnel in the world between 1850 and 1860. (Jerome Handler, Senior Scholar, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities: "A fascinating chapter in the story of the
Irish Diaspora") [2012; ISBN: 9-780-61562-1-180]
David Farragut: Union Admiral by Bruce Adelson. Biography, 10 and up. Biography of the most decorated admiral in American history whose statue is at Farragut Square in Washington, DC and who lived in Virginia but sided with the Union during the Civil War. [Chelsea 2001; ISBN hdbk. 0791064166 $20.85]
Dear Ellen Bee: A Civil War Scrapbook of Two Union Spies by Mary Lyons and Muriel Branch. Historic fiction, 10 and up. This scrapbook novel includes reproductions of Civil War-period memorabilia and is based on the lives of Elizabeth Van Lew, a former slaveholder, and Mary Elizabeth Bowser, Van Lew's freed slave, who worked together as spies to help win the Civil War. (NY Public Library: One Hundred Books for Reading and Sharing) [Atheneum 2001; ISBN hdbk. 0-689-82379-7 $17]
Dream Boy by Madelyn Rosenberg and Mary Crockett. Fantasy, ages 12 and up. Annabelle Manning spends her nights with a blue-eyed boy who consumes her dreams - then vanishes each morning as she wakes. He's everything she's ever wanted, but even she never expected to find him in her chemistry class the next day. But if dreams can come true, than so can nightmares. Set in Southwest Virginia, where Madelyn and Mary both grew up. [Sourcebooks 2014; ISBN-13: 978-1402295836 $9.99]
Flip-Flop Girl by Katherine Paterson. Fiction, 9-12. After Vinnie's father dies and her little brother becomes mute, her grief leads her into betraying a friendship that will ultimately heal her. (ALA Notable) [Lodestar/Econo-Clad 1994; ISBN hdbk. 0-525-67480-2 $11.10, pbk. 0-1-037679-8 $4.99]
George Meade: Union General by Bruce Adelson. Biography, 10 and up. Biography of the hero of Gettysburg, who commanded the Army of the Potomac in its campaigns in Virginia from 1863 until the end of the Civil War. [Chelsea 2001; ISBN hdbk. 0791064107 $20.85]
George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides written and illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzer. Nonfiction/Biography/History/Picture Book, 7-Adult. "… This carefully researched reminder that the Revolution was an 'us vs. us' conflict, not an 'us vs. them' conflict should be required reading for all young students of American history." Kirkus Reviews. Best Book of the Year - School Library Journal. [National Geographic Society 2004; 64 Pages; ISBN hdbk. 0-7922-7349-4, $16.95; ISBN LB 0-7922-6999-3, $25.90; ISBN pbk 978-1-4263-0042-4]
Give Me Liberty by L.M. Elliott. Historic fiction, 9 and up. Indentured servant Nathaniel Dunn finds the courage to fight for liberty when revolution explodes in Williamsburg, and to face off with his oldest friend, a run-away slave fighting for the British Royal Ethiopian, at the Battle of Great Bridge, December 1775, just outside Norfolk. [HarperCollins 2006; ISBN hdbk.0060744219, $16.99]
Grandpa's Mountain by Carolyn Reeder. Historical fiction, 8-12. When 11-year-old Carrie arrives for her annual visit with her grandparents, she finds that her favorite place in the world is threatened because the government wants Grandpa's land for the new Shenandoah National Park. Set in Blue Ridge Mountains. [Simon & Schuster 1991; ISBN pbk. 0-689-84867-6 $4.99]
Gregory Howard's Story by Carolyn Reeder. Historical fiction, 10 and up. Thirteen-year-old Gregory finds himself living in an occupied city—as well as in a family with divided loyalties—when undisciplined Union troops march into Alexandria at the start of the Civil War. [Children's Literature reprint 2008; ISBN pbk. 978-1-890920-17-3 $6.95]
Grover G. Graham and Me by Mary Quattlebaum. Fiction, 8-12. In this humorous and poignant novel, an 11-year-old boy cares for the toddler in his eighth foster home--and begins to feel his first sense of belonging. Set in rural Virginia. [Random House 2001; hdbk. ISBN 0-385-3227-1 $14.95, pbk. ISBN 0-440-41918-2 $4.99].
Harry F. Byrd, Sr. by Moira Rose Donohue. Nonfiction, ages 8-10. A leveled text biography for fourth graders with photographs, glossary and thought-provoking questions about the long-term Virginia Senator responsible for the massive resistance movement to school desegregation. [State Standards Publishing, 2012; ISBN hrdcvr. 978-1-935884-59-0 $30.60/$22.95 schools; ISBN pbk. 978-1-935884-65-1 $14.60/$10.95 schools].
Hear the Wind Blow by Mary Downing Hahn. Historic fiction, 11-14. At the closing months of the Civil War, Haswell Magruder shelters a wounded Confederate soldier on his family's Shenandoah Valley farm, and this generous act sets off a horrendous chain of events for him. Set near Winchester. [Clarion 2003; ISBN hdbk 0618181903 $15.00]
Haunting of Holroyd Hill, The by Brenda Seabrooke. Fiction, 10-13. Melinda and Kevin discover their new house is haunted by the ghost of a Civil War soldier whose problem they have to solve in a hurry. Set in Fairfax County. (Shortlisted for Mark Twain Award) [Puffin 1997; ISBN pbk. 0-14-038540-1 $3.99]
How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark written and illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzer. Non-fiction picture book, 6-12. Through quotes from the travelers' own journals and plenty of colorful, thoroughly researched artwork, you'll relive hair-raising adventures and narrow escapes as Virginia-born Lewis and Clark make the famous Voyage of Discovery that opened the West. (National Council of Social Studies/Children's Book Council Joint Committee Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies) [National Geographic Society 1997; ISBN hdbk. 0-7922-3738-2; ISBN pbk 0-7922-6726-5]
John Smith Escapes Again! written and illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzer. Non-fiction/Biography/Historical/Picture Book, 7-14. John Smith, the man rescued by Pocahontas, was also America’s first superstar! An explorer, adventurer, writer, and fighter, his amazing life included a whole series of impossibly daring escapes from slavery, attacks by ruthless sea pirates, ambush by Indians, and more. [National Geographic Society 2006; 64 Pages; ISBN hdbk. 0-7922-5930-0, $16.95; ISBN LB 0-7922-5931-9]
L. Douglas Wilder by Moira Rose Donohue. Nonfiction, ages 8-10. A leveled text biography for fourth graders with photographs, glossary and thought-provoking questions about the first elected African American governor in the United States. [State Standards Publishing, 2012; ISBN hrdcvr. 978-1-935884-63-7 $30.60/$22.95 schools; ISBN pbk. 978-1-935884-69-9 $14.60/$10.95 schools].
Lucy’s (Completely Cool and Totally True) E-Journal, by Jane Harrington. Fiction, ages 7+. An active and fun-loving ten-year-old girl keeps a journal to help her adjust to the changes that come when her disabled grandmother moves in. Set in Alexandria, VA. (Top-five national bestseller, Scholastic Book Fairs, 2002) [Scholastic 2001; ISBN 0-439-32373-8 $4.50]
Maggie L. Walker by Moira Rose Donohue. Nonfiction, ages 8-10. A leveled text biography for fourth graders with photographs, glossary and thought-provoking questions about the first African American woman to charter a bank. [State Standards Publishing, 2012; ISBN hrdcvr. 978-1-935884-62-0 $30.60/$22.95 schools; ISBN pbk. 978-1-935884-68-2 $14.60/$10.95 schools].
Master George's People: George Washington, His Slaves, and His Revolutionary Transformation. By Marfé Ferguson Delano, photographs by Lori Epstein. Nonfiction, ages 10 and up. Illustrated with reenactment photography shot on location at Mount Vernon, this book explores the lives of the enslaved people at Washington's Virginia plantation and their master's changing attitude toward slavery. [National Geographic Children's Books, January 2013; ISBN 978-1426307591, $18.95]
Moonshiner's Son by Carolyn Reeder. Historical fiction, 8-12. In a clash of cultures, 12-year-old Tom and his pa find their traditional Appalachian values at odds with those of the mission preacher and his daughter as well as with the law of the land during the prohibition years. Set in Blue Ridge Mountains. (Sugarman Award) [Simon & Schuster 1993; ISBN pbk. 0-689-85550-8 $4.99]
Nanny X by Madelyn Rosenberg. Fiction, ages 8 and up. Ali and Jake don’t want or need a Nanny, but they start to change their mind when the older woman their mother hires turns out to be a special agent. Set in the fictional town of Lovett, Va., right outside of Washington, D.C., and modeled on places in Arlington and McLean, Va. [Holiday House 2014. ISBN-13: 978-0823431663 $16.95]
Nanny X Returns by Madelyn Rosenberg, Fiction, ages 8 and up. Ali and Jake are back, this time to fight a villain who is threatening the president, unless a certain piece of lawn art is installed on the White House Lawn. Most of this book takes place in and around the museums on the D.C. mall. [Holiday House 2015 ISBN-13: 978-0823435333 $16.95]
Oliver W. Hill by Moira Rose Donohue. Nonfiction, ages 8-10. A leveled text biography for fourth graders with photographs, glossary and thought-provoking questions about a Virginia lawyer who participated in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation lawsuit. [State Standards Publishing, 2012; ISBN hrdcvr. 978-1-935884-60-6 $30.60/$22.95 schools; ISBN pbk. 978-1-935884-66-8 $14.60/$10.95 schools].
O is for Old Dominion: A Virginia Alphabet by Pamela Duncan Edwards, illus. by Troy Howell. Picture book nonfiction, all ages. From Arlington National Cemetery to magnificent Monticello, Virginia has always had a place in American history. This book offers readers of all ages a guided A-Z tour through this fascinating state. Beginning readers will enjoy the simple rhymes, while older children will visit Jamestown, Williamsburg, and even the Pentagon. [Sleeping Bear Press 2005; ISBN 1-58536-161-5]
Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder. Historical fiction, 8-12. Orphaned by the Civil War, Will Page must make a new life for himself with relatives in the war-torn Virginia Piedmont--including an uncle Will considers a traitor or coward because he refused to fight for the Confederacy. Specific setting: Culpeper County. (Scott O'Dell Award) [Simon & Schuster 1989; ISBN hdbk. 0-02-775810-9 $16, pbk. 0-689-82696-6 $4.99]
This is just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang. Historical fiction. Ages 8 and up. David Da-Wei Horowitz is trying to find balance – between his warring Jewish and Chinese grandmothers and warring friends, all while studying for his bar mitzvah and a county trivia contest and worrying that a nuclear war is going to blow up his world. The book, a Junior Library Guild and PJ Library selection, is set in Northern Virginia, where Madelyn and Wendy both live. [Scholastic 2017 ISBN-13: 978-1338037722 $17.99]
Twin in the Tavern, The by Barbara Brooks Wallace. Historic fiction, 8-12. This Dickensian tale is filled with imposters, scoundrels, and danger as a young orphaned boy tries to find his twin and learn the secret of his true identity. Specific setting: Alexandria. (Edgar Award) [Atheneum 1993; ISBN hdbk. 0-689-31846-4, $14.95, pbk. 0-689-80167-X $3.95]
SEE ALSO: Captain John Smith's Big and Beautiful Bay by Rebecca C. Jones, illus. by Linda Shute. ALSO IN MARYLAND.