Welcome to our first book club post! Reading into History is our new monthly book club for kids 9-12. We are excited to get people talking about history and historical fiction and to connect the books we blog about to the New-York Historical Society’s collection.
What is historical fiction and why bother reading it? I once heard a writer say that the best stories to tell are of events that actually happened, and the stories from history really have it all: war, romance, crime, deception and, of course, happy endings. Historical fiction is a story about a fictional character, but the character is surrounded by people and events that are either true or based in truth. It’s a great way to read an exciting story as well as learn a little about a specific time period.
Once a month we will suggest a book for our club members . As we are reading we will share with our club members some of our thoughts and questions about the book. But the truth is we really want to know what you think of the book. Everyone will have three to four weeks to read the book and post their thoughts and questions on our blog. Then DiMenna Children’s History Museum is going to host a book wrap event. There will be authors, we’ll have snacks, and club members will get a sneak peak at some excellent documents and artifacts that relate to the book we have just read. It will be really fun.
Our first book is called Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine. The year is 1926, and eleven year old Dave has been placed in an orphanage in Harlem. Although he grew up in New York City, he is totally unfamiliar with the sights, sounds and smells of Harlem. Despite the cruel director of the orphanage , the bullies, and his strange new surroundings, Dave learns a lot about family and loyalty and getting by.