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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Literary QOTW: Bringing History to Life
Lots of books have been written with a major historical event as the setting backdrop, giving us a teen or tween's view of what that event was like. For example, Christopher Paul Curtis'The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 (the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing), Jonathan Safran Foer'sExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close (9/11), and Deborah Wiles' Countdown (Cuban Missile Crisis/1960s). What major historical event would you like to see in a YA novel and why?
Stefanie Says: I'd like to see a YA book set in Haiti during the recent-ish earthquake. I'm not familiar with many contemporary YA novels set in the Caribbean. It'd be nice to get a glimpse of what life was like before and after the earthquake and what life in present-day Caribbeans nations is like too. Chris Says: So, by coincidence, we both picked earthquakes. The only difference is that mine is almost 200 years earlier and centered around New Madrid, Missouri. The New Madrid earthquake was actually a series of earthquakes occurring over a 4-month period that were felt as far away as Maine. The quakes were powerful enough to create waterfalls along the Mississippi River and even made it flow backwards at several points and almost an entire town was washed away. In addition to all of the destruction, the quake helped uncover evidence that solved a famous murder investigation involving nephews of Thomas Jefferson. A YA book set during this event would be a mix of Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, and Earthquake. If you like historical YA fiction, check out this site: http://plymouthlibrary.org/index.php/teen/teen-booklists/67-american-historical-fiction-for-teens