Today we’re dipping into the shelves for a look at two older titles that deserve a bit of attention. Conveniently, they are both also historical fiction, so this is really a double blast from the past.  Or a blast from a double past.  You figure it out.

When the Legends Die

Hal Borland

The story of a young man caught between two worlds.  It’s the early twentieth century, and Thomas Black Bull is alone – trying to survive in the world his parents gave him and resisting the world that rejected them.

I’ll be honest here – this is one of those coming of age books that’s supposed to make you see the world differently and expand your thinking, etc., etc.  And it does that if you want it to.  But beyond all that, this is one fabulous read!  The characters are off-the-page real and the setting makes you feel like you’ve been transported through time and space.  Reads like lightning, and leaves you with understanding, hope, and satisfaction.

This book is definitely a WIN!

Ashes of Roses

Mary Jane Auch

Also set in the 1910’s this is another tale of cultures meeting, absent parents, and the determination to go on.  Rose Nolan is newly arrived in the United States and about to be a part of one of the greatest tragedies of her era – New York City’s  Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

This book teaches a bit of history, gives you some perspective on the hardship and discrimination faced by new Americans at the turn of the twentieth century, and conveys a sense of how much life has changed for young adults in the United States.  Beyond all of that, though, it’s another really great read!  Mary Auch makes you feel like you’re right there in the middle of all the sights and sounds and smells of 1910 New York City, and like you’re right there with Rose living each moment.

One caveat: Auch plays with accent and dialogue in a way that can be a little aggravating, but it’s worth getting used to it for the read.

Another WIN!

For a fascinating twenty-first century update to the Triangle Fire Tragedy check out

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/nyregion/21triangle.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Drop a comment with some of your historical fiction WINs!

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