1700s

Grade Level Interest
M
: Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S: Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA: Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

 

The Revolution of Sabine by Beth Levine Ain

16-year-old Sabine Durand, daughter of aristocrats, thinks of nothing but donning exquisite ball gowns and being seen at all the right parties in Paris. But when she sneaks away to a salon and meets the revolutionary Ben Franklin, Sabine becomes fascinated by ideas of change. Now determined to take control of her life as it spins toward an arranged marriage, Sabine must discover how to break free of her social-climbing mother’s cruel grasp. (M, S)

 

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M.T. Anderson

Raised by a group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, Octavian and his mother — a princess in exile from a faraway land — are the only persons in their household assigned names. Dressed in silks and given the finest of classical educations, it is only after he dares to open a forbidden door that he learns the hideous nature of their experiments — and his own chilling role in them. (S)

 

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. But when the fever breaks out, Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie’s world upside down. (M, S)

 

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to her sister Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom. (M, S)

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The Fighting Ground by Avi

He may be just thirteen, but Jonathan knows he’s ready to go to the war against the British. He can handle a gun. He yearns to battle for glory, just like his brother and cousin. So when Jonathan hears the tavern bell toll, calling men to fight, he runs to join them. He doesn’t realize that in just twenty-four hours, his life will be forever altered – by the war, by his fellow soldiers, and by the terrible choices he must make. (M)

 

The Winter People by Joseph Bruchac

Saxso is fourteen when the British soldiers attack his Canadian village. It is the year 1759, and war is raging between the British and the French, with the Abenaki people-Saxso’s people-by their side. In fact, most of the men of Saxso’s village are away looking for the British elsewhere on the day of the attack. There aren’t enough people home to put up a proper defense, and the village is destroyed. Many people are killed and some are taken hostage, including Saxso’s own mother and two younger sisters. It’s up to Saxso, on his own, to track the raiders and bring his family back home. (M)

 

My Brother Sam is Dead by Christopher and James Lincoln Collier

All his life, Tim Meeker has looked up to his brother Sam. Sam’s smart and brave — and is now a part of the American Revolution. Not everyone in town wants to be a part of the rebellion. Most are supporters of the British – including Tim and Sam’s father. With the war soon raging, Tim know he’ll have to make a choice – between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats…and between his brother and his father. (M, S)

 

Star-Crossed by Linda Collision

Patricia Kelley has been raised a proper British lady – but she’s become a stowaway. Her father is dead, and her future in peril. To claim the estate that is rightfully hers, she must travel across the seas to Barbados, hidden in the belly of merchant ship. But what will happen when she is discovered? (M, S)

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Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Two fifteen-year-old girls – one a slave and the other an indentured servant – escape their Carolina plantation and try to make their way to Fort Moses, Florida, a Spanish colony that gives sanctuary to slaves. (S)

 

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

Set against the French Revolution, fourteen-year-old Gypsy orphan Yann Margoza’s encounter with a shy heiress, twelve-year-old Sido, changes his life. Yann, and the dwarf who has raised him are caught up in drama on and off the stage when the magician is murdered by the villainous Count Kalliovski. So begins a finely crafted tale that crosses years and crisscrosses countries, as Yann becomes a young man with a mission: to save the lovely Sido from her heartless father, even as he struggles with the extraordinary gifts bestowed upon him by his Gypsy heritage. (S)

 

The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding

Orphaned Cat Royal lives in the Theater Royal on Drury Lane, a place filled with dramatic characters, theatrical spectacles, and now, a secret treasure—which Cat has been asked to protect. Her new friend Pedro, a former slave and gifted violinist, is eager to help, and so is the theater prompter, Jonathan, who is hiding secrets of his own. But when the ruthless gang leader Billy Shepherd learns about the treasure, Cat thinks she’s going to lose it for sure. She still doesn’t know what the treasure is, so how can she keep it safe from Billy and his gang? (M)

 

Escape from Botany Bay by Gerald and Loretta Hausman

In 1791, after being transported to Australia in the first shipment of convicts, Mary Bryant, her husband, two children, and seven other convicts, unable to endure the terrible conditions of the penal colony, organize a daring escape in an open boat. (M, S)

 

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The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

Though he’s only a tea merchant’s son, Seikei dreams of being one of the legendary warriors, a samurai. When a priceless ruby intended for the shogun—the military governor of Japan—is stolen by a ghost, Seikei is the only person to have seen the thief, and now the famous samurai magistrate, Judge Ooka, needs Seikei’s help to solve the mystery. Soon the two are hot on the trail of the ruby—and an unforgettable adventure. (M)

 

The Pirate’s Son by Geraldine McCaughrean

14-year-old Nathan dreams of fighting pirates in faraway lands. Then his father dies, leaving Nathan penniless. When Tamo, the son of a famous pirate, invites Nathan to join him in Madagascar it seems as if Nathan’s daydreams are coming true. Nathan, his sister Maud, and Tamo seem to find adventure – and danger – everywhere. (M)

 

Pirates! by Celia Rees

Nancy Kington, a wealthy merchant’s daughter living in Bristol, England in the early 1700’s, is sometimes lonely but enjoys the privileges her father’s business brings. Minerva Sharpe is a penniless slave’s daughter living and working on the Kington’s Jamaican plantation. These two young women, united through a set of extraordinary circumstances including a brutal murder, an arranged marriage, and set of ruby earrings, find themselves sailing the high seas in search of love, adventure and freedom—as pirates! (M, S)

 

Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons by Ann Rinaldi

Kidnapped from her home in Senegal and sold as a slave in 1761, Phillis Wheatley—as she comes to be known—stuns her adopted country by becoming America’s first published black poet. (M)

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