Friday, November 4, 2011
MG Historicals = Love
Today, Michael Gettel-Gilmartin at Project Mayhem and several others (the links are located at Project Mayhem) are highlighting middle grade historical fiction, a fabulous way to cast a whole new light on history.
Of my many favorite middle grade historicals, one you need to read, is Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. I read it as an adult (it was published in 2008, and I've been an adult for, well, quite awhile), and even though it's written for middle graders, my perspective of the American Revolution was turned upside down. The Declaration of Independence, signed in 1776, freed Americans, right? And the American Revolution secured that freedom, didn't it?
Wrong. The Declaration of Independence freed certain Americans. And the American Revolution secured that freedom for some Americans. If you were African American, your freedom didn't arrive until 1865.
While this is not news, the backdrop to this story makes you rethink history. Picture living through the American Revolution as a slave. Not only as a slave, but as a slave girl. This is the world you enter when you read Chains. Read it and you too will wonder: why didn't the American Revolution seek freedom for everyone in America? Read Chains and challenge your historical mirror.
Do you have a favorite middle grade historical?