Avi. Nothing But the
A student who sings the national anthem as it is played each morning at school becomes the focus of national media attention when he refuses to
stand silently as the song is played. Reportedly based on a true story.
Beatty, Patricia. Jayhawker.
A young spy infiltrates a Missouri Bushwacker group populated by the likes of Jesse and Frank James, James Hickok, and William Quantrill in time to learn of their plan to burn Lawrence, Kansas.
Bunting, Eve. Sharing Susan.
Sharing Susan by Eve Bunting was inspired by the story of the babies switched at the hospital; the switch not discovered until one girl dies at
about age 12 and the parents find there was no biological relation. They find out who their "real" daughter is, and want her to move in with them.
The story is told from the POV of the young girl.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. The
Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963.
An African-American family travels to the site of the deadly church bombings. Includes factual historical information. (I'm not sure if the
actual car trip is based on the author's experiences or not).
Konigsburg, E.L. Silent
to the Bone.
A teenage boy is rendered mute following incidents in his home in which his infant sister is left comatose. His best friend is enlisted to try to get
him to speak. Although not technically based on the Louise Woodward case (the au pair who was accused of shaking a baby to death), it may remind
readers of some of the facts of that case.
Lyons, Mary E. Dear Ellen
Bee: A Civil War Scrapbook of Two Union Spies.
A fictionalized account of two real women, one a wealthy Richmond, VA, abolitionist and the other a young woman she has helped free and educate.
Lyons, Mary E. Letters from
a Slave Girl: The True Story of Harriet Jacobs.
The story of Harriet Jacobs told through letters and journal entries based in large part on Jacobs' account of slavery.
Lyons, Mary E. The Poison
Sad tale of Charles Willson Peale, famous portraitist, told by Moses Williams, Peale's former slave.
Meyer, Carolyn. Drummers
A Jewish teen refuses to participate in her school band's performance of a religious song. The author's account of the events that led to the novel
are discusses in Ted Hipple's Writers for Young Adults series, supplement 1, as well as in an article from SIGNAL, Summer/Fall 1998, entitled "The Toad's Precious Jewel: The True Story Behind the Drummers of Jericho."
Miklowitz, Gloria D. Masada.
Tells of the siege of the fortress of Masada by the Tenth Roman Legion and the Jews' unwillingness to surrender.
Rinaldi, Ann. numerous
Rinaldi is well known for her stories about historical American events.
Ryan, Pam Munoz. Esperanza
A story based on Ryan's grandmother's account of leaving a wealthy Mexican lifestyle to become a field worker in California.
Schusterman, Neil. What Daddy
A boy whose father killed his mother is to be released from jail. Reported to be based on a true story, although I don't know the details.
Skurzynski, Gloria. Spider's
Loosely based on the story of Heloise and Abelard, France's most famous lovers, who lived in the 12th century.
Strasser, Todd. Give a Boy
Two boys hold their classmates hostage at gunpoint in a high school gym. With factual statistics and other information about school violence, the
story was inspired by--but does not mirror--events at Columbine High School in April 1999.
Tamar, Erika. Fair Game.
Based on the story of the GlenRidge, CT, in which a group of elite high school athletes in a wealthy community raped a mentally handicapped girl and
were punished only lightly for their crimes. The non-fiction version is a fascinating (if explicit) account of the story entitled Our Guys: The Glen
Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb by Bernard Lefkowitz.
van Dijk, Lutz. Damned
Two young men, one a Nazi and the other not, fall in love with each other in this story.
Weiss, Jerry and Helen.
From One Experience to Another.
Weiss, Jerry and Helen. Lost and Found.
Both collections of stories by well-known authors include notations from authors about the real-life events that sparked the stories.
Wulffson, Don. Soldier X.
A German soldier pretends to be Russian in order to survive. Based on conversations the author had with a survivor of WWII.
The Royal Diaries books--fictionalized diaries of historical women, including Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, Anastasia, Elizabeth, and Nzingha.
| Last Updated: February 27, 2001 |
Copyright © 1999-
by Nancy J. Keane
Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication and use of this resource, provided it is substantially unchanged from its present form and appropriate credit is given.