Story Tags

Fever 1793

History Meets Fiction

Great Historical Fiction for ages 9-14

The DC Public Library and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History have teamed up to highlight some great novels all about American history! As we head back into the school year, dive into some great historical fiction and hear a new perspective throughout different periods in American history.

The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker

Add a Little Magic

Novels with a pinch (and sometimes a cup) of magic

Much like the rich tradition of magical realism across the Caribbean and the Americas, the literary use of magic of all forms in everyday settings is alive and well across the world.

Sweetbitter

Delicious Fiction

Novels Set Around Kitchens and Food

Novels that feature food often make us put down the book and get in the kitchen...or at least grab a bag of chips. Likewise, these same novels are often hard to put down as they stimulate not only our imaginations, but our appetites as well. Here’s a list of delicious novels to celebrate the brand new Starz series Sweetbitter.

The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan

Mothers Tell Your Daughters

Telling Life Stories in Novels

So many great novels that pass the Bechdel Test (two female characters discussing topics other than men) are about mothers and daughters. Mothers sharing their lives and long lost secrets with their daughters and surrogate daughters. The story describing the bond between two or more women from different generations has been told in many different ways. Whether those women are related by blood or by common experience, each of these novels comes from a different perspective.

The Joy Luck Club

Join the Club

Novels Centered Around Clubs and Groups

The literary premise of a themed or activity-based club is a surprisingly diverse sub-genre. Modern classics such as The Joy Luck Club and Fight Club not only became critically and commercially popular books but also gained popularity for their film adaptations. The plot device of “the club” can bring a diverse group of individuals together. It not only impacts their daily lives but also allows the reader to learn about each character and their backstory.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Historical or Nostalgic Fiction?

Recent Fiction set in 1980s and 1990s

Historical fiction is often defined as a novel that takes place in the past. But in 2017, can a novel set in 1996 or even 2000 be considered historical? Rather: if the writer and/or reader vividly remembers a time only 15-20 years in the past, reliving that past veers into nostalgia rather than history. Then again, what if the novel is for a YA crowd who never experienced the 80s or 90s? When does it become historical? These novels all take place between 1980 and 2001 and were written by authors looking back.

If My Love Were a Fire Truck

Fathers and Heroes

Great Dads in Children's Literature and Picture Books

One of the most important relationships in a child's life is with their father (or father-figure). In children's books, mothers are often the go-to parental figure, whether it is in the forefront or background of the story. Examples of notable fathers in children's literature can often be overlooked. Despite the generalization, good fathers do exist in books for children of all ages. In this list, new and old stories alike portray those relationships in both humans and animals. While fathers can play many roles in a child's life, they are always important.

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

Determined Debutantes

Strong Women in the Age of Courtship

The long storied "debutante season" has been played out in countless movies and TV shows including Downton Abbey, The Buccaneers, and more. While now extinct, the tradition of the "social season" involved a young woman entering society and "coming out" in order to be officially eligible to marry. These historical novels start at the height of the social scene in the late 1800's to its eventual demise after World War II.

Threads by Ami Polonsky

Loss and Change in Childhood

Middle Grade Novels About Difficult Situations

"Life imitates art far more than art imitates life" - Oscar Wilde

Tao of Martha

If You Give a Blogger a Book Deal

They’ll Want a YouTube Channel

Whether it’s a writer of a food blog or the star of a YouTube Channel, books by Internet celebrities are here to stay. The wave of bloggers and YouTube celebrities turned writers has been going strong since the medium gained popularity in the early 2000’s. In many cases, these writers have challenged the odds to cultivate loyal, if sometimes niche, fan bases. In the end, the book still reigns supreme as these online personalities have gone on to write humor, how-to-guides, cookbooks, and even incredibly personal memoirs.