Reading into History
Ages 9 – 12
Love reading books about the people and places in New York history? Want to discuss them with other history fans and their authors? Want to explore real museum artifacts from the time you've been reading about? Reading into History is a family book club for history detectives.
Each month families read an historical fiction or nonfiction book at home. Throughout the month, they learn about each RiH book, get ideas for discussion, post comments, and read author interviews on our History Detectives blog. At the end of each month, families can attend a Book Wrap event where they will share reactions to the book, see cool museum artifacts and documents related to the book, meet other history detectives, and even the authors! Past authors have included Maira Kalman, Tonya Bolden, and Walter Dean Myers.
September-May book wraps are held on Sundays from 3-5 pm. June-August book wraps are held on Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30 pm. See our family programs calendar for exact dates for each wrap.
Come celebrate the first anniversary of the Reading into History Family Book Club and Juneteenth! We will enjoy some celebratory snacks and discuss this novel set in 1850s Seneca Village, a community of immigrants and free African-Americans that was destroyed to pave the way for Central Park. After our discussion, Book club facilitators Katie and Rachel will lead the group on a tour of the remains of Seneca Village, just a short walk from the museum.
About Home is with Our Family
Learn about Maria Peters, an African-American girl with a lot on her shoulders. Her lovely community is about to be destroyed so an enormous "Central Park" can be built. On top of that, Maria's new friend Anna has a secret past that could destroy both their lives. This is a story of resistance, abolitionism, and the power of friendship from four-time Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winner, Joyce Hansen and acclaimed illustrator E. B. Lewis.
Come discuss the novel The Brooklyn Nine with baseball historian Erik Miklich from www.19cbaseball.com. After we talk about the book, we’ll toss the ball around like they did 100 years ago—no gloves allowed!
About The Brooklyn Nine
Alan Gratz takes us through nine generations, or “innings” of one Brooklyn family. The tie that binds each generation is baseball. This book combines the thrills of America’s Pastime with compelling historical detail about New York from the 1800s to the present day. From the Booklist starred review “Gratz builds this novel upon a clever enough conceit…and executes it with polish and precision.”
How did a poor kid from the island of Nevis end up forming our new nation’s economy? We’ll discuss Alexander Hamilton’s exciting life and death at this book wrap after reading Newbery-Honor author Jean Fritz’s biography of him, Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider. We’ll also take an up-close look at some rare and precious documents related to Hamilton’s life and times from the Gilder Lerhman Institute’s vast collection. This is truly a behind-the-scenes event!
About Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider
Alexander Hamilton’s story, though it mostly takes place before there is such a thing as the USA, is uniquely “American.” Coming from humble beginnings, he becomes George Washington’s aide de camp and, eventually, the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury…but he’s not without his enemies along the way. From Booklist’s starred review: “Fritz, a notable biographer of the Revolutionary War period for young people, provides a brisk, well-written account introducing Founding Father Alexander Hamilton as an outsider to America….This lively biography sheds light on Hamilton’s character and his place at the nation’s beginnings”
This graphic novel tells the stories of three people who circumnavigated the globe in different ways: Thomas Stevens did it on a bike, Nellie Bly set a record by steamboat, and Joshua Slocum was the first to make the trip alone on a 36-foot sloop. Each world-traveler faced different challenges while experiencing cultural encounters very few people could in the nineteenth century. This book has earned starred reviews from Kirkus, the School Library Journal and many more publications. The New York Times calls it “A first-rate pleasure from the acclaimed graphic novelist Phelan. And this book - riveting, wondrously drawn, expertly paced - is a triumph in and of itself.”
Barry Denenberg brings his unique journalistic style to this biography of Lincoln. Framed as a collected of newspaper articles issued in the days after Lincoln's death, the book details Lincoln's life from boyhood to the end. Text is intermixed with primary source images from Lincoln's life and times. According to James M. McPherson, Civil War historian and Pulitzer Prize winner, "This unique biography of Abraham Lincoln employs a richly illustrated newspaper format and a vigorous, readable writing style to present the story of the Civil War president's remarkable life and tragic death."
Follow Sophia Calderwood, a young girl navigating the dangerous world of New York during American Revolution. Learn about the horrors of prison ships and the opportunities for girls and women in this time. Sophia's suspenseful journey unfolds as she becomes a Patriot spy on on a solo mission to stop a traitor. With this book, Newbery Medalist Avi has given young readers a "seamless blend of fact and fiction" (Publisher's Weekly, August 13, 2012 *STAR) that combines "hard fact with thrilling espionage" (School Library Journal,October, 2012 *STAR).
Co-authors Joyce Hansen and Gary McGowan bring this untold history to young readers through the life stories of individuals buried at the site. In doing so, they show readers how, with bones, artifacts, and detective work, archaeologists can reconstruct histories lost through time and prejudice.
For so many reasons, the Civil War was the worst crisis the United States has ever been through. In the novel Picture the Dead, author Adele Griffin, tells the story of Jennie, a young woman whose twin brother is killed during the war. Jennie lives with her fiance's family, who reluctantly take care of her while her fiance, Will, and his brother, Quinn, are at war. When Quinn returns from battle without Will, some strange things start to happen to Jennie, and she begins to realize that nothing is as it seems. This story is full of mystery and suspense, and maybe even ghosts!
Dom, a nine-year-old boy from Napoli, is sent to make it big in new York City where he makes some friends and some more enemies. Learn what life was like in the Lower East Side of New York through the eyes of this brave young boy. Read about the Book Wrap here!
November 2012: Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani.
River and Meena seem like they would have nothing in common; River is the son of a Kentucky coal miner, and Meena is an Indian-American girl living in New York City's Chinatown. They begin a friendship as pen pals and, even though their cultures and hometowns are worlds apart, realize they have much to learn from each other. Despite their differences, they live under the same sun. Read about the book wrap here!
September 2012: We Rode the Orphan Trains by Andrea Warren
This book tells the real-life stories of children from New York City, who, between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, were sent by train to new families out west, where some were cared for and loved as if a member of the family and others were treated as less than servants.Read about the book wrap here!