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Prehistory

38,000 BC

A Bone from a Dry Sea by Peter Dickinson (Delacorte, 1993)

In two parallel stories, an intelligent female member of a prehistoric tribe becomes instrumental in advancing the lot of her people, and the daughter of a paleontologist is visiting him on a dig in Africa when important fossil remains are discovered.

28,000 BC

The Memory String by Chester G. Osborne (Atheneum, 1984)

Darath and his sister spend a winter on the Siberian peninsula some 30,000 years ago learning how to heal, to use the moon sticks and to remember the stories of the memory string before their tribe begins searching for the legendary land to the east where there are no people and lots of game.

23,050 BC

Maroo of the Winter Caves by Ann Turnbull (Clarion, 1984)

Maroo, a girl of the late Ice Age, must take charge after her father is killed and lead her little brother, mother and newborn baby and aged grandmother to the safety of the winter camp before the first blizzards strike.

16,000 BC

Boy of the Painted Cave by Justin Denzel (Philomel, 1988)

Forbidden to make images, fourteen year old Tao, the boy with a bad foot, yearns to be a cave painter, recording the figures of the mammals, rhinos, bison and other animals of his prehistoric times.

16,000 BC

Return to the Painted Cave by Justin Denzel (Philomel, 1997)

Fourteen year old Tao, a cave painter living in prehistoric times, sets out on an odyssey to bring healing to the blind girl, Deha, and the outcast children. Sequel to Boy of the Painted Cave.

13,000 BC

Anooka’s Answer by Marjorie Cowley (Clarion, 1998)

While living in a river valley in southern France during the Upper Paleolithic era, thirteen year old Anooka rejects the ways of her clan and sets out to make another kind of life for herself. Sequel to Dar and the Spear Thrower.

10,000 BC

The Magic Amulet by William O. Steele (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979)

Left to die by his prehistoric family band, a wounded young hunter must find and join a new group if he is to survive.

10,000 BC

Wolf-Woman by Sherryl Jordan (Houghton Mifflin, 1994)

When she is three years old, Tanith is taken from a den of wolves and lives for many years as the daughter of a chief of a warlike clan, until circumstances force her to choose between wolves and men.

8000 BC

One Small Blue Bead by Byrd Baylor (Scribner, 1992)

A boy makes it possible for an old man in their primitive tribe to go in search of other men in far-off places.

Shiva Accused: An Adventure of the Ice Age by J.H. Brennan (HarperCollins, 1991)

As the major ceremony the Star Jamboree approaches, political rivals from another tribe falsely accuse the Shingu girl Shiva of murdering the Hag, the leader of all the tribal witch women. (Book two of a series)

Shiva’s Challenge: an Adventure of the Ice Age by J. H. Brennan (HarperCollins, 1992)

Fourteen year old Shiva submits to an ordeal in the frozen wasteland north of her tribe’s camp, to test her potential for becoming a shaman for the Shingu people. (Book three of a series)

6000 BC

Hunt for the Last Cat by Justin Denzel (Philomel, 1991)

Ten year old Thorn feels conflicting loyalties when members of his clan blame his friend Fonn, a girl from a rival clan, for the marauding actions of a man-eating sabertooth cat.

The Wolf King by Ann Turnbull (Seabury, 1976)

A young bronze-age boy sets out to kill the Wolf King, a mysterious figure who controls a wolf pack that has been raiding the local villages.

4000 BC

Spirit Walker by Michelle Paver (Katherine Tegen Books, 2006)

When a deadly illness begins to afflict the clans, twelve-year-old Torak, with help from Renn and Wolf, embarks on a journey to find a cure.

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver (HarperCollins, 2004)

6,000 years in the past, twelve-year-old Tarak and his guide, a wolf cub, set out on a dangerous journey to fulfill an oath the boy made to his dying father—to travel to the Mountain of the World Spirit seeking a way to destroy a demonpossessed bear that threatens all the clans.

1500 BC

The Faraway Lurs by Harry Behn (Gregg, 1981)

The romance of two young people from warring tribes in the early Bronze Age.

1400 BC

The Egyptian Necklace by Myron Tim Palmer (Houghton Mifflin, 1961)

While Ar and his friend Pta are visiting the site of the new obelisk with Ar’s father, the Pharaoh’s chief architect, they become aware of an evil plan to rob a tomb and plant the evidence within the gates of Ar’s family causing them dishonor and death.

1334 BC

Diary of the Boy King, Tut-Ankh-Amen by June Reig (Scribner, 1978)

A fictionalized diary kept by Tutankhamen during his ninth year, the year he became King of Egypt.

1300 BC

A Place in the Sun by Jill Rubalcaba (Clarion, 1997)

In ancient Egypt, the gifted young son of a sculptor is taken into slavery when he attempts to save his father’s life, and is himself almost killed before his exceptional talent leads Pharaoh to name him Royal Sculptor.

1250 BC

Pharaoh’s Daughter: a Novel of Ancient Egypt by Julius Lester (Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2000)

A fictionalized account of a Biblical story in which an Egyptian princess rescues a Hebrew infant who becomes a prophet of his people while his sister finds her true self as priestess to the Egyptian gods.

1200 BC

Escape from Egypt: a Novel by Sonia Levitin (Little, Brown, 1994)

When Moses comes to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, Jesse, a Hebrew slave, finds his life changed by his growing faith in God and his attraction to the half Egyptian, half Syrian Jennat.

Nobody’s Princess by Esther M. Friesner (Random, 2007)

Determined to fend for herself in a world where only men have real freedom, headstrong Helen, who will be called queen of Sparta and Helen of Troy one day, learns to fight, hunt, and ride horses while disguised as a boy, and goes on an adventure throughout the Mediterranean world. Sequel: Nobody’s Prize

1180 BC

Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline B Cooney (Delacorte Press, 2002)

Taken from her home on an Aegean island as a six-year-old girl, Anaxndra calls on the protection of her goddess while she poses as two different princesses over the next six years, before ending up as a servant in the company of Helen and Paris as they make their way to Troy.

900 BC

Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff (Henry Z. Walck, 1958)

Living during the time of the Bronze Age, Drem, a boy with a crippled arm, begins the long and arduous training to become a warrior.

200 BC

I Marched with Hannibal by Hans Baumann (Henry Z. Walck, 1962)

After being found by Suru the elephant, a boy joins Hannibal’s march over the Alps to the gates of Rome.

146 BC

Snakehead by Ann Halam (Wendy Lamb, 2008)

Compelled by his father Zeus to accept the evil king Polydectes's challenge to bring the head of the monstrous Medusa to the Aegean island of Serifos, Perseus, although questioning the gods' interference in human lives, sets out, accompanied by his beloved Andromeda, a princess with her own harsh destiny to fulfill.

57 BC

Cleopatra, Daughter of the Nile by Kristiana Gregory (Scholastic, 1999)

While her father is in hiding after attempts on his life, twelve year old Cleopatra records in her diary how she fears for her own safety.

50 BC

The Stronghold by Mollie Hunter (Harper & Row, 1974) Crippled in a Roman raid on his native island, Coll spends many years planning an impregnable defense but has to overcome many obstacles before he is given a chance to put it to the test.

30 BC

Galen: My Life in Imperial Rome by Marissa Moss (Harcourt, 2002)

Twelve-year-old Galen describes his life as a slave in Rome under the Emperor Augustus. Features hand-printed text, drawings, and marginal notes.

1 AD — 1000 AD

30 AD

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton Mifflin, 1961) When the Romans brutally kill Daniel bar Jamin’s father, the young Palestinian searches for a leader to drive them out, but comes to realize that love may be a more powerful weapon than hate.

62 AD

Song for a Dark Queen by Rosemary Sutcliff (Crowell, 1978) The life of Boadicea (Boudicca), queen of the Iceni, who led them and other British tribes in a valiant, but futile, revolt against the Romans.

79 AD

The Charioteer of Delphi by Caroline Lawrence (Roaring Brook Press, 2007)

Flavia and her friends go to Rome to celebrate the Festival of Jupiter at Senator Cornix's town house, where they befriend the young charioteer, Scopas, and quickly find themselves embroiled in a campaign to sabotage one of the rival racing factions.

79 AD

The Last Girls of Pompeii by Kathryn Lasky (Viking, 2007)

Twelve-year-old Julia knows that her physical deformity will keep her from a normal life, but counts on the continuing friendship of her lifelong slave, Mitka, until they learn that both of their futures in first-century Pompeii are about to change for the worse.

80 AD

The Enemies of Jupiter by Caroline Lawrence (Roaring Brook Press, 2005)

Jonathan and his friends are called to Rome by the emperor in the winter of 80 A.D. to find the new Prometheus believed to have brought an epidemic to the city, but Jonathan, obsessed with reuniting his parents, makes some unwise—and lifethreatening—choices.

343 AD

Frontier Wolf by Rosemary Sutcliff (Dutton, 1980)

As punishment for his poor judgment, a young inexperienced Roman army officer is sent to Northern England to assume the command of a motley group known as the Frontier Wolves.

500s AD

The Lion Hunter by Elizabeth Wein (Viking, 2007)

Still recovering from his ordeal as a government spy, twelve-year-old Telemakos, the half-Ethiopian grandson of King Artos of Britain, is sent with his sister to live with Abreha, the ruler of Himyar. His Aunt Goewin warns him that Abreha is a dangerous man, but just how dangerous remains to be seen. Sequel: The Empty Kingdom

531 AD

Lady of Ch‘iao Kuo: Warrior of the South by Laurence Yep. (Scholastic, 2001)

In 531 A.D., a fifteen-year-old princess of the Hsien tribe in southern China keeps a diary which describes her role as liaison between her own people and the local Chinese colonists, in times of both peace and war.

550 AD

Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey (Harcourt Brace, 1996)

Galwyn, son of a Roman Celt, escapes from his tyrannical uncle and joins Lord Artos, later known as King Arthur, using his talent with languages and his way with horses to help secure and care for the Libyan horses that Artos hopes to use in battle against the Saxons.

The Book of Mordred by Vivian Vande Velde (Houghton Mifflin, 2005)

As the peaceful King Arthur reigns, the five-year-old daughter of Lady Alayna, newly widowed of the village-wizard Toland, is abducted by knights who leave their barn burning and their only servant dead.

The Legend of Lady Ilena by Patricia Malone (2002)

In sixth century Great Britain, a fifteen-year-old girl seeking knowledge of her lineage is drawn into battle to defend the homeland she never knew, aided by one of King Arthur’s knights.

600 AD

The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff (Henry Z. Walck, 1959) Instead of leaving with the last of the Roman legions, Aquila, a young officer, decides that his loyalties lie with Britain, and he eventually joins the forces of the Roman-British leader Ambrosius to fight against the Saxon hordes.

The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990) In 600 AD in northern Britain, Prosper becomes a shield bearer with the Companions.

635 AD

The Wind Eye by Robert Westall (Greenwillow, 1976)

While vacationing on a remote part of the Northumberland coast, a troubled English family has a series of unsettling experiences traveling back in time and confronting the legendary power of St. Cuthbert.

749 AD

Lady of Palenque: Flower of Bacal by Anna Kirwan (Scholastic, 2004) In 749, the Maya princess Green Jay, of the Kingdom of Bacal, writes in her diary about her arduous journey to Xukpip to meet King Fire Keeper, her future husband.

845 AD

Viking Warrior: Denmark A.D. 845 by Judson Roberts (HarperCollins, 2006)

Despite being the son of a chieftain and a princess, fourteen-year-old Halfdan lives as a slave in Denmark in A.D. 845 but through a tragic bargain he gains his freedom and sets out to claim his birthright. Sequels: Dragons from the Sea and Road to Vengeance.

900s AD

The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel (Henry Holt, 2008)

Aiden, a novice about to take monastic vows in tenth century Ireland, meets Lana, a girl who understands his ability to hear the sounds of numbers humming from all living things, and just as he is beginning to question his religious calling, the two of them are thrown together in a mission to save their village from invading Vikings.

Rover by Jackie French (HarperCollins, 2007)

Captured by Vikings, young Hekja is taken as a slave to Greenland by the sister of Erik the Red, and accompanied by no one from her homeland but her loyal dog, shares adventures with her new mistress, who is determined to make a name for herself as her father and brother have.

Hush: An Irish Princess’ Tale by Donna Jo Napoli (Atheneum, 2007)

Fifteen-year-old Melkorka, an Irish princess, is kidnapped by Russian slave traders and not only learns how to survive but to challenge some of the brutality of her captors, who are fascinated by her apparent muteness and the possibility that she is enchanted.

997 AD

A Slave’s Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard (Houghton Mifflin, 1965) This saga of Hakon’s journey from Norway to Brittany to return Rar, a former slave, to his homeland and to trade skins for the finer wares of the south is told from the viewpoint of the slave girl Helga.

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