Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction Winners

In 1982, Scott O'Dell established The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. The annual award of $5,000 goes to a meritorious book published in the previous year for children or young adults. Scott O'Dell established this award to encourage other writers - particularly new authors - to focus on historical fiction. He hoped in this way to increase the interest of young readers in the historical background that has helped to shape their country and their world.

A listing of Scott O'Dell Award Winners housed in the Curriculum Materials/Media Center is below. These are organized according to the Library of Congress system of classification.

Award Date Title/ Author and Illustrator Call Number


The hired girl / Schlitz, Laura Amy.

Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs, just like the heroines in her beloved novels, yearns for real life and true love. But what hope is there for adventure, beauty, or art on a hardscrabble farm in Pennsylvania where the work never ends? Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream of a woman with a future.

[PZ7.S347145 HI 2015


Dash / Larson, Kirby.

When her family is forced into an internment camp, Mitsi Kashino is separated from her home, her classmates, and her beloved dog Dash; and as her family begins to come apart around her, Mitsi clings to her one connection to the outer world--the letters from the kindly neighbor who is caring for Dash.

PZ7.L32394 DAS 2014


Bo at Ballard Creek / Hill, Kirkpatrick.

It's the 1920s, and Bo was headed for an Alaska orphanage when she won the hearts of two tough gold miners who set out to raise her, enthusiastically helped by all the kind people of the nearby Eskimo village.

PZ7 .H55285 BO 2013


Chickadee by Louise Erdrich

In 1866, Omakayas's son Chickadee is kidnapped by two ne'er-do-well brothers from his own tribe and must make a daring escape, forge unlikely friendships, and set out on an exciting and dangerous journey to get back home.

PZ7 .E72554 CH 2012


Dead end in Norvelt / Gantos, Jack.

In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

PZ7 .G15334 DD 2011


One crazy summer / Williams-Garcia, Rita.

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

PZ7 .W6713 ON 2010


The storm in the barn / Matt Phelan.

In Kansas in the year 1937, eleven-year-old Jack Clark faces his share of ordinary challenges: local bullies, his father's failed expectations, a little sister with an eye for trouble. But he also has to deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl, including rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a shadowy illness. Certainly a case of "dust dementia" would explain who (or what) Jack has glimpsed in the Talbot's abandoned barn - a sinister figure with a face like rain. In a land where it never rains, it's hard to trust what you see with your own eyes, and harder still to take heart and be a hero when the time comes.

PZ7 .P44882 ST 2009


Chains / Laurie Halse Anderson.

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

PZ7 .A54385 CH 2008


Elijah of Buxton / Christopher Paul Curtis.

In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom.

PZ7 .C94137 EL 2007


The green glass sea / Ellen Klages.

It is 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west on a train to live with her scientist father--but no one will tell her exactly where he is. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: he's working on a top secret government program.

PZ7 .K6768 GR 2006


The game of silence / Louise Erdrich.

Nine-year-old Omakayas, of the Ojibwa tribe, moves west with her family in 1849.

PZ7.E72554 GAM 2005


Worth / A. LaFaye.

After breaking his leg, eleven-year-old Nate feels useless because he cannot work on the family farm in nineteenth-century Nebraska, so when his father brings home an orphan boy to help with the chores, Nate feels even worse.

PZ7.L1413 WO 2004


The river between us / Richard Peck.

During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.

PZ7.P338 RI 2003


Trouble don't last / Shelley Pearsall.

Samuel, an eleven-year-old Kentucky slave, and Harrison, the elderly slave who helped raise him, attempt to escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad.

PZ7.P3166 TR 2002


The land / Mildred D. Taylor.

After the Civil War Paul, the son of a white father and a black mother, finds himself caught between the two worlds of colored folks and white folks as he pursues his dream of owning land of his own.

PZ7.T21723 LAN 2001


The art of keeping cool / Janet Taylor Lisle.

In 1942, Robert and his cousin Elliot uncover long-hidden family secrets while staying in their grandparents' Rhode Island town, where they also become involved with a German artist who is suspected of being a spy. Soon after Robert arrives at his grandfather's home in Rhode Island in 1942, just after the U.S. enters World War II, he learns of a German painter living in the woods who raises the community's suspicions, and of the mystery his RAF pilot father left behind after fleeing his home.

PZ7.L6912 AR 2002


Two suns in the sky / Miriam Bat-Ami.

In 1944, an Upstate New York teenager named Christine meets and falls in love with Adam, a Yugoslavian Jew living in a refugee camp, despite their parents' conviction that they do not belong together. During World War II, a 15-year-old girl meets a young Jewish refugee in a New York shelter and soon learns the history behind her city through interaction with her new friend, as well as the barriers that exist when different cultures unite.

PZ7.B2939 TW 2001


Forty acres and maybe a mule / Harriette Gillem Robinet.

Born with a withered leg and hand, Pascal, who is about twelve years old, joins other former slaves in a search for a farm and the freedom which it promises.

PZ7.R553 FO 1998


Out of the dust / Karen Hesse.

In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

PZ7.H4364 OU 1999


Jip : his story / Katherine Paterson.

While living on a Vermont poor farm during 1855 and 1856, Jip learns his identity and that of his mother and comes to understand how he arrived at this place.

PZ7.P273 JI 1996


The bomb / Theodore Taylor.

In 1945, when the Americans liberate the Bikini Atoll from the Japanese, fourteen-year-old Sorry Rinamu does not realize that the next year he will lead a desperate effort to save his island home from a much more deadly threat.

PZ7.T2186 BO 1995


Under the blood-red sun / Graham Salisbury.

Tomikazu Nakaji's biggest concerns are baseball, homework, and a local bully, until life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

PZ7.S15225 UN 1994


Bull Run / Paul Fleischman ; woodcuts by David Frampton.

Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys, and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.

PZ7.F599233 BU 1995


Morning Girl / Michael Dorris.

Morning Girl, who loves the day, and her younger brother Star Boy, who loves the night, take turns describing their life on an island in pre-Columbian America. In Morning Girl's last narrative, she witnesses the arrival of the first Europeans to her world.

PZ7.D7287 MO 1999


Stepping on the cracks / Mary Downing Hahn.

In 1944, while her brother is overseas fighting in World War II, eleven-year-old Margaret gets a new view of the school bully Gordy when she finds him hiding his own brother, an army deserter, and decides to help him.

PZ7.H1256 ST 1991


A time of troubles / Pieter van Raven.

Having crossed the country with his father during the Depression to find work in California, fourteen-year-old Roy encounters cruel exploitation by the Growers' Association of the desperate, impoverished people pouring into the state.

PZ7 .V347 TI 1990


Shades of gray / Carolyn Reeder.

At the end of the Civil War, twelve-year-old Will, having lost all his immediate family, reluctantly leaves his city home to live in the Virginia countryside with his aunt and the uncle he considers a "traitor" because he refused to take part in the war.

PZ7 .R25416 SH 1989


The honorable prison / Lyll Becerra de Jenkins.

Because of the moral stand taken by her father, a newspaper editor who has persistently attacked the military dictator ruling their Latin American country, Marta and her family find themselves prisoners of the government.

PZ7 .J414 HO 1989


Charley Skedaddle / Patricia Beatty.

During the Civil War, a twelve-year-old Bowery Boy from New York City joins the Union Army as a drummer, deserts during a battle in Virginia, and encounters a hostile old mountain woman.

PZ7.B4 CH 1987


Streams to the river, river to the sea : a novel of Sacagawea / Scott O'Dell.

A young Indian woman, accompanied by her infant and cruel husband, experiences joy and heartbreak when she joins the Lewis and Clark Expedition seeking a way to the Pacific.

PZ7.O237 ST 1988


Sarah, plain and tall / Patricia MacLachlan.

When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay.

PZ7.M2225 SAR 1985


The fighting ground / by Avi.

Thirteen-year-old Jonathan goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the real war is being fought within himself.

PZ7 .A953 FI 1984


The sign of the beaver / Elizabeth George Speare.

Left alone to guard the family's wilderness home in eighteenth-century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive until local Indians teach him their skills.

PZ7 .S7376 SI 1983


In 1981 and 1982, no books of sufficient merit were published, so no award was given in 1982 or 1983.