This list is a great teaching tool for students to understand the differences and similarities of fiction, nonfiction and poetry by reading outstanding books on the same subject but in different genres.

Note: This is a work-in-progress and just a partial list of possible pairings.

Contact Claire with suggested additions and topics.


Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush

Down the Yukon and Jason’s Gold (historical novels by Will Hobbs)

Children of the Gold RushGold Rush Women (NF – Claire Rudolf Murphy)

Gold Rush Winter (easy reader historical fiction – Claire Rudolf Murphy)

Alaska Serum Run/Balto

The Great Serum Race: Blazing the Iditarod Trail (NF PB – Debbie Miller)

The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (NF – Natalie Standiford/Donald Cook)

Balto and the Great Race (NF – Elizabeth Cody Kimmel/Nora Koerber)

Togo (NF PB – Robert J. Blake)

Gold Rush Dogs (NF – Claire Rudolf Murphy)


Al Capone Does My Shirts (novel – Gennifer Choldenko)

Someone’s Hiding On Alcatraz (novel – Eve Bunting)

Children of Alcatraz: Growing Up on the Rock (NF – Claire Rudolf Murphy)

Chicago World’s Fair 1893

Fair Weather (novel – Richard Peck)

The Devil in the White City (adult NF – Erik Larson)

Civil Rights – 1960’s

Watsons Go To Birmingham 1963 (novel – Christopher Paul Curtis)

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (novel – Mildred D. Taylor)

Birmingham 1963 (NF – Carole Weatherford)

Fanny Lou Hamer and the Fight For the Vote (NF – Penny Colman)

Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement (NF – Ann Bausum)

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (NF – Russell Freedman)


Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case (NF – Chris Crowe)

Mississippi Trial, 1955 (novel – Chris Crowe)

A Wreath for Emmett Till (poetry – Marilyn Nelson)

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till (documentary)

The Murder of Emmett Till (documentary)

Cryptid Hunters

Cryptid Hunters (Roland Smith – novel)

Tales of the Cryptids (older NF – Kelly Milner-Halls)

Depression/Dust Bowl

Children of the Great Depression (NF – Russell Freedman)

Out of the Dust (novel – Karen Hesse)

The Worst Hard Time (adult NF – Tim Egan)

Helen Keller

Helen Keller: Her Life in Pictures (NF – George Sullivan)

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Miss Keller (novel – Sarah Miller)

Holocaust/Anne Frank

Diary of Anne Frank

Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary – A Photographic Remembrance (NF – Ruud Van Der Rol)

Anne Frank and the Children of the Holocaust (NF – Carol Ann Lee)

A Friend Called Anne (NF – Jacqueline van Maarsen/Carol Ann Lee)

Hitler Youth (NF – Susan Campbell Bartoletti)

Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps (NF – Andrea Warren)

Behind the Bedroom Wall (novel – Laura E. Williams)

Emil and Karl (reissued 1940 novel)

Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen (NF PB -Luba Tryszysnska-Frederick)

Irish Immigration

Black Potatoes (NF – Susan Campbell Bartoletti)

Ashes of Roses (novel – Mary Jane Auch)

Nory Ryan’s Song (novel- Patricia Reilly Giff)

Japanese Internment

When Baseball Saved Us (NF PB- Ken Mochizuki/Dom Lee)

Where Have the Sunflowers Gone? (PB)

The Children of Topaz: The story of a Japanese-American Internment Camp ( NF – Michael O. Tunnell)

Dear Miss Breed (NF – Joanne Oppenheim)

My Friend, the Enemy (novel – J.B. Cheaney)

Weed flower (novel – Cynthia Kadohata)

When the Emperor Was Divine (adult novel – Julie Otsuka)

Labor Mills

Up Before Daybreak (NF – Deborah Hopkinson)

Lyddie (novel – Katherine Paterson


Lewis and Clark Expedition

Across America, The Story of Lewis and Clark (NF – Jacqueline Morley/David Antram)

The Truth About Sacajawea (NF – Kenneth Thomasma)

I Am Sacajawea, I Am York: Our Journey West With Lewis and Clark (historical fiction PB – Claire Rudolf Murphy)

Streams to the River, River to the Sea (novel – Scott O’Dell)

Sacajawea (novel – Joseph Bruchau)

My Travels with Capts. Lewis and Clark (novel – Kate McMullan)

Medieval Era

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village (dramatic monologues -Laura Amy Schlitz/illustrated by Robert Byrd)

Crispin (novel – Avi)

Middle East

One City, Two Brothers (PB – Chris Smith/Aurélia Fronty)

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (Naomi Shihab Nye)

Anahita’s Woven Riddle (YA novel – Meghan Nuttall Sayres)

Habibi (novel – Naomi Shihab Nye)

Parade of Shadows (YA novel – Gloria Whelan)

NEED NF suggestions


Fire in the Hole! (novel – Mary Cronk Farrell)

A Coal Miner’s Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska (novel – Susan Campbell Bartoletti)

The Monongah Mining District (NF – Jason Skog)

Growing up in Coal Country (NF – Susan Campbell Bartoletti)

Orphan Train

Orphan Train Rider:One Boy’s True Story (NF – Andrea Warren)

We Rode the Orphan Trains (NF- Andrea Warren)

Train to Somewhere (PB – Eve Bunting/Ronald Himler)

Worth (novel – A. LaFaye)

Orphan Train series (novels – Joan Lowery Nixon)

Pale Male These 2007 picture books are all nonfiction, but offer a terrific way to show how similar material can be covered in a variety of styles.

City Hawk: The Story of Pale Male (Meghan McCarthy)

Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City (Janet Schulman)

The Tale of Pale Male: a True Story (Jeanette Winter)

Pale Male [DVD – PBS)

Red-Tailed Hawks (NF – Doug Wechsler)


An American Plague (NF – Jim Murphy)

Fever (novel – Laurie Halse Andersen)


Endurance: The True Story of the Shackleton Expedition to the Antarctic (NF PB Jennifer Armstrong/William Maughan)

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (NF – Jennifer Armstrong)

Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Sir Ernest Shackleton (NF – K.M. Kostyal)

Ice Wreck (NF easy reader – Lucille Recht Penner/David LaFleur)

Trapped by the Ice! (NF easy reader – Michael McCurdy)

Shackleton (documentary film)

Shackleton’s Stowaway (YA novel – Victoria McKernan)


5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft’s Flight from Slavery (NF – Dennis Fradin)

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (PB – Carole Weatherford/Kadir Nelson)

Freedom Ship (PB – Doreen Rappaport)

Snowflake Bentley

Snowflake Bentley (NF PB – Jacqueline Briggs Martin/Mary Azarian)

Snowflakes in Photographs (NF – W. A. Bentley)

My Brother Loved Snowflakes: The Story of Wilson a Bentley, the Snowflake Man (PB – Mary Bahr Fritts/Laura Jacobsen)

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Ashes of Roses (novel – Mary Jane Auch)

Hear My Sorrow: The Diary of Angela Denoto, A shirtwaist worker (novel – Deborah Hopkinson)

Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1924 (NF – Deborah Hopkinson)

Vietnam War

A Place Called Heartbreak: a Story of Vietnam (NF – Walter Dean Myers/Frederick Porter)

Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy (NF – Andrea Warren)

Fallen Angels (novel – Walter Dean Myers)

Free Radical (novel – Claire Rudolf Murphy)

Park’s Quest (novel – Katherine Paterson)

Women’s Suffrage

Of Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman’s Right To Vote (NF – Ann Bausum)

America in the Time of Susan B. Anthony (NF)

We the People: The 19th Amendment (NF – Michael Burgan)

Marching With Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage (PB – Claire Rudolf Murphy, 2011)

I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote (PB – Linda Arms White)

Mama Went To Jail for the Vote (PB – Kathleen Karr/Malene Laugesen)

Iron-Jawed Angels (DVD – HBO Films)

You Come to Yokum (MG novel – Carol Otis Hurst/Kay Life)

World War II

Across the Blue Pacific: A World War II Story (PB – Louise W. Borden/Robert Andrew Parker)

Stepping on the Cracks (novel – Mary Downing Hahn)

Children of the World War II Home Front (NF – Sylvia Whitman)


Kids Throughout History:

Kids Make History: A New Look at America’s Story (NF- Susan Buckley and Elspeth Leacock; illustrations by Randy Jones)

We Were There, Too: Young People in U.S. History  (NF – Phillip M. Hoose)

Leave a Reply