Depressions - United States - 1929-1933 -- fiction

A Room of My Own

By Ann Tatlock

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Times are hard in 1932, and Virginia Eide, 13, must give up her room when her uncle's family moves into her home. Through the long summer of poverty, danger, and fear, young Virginia discovers that the happiness she hopes for herself won't be found in the fulfillment of her adolescent dreams, but in that place she had never before considered--the role of serving others.

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Of Mice and Men

By John Steinbeck

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Tells a story about the strange relationship of two migrant workers, who are able to realize their dreams of an easy life until one of them succumbs to his weakness for soft, helpless creatures and strangles the farmer's wife. Tragic tale of a retarded man and the friend who loves and tries to protect him.
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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

By Fannie Flagg

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"Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is the now-classic novel of two women in the 1980s; of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women - of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth - who back in the '30s ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present - for Evelyn and for us - will never be quite the same again...."
(Audiobook summary)

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The Persian Pickle Club

By Sandra Dallas

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This magical, memorable novel explores the ties that unite women through good times and bad. It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harleyville, Kansas, where crops are burning up and there's not a job to be found. For one young farm wife, the highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of locals dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their well-honed quilting skills to good use.

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The Cape Ann

By Faith Sullivan

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In a small Minnesota town during the Depression, six-year-old Lark narrates the story of her life, and the adult events going on in the town around her.

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The Homecoming

By Earl Hamner

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On Christmas Eve, Clay Spencer has not returned home. His eldest son, Clay-boy, goes looking for him in the snowy Virginia hills. Ladylike bootleggers, a lesson in race relations, and the hazards of nature are all a part of his journey. Earl Hamner's original story launched The Waltons television series. This entry leads to the large print edition, but a regular print edition is available as is The Walton's Homecoming video.

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When the Whipporwill Calls

By Candice Ransom

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A Blue Ridge Mountain family is displaced to the flatlands by the creation of the Shenandoah National Park.

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Grandpa's Mountain

By Carolyn Reeder

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During the Depression, eleven-year-old Carrie makes her annual summer visit to her relatives in the Blue Ridge Mountains and watches her determined grandfather fight against the government's attempt to take his farm land for a new national park.

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Bud, Not Buddy

By Christopher Paul Curtis

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Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids. J Fic Cur
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Al Capone Does My Shirts

by Gennifer Choldenko

Who can blame 12-year-old Moose for feeling uneasy when his family moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 for his father’s job at the prison? Humor and pathos, memorable characters, and a strong sense of place highlight this unusual coming-of-age story. 

Suggested for ages 10 - 14