Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Book picks for kids: Historical fiction at its best

And for adults, a tale that's perfect for Thanksgiving season.

Book picks for kids (and adults):

Looking for some reading inspiration? Here’s a peek at what KCLS staff and the young readers in their lives are digging into this month!

All KCLS libraries are open. Plan your next visit at

For adults:

A Council of Dolls by Mona Susan Power
November is often full of family time, cooking, reflecting on the past and expressing gratitude for the present. I can’t think of a book that encapsulates the complex history and humanity of those experiences more than “A Council of Dolls.” Author Mona Susan Power introduces a trio of dolls that watch over generations of women in this story that centers Native American love and resilience. Beginning in the 1960s and going back in time, Sissy, Lillian and Cora are three young Dakhóta girls who grapple with generational and personal trauma. Their treasured dolls whisper encouragement, advice and stories — and (occasionally) deliver vengeance — as they pull the girls towards love. This powerful and thoughtful read illustrates how strength and support can forge a path to recovery. 


For kids:

The Lost Year” by Katherine Marsh

It’s 2020 during the pandemic and Matthew is miserable. His journalist father is stuck in Paris on assignment, and his mother has just moved his great-grandmother into their home. While helping his great-grandmother sort through her belongings and get settled, he discovers a dark family secret. Flip-flopping between past and present-day timelines, his great-grandmother’s stories reveal life during Stalin’s artificial famine, exposing genocide, family tensions, politics and the need for journalistic integrity. Few children’s books deal with the Holodomor in Ukraine, long denied by the Soviet Union, yet it still ripples through current politics. This is historical fiction at its best, based on the author’s family background.



Jenna Zarzycki is an adult services librarian at KCLS who works in south King County. She adores talking about books to anyone who will listen and regularly contributes to KCLS’ BookMatch and booklist services. Jenna likes fantasy, romance and narrative nonfiction best, although any book has the possibility to become a new favorite. KCLS Children’s Librarian Robin Howe serves her Kent Library community with tuneful Story Times and creative programs. She enjoys connecting young patrons to KCLS’ rich resources, and when she’s not reading aloud or jumping up and down to Sleeping Bunnies, she’s probably knitting, traveling or making soup


More book picks for kids (and other book news):

WA Book Award winners for young readers

Book picks for kids: a middle-school coming-of-age tale

Check out the uplifting new Sandra Boynton book


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About the Author

Jenna Zarzycki and Robin Howe