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2024 Reading Challenge Crossover Books

We know that a lot of you are participating in more than one of our Reading Challenges, so we thought that it might be helpful to create a place where we can specifically list the book recommendations that are a good fit for more than one of the monthly guided reading challenge prompts. We hope this helps during those months that you need to double-dip and provides a quick shortcut so you can stay on track with the challenges even when life gets busy.

Overview of Crossover Books

GUIDED READING CHALLENGES: The list below identifies the books from our recommended reading lists that satisfy two, or in some cases all three, of that month’s reading prompts for our guided reading challenges – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) Backlist Reading Challenge, the Decades Challenge, and the Book Voyage Read Around the World Challenge.

SELF-PACED READING CHALLENGES: Since Read Around the USA and the Lifetime of Reading are self-paced challenges for 2024, you can read books for those prompts in any order. Because each states and age range, respectively, are not assigned a specific month, we won’t be including these self-paced challenges in our crossover book lists. However, whenever possible, we try to call out the location settings and ages of characters throughout all of our book descriptions across all of our reading lists. So as you review the book lists for the other three challenges, you’ll be able to find lots of books that you can also count for Read Around the USA and the Lifetime Challenge if you’d like.

We will update this page each month after curating the individual reading challenge book lists, and you’ll always find the most recent month at the top of the page. Use the table of contents above if you’d like to jump directly to a specific past month.

March Crossover Books

The following books satisfy two of the March guided reading challenge prompts:

  • In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) – 2014
  • Book Voyage – Africa
  • Decades Challenge – 1920s

*We’ve used asterisks below to note which challenge list the book originally appeared on

The Boston Girl book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

97% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Addie Baum was born to a Jewish family at the turn of the 20th century. Her immigrant parents were very concerned about America’s effect on their three daughters. Growing up in Boston’s North End, Addie is introduced to a progressive world of short skirts, movies, and celebrity culture. She also sees a new world of opportunities for young women and dreams of college and a career.

At 85 years old, Addie Baum’s 22-year-old granddaughter asks her how she became the woman she is. Her story begins in 1915 when teenage Addie lived in a one-room tenement apartment that she shared with her family.

The Book Girls Say…

The story of Addie’s life is told with compassion, a wicked sense of humor, and great attention to historical detail. This novel spans Addie’s life, including her first job in the 1920s.

Over 100 of our readers selected this book as their Massachusetts book for our Read Around the USA Challenge last year, and it received rave reviews. Numerous readers specifically mentioned how much they enjoyed the audio version of the book, and said that the narration and the accents added to the story.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books that Span Multiple Decades

Diamond Boy book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

When diamonds were discovered in Marange, Zimbabwe in 2006, the region changed, often not for the better. In this novel, fifteen-year-old Patson has a normal teenage life, running track for his high school and experience having his first girlfriend. Then, at his stepmother’s prompting, the family moves as part of The Great Marange Diamond Rush. His family goes to work hoping to find their “girazi,” a priceless stone that could change the future. 

However, the governor’s soldiers soon arrive at the diamond field. Their action will help you understand the term “blood diamonds,” and Patson will soon be on a new adventure as he first succumbs to greed and then finds himself on a transformative journey to find his sister in South Africa.

The Book Girls Say…

This YA novel is a rare look into President Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe after he transitioned from a revolutionary hero to a tyrant who established a one-party system to stay in power for 37 years. While it is considered YA, don’t mistake that for being a light or easy read. It’s a realistic look at a brutal regime that will help educate you on modern history you may have missed while also providing a twisting and page-turning plot.

In addition to being the author of several books, Michael Williams writes plays, musicals, and operas, and is the Managing Director of Cape Town Opera in South Africa. He began writing “radio plays” while studying at the University of Cape Town and had his first novel published when he was twenty-five years old.

Homegoing book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

93% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

This multi-generation epic follows the divergent paths of two half-sisters born in 18th century Ghana and their descendants over 300 years. Effia marries a wealthy Englishman and lives in a castle, but she doesn’t know Esi is imprisoned in the dungeon below. Esi is sold in the slave trade and shipped to America, where she, her children, and her grandchildren are raised in slavery. 

The book continues to follow each generation of both Effia and Esi all the way to the present day and includes a range of historical time periods, including the American Civil War and the Jazz Age.

The Book Girls Say…

Despite this long history, the book is only 305 pages, so it’s not a traditional epic with extensive storylines for each generation. Instead, each chapter introduces a new character and reads more like a series of short stories. Some readers are disappointed that not every chapter/character has a full arc and conclusion.

Author Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama.

WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes of sexual and physical abuse, along with adult language. 

We also found a second book that spans both Ghana and Alabama called The Scent of Burnt Flowers. The description sounds fascinating, but the reviews are a bit lower than we hoped.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books that Span Multiple Continents

Long Walk to Freedom book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Nelson Mandela is one of the great leaders of the 20th century whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him not only the Nobel Peace Prize, but also the presidency of his country. This autobiography is very broad in its scope, covering his upbringing in the traditional tribal culture of his ancestors, his early years as a poor student and a law clerk, his political awakening, his time spent in jail, and finally, his inauguration as South Africa’s first black president. 

In addition to providing an in-depth and personal look at the life of this incredible man – Long Walk to Freedom also provides a riveting account of South Africa’s history and change from Apartheid to a Democratic state.

The Book Girls Say…

This memoir is on the longer side at 600+ pages. It spans his life, beginning with a chapter about his “country childhood” in the 1920s.

If you want to learn more about South Africa’s political history, we also recommend the classic Cry the Beloved Country. Originally published in 1948, this novel sheds light on the racial injustice in South Africa that predated Apartheid. Of course, as with all classics, keep in mind that this book is a product of its time.

Leaving TIme book cover

Book Summary

Alice disappeared in the wake of an accident, and ten years later, her daughter, Jenna, still refuses to believe that her mother abandoned her. Jenna still regularly searches for clues, both online and within Alice’s journals.

Alice was a scientist who studied grief among elephants in Botswana. While the journal entries are mostly about the elephants, Jenna hopes that she’ll find a clue within the writing. As part of her investigation, she also works with a psychic and detective, and we’ll see the story from their points of view as well.

The Book Girls Say…

While this isn’t a magical realism book, the storyline has some psychic/paranormal elements.

February Crossover Books

The following books satisfy two of the February guided reading challenge prompts:

*We’ve used asterisks below to note which challenge list the book originally appeared on

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald book cover

Book Summary

Regarded as the first flapper, this novel recounts the life of Zelda (Sayer) Fitzgerald from the time she met F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in Alabama in 1918. She was a 17-year-old Southern belle, and he was a young army lieutenant. Scott was not wealthy or prominent, nor was he a Southerner – all of which left Zelda’s father deeply unimpressed with him. But Zelda fell for him nonetheless.

A couple of years after their initial meeting, Scott sold his first novel, This Side of Paradise, Zelda boarded a train north and married him at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. What unfolds is the story of a complex and fascinating woman.

The Book Girls Say…

This biographical fiction is based on the author’s extensive research into the life of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and it was her goal to stay as close to the facts as possible. She acknowledges that much of what is known about these two figures has come from unreliable sources and popular culture myths, and it was her mission to set the record straight.

A fun fact that we learned in the process of researching this novel for our book list – F. Scott Fitzgerald, who is most well-known as the author of The Great Gatsby, was named after his ancestor Francis Scott Key, the author/composer of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Life After Life book cover

Book Summary

Ursula Todd was born on a cold and snowy night in 1910, but she died before she could take her first breath. That same night, Ursula Todd was born with a wail and went on to lead a very unusual life. Life after life, for a seemingly infinite number of lives, Ursula grows and dies repeatedly and in a variety of ways. All the while, the world continues on a path toward a second World War… unless Ursula has the power to change the world’s destiny.

The Signature of All Things book cover

Book Summary

Spanning much of the 18th & 19th centuries, this book tells the story of the fictional Whittaker family. The patriarch, Henry, begins life as a poor Englishman before making his fortune in South America. He rises to be the wealthiest man in Philadelphia.

His daughter, Alma, gets his money and his great mind. She becomes a botanist who studies the mysteries of evolution while falling in love with a man obsessed with the spiritual realm. She is scientific while he’s an artist. Follow this unlikely couple as their story soars around the globe.

The Book Girls Say…

If you loved the writing style of Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls, pick up her 2013 return to fiction, The Signature of All Things. Like in City of Girls, you’ll find the side characters just as compelling as the main characters.

The Perfume Collector book cover

Book Summary

Grace Monroe doesn’t fit the picture of a London socialite in the 1950s, and her new marriage is already falling apart. When she receives an inheritance from a woman she’s never heard of before – Madame Eva d’Orsey – Grace is compelled to travel to France. She seeks to uncover the mystery of who this woman was and why she left her money to Grace.

The story weaves through both pre- and post-WWII, from New York to Monte Carlo and London to Paris. Grace learns about the extraordinary woman who was the muse of one of the greatest perfumers in Paris. Madame Eva d’Orsay is immortalized in three evocative perfumes. Discovering this history changes Grace’s life, and forces her to choose whether to stay confirmed to expectations or live the life she truly desires.

The Book Girls Say…

This novel was a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Historical Fiction in 2013. Reviewers praise the imagery of the scents and foods described throughout the novel. Some reviewers, however, say that they found Grace’s storyline a bit less compelling than that of Madame Eva d’Orsay.

The Bookbinder book cover

Book Summary

Twin sisters Peggy and Maude work in Oxford’s university press book bindery. While Maude is very content spending her days folding the pages of books with her fellow bindery girls, Peggy dreams of more. As Peggy works, she wishes she was instead across Walton Street at Oxford’s Somerville College, where female students have a huge library at their fingertips.

When Oxford is filled with Belgian war refugees, the sister’s lives are impacted in surprising ways. Peggy becomes more determined to find a career that uses her intellect instead of her hands. But, the responsibility that comes with falling in love with a Belgian soldier may hold her back.

The Book Girls Say…

This book has an alternate title of “The Bookbinder of Jericho” outside of the US.

An Inquiry Into Love and Death book cover

Book Summary

Oxford student Jillian Leigh is called on to travel to the English seaside village of Rothewell to collect the belongings of her late uncle, Toby. A renowned ghost hunter, Toby died after falling of a cliff. It was deemed an accident, but Jillian will come to question if perhaps something more sinister happened to her uncle.

Almost immediately after arriving in Rothewell, Jillian begins to experience odd events that quickly escalate from unsettling to terrifying. When a handsome Scottish Yard inspector named Drew arrives, Jillian is left with more questions than answers. To complicate matters further, there’s a mutual attraction between Jillian and Drew. Will she be able to uncover the secrets that someone seems determined to keep buried?

The Book Girls Say…

This gothic thriller and paranormal ghost story is one of Simone St. James’ lesser-known works, but reviewers say that her sophomore novel lives up to everything readers have come to love about her work.

Pull of the Stars book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

89% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

In 1918, Ireland was ravaged by both war and disease. Julia is a nurse working in an understaffed hospital caring for pregnant women who have been quarantined after contracting a terrible new flu that would come to be known as the Spanish Flu.

Two newcomers to the hospital ward will change everything over the course of three days. One is Doctor Katleen Lynn, who is rumored to be a Rebel on the run from the police. The other is Bridie, a young volunteer.

The Book Girls Say…

For another look at the Spanish Flu set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, consider reading Murmur of Bees by Sofía Segovia. For insight into the Spanish Flu in New York, try A Beautiful Poison, which would also be great for fans of Radium Girls, as some characters are employed in a watch factory painting dials with radium.

Other Einstein book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

89% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Mitza Maric was the only female studying physics at a prestigious university in Zurich, Switzerland when she met her classmate and future husband – Albert Einstein.

The Other Einstein is a fictionalized story of their tumultuous relationship and places Mitza as the originator of some works credited to him. While not a biography, the book still highlights accurate depictions of life in Western Europe at the time, including rampant classism and sexism.

The Book Girls Say…

With Einstein being one of the most well-known citizens of Switzerland, we thought this would be a fun pick, but it’s important to keep in mind that this is a fictionalized version of events. Audiobook listeners have noted that the narrator was a bit too monotone, so this one is more enjoyable to read than to listen to.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 01/16/2024

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

95% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

This is the non-fiction story of nine working-class boys – sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers – who beat all the odds to become the American rowing team. They weren’t expected to win at home, let alone defeat others on the international stage. Out of the depths of the Depression, these unlikely young men shocked the world by defeating the German team at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

In writing this story, Brown drew upon the boys’ own journals and vivid memories to paint a portrait of an era.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books Set in the 1930s

Canary Girls book cover

Book Summary

As British men left to fight in WWI, women stepped up to work in the arsenals, making weapons for the military. Thousands of former housewives, shop girls, cooks, and maids became “munitionettes” and worked grueling shifts with little protective gear.

April is 19 years old and was a housemaid before hearing about the higher wages she could earn at Thornshire Arsenal near London. Lucy is married to an Olympic gold medalist & star forward of the Tottenham Hotspur football team. She joins Thornshire to do her part in shortening the war. When her coworkers learn she is a footballer’s wife, they invite her to join the arsenal ladies’ football club, the Thornshire Canaries.

When the women begin having unexplained health problems, including yellowing skin, the boss’s wife, Helen, becomes their biggest advocate. Helen suspects the chemicals are to blame for the health issues and became a staunch advocate for the workers who became known as “canary girls.”

The Book Girls Say…

If you love stories based on what women were doing for the war effort and also enjoy sports, this is a great option based on the true story of the “canary girls” and the Munitionettes Cup.

The Phoenix Crown book cover

Book Summary

By 1906, San Francisco was full of new wealth and those dreaming of new wealth. Two of those dreamers were Gemma, who was trying to rekindle her singing career, and Suling, a Chinese seamstress trying to escape an arranged marriage. The women meet through the acquaintance of Henry Thornton, a charming railroad magnate and collector of Chinese antiques, including the fabled Phoenix Crown, a legendary relic of Beijing’s fallen Summer Palace.

However, before the women can benefit from Thornton’s patronage, the 1906 earthquake rips through the city and Thornton disappears. Then, five years later, the Phoenix Crown reappears at a Paris costume ball. Gemma and Suling must join forces to figure out what really happened to Thornton.

Secret Life of Violet Grant book cover

Book Summary

It was not easy to be a female scientist in 1914, so Violet Schuyler Grant endures her much older, philandering husband because he makes her role as a physicist in prewar Germany possible. When Lionel, a captain in the British Army, meets Violet, he encourages her to escape her husband’s hold. However, with WW1 on the horizon, Lionel’s motives are suspect.

Fifty years later, Vivian Schuyler is a recent Bryn Mawr grad in New York City but not content to be a socialite. Instead, she’s trying to break into the glamorous world of magazine publishing. She puts her investigative skills to use when she receives a package of information about a mysterious aunt she never knew.

Tour book cover

Book Summary

What could feel more like spring than the green, rolling hills of Ireland? We’ve always loved the Irish works of the late, great Maeve Binchy, so when we heard Jean Grainger referred to as “the next Maeve Binchy,” we knew we needed to check out her books. And then when we read a review that described The Tour as “a feel-good Irish springtime read,” we knew we’d hit the jackpot.

Each week, Conor O’Shea leads American tourists on a high-end tour of “The Real Ireland.” He’s a seasoned guide, but his most recent tour group is filled with a colorful cast of unintentionally hilarious characters that manage to leave him speechless for the first time in his life. As the tour continues, you won’t be able to help but fall in love with these tourists, as well as the locals they meet along the way. This is the perfect spring break book for armchair travelers!

The Book Girls Say…

Jean Grainger is also the author of the popular WWII historical fiction The Star and the Shamrock.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 01/18/2024

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Best Books to Read in Spring

The Aviator's Wife Book Cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

This historical fiction novel traces the life of Anne Morrow, who was a shy college senior the first time she met Colonel Charles Lindbergh shortly after his famed 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Their wedding made headlines, but that was just the beginning. In the following years, Anne was the first woman in the US to become a licensed glider pilot and one of the first licensed radio operators. Still, despite her intelligence and accomplishments, she remained known as just the “aviator’s wife.”

Throughout the decades, the Lindberghs’ marriage took them to new highs and devastating lows, including the tragic kidnapping of their first son and Charles’ affairs. Through it all, the Lindberghs became fodder for the earliest paparazzi.

Burial Rites book cover

Book Summary

In 1829, a poor young servant named Agnes is convicted of the brutal murder of her former master. She’s sent to an isolated farm in Iceland to await execution. The family who lives on the farm does not want to house a convicted murderer, and they do their best to avoid Agnes.

The only person who seems interested in understanding more about Agnes is Tóti, the priest that she has chosen to be her spiritual guardian as the end of her life nears. But as the date of her execution draws closer, the farmer’s wife and daughters begin to discover that there may be more to Agnes’ story than the sensationalized version they’ve heard.

The Book Girls Say…

This novel was a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Historical Fiction in 2013.

Orphans of the Storm book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Marcella has been married for three years and has two young children. Her once charming husband. Michael has revealed his true, cruel nature, and she’s determined to divorce him. While Michael’s waiting for a judge in France to award custody of their children, he receives shocking news.

Margaret is a fun-loving New York socialite who is touring Europe with friends. When she begins to feel restless, she decides to return home aboard a celebrated new steamer ship, the Titanic.

As the ship sets sail for America, the paths of Marcella, Michael, and Margaret become forever intertwined. This historical fiction novel is based on a true story.

Bluebird book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Detroit museum curator Cassie loves solving mysteries from the past, especially when the stories involve the Detroit River rumrunners from the Prohibition days. When a home renovation uncovers a cache of Bailey Brothers Best whisky, she hopes it’s the missing piece she needs to understand the truth about the bootleggers.

In 1918, Corporal Jeremiah Bailey was wounded as part of his job planting mines under enemy trenches. As he recovers at a Belgium hospital, he’s cared for by nurse Adele, one of the Canadian “Bluebirds.” The connection between Jerry and Adele is strong as they’re from a similar area along the Detroit River. But when Jerry is sent back to the front, he’s not sure he’ll ever see Adele again.

When Jerry and Adele unexpectedly cross paths after the war, they have a chance for a fresh start, but both carry baggage from what they saw overseas. Prohibition is in full swing, bringing them both opportunity and the threat of destroying everything they’ve worked for.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Best WW1 Historical Fiction

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

98% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Selva could have her pick of nearly any man in Ankara, Turkey, but the only one she loved was the handsome Jewish son of a court physician. Despite the protests of their families, the two marry and are determined to build a new life in Paris. But when the Nazis invade France and begin rounding up Jews, it’s no longer safe for them to stay.

After learning that Selva is among the citizens trapped in France, a group of Turkish diplomats devise a plan to transport Selva, Rafael, and hundreds of Jewish people to safety. From Ankara to Paris, Cairo, and Berlin, The Last Train to Istanbul crisscrosses a war-torn continent in an uplifting tale of love and adventure.

The Book Girls Say…

While only a portion of this historical fiction novel is set on the train, readers say that this is the most impactful part of the story.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 08/16/2023
Memory of Violets book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

For years, Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls in London has watched over London’s flower girls, as they are known. These orphaned and disabled children survive on the streets by selling violets and watercress. In 1912, Twenty-year-old Tilly Harper left her native Lake District and moved to London to become an assistant housemother at the home.

Tilly discovers the diary of a young woman named Florrie with dried flowers pressed between the pages and a heartbreaking tale of her separation from her sister, Rosie. Drawn into their story from the 1870s, Tilly hopes to discover what happened to Rosie.

Pieces We Keep

Book Summary

Audra lost her husband two years ago, and she thinks that it’s time for a fresh start. As she makes plans to relocate from Portland to Philadelphia with her 7-year-old son, he becomes nervous about flying. Soon, his fears escalate into recurring and violent nightmares. Before long, Jack has become so anxious and introverted that Audra barely recognizes him.

After searching for information related to snippets of information that Jack recalls from his dreams, Audra is introduced to a US Army veteran who was wounded in Afghanistan. Together, they begin to unravel a mystery dating back to WWII.

The Book Girls Say…

The audiobook is included free with an Audible membership as of 1/17/23.

January Crossover Books

The following books satisfy two of the January guided reading challenge prompts:

*We’ve used asterisks below to note which challenge list the book originally appeared on

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

In The Snow Child, you’ll be transported to remote 1920s Alaska. Jack and Mabel are nearing 50 when they decide to move to Alaska. As newcomers to the harsh environment, it is a struggle for them. Between the intense physical labor required and the even more extreme loneliness, they’re not sure they’ve made the right decision with the move.

Then, during the first snowfall of the year, they decide to have some fun and build a child out of snow. In the morning, the snow child is gone, but they see a young girl running through the trees with the items they had used to dress the snow child. Is she real, or are they hallucinating and dreaming of the child they’ve always wanted?

The Book Girls Say…

Melissa thought the fairytale-like qualities of this magical realism novel were phenomenal in both the writing and the storytelling.

This novel takes place in the fictional town of Alpine, Alaska, along the fictional Wolverine River, so we can’t say for sure that it is above the Arctic Circle for purposes of being a crossover book. However, the book fully transports you to the isolation of an Alaskan homestead, making the harshness of the environment and the preparation required to survive very clear.

With that in mind, you could also choose to consider Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (from the Best Books from 2012 list) to be a crossover; however, it takes place considerably further south in Ontario, Canada.

Antarctica An Intimate Portrait book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Antarctica is the only continent on Earth where humans could never survive unaided. Many books have come out of our fascination with the frigid region, but this one strives to truly capture the whole story.

Drawing on her broad travels across the continent, science writer Gabrielle Walker weaves all the significant threads of life on the vast ice sheet into an intricate tapestry, illuminating what it feels like to be there and why it draws so many different kinds of people.

We witness cutting-edge science experiments through Gabrielle, visit the South Pole, lodge with American, Italian, and French researchers, drive snowdozers, drill ice cores, and listen for the message Antarctica is sending us about our future in an age of global warming.

The Book Girls Say…

One reader says, “I love this book! Was exactly what I was hoping for – tells about the land, the people who work there, about their work, about early explorers. Utterly fascinating!”

At the Mountains Edge book cover

Book Summary

The Peterson family, including Lisa, have a store in Vancouver but an opportunity to make a fortune if they move to Dawson City, the only established town in the Yukon. Constable Ben Turner, a new recruit for the North-West Mounted Police, is also headed to Dawson City, but instead of looking for riches, he is looking to bring integrity to a town overrun with guns, liquor, prostitutes, and thieves.

The journey over icy mountains and whitewater rapids is more treacherous than Liza or Ben imagined. When a tragedy strikes near the mountain’s peak, Lisa must continue without her family. Ben is wracked with guilt over the accident and looking for an opportunity to make things right.

The Book Girls Say…

This historical fiction is a mix of romance and adventure, perfect for those who enjoy survival stories.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

It’s 1885, and newly married Colonel Allen Forrester has received the commission of a lifetime. He is being sent to lead a small group of men to navigate Alaska’s Wolverine River (a fictional river based on the Copper River). Finding a way to pass the river is the key to opening Alaska to the outside world, but previous attempts have been fatal.

Sophie is pregnant and not excited about being relegated to a year in the military barracks away from her husband while he attempts the impossible. She’s worried about her pregnancy and what will happen while apart from Allen.

The Book Girls Say…

Melissa loved this author’s descriptions of Alaska in The Snow Child, so she can’t wait to pick up this 2016 Goodreads Nominee for Best Historical Fiction. Like The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey weaves a thread of magical realism throughout this epistolary novel.

This novel takes place along the fictional Wolverine River, so we can’t say for sure that it is above the Arctic Circle for purposes of being a crossover book, but it will definitely give you a sense of the harsh, cold isolation which is what we were looking for.

In the Kingdom of Ice book cover

Book Summary

Subtitled “The Grand and Terrible Voyage of the USS Jeanette,” this non-fiction tells the story of the United States’ aspiration to be the first nation to reach the North Pole. US Navy Captain George Washington DeLong set sail on the JSS Jeanette with a team of 32 men. They departed San Francisco, heading deep into Arctic waters.

Two years into the expedition, Jeannette’s hull was breached by an impassable stretch of ice. The crew was forced to abandon the ship into the icy water. Shipwrecked a thousand miles north of Siberia, they are forced to march across the endless ice pack as they struggle to survive.

The Book Girls Say…

This non-fiction survival story was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Best History & Biography in 2014.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

90% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

In 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman organized an epic trip. He converted a steamship into a luxury “floating university” and invited some of the brightest scientists and writers to join him on a journey through Alaska’s beauty.

Author Mark Adams retraced this journey more than 100 years later. He traveled three thousand miles, following the itinerary north through Wrangell, Juneau, and Glacier Bay, then continuing west into the colder and stranger regions of the Aleutians and the Arctic Circle.

Along the way, several unusual characters are encountered, and Adams examines how lessons learned in 1899 could apply today. While this non-fiction travelogue is often humorous, it’s also a realistic look at how Alaska’s resources are being depleted and endangered.

The Book Girls Say…

Our readers note specifically enjoying the story-telling narrative of this travelogue.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books Set in Antarctica and the Arctic

Madhouse at the End of the Earth book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

85% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

In 1897, a polar expedition went terribly wrong. The crew of the Belgica was ready for adventure when they set sail on a three-year expedition to uncharted Antarctica and the magnetic South Pole. However, they hadn’t even cleared South America yet when everything seemed to be going wrong. But they pushed forward into freezing water, chasing glory for Belgium.

That decision led to the Belgica and her crew becoming stuck in the ice for an entire sunless Arctic winter and being driven to the brink of madness. The author tells this compelling non-fiction tale with extra detail thanks to exclusive access to the ship’s logbook.

The Book Girls Say…

In 2021, this book was a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for History & Biography. One of our most trusted readers selected it last year for Antarctica and rated it 10/10.

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