Take Me Away, Fiction

If you can't afford a lavish vacation this summer, here are some books that make you forget where you are by creating a great sense of place.

I haven't read all of these, so don't quote me as your travel agent -- they came in response to my call for YA/Kid novels that turn us into armchair travelers with their mastery of setting. Feel free to suggest other titles/authors/places in the comments, and let us know if they're historical, fantasy, or contemporary fiction.

I'm going on a holiday myself and will be back on the Fire Escape 7/28, so in the meantime, leave your suggestions in the comments or send them to mitaliperk@yahoo.com and I'll add them when I get back.

Real Places
  • FUNNY HOW THINGS CHANGE / Melissa Wyatt / rural West Virginia
  • BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE / Kate DeCamillo / rural Florida
  • WHAT HAPPENED HERE / Tara Altebrando / Las Vegas and Europe
  • HEART OF A SHEPHERD / Rosanne Parry / rural Eastern Oregon
  • BLOOMABILITY / Sharon Creech / Switzerland
Real Places Long Ago
  • LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY / Gary D. Schmidt / coastal Maine
  • THE YEAR THE SWALLOWS CAME EARLY / Kathryn Fitzmaurice / San Juan Capistrano, California
  • A NORTHERN LIGHT / Jennifer Donnelly / rural New York
  • THE BOOK THIEF / Marcus Zusak / Nazi Germany
  • TEN CENTS A DANCE / Christine Fletcher / Chicago
  • HATTIE BIG SKY / Kirby Larson / Montana
Invented Places
  • HUNGER GAMES / Suzanne Collins
  • THE DRAGON OF TRELIAN / Michelle Knudsen
  • SAVVY / Ingrid Law
  • DREAMHOUSE KINGS / Robert Liparulo
  • MORTAL INSTRUMENTS / Cassie Clare (fantasy + NY)
  • NATION / Terry Pratchett
Photo courtesy of Richard Moross via Creative Commons


Sara Z. said…
What Happens Here by Tara Altebrando - real places, the narrator is traveling Europe with her family and Tara does a great job with creating that "being there" feeling.
I've enjoyed reading books with a Western theme -

Heart of a Shepherd, by Rosanne Parry - modern day ranch life in Eastern Oregon

Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson - Montana settler in early 1900s
Brìghde said…
Bloomability, by Sharon Creech- it's an excellent read about a pre-teen girl who moves to Switzerland with her aunt and uncle when her older sister has a baby. Dinnie captures hearts and imaginations with her thoughts on life, fitting in, herself, and Discovery. I also find the bits of Italian sprinkled throughout the book intriguing, and it runs through my head for days, weeks, months after reading the book, like effervescent church bells.
Brìghde said…
I's also like to add- ANY AND ALL books by Sharon Creech are wonderful "escapes", making the perfect reads for those questioning any and every -thing about life, the Universe, and everything. As are books by Eva Ibbotson!
Chelsea said…
Hello there. I was wondering if you've ever lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand? I seem to remember meeting you there... I was very young then, so I could be wrong. I have read your Sunita book, back when it was called the Sunita Experiment and enjoyed it. Bloomability is one of my all time favorite books! I highly recommend it.
Shelf Elf said…
Hey Mitali! I just posted at Shelf Elf about 2 titles that I think would fit perfectly into your "Real Places" category: The Higher Power of Lucky and Lucky Breaks both by Susan Patron. Amazing evocation of the California desert.