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Historical Fiction
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Tori and the Sleigh of Midnight Blue
North Dakota Institute of Regional Studies
Kindle e-book
Ages 8-12

Eleven-year-old Tori and her family are struggling with the Great Depression in North Dakota, and the death of her beloved Papa has been the severest blow of all. To aspiring writer Tori, everything is changing for the worse—her friends are acting too grown-up, and her little brother Otto invades her privacy. When a Norwegian bachelor-farmer begins courting Mama, Tori writes in her journal that her life will be ruined. What will Tori discover about forgiveness and acceptance as she tries to keep her life from changing?


Set in North Dakota during the Great Depression, Tori And The Sleigh Of Midnight Blue by Margo Sorenson is a young adult novel about Tori Olesen, an eleven-year-old girl who longs to be a writer yet has to deal with daily hardships such as her family's meager income and living, the loss of her beloved father, her nosy little brother, and most recently, the intrusion of a Norwegian bachelor courting her mother. Tori's struggle to come to terms with changes in her life and her family is thoughtfully and believably told in this highly recommended read whose a message transcends its setting. (Midwest Book Review)

Learn more about Scandinavian Heritage. Click here.

Read what Margo has to say about the Norwegian tradition of making lefse. Click here.

What's it like to work with a university press? Read Margo's guest post on that topic for Cynsations.

Tori and the Sleigh of Midnight Blue
Barnes and Noble
(print edition)
North Dakota
State University
(print edition)
Secret Heroes
by Carla Mishek and Margo Sorenson
Perfection Learning, January, 2003
ISBN 978-0756912604 (library binding);
978-0789159922 (paperback)
Ages 7-11

A boy must find something special to write about for his class project. When he finally learns the history behind his grandfather’s stories of WWII, what else will he learn about one of his new classmates?


"With a great deal of sensitivity and care, Mischek and Sorenson have managed to convey the inhuman treatment of the Jews by the Nazis, the conditions in the concentration camps, how the inmates helped one another survive and the Death Marches near the end of the war to try to cover up their shameful deeds. And with the same care, they introduce kids to the internment camps where the US contained the Japanese who were living in the United States. And they learn about the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion made up of the Japanese American soldiers who volunteered to fight for their country and who were the soldiers who liberated the Dachau concentration camp." (The Children's War)

Read the full review.

Instructional strategies for Secret Heroes

Secret Heroes
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Perfection Learning.
The Hidden Dagger
Perfection Learning, 1996
ISBN 978-0780755161 (library binding)
978-0-7891-0227-0 (paperback)
Ages 7-14

A 17th century English boy witnesses a lord's murder and must reveal the true killer before his innocent friend is convicted--or he is killed as the only witness.

In legal and social compliance with the State of CA Dept of Education.

The Hidden Dagger
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Perfection Learning.
Nothing Is for Free
Perfection Learning, 1996
ISBN 978-0780755284 (library binding)
978-0789116802 (paperback)
Ages 7-14

When Ike’s father loses his job during the Great Depression, the family must move to Ike’s uncle’s farm to live with his hated cousins, where they are definitely unwelcome. How can Ike handle his quick temper and still win out against his cousin?

Recommended in School Library Journal article, February, 1999, as one of five top picks for reluctant readers. Recommended by Shenandoah Valley VA Youth Librarians. In legal and social compliance with the State of CA Dept of Education.

Nothing is for Free
Buy this book from
Perfection Learning.
Copyright 2002-, Margo Sorenson. All information presented on these pages is the intellectual property of Margo Sorenson. Book excerpts are copyrighted by the publisher. Information and excerpts may not be used in any form—written, verbal, or electronically—without the permission of Margo Sorenson or her publishers. If you would like to quote any portion of the website, please contact the author or the publisher by using links provided on this site to request permission.
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