I am currently looking for books with a local, connection. With this in mind The Voyage of the Silver Bream by Theresa Tomlinson has been a revelation. It is based in an area I know well, The Sheffield Canal and River Don. I have a bit of a thing for old industrial areas, and have spent a lot of time mooching about in those areas. The Voyage of the Silver Bream gives these locations an involving historical context.
The geographical setting feels very close to home, but so are the central themes. The family in the story are forced to adjust to new economic circumstances, as the railways take-over from the canals. I know a lot of families that are having to make similar changes today as the availability and security of jobs and education changes.
I was so caught up in the book, I plotted the locations on an online map, which I have shared below. I think this is a really nice way to explore a story or factual account, especially one set in a local area or on a topic you want to explore. A good idea for a reading partnership, I think.
View The Voyage of the Silver Bream in a larger map
The Voyage of the Silver Bream by Theresa Tomlinson is part of a series called Victorian Flashbacks, there is a Victorian Flashbacks: Teachers' Guide which looks like it would provide plenty of resources to explore the stories further.