Looking for a middle-grade story starter? From historian Larry Cebula’s Northwest History blog:
On a personal note, my 9-year-old son, a bright boy and a fan of Captain Jack Sparrow, became fascinated with these 300 year old directions to pirate treasure [from the Rhode Island Historical Society].Historical research is so much like detective work that I think it’s a natural basis for a middle-grade mystery.
As I write this he is pouring over an atlas map of the Caribbean trying to match up the cryptic “J L” and “B O” to some modern feature. I am impressed by the way he is thinking historically—“Dad! Do we have a map of the Caribbean that was made in 1719? Because the names might be different now!” “Dad! Is there a biography of the guy who wrote the directions? Because then we could see where he went and narrow it down.” The poor kid is ruined.