How is it that almost an entire year has gone by without me realizing it was the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812?! I recently got an e-mail from the Maryland Historical Society talking about some special bus tours they have going on in honor of the occasion. (It's so awesome to live in a state that was actually around during the War of 1812! I'm from Indiana which didn't become a state until 1816.)
Totally by happenstance, I read a book a few weeks ago that was set against the backdrop of that war. It's called Once on This Island by Gloria Whelan. It was a wonderful story! If you'd like to celebrate this special anniversary in any small way, this book would be a great way to do it.
I found this awesome website that specializes in historical naval fiction which you can search by time period.
I'm sure there have been plenty of anniversary reenacting events around the state and it's such a shame that I've missed them all! But... now that I've done a search it turns out that I haven't! Maryland is hosting a variety of events in in 2013 - 2014 commemorating the Battle of Baltimore and the Battle of St. Leonard Creek. And I had no idea how many reenacting military units portray the War of 1812! You can tell I'm totally out of the loop. This is a new area of historical study for me and I've got quite the learning curve ahead!
On a side note, I've been meaning to put up links for compilations of young adult historical fiction through all time periods. I have a fabulous list on paper, but in a quick search I found two websites: Historical Novels and Book Girl. The first looks really good. The second webpage some of the links don't work, but it's organized well.