Historical Fiction

Historical fiction titles are generally set more than 50 years in the past.

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  1. Silverdolphin827 says:

    Through a series of unfortunate events Augusta Hoopes Neubronner ends up on her grandmother’s doorstep with nothing more than a suitcase, an old French Horn, and a boatload of secrets. Her mother sent her to Springdale, Maine when times got hard in the city. Gusta’s father was supposed to escort her all the way but disappeared when Gusta stepped on her bus. Gusta knows how to adjust though and is welcomed into her grandmother’s home that is also a Home for many orphans including Josie, who Gusta bonds with immediately. Gusta’s mother had told her stories about the old farmhouse and how a magical wish is hidden there, which Gusta looks for. In Springdale, Gusta also meets her cousin Bess and her Uncle Charlie who damaged his hand in the mills through no fault of his own. He would need a special surgeon to fix it–something he can’t afford. Gusta meets a teacher’s pet named Molly, a German oculist, and many other interesting people in her new town. Just when she is starting to get used to her life, her desire to do good gets her into trouble. She accidentally uncovers a family secret that has long been hidden through her actions. She also starts to wonder if she is considered a real American. She learns about the climate of fear that exists because of World War II and how her father’s German ancestry could get her into trouble. It isn’t all bad though–she joins a band and learns much about pigeons. This is a wonderful book about a girl trying to blend in and make a difference at the same time, I recommend Anne Nesbet’s The Orphan Band of Springdale to anyone who likes historical fiction.

  2. Anne Onymous says:

    Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
    It’s World War II and refugees in Europe near Germany, Poland, and Lithuania are looking to escape. Many of them decide to go on either the Wilhelm Gustloff, the Goya, or the Steuben in the Baltic Sea. The refugees that the story is following are looking to escape Nazi occupied Germany. All of the characters are haunted by their past lives and must leave them behind. There are many complications including the characters make fake boarding passes to be allowed passage on the ship. They make it on the the Wilhelm Gustloff. Sepetys has written a story that will be sure to get people interested in what happened to the Wilhelm Gustloff and World War II. This historical fiction book was a great book. It was very moving and Sepetys did a great job holding back information about the characters and revealing at the right times for suspense.

  3. Mysticat33 says:

    How could someone make the worst war in American history seem more human? Well Michael Shaara sure did. He wrote about Gettysburg, a bloodbath battle in the American Civil War, from the individual perspective of generals and soldiers present, in the book THE KILLER ANGELS. Though it was a work of fiction, it made the Gettysburg battle seem more than just a historical event. Seeing it through their eyes and feeling the feelings of real people made the war a whole different angle. Reading this book made me understand the value of human lives and how much sacrifice was truly made in the Civil War. Shaara researched heavily to imagine what the thoughts and actions of individuals in the battle could be. He really captured what could be the perspective of the soldiers. The plot is simple, basically just what happened at Gettysburg. But it is more than that and it did get emotional. I don’t recommend it to people without time because this is a very hard and heavy read, it took me 1 1/2 months to get through it. The lexile is very high but if you are ready for a challenge this is definitely worth the read. This is particularly interesting for people who like American history and/or the Civil War. This book made me very interested in the war after that and now I’m obsessed with the Civil War. It’s a very wonderful read but it really takes a while, so be patient with it.

  4. Mysticat33 says:

    Love lays deep in the roots of war. In the midst of the American Revolution, Peggy Schuyler receives a letter from her sister’s admirer, Alexander Hamilton. She was already outraged that the Schuyler sisters have been broken up ever since the oldest sister, Angelica, ran off with a gambler. Feeling abandoned, she was left to care for her younger brothers and sisters, who just didn’t have the connections that the tight oldest three Schuyler sisters had. Now a sauve aide of the highly respected George Washington thinks he has a right to take away the second sister from Peggy! L. M. Elliott’s HAMILTON AND PEGGY!: A REVOLUTIONARY FRIENDSHIP, follows the story of tough little Peggy, who’s always in the shadows of her sisters, and Alexander Hamilton, a soon to be famed genius. Hamilton begs for Peggy to help her woo Peggy’s sister, Eliza, but Peggy has problems of her own. Her father, General Philip Schuyler, is dealing with war issues and Peggy might be in love herself with a French soldier. The betrayals and problems of war affect not just her father, but Peggy too. Somehow, though Peggy disapproved of Hamilton at first, a friendship grew between the two. This story is compelling and I highly recommend it to people who really like historical fiction, war, or romance. If you love the musical HAMILTON, this is a friendly companion to it, where Elliott uses real life letters and historical documents to piece together this friendship. Even more extraordinary is that Elliott based the whole story around the two remaining letters Hamilton letters wrote to Peggy. Historians haven’t found any others! This is an interesting story and Peggy is a unique independent character, who you will grow to love. This is a really great book and highly recommended.

  5. Lukas says:

    A review of A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen

    On August 13th, in the year 1961, Germany was split in half. A fortified concrete wall slashed through the middle of the nation. The Berlin Wall changed the course of Germany’s future. A Night Divided displays an amazing insight into this time period. When twelve-year-old Gerta Lowe lives with her two brothers and parents in Berlin, Germany, her family is devastated when their father is ripped away from them on a business trip with his son during the sudden rise of the Berlin Wall. Now, ruthless Stasi officers monitor the streets, Gerta and her family struggle to find good work, as they watch neighbors, citizens, and close friends attempt to break away from the East, only to be viciously killed by the police. But when Gerta discovers her father on the other side of the wall doing a peculiar dance, she realizes he wants her and brother, Fritz, to tunnel underneath the wall and escape to freedom with him. Jennifer A. Nielsen writes a masterpiece of a story which explains the struggle of a young girl with her life ripped in half, the horrible time of the Berlin Wall, and it shows the courage of those who tried to pursue freedom no matter what, even if it meant death.

  6. Mysticat33 says:

    THE BOOK THIEF By Markus Zusak is one of the most powerful books about the Holocaust ever written in young adult literature. The story revolves around a young girl named Liesel Meminger, who’s mother could no longer provide for her. She is sent to live with a foster care family, Rosa and Hans Hubermann, on a little street named Himmel Street, in Nazi Germany in the 1940s. At first Liesel is refusing to leave her family but Hans is gentle with her and Rosa is stubborn to make her stay, so she comes to love her foster parents. All is going well, with Liesel going to school and Hitler Youth and making friends with a snarky boy named Rudy Steiner and other children on Himmel Street. Liesel suddenly becomes obsessed with words after stealing a book from a gravedigger’s apprentice. Hans, who she calls Papa, begins teaching her how to read through her first stolen book THE GRAVEDIGGER’S HANDBOOK. Stealing books gave Liesel a bit of thrill and she begins to steal books from all sorts of situations. And she usually got away. Then something dreadful happens. Papa allows a Jew to hide in their basement, to escape the Nazis. Liesel was fearful of the Jew, but complications in Papa’s past led this Jew here. But Liesel and Max, the Jew, are very similar. They both have nightmares and Liesel and Max bond over the love of words. Max writes books for Liesel and Liesel gives Max verbal pictures of what is happening outside Max’s lonely basement. Soon, Liesel has 10 books of great importance to her and the weight of hiding a Jew gets heavy on the Hubermanns and Liesel badly. Can Liesel continue to be friends with someone prosecuted from society? What are the secrets Hans Hubermann has refused to share from his past? Will Himmel Street, where their house is, be bombed or raided by the Nazis? How will Liesel ever get away with stealing all those books? This book truly proves Markus Zusak’s ability to use the power of words to write about one of the most tragic events in world history. No words could ever be persuasive enough to tell you how great this book was. This is a very deep read and a pretty long book (about 550 pages), so it takes great dedication to get through all of this. I was just dumbfounded by the astonishing story and I really had to savor ever word. This book has many buried meanings and is very symbolic to the time period. One of my many favorite things about this book is it’s narrator is Death itself. Considering how many millions of people died in that time, Death is a significant symbol. This is a great historical fiction and if you liked DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL By Anne Frank or you adore WWII and Holocaust books, this is the book for you. But most importantly, if you love a good read this is definitely one.

  7. Silverdolphin827 says:

    Do you know what a scarlet pimpernel is? It is a little red country flower. But is also the code name of a mysterious hero who saved countless lives from the guillotine during the French Revolution. Baroness Emma Orczy’s novel The Scarlet Pimpernel is set in England in 1792. It focuses on a “the cleverest woman in Europe” Lady Marguerite Blakeney and her husband Sir Percy Blakeney. The Blakeneys are the most popular couple in Europe. However they are not at all happy. They used to love each other before they were married but now Sir Percy is an idiotic nobleman for whom Marguerite feels only good natured contempt. However despite their unhappiness life goes on. Marguerite is the queen of London society and gossips with everybody about the one thing on everyone’s mind: The brave, daring, and cunning Scarlet Pimpernel who smuggled poor French aristocrats out of France to safety right under the very noses of the Republican government of France. Like everyone else Marguerite thinks very highly of him never once did she think she might be forced to betray him. One night Marguerite is visited by an old friend and a member of the Republic of France, M. Chauvelin. He has come to Europe on a mission, to catch the Scarlet Pimpernel. He wants Marguerite’s help. He had discovered evidence that Marguerite’s brother, Armand, is in league with the Scarlet Pimpernel. If she helps him, he will spare Armand from the guillotine and if not Armand will pay dearly for his crimes. Unknown to Marguerite the stakes are higher than she could ever have guessed. Baroness Orczy does a wonderful job of showing her readers the horrors of the revolution but also conveying a message of hope and showing that there are good people in the world. I read that book four times in a row because I just couldn’t put it down. It is full of action, adventure, cleverness, and bravery. If you are looking for a good exciting story with high stakes this book is for you.

  8. Sour Patch Kid says:

    My favorite book this year is Trouble Don’t Last [by Shelley Pearsall]. It’s about a slave boy named Samuel who lives with Harrison, a cranky old slave, who helped to raise Samuel when his mother was sold. One day Harrison decides to escape with Samuel. He brought a sack full of stuff they “might” need. Like a bonnet, food, a cap, and much much more. In this suspenseful book, Samuel will find out about his past, and his future.

  9. Mackenzie M. says:

    Many people think that books that are historical fiction aren’t as good as fiction but in the book Sarah’s Key that’s questionable. Not only is it historical fiction, but it is about the Holocaust. Two stories are happening at the same time and it can get confusing but after a while they soon join together and make complete sense. One side of the story is from the view of a Jewish girl who is rounded up by the gestapo (French police under Nazi rules). The other side of the story is in the present. The apartment that Julia, the girl in the present, is fixing up has some secrets that once hid inside the walls. She is determined to find out who lived in the apartment during the great round up, but what she doesn’t know is that there is more to the story of a little girl than meets the eye. There was once someone who really did hide in a cupboard inside the walls. A heart wrenching story that definitely will leave you thinking of what it was like in the shoes of a Jewish family and what they went through during such a harsh time period.

  10. Morgan 27 says:

    I just finished the book The War That Saved My Life and it was fantastic! This is a story set in World War two and it is about ten year old Ada and her brother Jamie who is 6. Ada has a clubfoot which makes her a “terrible cripple” according to her abusive mother. One day Ada decides to try walking even though it hurts terribly, she uses that skill to escape. Ada’s mother goes to send Jamie away so he is safe from any potential bombing. The day Jamie is due to be sent, Ada sneaks out and goes with him. A woman named Susan Smith is forced to take them in against her will by a WVS officer. There the three learn to like each other and form close bonds but Ada keeps reminding herself how this is only temporary which gets in the way of the joy. This is a novel that pulls at your heart and makes you glad you read it! I recommend this book to anyone in sixth grade and up with a five star rating!

    • Mrs. Patterson says:

      Thank you so much for this wonderful book talk! This is a Maine Student Book Award nominee this year. Would you copy and paste your book talk to the MSBA page as well?

  11. Little Debbie says:

    I am reading a good book right now at my house. It’s by Avi and it’s about a boy who just wants to sleep and eat all day, and his cat can talk to him I think I haven’t read it in for a long time but it’s a good book. They go and switch bodies and there that’s all I am going to say. From Little Debbie.

  12. Blank02 says:

    I’m going to blog about the book Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. When I started this book, I had low expectations since historical fiction is not my thing. Then again, I did read Fever with the same motto and was so interested with all the historical details. Something about this book made me feel warm inside. It was like I knew Isabel in real life and this book I was reading was her diary. Chains is about a young slave named Isabel who is bought by a terrible rich couple called the Locktons. Isabel was taught how to read and write by her previous slave owner, and that comes in handy. Isabel’s world is turned around when her little sister, Ruth, is sold… or so we think. Isabel encounters a rebel enslaved boy named Courzon who really makes her difficult life a life a bit more lively. This is a great read for anyone who wants to learn a little bit more about history or for someone who wants to find a good historical fiction book. Once you start this book, I promise you will not be able to stop.

  13. Mackenzie 113 says:

    In my ELA class, we just finished reading the book “Chains” together as a class. “Chains” is by Laura Halse Anderson. She uses historical facts and letters for information about the time period and helps use better understand the life of slave during the American Revolutionary War. The book is about a slave named Isabel, and her sister Ruth, who’s owner had recently passed. She is sold to a couple from England and is forced to work for them. She goes through many tough times including family, war, and people problems but when she meets another slave she knows her life is about to change.

  14. Medusa215 says:

    You won’t be able to put this book down because when you start it is pulls you in with the very first chapter and the author uses really good descriptions to describe the characters and the where they end up. This book is called Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

  15. Gaviny says:

    The book I would like to recommend is Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz. It is about a Jewish boy who’s ghetto gets overpowered by Nazis and he goes on from concentration camp to concentration camp but somehow he survives to the end of the war. I would recommend this book if you like historical fiction, but not for people who can’t handle violence. I also think that boys would enjoy this book more then the girls.

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