That might sound saucy and a tad inappropriate, but that is what I think of when I think ‘historical fiction.’ My introduction to historical fiction was through adult books by Margaret George or Phillipa Gregory, but there is a plethora of awesome young adult historical fiction.
Anderson, Laurie Halse
There is a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. There is death everywhere and Mattie Cook’s life is changed forever. She no longer lives comfortably and her mother is dead. To survive this modern plague, she must escape and struggle to stay alive.
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party
Octavian lives with his mother, an African princess and a group of deep thinking philosophers in revolutionary Boston. He has the finest classical education that money can buy and can have anything he wants. Except he cannot venture outside of his house, it is forbidden. One day he breaks this rule, and his eyes are opened to a hideous plan at work.
Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Bruno has a wonderful life. His family is a loving one and he has plenty of friends. But when his father gets a promotion, he must leave everything that he loves and move to the middle of nowhere. Life is much different, he has no friends and isn’t allowed to go exploring. From his window he can see a village where people wear ugly blue pajamas…but who are they?
A Great and Terrible Beauty
Gemma Doyle doesn’t have any family. What is worse, is that she is forced to move from her home in India to a boarding school in England. But when she starts having visions and is followed by a strange Indian boy, she has no idea what is in store for her.
I, Rembrandt’s Daughter
This novel follows the Rembrandt’s daughter, Cornelia. Life is never normal living under the same roof. Many would think that Cornelia has a privileged life, but she is forced to live within a strict social class system.
A Northern Light
Mattie Gokey is at a crossroads in her life. She’s escaped the overwhelming responsibilities of helping to run her father’s brokedown farm in exchange for a paid summer job as a serving girl at a fancy hotel. She doesn’t know if she should use the money to pay for Barnard College or use it for her dowry to the potential marriage of a handsome, but dull man. She also becomes wrapped up in the disappearance and murder of a young girl.
Amari has been taken away from everything and everyone she loves. Her family has been killed by white slavers and she has been forced to travel thousands of miles from home on a cramped slave ship. She is then sold to the highest bidder to work as a kitchen slave. She along with an indentured servant, Polly plan to escape their cruel masters and the plantation.
Myers, Walter Dean
Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren’t the only hardships. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is there at all.
The Book Thief
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich. She scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
Sometimes I feel like historical fiction is one of those underrated genres, but then I started to search for popular historical fiction novels and remembered that the Libba Bray, the author of The Gemma Doyle Trilogy will be visiting CLP- Squirrel Hill on April 16th!
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