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Not So Long Ago: 20th Century Historical Fiction

In our latest batch of new books, here at Main, I’ve noticed an interesting trend.  Much like the mermaids of May, we seem to be getting quite a few new releases in the Historical Fiction category.  And, I have to say, I am pleased.

But these new novels aren’t just the Regency romances, or Indian captive tales, or Pirate stowaway stories I remember eating up as a teen, way back when.  Many recent historical fiction is set, not in ye olden times, or even over a hundred years ago, but in the not too distant past of the 20th century.  Here are some new and recent releases from 2012, all set sometime between the year 1900 and 2000.

Violins of Autumn by Amy McCauley

When the Germans begin bombing London in World War II, Betty is determined to do her part. Instead of running air raid drills like most girls her age, she lies about her age and trains to become a spy.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

Mr. Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn

Based on a real crime in 1955, the brutal murder of two teenage girls on the last day of Nora Cunningham’s junior year in high school throws Nora into turmoil. Her certainties—friendships, religion, her prudence, her resolve to find a boyfriend taller than she is—are shaken or cast off altogether.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Two girls separated by race form an unbreakable bond during the tumultuous integration of Little Rock schools in 1958.

Love and Haight by Susan Carlton

It’s 1971, and seventeen-year-old Chloe and her best friend MJ head to San Francisco to ring in the New Year. But Chloe has an ulterior motive—and a secret. She’s pregnant and has devised a plan not to be. In San Francisco’s flower-power heyday, it was (just about) legal to end her pregnancy.  But as soon as the girls cross the Golden Gate, the scheme starts to unravel amid the bellbottoms, love-beads, and bongs.

Blood Runner by James Riordan

Samuel’s parents and young sister, innocent bystanders during an uprising, are killed by South African police. Samuel is sent to live with his uncle, a tribal chief in the Bantu homeland, while his brother vows to join the African National Congress armed struggle and avenge his family’s deaths.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.  But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different.

Have you read any great historical fiction lately?

Morgan, Main-Teen

One Response

  1. […] From Not So Long Ago: 20th Century Historical Fiction: […]

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