A note from Headbuzzer: we loved this compilation the Atlantic Wire put together to celebrate historical fiction in YA! We've highlighted some titles that got mentioned below, and you can read the full list here!
A Literary Tour of Historical YA:
Cross My Heart, by Sasha Gould: In another story set in Venice — this one in 1585 — Gould works in murder, forced betrothals, a shadowy secret society of women, betrayal, and lots and lots of drama.
The French Revolution
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly: This book incorporates both the French Revolution and contemporary Brooklyn (très Brooklyn!), weaving two girls’ stories into one with the thread of a New York Times article about the DNA identification of the heart of Louis Charles, the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
The Western Frontier
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake: In 1871, Georgie Burkhardt heads out to find her sister, Agatha, even though the rest of their town of Placid, Wisconsin, presumes her dead (and there's a body dressed in her sister's gown to prove it). "Yet even with resolute determination and her trusty Springfield single-shot, Georgie is not prepared for what she faces on the western frontier."
The Roaring '20s
Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson (Feb 2013): In the sequel to Hattie Big Sky, orphan Hattie, now grown, dreams of being a newspaper reporter like Nellie Bly in 1920s San Francisco ... "but her sweetheart Charlie returns from the war under the impression that all she could ever want is to be his wife."
The Flappers series by Jillian Larkin: Vixen, Ingenue, and Diva, the last of the series, take place in the early 1920s, featuring girls who bob their hair, speakeasies, jazz, booze, bad boys, freedom, and a lot of fun (if not always for the characters, at least for the readers)
World War II
The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper: "Sophie FitzOsborne and the royal family of Montmaray escaped their remote island home when the Nazis attacked. But now that war has come to England and the rest of the world as well – nowhere is safe." Tales of life in wartime and what happens next are strong in the last book in the Montmaray Journals series.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This book about World War II and its aftermath, narrated by Death and focusing on a little girl who steals books but, at least initially, can't read, is itself a must-read for the engaging, heart-rending narrative and unique portrayal of this particular time in history.
Which books have you read, Buzzers? What other historical fiction books do you think should have been mentioned in The Atlantic Wire's piece?
This piece was originally published on The Atlantic Wire on Jan 10th, 2013