Historical Fiction

Nothing gets kids excited about history like a gripping story. Times, people, and places that might seem dull or far away in a textbook come to living, breathing life in historical novels like the ones on this list. From the Middle Ages to the American Revolution, the World Wars to the Cold War, the 9/11 attacks to the start of the civil war in Syria, these diverse selections offer action, intrigue, and unforgettable characters. For more great reads, check out Books About the U.S. Civil War and World War II Books for Kids.

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BOOK

The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True

age 6+

Perfect "knightly" read-aloud for younger children.

By: Gerald Morris (2011)
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BOOK

I Survived Series

age 7+

Riveting, emotional historical fiction for young readers.

By: Lauren Tarshis (2010)
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Skunked!: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Skunked!: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet, Book 1

age 7+

Laughs, science in new Callie series for younger readers.

By: Jacqueline Kelly (2016)
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BOOK

Escape from Aleppo

age 8+

Gripping, moving tale of Syrian teen fleeing war-torn city.

By: N.H. Senzai (2018)
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BOOK

Full of Beans

age 8+

Plucky boy finds conscience, hope amid Great Depression.

By: Jennifer L. Holm (2016)
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BOOK

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

age 8+

Spectacular cinematic book has lots of heart.

By: Brian Selznick (2007)
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Little House Series

age 8+

Engrossing frontier tales but they include racist attitudes.

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BOOK

May B.

age 8+

Riveting and moving account of girl's struggle for survival.

By: Caroline Starr Rose (2012)
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BOOK

The Secret of Nightingale Wood

age 8+

Suspenseful WWI family drama has feel of a classic.

By: Lucy Strange (2017)
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BOOK

Wheels of Change

age 8+

Plucky heroine faces turbulent times in engaging tale.

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Anne of Green Gables

age 9+

Beloved classic features lovable, imaginative heroine.

By: L.M. Montgomery (1908)
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BOOK

Arcady's Goal

age 9+

Understated, affecting glimpse of child's life under Stalin.

By: Eugene Yelchin (2014)
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BOOK

The Beatryce Prophecy

age 9+

Lively fable celebrates friendship, girl (and goat) power.

By: Kate DiCamillo (2021)
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BOOK

Freewater

age 9+

Siblings escape slavery, find a home in awe-inspiring tale.

By: Amina Luqman-Dawson (2022)
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The Great Chicago Fire: Rising from the Ashes: History Comics, Book 2 Poster Image
BOOK

The Great Chicago Fire: Rising from the Ashes: History Comics, Book 2

age 9+

Kids face deadly fire in vivid, informative graphic novel.

By: Kate Hannigan (2020)
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BOOK

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

age 9+

A preacher's son stands up to a racist town.

By: Gary D. Schmidt (2005)
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The Mighty Miss Malone

age 9+

Unforgettable 12-year-old girl battles the Great Depression.

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A Night Divided

age 9+

Sharp-eyed Cold War stunner has high intrigue, family drama.

By: Jennifer A. Nielsen (2015)
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BOOK

Orphan Eleven

age 9+

Orphans seek home in the circus in riveting page-turner.

By: Gennifer Choldenko (2020)
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BOOK

Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution

age 9+

Girl becomes spy in absorbing American Revolution tale.

By: Avi (2012)
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