As most of you know by now, I’m a big fan of historical fiction. I love the way you can transport yourself to another time and place in history and get a feel for what it would be like to live in that era. Here are some great titles that have come out over the past year for middle and high school.
Twelve-year-old Marlee Nisbett is painfully shy; afraid to even speak to others besides her family. Then she meets the new girl Liz. Liz teaches her to be confident and to stand up to bullies, even the resident mean girl Sally. But one day, Liz is gone and it’s rumored that she was African-American passing for white. The governor has forbidden interracial schools, and Marlee must put her new courage to the test as she maintains a secret friendship with Liz and joins an anti-segregationist organization. Readers will experience the impact of school segregation and the strong bonds of friendship from this powerful story.
Fourteen-year-old Garnet’s mother goes to Florida to look for a job, leaving Garnet with an Aunt she’s never met. While angry at her mother’s abandonment, Garnet comes to like living with her Aunt and her family in a large house full of the latest technology, including a television. Garnet learns that Aunt June has terminal cancer and agrees to accompany her to a new church each Sunday, where she meets the handsome son of an evangelical preacher. As Garnet settles into this new life, family secrets are reveled and a shocking ending will leave her reeling and questioning everything she’s learned about God.
Even though Ziska and her family have been Protestant for two generations, they are still persecuted for having Jewish blood in their ancestry. When Ziska’s father is imprisoned, Ziska’s mother decides to place Ziska on the kindertransport, a train that took Jewish children secretly to England where they were adopted by English families. As Ziska arrives in England and is placed with a family, her named is changed to Frances, and she begins a new life with a new family. As she spends the next seven years in England, she is faced with trials, war, and the decision of whether to stay with her new family, or return to her old one.
Set in the 1960′s, this novel looks at a Catholic Indian boarding school in Alaska. Sacred Heart School includes children who are Eskimo, Native American, and white, and each group is prejudice against the others. Luke knows he will not be able to use his real name at his new school, his Eskimo name is too hard to pronounce, and he’s forbidden to speak his native language. As he spends his next four years at Sacred Heart, Luke and the other students learn to look past their differences and work together. Based on true stories, Edwardson takes a new look at boarding schools in our country’s history.
We have done several other posts focusing on historical fiction. So if you want even more titles than these, go to the categories section on the side bar and select historical under fiction.