Historical Fiction

What is Historical Fiction? by Susan Fichtelberg (NoveList Plus)

Historical fiction encompasses any novel specifically set in the past. While there is some debate about how far in the past, it is generally accepted that the story needs to take place at least 25 years prior to the date of publication. The genre includes novels where the setting is historical and the characters are all fictional, as well as those in which some of the characters are actual historical figures. Good historical fiction accurately represents the time period with authentic details, language, perceptions, and actions.


The Trouble in Me by Jack GantosThe Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos

In his family’s new rental homein sun-beaten Miami — with dog-eating alligators in the canal out back, a dangerously attractive girl across the road, and the unhinged Pagoda family next door — fourteen-year-old Jack is adrift, losing a sense of who he is and what he’s all about.



Razorhurst by Justine LarbalestierRazorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

In 1932, in Sydney’s deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, where crime and razor-wielding men rule, two girls with contrasting lives who share the ability to see ghosts meet over a dead body and find themselves on the run from mob bosses.



Under a Painted Sky by Stacey LeeUnder a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.




Juba! by Walter Dean MyersJuba! by Walter Dean Myers

In Five Points, New York, in the 1840s, African American teenager William Henry “Juba” Lane works hard to achieve his dream of becoming a professional dancer but his real break comes when he is invited to perform in England.



Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.



The Hired Girl by Laura Amy SchlitzThe Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself–because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream of–a woman with a future.



X by Ilyasah ShabazzX: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz

X follows Malcolm Little from his tumultuous childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.



Black Butler by Yana TobosoBlack Butler by Yana Toboso

Just a stone’s throw from London lies the manor house of the illustrious Phantomhive earldom and its master, one Ciel Phantomhive. Fortunately, his loyal butler, Sebastian, is ever at his side, ready to carry out the young master’s wishes.



Paper Hearts by Meg WiviottPaper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

1944 Aushwitz, Zlatka risks death just to make  her best friend, Fania, an origami heart birthday card.  Fania knew what that heart meant, for herself and all the other girls. And she kept it hidden, through the bitter days in the camp and through the death marches.



Boxers by Gene Luen YangBoxers by Gene Luen Yang

In China in 1898 bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Little Bao has had enough: harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers–commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from “foreign devils.”


last updated: February 2016

About Princess Leia

I am the Teen Services Librarian at the Grayslake Area Public Library.
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