Jillicious Menu: Historical Fiction

Historical Heroes & Heroines

Although not the most popular genre with today's teens, historical fiction novels have a lot to offer for those willing to give them a try.  The following titles are stand-outs in the genre because of their interesting, spunky, often hilarious main characters.  These heroes and heroines are ahead of their time and willing to travel a different path than those who went before them, both of which make for some great reading!  

Catherine, Called Birdy
by Karen Cushman
Feisty Catherine ("Birdy") journals about the dreadful suitors her father has chosen for her and her constant struggles to avoid the typical life of a medieval "lady."

by Deborah Wiles
Franny deals with family, friend, and school issues at the same time the United States holds its breath during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Elijah of Buxton
by Curtis Paul Chapman
Elijah, now 11, was the first free-born baby in Buxton, Canada, a haven for former slaves.  Thought of as a "fragile" child by his overprotective mother, Elijah does a lot of growing up when faced with some difficult (and sometimes hilarious!) situations.   

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
by Jacqueline Kelly
"Callie" is not a girl drawn to cooking and sewing; she would much rather spend her time outside exploring.  Her love for nature and science is shared by her grandfather and leads to a new bond between them one special summer.   

A Long Way from Chicago
by Richard Peck (and sequel A Year Down Yonder)
Joey and Mary Alice never know what to expect during their annual summer visits to their one-of-a-kind Grandma Dowdel.

Okay for Now
by Gary D. Schmidt (companion novel to The Wednesday Wars)
Doug can't believe when his father loses his job and moves the family to the "stupid" town of Marysville, New York.  But, the people he meets in this tiny town will make a big impact on his life that he never expected.

The Teacher's Funeral
by Richard Peck
Russell thinks his dreams are coming true when the local school teacher dies.... but, things take a turn when his older sister is hired as the replacement! 

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle 
by Avi
Through a strange series of events, Charlotte ends up as the only passenger on a voyage from England to America.  And, the last thing this 13-year-old expects is to be accused of murder on this disastous journey!

If you want to understand today,
you have to search yesterday. 
- Pearl Buck

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