There have been some real stand-outs in Historical Fiction this year, here are six of our favorites:
Code Name Verity. In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can. This Michael L. Printz Award Honor book was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times.
The Diviners. In Book 1 of this new series by Libba Bray, seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.
Dodger. In an alternative version of Victorian London, a seventeen-year-old Dodger, a cunning and cheeky street urchin, unexpectedly rises in life when he saves a mysterious girl, meets Charles Dickens, and unintentionally puts a stop to the murders of Sweeney Todd. Kirkus Reviews called it, “Masterful. Unexpected, drily funny and full of the pathos and wonder of life: Don’t miss it.”
Keeping the Castle. A tale of romance, riches, and real estate. In order to support her family and maintain their ancient castle in Lesser Hoo, 17-year-old Althea bears the burden of finding a wealthy suitor who can remedy their financial problems. When the young and attractive (and very rich) Lord Boring arrives, and Althea sets her plans in motion. The problem; his friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks keeps getting in the way.
Scarlet. Will Scarlet shadows Robin Hood, with an unerring eye for finding treasures to steal and throwing daggers with deadly accuracy, but when Gisbourne, a ruthless bounty hunter, is hired by the sheriff to capture Robin and his band of thieves, Robin must become Will’s protector risking his own life in the process. The twist to this story is that “Will” is actually “Scarlet”, a girl disguising herself as a boy – a girl with many secrets…
Sophia’s War. In this Revolutionary War tale, the year is 1776. After witnessing the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, newly occupied by the British army, young Sophia Calderwood resolves to do all she can to help the American cause, including becoming a spy.