Historical Fiction Books Get Kids Reading

Historical fiction books get kids reading! I find that in general, most of the more mature children love reading historical fiction. There are tons of great historical fiction books get kids reading!





















For the children that love historical fiction, and for the others who have not tried it yet,  there are many awesome books listed below to check out!

I Survived the American Revolution 1776 by Lauren Tarshis. British soldiers were everywhere. There was no escape.Nathaniel Fox never imagined he'd find himself in the middle of a blood-soaked battlefield! He was fighting for his life. He was only eleven years old! But when his uncle's rage forces him to flee the only home he knows, Nate is suddenly propelled toward a thrilling and dangerous journey into the heart of the Revolutionary War. He finds himself in New York City on the brink of what will be the biggest battle yet.

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt.  Turner is the minister's son, even if he doesn't act like one. When he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, he likes her instantly. She's a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. They become friends instantly despite his father's and the town's disapproval of their friendship. When the town wants to force the people to leave Lizzie's island so that Phippsburg can start a lucrative tourist trade there, Turner gets caught up in a spiral of disasters. This historical fiction book is based on the true story of a community's destruction and highlights a unique friendship during a time of change.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Ada has a twisted foot and her mother is too embarrassed to let her outside. When her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure of Ada and for Susan Smith the woman who is forced to take the two kids. Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read and watch for German spies. She begins to trust Susan and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie.  But will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?  This is an exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2. 

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. Matilda Cook is a fourteen-year-old girl living above a coffeehouse in Philadelphia with her mother, grandfather (a former military man), a parrot named King George, and an orange cat named Silas. Eliza, a free black woman, is the coffeehouse cook. A typical teenager, Mattie is always in the middle of daydreams, beginning to notice boys and getting into all kinds of arguments with her single mother, Lucille. Once one friend dies of the fever, life becomes a scary and stressful time wondering who will survive and who will succumb to the fever.

My side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Terribly unhappy in his family's crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away. He runs to the solitude and danger of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew. He learns how to make his own fire, makes a shelter from a tree and hunts for his own food. But how long would he be able to live on his own?

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo, lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station.  Hugo's struggles to shield his undercover life, and his most precious secret,  but they are soon in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery. 

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. Far off the coast of California, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this novel is her story. Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply.  Her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to many would have been a devastating ordeal into an uplifting experience.


The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman. A Prince and a Pauper . . . Prince Brat and his whipping boy inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws. The two boys have nothing in common and even less reason to like each other. But when they find themselves taken hostage after running away, they are left with no choice but to trust each other.

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare. Although he faces responsibility bravely, thirteen-year-old Matt is more than a little apprehensive when his father leaves him alone to guard their new cabin in the wilderness. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. The story begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is a two-hour walk from her home. She makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor. His story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family. Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai. Inspired by the author's childhood experience as a refugee—fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama—this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's eye view of family and immigration. Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope—toward America.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. In 1936, in Flint Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him,his suitcase, his book Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself and although his momma
never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!! Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him—not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.

I Survived the Children's Blizzard, 1988 by Lauren Tarshis. Eleven-year-old John Hale has already survived one brutal Dakota winter, and now he's about to experience one of the deadliest blizzards in American history. The storm of 1888 was a monster, a frozen hurricane that slammed into America's midwest without warning. Within hours, America's prairie would be buried under ten feet of snow. Hundreds would be dead, thousands terrified and lost and freezing. But John's inner strength is seriously tested when he finds himself trapped in the blinding snow, the wind like a giant crushing hammer, pounding him over and over again. Will John ever find his way home?

Historical Fiction is a great genre to get kids reading. Your child will have their own taste for what they will love to read or not read, but historical fiction could be a great fit for your child.  If historical fiction doesn't do the trick, try out some of the genres below. If you click on the books in any of the genres pages, you can usually read the first page of the book to get a true feel of the book.

And Check out my Recommended Books on these Genre Pages:

And Check Out Some of my Posts:

If there's a specific book or other reading product you're looking for, or a question about reading, just leave a comment or question below or email me at jean@reading-love.com or mrs.dehm@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you!