|If you want to learn about Troy, try Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner.|
History. You love it or you hate it, and once you've made up your mind, it's pretty hard to change your perception of the past. But we can learn a lot from our ancestors, because history does repeat itself. Still, even if you aren't looking for life lessons, you can find a good time- and usually good information- by reading historical fiction. Here are a few historical gems that I particularly enjoyed.
1. World War II:
The Book Thief- Markus Zusak: I've used this book before, as an entry in the spotlight on YA books that have been adapted into movies. The movie was great, but the book really helps delve into the tumultuous time that Liesel and Rudy live in. Narrated by Death himself, it's a peek into a child's mind during the time of hatred and injustice that was called World War II. The unique storytelling, thrilling plot, and the well-researched historical background spins a tale of courage and tragedy in a difficult time. Click here to request it.
Also check out Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman, mentioned last week as one of my favorite debut novels of last year, which you can find here.
Code Name Verity- Elizabeth Wein: A nominee for the Howard County Reads contest of 2014, Code Name Verity tells the tale of a British spy pilot captured by the Nazis in WWII Germany and her intricately woven confession to save her life. 'Verity' tells a wild story of how she befriended the pilot and uncovers her past, and will shock you with a twist you won't see coming.
2. 1800's Society
The Luxe series- Anna Godbersen: A gripping mystery set in the glittering world of society's elite, a disappearance of one of the beautiful debutantes, and a turbulent romance, Godbersen's Luxe series is a four-book set that immerses the reader into the world of Manhattan's high class of the year 1899. These books are thrilling, dazzling you with the page-turning mystery and the elaborate dresses and parties, the social hierarchy that none of them can escape. I highly recommend this series, which you can find here, or if you like your history a little more recent, you can find her Bright Young Things series, set in the Roaring Twenties, here.
The Season- Sarah MacLean: Lady Alexandra doesn't want to get married and live every moment under the rule of some man. The Earl of Blackmoor changes her mind. A childhood friend thrown into the responsibility of an earl after his father's untimely death, Gavin steals her heart in the midst of a murder mystery- and a conspiracy to kill Gavin, as well. While it isn't the most thrilling, epic book you'll ever read in your life, it's a funny, light read that's good for brightening your spirits without being just another high school drama. You can check it out here.
3. French Revolution:
Revolution- Jennifer Donnelly: This is mystery and history and time travel, all wrapped up in a fantastically written package. A Brooklyn girl journeys to Paris with her father and finds the diaries of a girl writing from the time of the French Revolution- and then she finds herself there. This book has a little bit of everything- science fiction, romance, history, teen drama, mystery- and I definitely recommend it for fans of any of those genres. You can request it here.
The Pale Assassin- Patricia Elliott: The story of two aristocrat orphans torn between helping the Revolution and staying true to their people, this novel and its sequel, The Traitor's Smile, are great examples of the turmoil of the French Revolution and the divisions it causes. And all the while, they are shadowed by a sinister spymaster who has nothing but their harm in mind. Click here to check it out!
Whether you love history or you hate it with a vengeance, I'm sure you can find a historical fiction novel that you'll enjoy. For a more complete list, check out the Goodreads Teen Historical Fiction list.