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Topic: Historical fiction for YA?

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Subject: Historical fiction for YA?
Date Posted: 1/12/2008 4:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2006
Posts: 632
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What are your favorites in the historical fiction genre for Young Adults?

I'm trying to build up a shelf here for younger readers. I've got a couple Avi books, but need some suggestions of what else to add.

Hugs! Juli

Date Posted: 1/12/2008 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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I don't think I"ve read anything for YA.  I got a book on Arthur called Sword of the Rightful King and didn't know it was YA so I put it on my shelf.  NOrmally I would have read it anyways but I'm already buried under my tbr.  I remember someone on another forum mentioning there were YA books on Elizabeth, Lad Jane Grey, etc.  I will have to ask her again who the author is.

Date Posted: 1/12/2008 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Try "The Once and Future King" by T. H. White. It is a retelling of the Arthurian legend and an excellent book. I read it for the first time when I was 12 or 13 and it remains a favorite to this day. I highly recommend it. :)
Date Posted: 1/12/2008 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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Ann Rinaldi writes historical fiction for children and young adults. Many of them are American history, but she also wrote a book about the Lady Jane Grey. Here are some titles:

A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials

Or Give Me Death: A Novel of Patrick Henry's Family

Taking Liberty: The Story of Oney Judge, George Washington's Runaway Slave

Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey

There are a lot more; just do a search for "Ann Rinaldi."

Jane Yolen and Robert Harris wrote three novels set at various times in Scottish history and focusing on young protagonists: Girl in a Cage (Edward I's Scottish wars); Queen's Own Fool (Mary Queen of Scots); Prince Across the Water (Jacobite rebellion).

Carolyn Meyer wrote the "Young Royals" series: Mary, Bloody Mary; Beware, Princess Elizabeth; Doomed Queen Anne; Patience, Princess Catherine and the newest, Duchessina: A Novel of Catherine de Medici. She also wrote Loving Will Shakespeare, which I read last year and really enjoyed.

Here are some others:

The Shakespeare Stealer Series by Gary Blackwood

The King's Shadow by Elizabeth Adler. (About a young, mute squire to Harold, Earl of Wessex, later king of England.)

The Book of the Lion by Michael Cadnum. (Richard the Lionheart and the Third Crusade. I absolutely adored this book.)

I know of several others. If you're looking for a specific time period, let me know and I'll see if I can help.


Subject: YA reading about Middle Ages
Date Posted: 1/12/2008 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Just a few days ago, I posted Catherine Called Birdy, by Karen Cushman (A Newbery Honor Book, and the A.L.A. pick for Bestbook for Young Adults for 1995.  It's written as if it's Catherine's diary of the year 1290, and reveals 14-year-old Birdy's yen for independence and her sensibilities toward the downtrodden (she was a feminist far ahead of her time).  

Cushman included a reading list of stories set in or near the Middle Ages:  Innocent Wayfaring, by Marchette Chute; The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite De Angeli; Adam of the Road, by Elizabeth Janet Gray; A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, by E. L. Konigsburg; The Maude Reed Tale, by Norah Lofts; The Devil's Workshop, by Katherine Marcuse; Pangur Ban, by Mary Stolz; and Knight's Fee and The Witch's Brat, by Rosemary Sutcliff.