Fantastic historical fiction for confident readers

Who else loves historical fiction?! This is a genre very close to our hearts, we love it because allows readers to imagine the human side of history. It’s so important to make connections between the past and the present. Historical fiction books are always filled with characters that touch our hearts, as well as challenging us to look deeply at how we have evolved - or perhaps at how we haven't. So here is a selection (just a few!) of some of our favourite historical fiction reads. We are sure you will find some inspiration here.

Mouse Heart, by Fleur Hitchcock (9+): An exciting and atmospheric thriller involving a troupe of actors at the time of Queen Anne II. A real page turner right to the end!

Darwin’s Dragons, by Lindsay Galvin (9+): A fabulous adventure story with an eco-message that moves between Victorian London and the Galapagos, with a perfect blend of fantasy and fact.

Secret Suffragette, by Barbara Mitchelhill (9+): A truly riveting read for those who are fascinated by the suffragette movement, with a strong and very relatable female protagonist.

When The War Came Home by Lesley Parr (9+): A sensitive and compelling read set in Wales just after the end of The Great War, tackling really important themes such as shell shock, women’s rights and equality.

The Wreck Of The Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo (7+):  A beautiful story of hardship, family and community, set on the stormy Isles of Scilly at the beginning of the last century.

The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall (12+): A Carnegie Medal winner exploring the themes of loyalty and perseverance, set during World War II when a group of children living on Tyneside retrieve a machine-gun from a crashed German aircraft.

Rosa and the Daring Dog by Megan Rix (7+): A heartwarming adventure bringing the story of Rosa Parks to life, perfect for young readers who love both history and animals!

Letters To The Lighthouse by Emma Carroll (9+): A thought-provoking and exciting historical mystery set during the Second World War. This story is action-packed and emotional with strong themes of friendship and courage.

Children Of Winter by Berlie Doherty (9+): An atmospheric novel in which the main characters somehow become children of the past, in the seventeenth century when plague was rampant in England. A story of pluck and perseverance, it is rich in detail and emotion.

An Elephant In The Garden by Michael Morpurgo (9+): a powerful story set in Dresden as World War II comes to an end, simultaneously devastating and full of hope.

Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian (11+): Focusing on an evacuee from London in the early years of the Second World War, this is a tender yet gritty story of love, family, bullying, grief and abuse, beautifully told. 

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan (9+) A story of migrartion, struggle and survival set in California during the Great Depression, heartwarming and beautifully written.  

The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier (9+): A classic adventure with its roots in a true story, this book follows the journey of three Polish siblings and their struggle to survive and reunite with their parents in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Historical fiction for confident young readers
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