Historical Fiction Books for Boys
by on February 14, 2011
By Noelle, Librarian Extraordinaire
Don’t Know Much About History?
February is Black History Month. We also just celebrated Chinese New Year, ringing in the Year of the Rabbit. Women’s History Month is coming up as well. Seems to me a good time for some historical fiction!
If you are anything like me, you might not hate learning about history, but a lot of those names and dates and causes behind World War I might be pretty fuzzy. But the best thing about getting your kids (or you) to like (and remember) history is to read some historical fiction. I think I have learned far more about history from facts buried in stories than in school.
Believe it or not…
Now if it is fiction, doesn’t that mean it is factually incorrect? Not true! Well, mostly. Historical fiction takes an actual historical time period or event and builds a story around it, often using actual people from history along with other “fake” characters. The great part is that the author spends a lot of time and energy on researching that person, event or era, so readers get a real sense of what it was like during that time period. And they might even retain some of that information about colonial villages, the American Revolution, medieval England, ancient China or more.
Playing to the Crowd
Another plus is for those notoriously picky boy readers. Historical fiction includes lots of books on war and battles and adventure—favorite fare for boys. There is plenty for girls, too—mostly about ones who are breaking the mold—but there’s good stuff for both sides.
So take a look at a few of these great children’s book choices and supplement that social studies lesson with a good story.
Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret. A Newbery Award winner, followed up by two sequels, Crispin: The End of Time and Crispin: At the Edge of the World.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
In 1832, Charlotte’s sea voyage turns into a nightmare when the crew mutinies. Should she side with the captain or the crew? One of my all-time favorite historical fiction stories. Especially if you like a good adventure on the high seas! Newbery Award Honor.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Book (David Fickling Books)
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A few titles2005-08-04 19:41:33 by exstudentteacher
I've read Gary Pulsen's books NightJohn (it has a low reading level, but the subject matter is intense) and Soldier's Heart, which are both historical fiction and excellent reads with 7th graders. He's a great author, especially for boys of that age group.
Lois Lowry's books Gathering Blue and The Giver are also excellent.
Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life
Book (Little, Brown and Company)
The Book of Blood and Shadow
eBooks (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler's List
Book (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)