Tweens reading these new 2017 historical fiction novels will find that the stories make the history come to life.
All these books are good but I highly, highly recommend Refugee as a stand-out, must-read choice for everyone.
Want to read other genres? Find MORE fall 2017 newly published middle grade books for tweens.
5 Historical Fiction Novels for Tweens, Fall 2017
Refugee by Alan Gratz
ALSO MODERN DAY
Wow. This book is a tween must-read book. Not only are the stories compelling, it’s vitally important for kids to learn what it’s like to be an immigrant, particularly a refugee. Why? Because empathy is learned from stories like these. Follow three distinct, alternating stories to experience being displaced from your country, on the run, and in danger. First is a young Jewish boy who escapes from Nazi Germany on a ship to Cuba, only to be turned away from the Cuban port and sent back to Europe. Next is a Cuban girl in the 1990s who, with her family and neighbors, flees in a homemade raft to the United States at great peril. Finally is a Syrian boy whose home is bombed in a country at war. He and his family travel a great distance to find a country that will allow them shelter. Gatz skillfully connects all three stories with a satisfying, realistic conclusion.
The Player King by Avi
It’s England in the 1400s with a usurper king on the throne, King Henry VII. When a friar spots kitchen boy Lambert Simnel, he tells him that Lambert is really the next in line to the throne, the missing Prince Edward. So begins Lambert’s journey from poor pauper to heir-in-hiding. Based on true events, Avi skillfully weaves a believable story of this little known historical event. Fascinating.
Anne of Green Gables (A Graphic Novel) adapted by Mariah Marsden, illustrated by Brenna Thummler
Having just watched this series on Netflix (“Anne with an E”) with my daughter, we liked this adaptation of orphan Anne’s life in Canada at Green Gables but longed for the details that only the show or, even better, the actual novel could provide. However, this is a great introduction to the series and hopefully the stories selected in this graphic novel will inspire kids to read the original books by L.M. Montgomery.
It All Comes Down to This by Karen English
Experience the 60s in Los Angeles, a turbulent time of racism and burgeoning activism, from the perspective of Sophie, a sweet black girl who lives in an all white neighborhood. Her parents’ marriage is in trouble, her sister is about to leave for college, and her best (white) friend has moved on. Surprisingly, Sophie’s strict, disapproving housekeeper becomes an ally, something Sophie needs during the challenges of life and growing up. Well-crafted story and characters.