What is historical fiction?

Books or stories in the historical fiction genre blend actual historical facts with fiction. The chart below describes the characteristics of the historical fiction genre.

external image hist_fiction%20chart

There is another very important characteristic to be considered when classifying a work as historical fiction. Consider this: Is the author creating a clear picture of another historical time period, and is this essential to the telling of the story? If it isn't about a historical time period different from the one the author lives in, it is a piece of modern realistic fiction.

Several books we read today were written about a time long ago and are considered by some to be historical fiction. However, at the time it was written, it was a contemporary piece of work. In other words, the author wrote about things happening in his/her time. The book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is such a book.

Lists of Historical Fiction Books:

Colonial and Pioneer Life:

French and Indian War

Revolutionary War Books for Students:


Civil War Books for Students:

World War I Books for Students:

World War II Books for Students:

Links to Books from Many Places and Times Including Canada, South America, West Indies, and Mexico.
*What I really like about the link below is that books are organized into place and time categories. Upon clicking these links, books are also organized by grade level. Short descriptions are also given.
Historical Fiction for Children and Young Adults

A Link to Purchase Great Historical Literature: (Or, get ideas of books you might want to check out from your local library).
Good Reads

Scott O'Dell Award Winning book list:

  • 2012 winner: , by Jack Gantos. (Also a Newbery Medal winner).
  • 2011 winner: , by Rita Williams-Garcia (also a Newbery Honor book and a CSK winner)
  • 2010 winner: , by Matt Phelan
  • 2009 winner: , by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • 2008 winner: , by Christopher Paul Curtis (also a Newbery Honor book and a CSK winner)
  • 2007 winner: , by Ellen Klages
  • 2006 winner: , by Louise Erdrich
  • 2005 winner: by A. LaFaye
  • 2004 winner: , by Richard Peck
  • 2003 winner: , by Shelley Pearsall
  • 2002 winner: , by Mildred D. Taylor (also a CSK winner)
  • 2001 winner: , by Janet Taylor Lisle
  • 2000 winner: , by Miriam Bat-Ami
  • 1999 winner: , by Harriette Robinet
  • 1998 winner: , by Karen Hesse
  • 1997 winner: , by Katherine Paterson

Half Way through the Book:

Finished with the book!