When a historical novel is done well, it can be the best thing ever. The past is something that isn’t always pretty, but it’s definitely something we love to explore.
Once again, all titles in alphabetical order 🙂
Alex & Eliza
by Melissa de la Cruz
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters–Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival those of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, Eliza can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck–as an orphan, and a bastard one at that–to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.
A different tone than the musical but will excite fans!
Era: 1770s, New York
Among the Red Stars
by Gwen C Katz
World War II has erupted in Valka’s homeland of Russia, and Valka is determined to help the effort. She’s a pilot–and a good one–so she eagerly joins an all-female bomber regiment.
Flying has always meant freedom and exhilaration for Valka, but dropping bombs on German targets is something else entirely. The raids are dangerous, but as Valka watches her fellow pilots putting everything on the line in the face of treachery, she learns the true meaning of bravery.
As the war intensifies, though, and those around her fall, Valka must decide how much she is willing to risk to defend the skies she once called home.
Inspired by the true story of a famous all-female Russian bomber regiment, Gwen C. Katz weaves a tale of strength and sacrifice, of learning to fight for yourself, and of the perils of a world at war.
STELLAR STELLAR STELLAR and the best YA book out there about pilots
Era: WWII, Russia/Germany
Be True to Me
by Adele Griffin
Could it be true? Instead of a summer playing handmaiden to Daphne, was I being delivered something entirely different–a summer in the spotlight? A summer starring Gil Burke and me?
Summer flings and sexy romances were Daphne’s territory. Not mine. I was the one you didn’t pick.
I swatted off my hope like a bumblebee, knowing it was already too late. I’d been deliriously stung.
People always joked about summer romances because they didn’t last. Summer romances were made out of ice cream and cotton candy, intensely sweet before they melted into nothing. But I’d never thought of Gil as a summer thing.
Gil was my real love, my real first. We were outsiders together, we had each other, we didn’t care that we didn’t belong.
Sometimes love triangles can be deadly
Era: 1970s, Fire Island
Crossing Ebenezer Creek
by Tonya Bolden
When Mariah and her young brother Zeke are suddenly freed from slavery, they join Sherman’s march through Georgia. Mariah wants to believe that the brutalities of slavery are behind them, but even as hope glimmers, there are many hardships yet to come. When she meets a free black named Caleb, Mariah dreams in a way she never dared . . . of a future worth living and the possibility of true love. But even hope comes at a cost, and as the difficult march continues toward the churning waters of Ebenezer Creek, Mariah’s dreams are as vulnerable as ever.
In this powerful exploration of a little-known tragedy perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys, readers will never forget the souls of Ebenezer Creek.
The ending may destroy you
Era: 1864, Georgia
by William Ritter
Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–seem adamant to deny.
Like a YA Sherlock Holmes (and yes there is a weeeeeeeeeeeee bit of magic i cheated a little on my theme, sorry not sorry)
Era: 1892, New England
March: Book One
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell
Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon and key figure of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president. Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole). March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall. Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.
Impactful and necessary, really you should just get the whole trilogy
Era: 1950s, Alabama
Stalking Jack the Ripper
by Kerri Maniscalco
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
Era: Late 1880s, London
Under a Painted Sky
by Stacey Lee
All Samantha wanted was to move back to New York and pursue her music, which was difficult enough being a Chinese girl in Missouri, 1849. Then her fate takes a turn for the worse after a tragic accident leaves her with nothing and she breaks the law in self-defense. With help from Annamae, a runaway slave she met at the scene of her crime, the two flee town for the unknown frontier.
But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls. Disguised as Sammy and Andy, two boys heading for the California gold rush, each search for a link to their past and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. Until they merge paths with a band of cowboys turned allies, and Samantha can’t stop herself from falling for one. But the law is closing in on them and new setbacks come each day, and the girls will quickly learn there are not many places one can hide on the open trail.
Stacey Lee is my queen of historical fiction buy all her books ok thanks
Era: 1849, Missouri