YA Historical Literature

All of the teen period literature in this category takes place in another time, allowing YA readers to experience familiar situations in the unfamiliar settings of the 16th, 17th, 18th or 19th centuries. Although there have always been books written with a young adult audience in mind, the YA historical literature that we review here isn’t always written centuries before you were born. You’ll find a mix of old and contemporary pieces of teen historical fiction that are sure to have you pining for the clothing, manners and language of your favorite golden age. Come back often to read our honest YA historical reviews about the greatest to the latest period pieces and everything in between.

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Alchemy’s Daughter by Mary A. Osborne

Finally, this award-winning novel speaks to the experience of loss and grief in a way that will resonate with both teen and adult readers, even ones like myself, who typically shy away from this historical period. It reminds us that we can wallow in the darkness of despair when we lose the one we love or when someone we know dies, but when we’re able to find a way to move forward authentically, there will be something beautiful around the corner, even if it is only our own, personal growth.

For these reasons and many more than I can delineate in this review, Alchemy’s Daughter is one that will continue to resonate with me for a long time coming just like the earlier book in the Alchemy Series. Read more →

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Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

If you still haven’t read Rose Under Fire, then pick it up today. Wein brings back the themes that readers have grown to love about her novel, Code Name Verity, and even gives us glimpses of some of our favorite characters, like Maddie. While the main characters may be fictionalizations, readers of historical fiction, in general, and YA historical novels, in particular, will appreciate the factual truth of everything Wein shares about one of the darkest periods in the 20th century. Read more →

Win a signed copy of Always Emily by Michaela MacColl

Always Emily by Michaela MacColl

While the strangers that MacColl’s Charlotte and Emily meet and the situations that they find themselves in aren’t historically accurate, fans of the Brontë’s writing will appreciate the ways in which they tie in with the plots of their most famous novels. It’s like MacColl took a long, hard look at the ways in which Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are similar to and differ from each other and asked what if they were inspired by the same mysterious events. Always Emily may not be completely historically accurate, but it rings true, and in my opinion, that’s more important. Read more →

Rabbit Ears by Maggie De Vries

Rabbit Ears by Maggie De Vries

Offering up a sensitive and authentic narrative with two psychologically complex main characters, and imagery of rabbits, survivor guilt, and predator vs. prey, Maggie De Vries’ Rabbit Ears is an incredible novel that young people and adult readers of YA need to read now. Once you pick it up, you won’t forget the story it weaves that was inspired by one of Vancouver’s missing women. Read more →