Historical Fiction

The Promise by Damon Galgut

Recommended by Lisa Butler Author: Damon Galgut Form: Prose (family saga with an element of historical fiction) Length: 231 pages Brief synopsis: The Promise is about the Swarts, a privileged white Afrikaner family, living on a farm outside of Pretoria. It charts their downfall over a period of some 40 years. The titular promise, which is …

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Kemosha of the Caribbean by Alex Wheatle

Recommended by Stephen Dilley @stephenjdilley Author: Alex Wheatle Form: Historical Novel Length: 320 pages Brief synopsis: Kemosha is born into slavery in 17th Century Jamaica but takes the opportunity to escape and learns the art of swordfighting before travelling the high seas on a pirate ship. Age recommendation and challenging content: A fair amount of violence …

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Home by Toni Morrison

Recommended by Robbie Bond @RobbieBondEng Author: Toni Morrison Form: Historical Fiction Novel Length: 146 pages Brief synopsis: Follows the story of Vietnam War Veteran Frank Money who ,whilst in the search of his sister Cee, begins to also look for his own identity and masculinity. Age recommendation and challenging content: Contains offensive language, racism, sexual …

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After the War – From Auschwitz to Ambleside by Tom Palmer

Recommended by Vanessa Jelbert (@Vanrocksss) Form and genre: Prose, historical fiction, based on true events Length: 188 pages Summary: Based on a true story, it follows three Polish boys who are among the three hundred children who have arrived in the English Lake District having survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. They’ve finally …

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Refugee by Alan Gratz

Recommended by Sarah Cooper (@sycw18) Form and genre: Historical fiction prose Length: 264 pages Summary: Refugee tells the stories of three 12 year old refugees at different times- Josef escaping Nazi Germany, Isabel fleeing Castro’s Cuba, and Mahmoud’s journey from Syria to Germany in 2015. Age recommendation and challenging content: Some upsetting scenes of violence, …

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Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

Recommended by Jennifer Neill (@Wrennjenni) Form and genre: Prose, historical fiction Length: 250 pages Summary: Feisty female heroine Sally Lockhart, has to overcome the shock of her father’s death and its consequences. Set in Victorian London, it deals with Sally’s adventure as she tried to solve the riddle of her father’s death as it leafs …

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The Dark Lady by Akala

Recommended by Siobhan (@siobhan_345) Form and genre: Prose – historical fiction (but also incorporates some of Shakespeare’s sonnets) Length: 320 pages Summary: Aimed at young adults and inspired by Shakespeare’s sonnets about the ‘Dark Lady’, Akala’s debut novel follows the life of Henry, a young pickpocket, who also happens to be magic. Set in the …

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Street Child by Berlie Doherty

Recommended by Lucinda Preston (@lucindapreston) Form and genre: Prose, based loosely on a true story Length: 208 pages Summary: This is the story of an orphaned Victorian boy’s struggle to survive! A real page turner, it is full of twists and turns as Jim Jarvis attempts to escape a workhouse and more! Age recommendation and …

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Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

Recommended by Rosie Shaw (@rosieshaw44) Form and genre: novel – historical thriller Length: 244 pages Summary: A gun. Alaska in the goldrush. Snow. An isolated cabin, a father’s death, a 14 year old boy and a stranger at the door. What does the stranger want and how does an old revolver fit into this tense …

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