Are you looking for the historical fiction books to get your middle grade reader excited about history? Check out these incredible historical fiction for kids recommended by one of our favorite teachers. These great chapter books will get your middle grade child reading and learning about history.
9 Historical Fiction Novels for Middle Grades
from our reading contributor for kids, Julie.
One of my favorite genres is Historical Fiction.
I love being able to learn new facts about a time period while also being pulled in by the story and characters.
Since this is one of my favorite genres, I love introducing students to historical fiction.
It is so fun to From the California Gold Rush to the Civil War to World War I, here are nine historical fiction novels I would recommend for your middle grade child.
As a word of caution, some historical fiction novels are more graphic than others so while a book may be recommended for children 10+, it may not be a good fit for your 10+ child.
You know your child best, so use your best judgement when suggesting books to them.
California Gold Rush
By the Great Horn Spoon – Follow twelve-year-old Jack and his butler around the Great Horn Spoon on their way to California where they hope to strike it rich.
A book filled with adventure, laugh out loud moments, and information about the Gold Rush. Age: 8+
Like a River: A Civil War Novel – This is the story of two teenage soldiers in the Civil War and both of their stories have a surprising twist. Leander is underage when he enlists and Polly follows her father into war disguised as his son.
As their lives intersect they will face the harsh realities of war head-on and learn about courage, loyalty, family and love. Age: 12+
World War 1
The Button War – Set in Poland in 1914, The Button War, follows a group of boys in a war-torn village in Poland.
When a simple dare is issued, the boys set out to prove they have enough courage to follow through with the dare and things quickly get out of control.
Told from the perspective of the boys, this book is quite appealing to boys. Age: 10+
The Great Depression
Stella by Starlight – Set in the segregated south, Stella by Starlight introduces us to Stella who lives in a time when Jim Crow laws were active.
Stella witnesses something not meant for her eyes when she heads out past her bedtime and then has to grapple with the implications and impact of this event.
A deep book with both sorrow and joy, this book will spark conversation about race relations. Age: 9+
World War II
The War That Saved My Life – This book is so good I’d recommend it to adults right along with kids!
Set during the war, but about so much more than the war.
As you connect with Ada and follow her journey from being locked in the house to learning to accept the kindness of strangers, you’ll experience many emotions right along with Ava.
There is a sequel to this book if you want to continue with Ada and Jamie’s story. Age: 10+
Number the Stars – Set in a German-occupied Denmark, the story of how the Danish people smuggled thousands of Jews out of their country often goes untold, but it is a truly amazing story of courage and kindness.
The story follows Annemarie and Ellen and is a good way to introduce children to the Holocaust.
While not as graphic as many other World War II novels, it is still quite emotional. Age: 10+
Post-World War II
In The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson – This book tells the story of an immigrant experience in the United States during the mid-1940’s.
Shirley Temple Wong moves from China to America filled with many hopes and dreams, but the reality is more difficult than she expected.
Her unexpected connected with Jackie Robinson makes for a delightful story. Age: 8+
Ranger in Time & I Survived – This isn’t a recommendation for a single title, but for kids who are especially drawn to the historical fiction genre, these two series should definitely be on the list!
Having taught in both California and Pennsylvania and everything from 3rd to 8th grade, this year Julie is teaching 3rd grade at an elementary school in Southern California. She enjoys helping her students fall in love with reading and reading during the school day is a big priority. Julie loves traveling in her free time and always makes time to pop into local bookshops when she travels. When she’s not reading or teaching, she loves running, cupcakes and Christmas. You can find her blogging too over on her blog, Girl On the Move.
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