August 28, 2022Last updated : August 28, 2022melissa.llado
These are the best historical fiction books for middle school students. Reading historical fiction helps students learn what the life and times were like during certain points in history. The nice thing about historical fiction is that it's not dry or boring....historical fiction books are fun, full of adventure, and bring the era into focus for kids!
If these historical fiction books for middle schoolers look a bit too intense for your student, then check out my list of Historical Fiction Books for Kids...these are perfect for kindergarten through 5th grade.
Middle school history is typically when students are introduced to heavier subjects that can evoke strong feelings. I always recommend reading historical fiction together with your middle schooler....at least until you know they can handle and process the content appropriately.
Historical fiction can open up opportunities for meaningful dialog about what really happened during these time periods. History can be harsh, raw, and scary....but it can also be beautiful, adventurous, and has the ability to connect us on a whole other level.
These are my favorite Historical Fiction Books for Middle School....do you have any favorites to add?
In this Newbery Medal–winning novel, a girl faces prejudice and accusations of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Connecticut. A classic of historical fiction that continues to resonate across the generations.
Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met.
5,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia during a terrible drought, Jomar and Zefa's father must send his children away to the city of Ur because he can no longer feed them.
At fourteen, Jomar is old enough to apprentice with Sidah, a master goldsmith for the temple of the moongod, but there is no place for Zefa in Sidah's household. Zefa, a talented but untrained musician, is forced to play her music and sing for alms on the streets of Ur.
Marjorie Cowley vividly imagines the intrigues, and harsh struggle for survival in ancient Mesopotamia.
All his life, Tim Meeker has looked up to his brother Sam. Sam's smart and brave -- and is now a part of the American Revolution. Not everyone in town wants to be a part of the rebellion. Most are supporters of the British -- including Tim and Sam's father.
War is raging and Tim knows he'll have to make a choice -- between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father.
Mara is a proud and beautiful slave girl who yearns for freedom in ancient Egypt, under the rule of Queen Hatshepsut. Mara is not like other slaves; she can read and write, as well as speak the language of Babylonian.
So, to barter for her freedom, she finds herself playing the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies—each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt. Against her will, Mara finds herself falling in love with one of her masters, the noble Sheftu, and she starts to believe in his plans of restoring Thutmose III to the throne.
But just when Mara is ready to offer Sheftu her help and her heart, her duplicity is discovered, and a battle ensues in which both Mara’s life and the fate of Egypt are at stake.
Nathan Hale, the author's historical namesake, was America's first spy, a Revolutionary War hero who famously said "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country" before being hanged by the British.
In the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series, author Nathan Hale channels his namesake to present history's roughest, toughest, and craziest stories in the graphic novel format.
One Dead Spy tackles the story of Hale himself, who was an officer and spy for the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. Author Hale highlights the unusual, gruesome, and just plain unbelievable truth of historical Nathan Hale—from his early unlucky days at Yale to his later unlucky days as an officer—and America during the Revolutionary War.
The unforgettable Newbery Medal–winning novel from Lois Lowry. As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.
Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.
A modern classic of historical fiction, Number the Stars has won generations of fans.
Lizzie and Karl's mother is a zoo keeper; the family has become attached to an orphaned elephant named Marlene, who will be destroyed as a precautionary measure so she and the other animals don't run wild should the zoo be hit by bombs.
The family persuades the zoo director to let Marlene stay in their garden instead. When the city is bombed, the family flees with thousands of others, but how can they walk the same route when they have an elephant in tow, and keep themselves safe?
Along the way, they meet Peter, a Canadian navigator who risks his own capture to save the family.
As Michael Morpurgo writes in an author's note, An Elephant in the Garden is inspired by historical truths, and by his admiration for elephants, "the noblest and wisest and most sensitive of all creatures." Here is a story that brings together an unlikely group of survivors whose faith in kindness and love proves the best weapon of all.
An unforgettable journey inspired by true events, Spurs for José brims with action and excitement. It is a coming-of-age story, not just for one young Indian vaquero, but also for California as it becomes the thirty-first state of the United States.
In the fall of 1846, when José Rodriquez turns twelve, his papa says next spring he must help tame Rancho Grande’s wild colts. He knew this day would come. For on the Alta California rancho, being a vaquero and training horses was his family’s tradition.
Vaqueros’ horsemanship and roping skills were legendary and their lives full of danger. Many vaqueros had been killed or crippled while riding the mustangs. Did he have enough courage to ride the wild ones and measure up to his papa’s expectations? Worried, José decides only luck will help him be fearless enough to ride the wild colts, luck he will get from a pair of silver spurs and chaps made from a brave bull’s hide. But he has no money. How can he buy silver spurs?
Then the Mexican-American war starts. And a few days before Christmas, Colonel John C. Fremont’s battalion camps on Rancho Grande and everything changes.
Northeastern Pennsylvania was the cradle of the coal industry in the early 1900s. Immigrants escaping poverty and hunger in Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, and other countries were eagerly recruited by the anthracite mine barons to provide cheap labor in exchange for the promise of a better life in North America.
Upon arriving in their new country, immigrants soon discovered that the streets were not made of gold. Because they were part of a vast low-skilled labor force and did not speak English well (although they may have spoken three or four other languages), they faced prejudice and were ridiculed with ethnic slurs.
It is 1914. Katie lives with her widowed mother and four older siblings on the edge of a coal mine near the river. Her young life is about to change.
Before COVID there was Spanish influenza. In 1918 there were masks. Schools, restaurants, and even churches closed.
A nation at war curtailed the draft. One in four Americans stricken, and an estimated 675,000 Americans dead. All because of a deadly germ carried on a puff of air. But there were no effective vaccines. No ventilators. No medicines to stop a virus. And a war to win.
Everyone likes Josie, except the spoiled and arrogant Billy Detwiler. He calls her Pharmacy Girl, but it is no compliment. As the hazy days of September 1918 drift into the deadly autumn of Spanish influenza.
Josie’s everyday problems of school and friends, even the war effort at home, become insignificant when her mother comes down with the flu. But Josie is no slacker. She faces Billy in a class election, raises money for the Liberty Loan, and steps up to help her family when the pandemic strikes home.
Alex Douglas always wanted to be a hero. But nothing heroic ever happened to Alex. Nothing, that is, until his eleventh birthday. When Alex rescues a stray dog as a birthday gift to himself, he doesn't think his life can get much better. Radar, his new dog, pretty much feels the same way. But this day has bigger things in store for both of them. This is a story about bullies and heroes. About tragedy and hope. About enemies with two legs and friends with four, and pesky little sisters and cranky old men, and an unexpected lesson in kindness delivered with a slice of pizza.
This is Eleven: the journey of a boy turning eleven on 9/11.
Two young boys encounter the best and worst of humanity during the Holocaust in this powerful read that USA Today called "as memorable an introduction to the subject as The Diary of Anne Frank.”
Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.
But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
The moving story of an orphan, determined to know her own history, who discovers the true meaning of family.
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.
Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.
Vivid and heart-wrenching, Lauren Wolk’s Beyond the Bright Sea is a gorgeously crafted and tensely paced tale that explores questions of identity, belonging, and the true meaning of family.
A stunning thriller from NYT bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.
With the rise of the Berlin Wall, Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home.
Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.But one day on her way to school,
Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Gerta concludes that her father wants her and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted.
Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?
Esperanza thought she'd always live a privileged life on her family's ranch in Mexico. She'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her.
But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces.
When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.
Inspired by the author's childhood experience as a refugee—fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama—this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's-eye view of family and immigration.
Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope—toward America.
Some people think there’s a line, and if everybody stays on their side of the line, then we’ll all get along just fine.
That’s what Billy’s da told him, back before he joined up in the Great War. Da said that sometimes, to do what’s right, you gotta cross that line.
Course, that was before the war ended and Billy’s da came home with shell shock. Now it’s up to Billy to be man of the house, to take care of his ma and sisters and work at the docks when he can.
He ain’t no coward, and he don’t complain, not even when money troubles mean he has to change schools. It’s hard times for all the Irish—maybe even for all of Chicago. And it gets harder when Billy becomes friends with Foster, a black boy who loves baseball and whose daddy went to war, too.
What seems like just horsing around to them—building a raft, spending time in their secret hideout by the creek—stirs up trouble when the rest of the city gets wind of it.
Soon, the boys’ friendship has triggered a series of events that will change both their lives forever. And with racial tensions in the city coming to a head, Billy must decide once and for all what it means to be courageous, to be a friend, and to truly cross the line.
Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day—until a plane struck the World Trade Center.
But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives.
Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he hates and the grandmother he loves.
Will’s father is gone, too, killed in a car accident that has left the family reeling.
Naheed has never before felt uncomfortable about being Muslim, but at her new school she’s getting funny looks because of the head scarf she wears.
Aimee is starting a new school in a new city and missing her mom, who has to fly to New York on business.
These four don’t know one another, but their lives are about to intersect in ways they never could have imagined. Award-winning author Nora Raleigh Baskin weaves together their stories into an unforgettable novel about that seemingly perfect September day—the day our world changed forever.