“Historical fiction for kids tries as a genre to mix real events from history with fictionalized characters and plot lines in an effort to make a narrative voice that young people will enjoy.” You can see this in the first book on this list, Rascal. The best thing is that it is based on Sterling North’s real life, which makes it even more interesting! History can be extra. Is that possible? To me, it could be because I love history. Sometimes, I can yell.
Historical fiction is a great way to add to history lessons, documentaries, and nonfiction history books. During our history class, we watched a documentary on Netflix that explained what happened in history during WWII. We also read the book Echo, which is number 10 on this list. My kids were able to see what it was like to be a child during that time by reading Echo with history lessons. This gives kids a strong sense of empathy because they can relate to characters who are in situations that they have never been in. History books are great at this. This is a list of 10 historical fiction books for 6th graders that you can read. Books from the 1910s to 2008 are in this collection. I hope you find what you need. Need to be younger? Check out the links on this page.
Historical Fiction for 6th Graders
Rascal by Sterling North
“Nothing surprises us in the North home, even Sterling’s new pet raccoon.” As soon as Sterling brings Rascal home, the two become best friends and do everything together until one day in the spring when everything changes. Rascal is a heartwarming boyhood memoir that still has a place in the hearts of people 50 years after it was written.
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
“The best-selling book in the New York Times.” A Long Walk to Water starts with two stories about two 11-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. They both live in Sudan. The girl, Nya, walks two hours to get water from a pond that is two hours away from her house. She makes two trips to the pond every day. Lost boys of Sudan are refugees who walk across Africa in search of their families and a safe place to stay. The boy, Salva, joins this group of people. Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to connect with Nya’s in a way that is both surprising and moving.
Riding Freedom by Pam Munoz Ryan
As a child, Charlotte Parkhurst had to live a life without the things that made her happy. That didn’t stop Charlotte. She was very smart and determined, and she came up with a way to live her life the way she wanted. “She became a skilled horseback rider, a famous stagecoach driver and the first woman to vote, at a time when these things were banned for women.”
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
As soon as she steps foot on the shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687, Kit Tyler is met with suspicion and disapproval. She has been forced to leave her home on the island of Barbados and join a family she’s never met. Her search for a home and her desire to be herself make Kit feel like she can’t make a choice. Kit has to fight to stay alive in a hostile place. When it looks like she’s going to give up, she meets someone who is like her. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, who the colonists thought was a witch, turns out to be more forbidden than she thought. Kit has to choose between her heart and her duty.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
For most of her life, Hattie Brooks has been moved from one distant relative to the next. She’s now 16. In the end, she gets tired of being called Hattie Here and There, so she decides to leave Iowa and move alone to Vida, Montana, so she can prove up on the homestead claim of her late uncle. At night, under a big sky, Hattie is brave enough to deal with bad weather, bad times, an angry cow, and even her own hopeless hand at the stove. Hattie keeps working her uncle’s claim even though she has to deal with problems on a daily basis. An accident causes her to look inside herself to find out what home means to her.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
“This is a great story about a teenage boy’s mishaps and adventures in Long Island, New York, in 1967 and 1968.” On Wednesdays, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood has to spend time with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, while the rest of the class is learning about God in church. But everyone has more important things to think about, like what is going on in Vietnam. To help his business, Holling and his sister need to be on point. How can Holling avoid trouble when he has so much to deal with? Holling finds Motivation, the Big M, in places he didn’t expect. He has the courage to accept his fate, even though he doesn’t want to.
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
He is 14 years old and an apprentice silversmith. He has a bright future ahead of him.” His hand is injured in an accident that is very sad. This forces him to find another job. People from the Sons of Liberty come to him as a messenger from The Boston Observer. John Hancock and Samuel Adams are two of the people he meets in his new job and as a messenger. Soon, Johnny will be a part of the events that led to the American Revolution, from the Boston Tea Party to the first shots fired at Lexington.
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
At thirteen years old, Isabel fights for her own freedom.” As promised, she and her sister, Ruth, would be free when their owner died. Instead, the Locktons, a malicious New York City couple, took care of them. They didn’t like the American Revolution and even less Ruth and Isabel. As soon as Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know a lot about British plans for a surprise attack. She doesn’t want to do it at first, but when Ruth does something that she couldn’t have imagined, Isabel realizes that her loyalty is available to the person who can give her freedom.”
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Japanese fishing boats went down in 1841, and now they’re all gone. They have to swim across the ocean and swim to a small unknown island, where an American ship comes to their rescue. There are still no Western countries that can enter Japan. The crew heads to the US, where they learn English on the way. Manjiro, a 14-year-old boy, wants to learn as much as he can about this new way of life. When Manjiro is old enough, the captain takes him to his home in New England. The boy stays there for a while and then goes to San Francisco to look for gold. This is how it works: After a long time, he makes it back to Japan, only to be held as an outsider. To get the Emperor to open up Japan’s borders, Manjiro must have a lot of knowledge of Western culture. He might even get to be a real samurai, which he thought was impossible.
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Otto is lost and alone in a forbidden forest when he meets three mysterious sisters. He soon finds himself in a complicated quest that involves a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.” They all become linked when the same harmonica comes into each of their lives decades later. All of the kids face big problems, but at the end, their suspenseful solo stories come together in an orchestral crescendo.
Please say again how much I love the last book on this list. It’s called Echo. The audiobook should be on your list of things to listen to. Oh my word, it’s so good. I’m sure it’s good. I hope you found some new books to read. To see more books, click the link below.