19 Best Historical Fiction Books For Middle School Update 05/2022

Middle Grade Titles

The Blackbird Girls by AnneBlankman

When three young girls tell their stories from different points of view, they show that hatred, intolerance, and oppression can’t stand up to the power of true friendship.

Peacemaker by JosephBruchac

In the Five Nations of the Iroquois, there have been wars between them for too long, and no one can remember what it was like to live in peace. He wants to get back at his friend, but before he can do that, an unknown visitor comes to him in the woods. Okwaho believes that the Peacemaker can get the leaders of the five countries that are fighting each other to put down their weapons. The Peacemaker tells Okwaho stories that make him think this. It’s not clear if they can all come together to form the Iroquois Great League of Peace.

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher PaulCurtis

When his poor sharecropper father dies in an accident and leaves the family in debt, Little Charlie, 12, agrees to go north with Cap’n Buck, the plantation overseer, to look for people who have stolen from him. Cap’n Buck tells Little Charlie that his father’s debt will be paid when the fugitives are caught, which sounds like a good deal until Little Charlie meets the people he is looking for.

Just Like That by Gary D.Schmidt

During the summer of 1968, Meryl Lee Kowalski loses her best friend. After that, she goes to St. Elene’s Preparatory Academy for Girls, where she has to deal with traditions and a social structure that favors rich students. Matt Coffin is on the Maine coast near St. Elene’s with a pillowcase full of money that he stole from the leader of a criminal gang. He is afraid of the gang’s relentless, destructive hunt. Both young people start to get over their loneliness, and they also start to find each other.

All He Knew by HelenFrost

He is taken away from his family in 1939 when he’s six years old because he is deaf. He is put in a home for the disabled. Victor is an attendant at Riverview, and he sees right away that Henry isn’t an unteachable child. He’s brave, clever, and sometimes a little mischievous. Henry starts to see how things can change for the better when he’s in the care of Victor. This is heartbreaking but also hopeful, and it’s based on real events that show a little-known part of history in a new way.

A Place to Belong by CynthiaKadohata

12-year-old Hanako and her family are still hurting from being in an internment camp. They give up their American citizenship and move to Hiroshima, which was devastated by an atomic bomb dropped by Americans.

Red, White, and Whole by RajaniLarocca

Reha doesn’t feel like she can connect with her mother, Amma, even though their names are connected. Reha means “star,” and Punam means “moon.” But they are a universe away from each other. Then, Reha finds out that her Amma is sick, and she doesn’t like it. I’m really sick. Even though she can’t stand the sight of blood, Reha wants to be a doctor even though she can’t stand it. She is determined to make her mother well again.

Under the Broken Sky by MarikoNagai

As World War II comes to an end, Soviet troops invade Japanese-occupied Manchuria. When Natsu Kimura, 12, takes care of her younger sister as they try to survive and get back to Japan, it’s a lot of work.

Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson andKwame Alexander

Before people knew him, Cassius Clay was just like any other kid who had to deal with things. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson write both prose and verse about his life up until he was 17. They write about his childhood friends, how he struggled in school, how he was discriminated against, and how he found boxing.

Root Magic by EdenRoyce

It’s 1963, and Jezebel Turner is going through a lot of changes. Her grandmother has just died. The local police deputy won’t stop bothering her and her family, and she doesn’t like it. Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to start school with a lot of new people in South Carolina. But when Jez and Jay turn 11, their uncle, Doc, tells them he’s going to teach them how to do rootwork. This is the big change.

Beni’s War by TammarStein

Yom Kippur Eve in 1973, the news is shocking: a group of Arab countries has begun a strike on Israel. It’s led by a group of Arab countries. He and his family run for their lives as bombs fall around them. Every day, he waits for news about his brother and the war. To show that he, too, can be a hero, Beni must come up with a way to help the war effort in his own way. He learns along the way that there is dignity in everyone, even people he considers enemies.

YA Titles

This Light Between Us: a Novel of World War II by Andrew XiaFukuda

One of the best stories about World War II is about a Japanese American boy and a French Jewish girl who become pen pals. During their time in internment camps, Auschwitz, and the battlefields of Europe, the only thing they can hold on to are their memories from letters they wrote to each other. But nothing can take away the light between them.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by MalindaLo

When two girls fall in love in 1954, America isn’t a safe place. Especially not in Chinatown, where there are many people. Everyone, even Chinese Americans like Lily, is at risk from Red-Scare paranoia. Lili and Kath risk everything to let their love be seen by the world, even though her father has been a citizen for a long time.

All The Stars Denied by Guadalupe GarciaMcCall

Resentment rises in a Texas border town during the Great Depression. Estrella, 15, organizes a protest against the way Tejanos are treated and soon finds herself in Mexico with her mother and baby brother, who have been taken from her.

Angel of Greenwood by RandiPink

Nobody saw Angel as anything but a weird, Bible-toting church girl. Their English teacher wants them to work on her three-wheeled, two-seater bike. Angel can’t say no to the money, and Isaiah soon wants to be in the same room with Angel every afternoon. This is how it works: After the white mob stormed Greenwood on May 31, 1921, life changed dramatically. The town was destroyed, and the people who lived there were forced to flee. It is only then that they know who their real enemies are.

7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga by David A. Robertson

This graphic novel tells the story of one Plains Cree family from the early 1800s to the present day. By telling the story of his ancestors, Edwin must help him get through an uncertain present and into the future.

Yara’s Spring by Jamal Saeed andSharon McKay

She grows up against all odds and finds love even in war. Yara’s Spring is about this. For 12 years, Jamal Saeed was a prisoner of his own mind. He managed to escape to Dubai and then move to Canada. He told his story and worked with Sharon McKay, a Canadian writer, to write this book. He hoped that it would help people understand what Syrian children and teens go through.

The Awakening of Malcolm X by IllyasahShabazz

While in prison in Charlestown in the 1940s, young Malcolm Little reads all the books in the library. He joins the debate team, the Nation of Islam, and the debate team, and he soon emerges as Malcolm X. This is written by his daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, and Tiffany D. Jackson, who won the Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award in 2019.

The Enigma Game by ElizabethWein

When fifteen-year-old Jamaican Louisa Adair cares for an elderly German woman in a small Scottish village, she finds an Enigma machine. She helps solve a puzzle that could change the course of World War II.

Cane Warriors by AlexWheatle

For the rest of his life, he’s worked on the Frontier sugarcane plantation for long, hot days. He feared the whips of the overseers. In the middle of the night, he hears about an uprising led by Tacky, who is very charismatic. Moa wants to be a cane warrior and fight for the freedom of all the people who are being held in the nearby plantations. Before they can get away, Moa and his friend Keverton have to kill their boss, Misser Donaldson. This is their first big job. As the day of the uprising nears, time is running out.

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