KCLS Recommends: Children's - World Historical Fiction
Annotation:(Soviet Union, 1930s) In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist, but when police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs. Ages 9 – 12.
Annotation:(1st century Judea) When the Romans brutally kill Daniel bar Jamin's father, the young Palestinian searches for a leader to drive them out, but comes to realize that love may be a more powerful weapon than hate.
Annotation:(19th Century London) A community of mice and a cheese-loving cat form an unlikely alliance at London's Cheshire Cheese, an inn where Charles Dickens finds inspiration and Queen Victoria makes an unexpected appearance. Ages 8-12. J
Annotation:(14th century England) Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.
Annotation: (Early 20th-century France) Having been raised to believe he will die before he reaches the age of fourteen, Pepper Roux runs away on his fourteenth birthday in an attempt to elude his fate, assumes another identity, and continues to try to outrun death, having many adventures in the process. Ages 10-14
Annotation:(Burma, WWII) Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father's plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, and when his father and others are taken prisoner and Nick is stranded with his friend Mya, they plan a daring escape on elephants. Ages 9-12
Annotation: (12th Century England) Matty grows up to be a master falconer, able to communicate with the devoted birds who later help her and Fynn, also known as Robin Hood, to foil Prince John's plot to steal the crown. Ages 9-14.
Annotation:(China 1930s) Alone in the sampan with his pig and three ducklings, a Chinese boy is whirled down a raging river, back to the town from which he and his parents had escaped the invading Japanese, and spends long and frightening days regaining his family and new home.
Annotation:(Brazil 1910) Sent with her governess to live among the the dreadful Carter family in exotic Brazil, Maia endures many hardships before fulfilling her dream of exploring the Amazon River.
Annotation:(13th century China) After trying to save his widowed mother from a horrendous second marriage, twelve-year-old Haoyou has life-changing adventure when he takes to the sky as a circus kite riders and ends up meeting the great Mongol ruler Kublai Khan.
Annotation:(East Africa, 1918) Left an orphan after the influenza epidemic in British East Africa in 1918, thirteen-year-old Rachel is tricked into assuming a deceased neighbor's identity to travel to England, where her only dream is to return to Africa and rebuild her parents' mission hospital. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(Vietnam, 1975) In 1975 after American troops pull out of Vietnam, a thirteen-year-old boy and his beloved elephant escape into the jungle when the Viet Cong attack his village. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(18th century England) The eleven-year-old son of the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London befriends a Scottish rebel being held prisoner there.
Annotation:(Zimbabwe, 1964) The strong friendship between two boys, one black and one white, who live on a mission in Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe, begins to unravel as protests against white colonial rule intensify.
Annotation:(19th century Africa) In 1834 when a storm at sea destroys the slave ship on which she is a stowaway, twelve-year-old Emma musters all her resourcefulness to survive in the African Jungle.
Annotation: (Japan, 1600 -1868) Samurai Seikei and Judge Ooka, his foster-father, seek seven men who have seven maps on their backs in order to locate a cache of dangerous weapons before they fall into the wrong hands. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(19th century London) When Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini's ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.
Annotation:(12th century Korea) Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old-orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potter' village and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.
Annotation:(Ireland, 1840’s) arcy Heart O'Hara, a young Irish girl who neglects her chores to observe the beauties of nature and everyday life, shares "family memories" with her homesick parents and siblings after the O'Haras are forced to emigrate to America in the 1840s. Ages 6-8
Annotation:(Ancient Persia) When Marjan, a thirteen-year-old crippled girl, joins the Sultan's harem in ancient Persia, she gathers for Shahrazad the stories which will save the queen's life.
Annotation:(England, 1849) When his father is arrested as a debtor in 1849 London, fourteen-year-old John Huffman must take on unexpected responsibilities, from asking a distant relative for help to determining why people are spying on him and his family. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(17th century Columbia) Thirteen-year-old Calepino, an African slave in the Caribbean city of Cartagena, works as a translator for a Jesuit priest who tends to newly-arrived slaves.
Annotation:(Korea, WWII) With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(England, 1599) In 1599 England, twelve-year-old lying, thieving Will Sparrow runs away, meets many colorful characters on the road, and then reluctantly joins a traveling "oddities" exhibit, where he learns to see beyond appearances. Ages 8 – 12.
Annotation:(Korea, 1945) A young Korean girl survives the oppressive Japanese and Russian occupation of North Korea during the 1940s, to later escape to freedom in South Korea. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(WWII Poland) From 1939, when Syvia is four-and-a-half years old, to 1945 when she just turns ten, a Jewish girl and her family struggle to survive in Poland's Lodz ghetto during Nazi occupation.
A Shared List by KCLS Children's Librarians: Genre Booklists
Member of King County Library SystemSend KCLS Children's Librarians: Genre Booklists a Message Follow Ignore Report This List
Historical World Fiction books are based on historical events, either real or inferred. “World” books can be from any place on earth, however, the spirit of this booklist is to highlight the history and pasts of countries, regions and cultures outside the U.S.A. and to encourage children to travel outside of the “American” experience through literature to learn about the past. The list may include picture books, graphic novels, and chapter books. Books will be selected by qualified librarians based on their quality, availability and kid appeal.