History, mystery, and adventure – check out the best historical fiction from the last two years! Most of these have fantastic companion audiobooks as well.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author’s family, includes a historical note.
Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin (2012 Newbery Honor Book!)
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.
City of Orphans by Avi
In 1893 New York, thirteen-year-old Maks, a newsboy, teams up with Willa, a homeless girl, to clear his older sister, Emma, from charges that she stole from the brand new Waldorf Hotel, where she works. Includes historical notes.
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Franny Chapman just wants some peace. But that’s hard to get when her best friend is feuding with her, her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting an old war in his head. Her saintly younger brother is no help, and the cute boy across the street only complicates things. Worst of all, everyone is walking around just waiting for a bomb to fall. It’s 1962, and it seems the whole country is living in fear…
Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
In 1868, with his army officer father suddenly posted to India, and his mother mysteriously “unwell,” fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire, where he uncovers his first murder and a diabolical villain.
Five 4ths of July by Pat Raccio Hughes
On July 4th, 1777, fourteen-year-old Jake Mallory and his friends are celebrating their new nation’s independence, but over the next four years Jake finds himself in increasingly adventurous circumstances as he battles British forces, barely survives captivity on a prison ship, and finally returns home to Connecticut, war-torn and weary, but hopeful for America’s future.
A Month of Sundays by Ruth White
In the summer of 1956 while her mother is in Florida searching for a job, fourteen-year-old April Garnet Rose, who has never met her father, stays with her terminally ill aunt in Virginia and accompanies her as she visits different churches, looking for God.
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer–a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.
R My Name is Rachel by Patricia Reilly Giff
Three city siblings, now living on a farm during the Great Depression, must survive on their own when their father takes a construction job miles away.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy–Louis Charles, the lost king of France.
Riot by Walter Dean Myers
In 1863, fifteen-year-old Claire, the daughter of an Irish mother and a black father, faces ugly truths and great danger when Irish immigrants, enraged by the Civil War and a federal draft, lash out against blacks and wealthy “swells” of New York City.
Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Seventeen-year-old socialite Gloria secretly longs to be a flapper, but now that she is engaged to Sebastian, she must leave her partying days behind, until her future is threatened by an alluring jazz musician who encourages Gloria to risk everything.
With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo
Thirteen-year-old Olivene Love gets tangled up in a murder mystery when her itinerant preaching family arrives in the small town of Binder, Arkansas in 1957.
Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
Seventeen-year-old Agnes Wilkins is about to make her debut into 1815 London society at a lavish party, where she meets Lord Showalter, a wealthy and eligible man who collects Egyptian antiquities and who is hiding a dangerous secret.