YA Historical Fiction

YA Historical Fiction

Ever wanted to time travel, but lack the technology? Look no further! These books transport you to the past—some with modern sensibilities or fantasy thrown in!

Compiled by:
Sam O. and Lizzy S.
The Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason

Virginia Boecker
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Boecker)

In the early sixteen-hundreds, two star-crossed assassins, nineteen-year-old Toby and seventeen-year-old Kit, go undercover as actors in a Shakespeare play in a plot to kill Queen Elizabeth.

Blood Water Paint

Joy McCollough
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mccullo)

Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father's paint. She chose paint. Artemisia became one of Rome's most talented painters-- and her father took all the credit. Five years later, in the aftermath of a rape, Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost. Through the ensuing trial and torture, she is buoyed by her mother's stories of strong women of the Bible.

The Book of Boy

Catherine Gilbert
(Juvenile Fiction – J Murdock)

Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a large hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked by others in his town—until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter.

The Dark Days Club

Alison Goodman
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Goodman)

In April 1812, as she is preparing for her debut presentation to Queen Charlotte, Lady Helen Wrexhall finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy reaching to the very top of society, and learns the truth about her mother, who died ten years ago.

Daughter of the Pirate King

Tricia Levenseller
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Levense)

When a ruthless pirate king discovers that a legendary treasure map can be found on an enemy ship, his daughter Alosa knows that there's only one pirate for the job: herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her welcome on the ship.

Dread Nation: Rise Up

Justina Ireland
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Ireland)

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania-derailing the War between the States. Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do, but that's not a life she wants. When families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a desperate fight against some powerful enemies.

Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All

Various Authors
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Anderso)

King Henry VIII was a charismatic and extravagant ruler obsessed with both his power as king and with siring a male heir. Six women became his queens, several fated for divorce, or beheading. In this book, seven authors tell of their attempts to survive their unpredictable king and his power-hungry court. As they experience joy and heartache, tragedy and betrayal, readers will get an intimate look at the royalty of the most perilous times in English history.


Nadine Brandes
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Brandes)

Keepers think the Igniters caused the Stone Plague; Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that it's spreading, and if he doesn't do something soon, he'll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot and blow up the Igniter King, Thomas is in.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Mackenzi Lee
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Lee)

Henry "Monty" Montague was bred to be a gentleman. So his passions for gambling halls, late nights spent drinking, and waking up in the arms of others have earned the disapproval of his father. As one last hurrah, Monty, his sister Felicity, and his best friend and crush Percy begin a Grand Tour of Europe. A reckless decision turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, calling into question everything Monty knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

The Gilded Wolves

Roshani Chokshi
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Chokshi)

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. Séverin will need help from a band of experts, together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris.

The Girl From Everywhere

Heidi Heilig
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Heilig)

A debut teen fantasy sweeping from modern-day New York City, to nineteenth-century Hawaii, to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father's ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The first of two books, this blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility.

The Glass Town Game

Catherynne M. Valente
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Valente)

At a small Yorkshire parsonage, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë invent a place called Glass Town. This make-believe land helps the four escape a harsh reality: Charlotte and Emily are being sent away to a dangerous boarding school, from which they might not return. But on this Beastliest Day, the train whisks them all away to the real Glass Town, where the children trade the moors for a wonderland all their own.

A Great and Terrible Beauty

Libba Bray
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Bray)

After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England after many years in India to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and an ability to see into the spirit world.

And I Darken

Kiersten White
(Young Adult Fiction – Y White)

In this first book in a trilogy, a girl child is born to Vlad Dracula in Transylvania in 1435. At first rejected by her father and always ignored by her mother, she will grow up to be Lada Dragwlya, a vicious and brutal princess, destined to rule and destroy her enemies.

Inventing Victoria

Tonya Bolden
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Bolden)

A young black woman in 1880s Savannah, Essie is trapped between the life she has and the life she wants-- until she meets Dorcas Vashon, the richest and most cultured black woman she's ever encountered. Dorcas transforms Essie into Victoria: with a fine wardrobe, a classic education, and the rules of etiquette. When the life she desires is finally within her grasp, Victoria must decide how much of herself she is truly willing to surrender. 

The Librarian of Auschwitz

Antonio Iturbe
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Iturbe)

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a fourteen-year-old girl who risks her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees—thus becoming the librarian of Auschwitz.

The Light Between Worlds

Laura E. Weymouth
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Weymout)

Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter... and were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed-- except themselves.

My Lady Jane

Cynthia Hand
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Hand)

Edward, King of England, is dying—which is inconvenient, as he's only sixteen. Jane, Edward's cousin, is more interested in books than romance—but she's to marry Gifford to secure the royal line of succession. And Gifford is a man who turns into a horse every morning! The plot thickens as the three are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy; can they pull off their plan before it's off with their heads?

The Night Diary

Veera Hiranandani
(Juvenile Fiction – J Hiranan)

Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.

The Passion of Dolssa

Julie Berry
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Berry)

In mid-thirteenth-century Provence, Dolssa de Stigata, a fervently religious girl, is condemned by the Inquisition as an "unnatural woman" and hunted by the Dominican Friar Lucien who fears a resurgence of heresy. Botille is a matchmaker trying to protect her sisters from being branded as gypsies or witches—but when she finds the Dolssa, she feels compelled to protect her, a decision that may cost her everything.

Salt to the Sea

Ruta Sepetys
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Sepetys)

As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war's final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull.

A Skinful of Shadows

Frances Hardinge
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Harding)

In the 1640s during the English Civil War, the twelve-year-old illegitimate daughter of an aristocratic family shares their unique hereditary gift: the capacity to be possessed by ghosts.

Walk on Earth a Stranger

Rae Carson
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Carson)

Lee Westfall, a young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold, must flee her home to avoid people who would abuse her powers, so when her best friend Jefferson heads out across Gold Rush-era America to stake his claim, she disguises herself as a boy and sets out on her own dangerous journey.

The War that Saved My Life

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
(Juvenile Fiction – J Bradley)

A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.

The Weight of Our Sky

Hanna Alkaf
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Hanna)

Amidst the Chinese-Malay conflict in Kuala Lumpur in 1969, sixteen-year-old Melati must overcome prejudice, violence, and her own OCD to find her way back to her mother

What the Night Sings

Vesper Stamper
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Stamper)

After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her Papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and onto living her life. With a newfound Jewish identity she never knew she had, and a return to the life of music she thought she lost forever, Gerta must choose how to build a new future.

Wolf Hollow

Lauren Wolk
(Young Adult Fiction – Y Wolk)

Twelve-year-old Annabelle must learn to stand up for what's right in the face of a manipulative and violent new bully who targets people Annabelle cares about, including a homeless World War I veteran.