02/21/2022 - Historical Fiction Recommendations for Every Reader

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I often hear people say that it is difficult to get into historical fiction. But it can encompass so many different genres, that I truly believe there is a historical fiction book for every reader!

It doesn't just have to be tales of war or royals vying for the throne. There is a huge range of genres under the umbrella of historical fiction!

I have also made a YouTube video of all of these recommendations, as well as a brief synopsis of each of these selections on my ARRRGH! Schooling channel:

Mysteries and Thrillers

If you love mysteries and thrillers, here are some historical mysteries to check out!

Fingersmith (by Sarah Waters, 2002, A)

The Thirteenth Tale (by Diane Setterfield)

The Gods of Gotham (by Lyndsay Faye, 2012, YA, A)


If you are a fantasy reader, let me introduce you to some great historical fantasy titles!

The Golem and the Jinni (by Helene Wecker, 2013, YA, A)

Lovely War (by Julie Berry, 2019, YA)

My Lady Jane (by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, 2016, YA, A)


If you prefer to read contemporary settings, there are historical fiction reads set in a more modern setting that you might enjoy.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea (by Tahereh Mafi, 2019, YA)

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (by Taylor Jenkins Reid, 2018, YA, A)

The Last Days of Night (by Graham Moore, 2016, YA, A)

Graphic Novels

If you enjoy reading graphic novels and comics, there are a lot of great historical stories to tempt you!

Displacement (by Kiku Hughes, 2020, YA, A)

The Best We Could Do (by Thi Bui, 2018, YA, A)

The Complete Persepolis (by Marjane Satrapi)


If you enjoy poetry and stories in verse, let me share some great historical titles you might want to read.

And We Rise: The Civil Rights Movement in Poems (by Erica Martin, 2020, YA, A)

Audacity (by Melanie Crowder, 2012, UMG, YA)

About the Author

Emily cook.jpg

Emily Cook is the curator of History Book By Book, and the creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full-year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 18 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also make incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books, and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on BYL / HBBB Facebook, BYL Twitter, and Pinterest. You can also check out her author page on Amazon.