13 Most Engaging Historical Fiction Books For Your Kids

History has run its course and left its mark since the dawn of ancient civilization. As generations passed, a wealth of growth and development flourished. Tracing back to the days of the Cold War, 9/11 attacks, the discovery of various monuments and more – there are enchanting tales waiting to be read and discovered by young minds.

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If you’d like to imbue a passion for the past in your child, now is the time. And reading is a good way to do that.

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List of Best Historical Fiction Books for Kids to Read

Historical fiction books for kids aren’t boring, contrary to popular belief. They bring old stories to life in a way that mesmerizes them and makes remembering facts easy. Here is a list of the best historical fiction books for elementary students and kids.

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1. Sophia’s War: A Tale of the Revolution

Sophia’s War is a gripping tale about Sophia Calderwood’s life and works during the 1700s. After witnessing a barbaric execution in the New York City of Nathan Hale, the young woman steels her resolve and works as a spy for the American cause.

Recommended Age

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Ages 8 and up only.

Why It’s Great

It’s a great read because of the depth and complexity of the plot. We recommend this to 8-year-old and up children only since they need to have a reasonable level of literacy and comprehension before being able to delve into this book.

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2. Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins is based on a true story of a 12-year-old girl named Karana who gets stranded on an island in the Pacific for 18 years. It’s a 1960s novel that’s brimming with pages of adventures, mysteries, and heart-gripping tales, being so popular that it received a film adaptation too.

Recommended Age

For ages 7 and up.

Why It’s Great

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It teaches kids how to use their smarts to survive in unknown environments. It develops an appreciation for practical knowledge and also shows them the meaning of positivism, hard work, and patience.

3. Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich is a book loved by parents and children alike. It narrates the tales of Omakayas who lived in the 1800s along with her family near Lake Superior.

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Recommended Age

For ages 6 and up.

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Why It’s Great

It’s a book that teaches kids about the past from the eyes of a Native.

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4. Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O’ Hara

Small Beauties is a heart-wrenching tale of a young girl who grows up in poverty and times of strife. When she is forced to immigrate to another country and leave her grandparents behind, things take a turn.

Recommended Age

For ages 5 and up.

Why It’s Great

It’s a book that teaches kids the meaning of gratitude and imbues an appreciation for life. We can’t express it in words, just ask your kids to read and discover.

5. The Crossing

The Crossing is a historical fiction book with many anecdotes from the past, poems, and beautiful art. It’s creative expression and history blended elegantly.

Recommended Age

For ages 6 and up.

Why It’s Great

It is essentially the tales of a journey taken by Lewis and Clark. Jean Baptist’s story is covered in this and there are many events from the past.

6. I Survived

A historical fiction book that narrates the tales of kids who face disastrous situations and tries to survive. It’s scary but ends in an upbeat note at the ending.

Recommended Age

For ages 7 to 8.

Why It’s Great

It expresses feelings of family bonds and the value of life. There’s a lot of unfamiliar situations covered in the book and it also talks about strength during times of adversity.

7. Morning Girl

Award-winning author, Michael Dorris is back again with this unique children’s novel, this time with more adventures and scary moments. The book is the story of a young girl and her younger brother who stays on the Bahamian Island in 1492 working to thrive in a natural world.

Recommended Age

For ages 7 to 8.

Why It’s Great

It’s great because it introduces kids to concepts such as behavioral changes linked with changing cultures and times. There’s a lot of history involved too.

8. Mr Hiroshi’s Garden

The story is set during the era of the Second World War and narrates the beautiful bond between a young girl and the garden of her next-door neighbour’s. Mary promises Hiroshi to take care of his garden and there are beautiful full-page colour illustrations that vividly narrate the tale. This is also one of the best historical fiction books for kindergarten.

Recommended Age

For ages 4 to 8.

Why It’s Great

Kids will learn a lot about the complex side of Canadian history in an easy and simplified way. The story has a beautiful setting and the book has won many awards.

9. The Outlaw (The Crow Stories Trilogy Book 1)

The Outlaw is about the story of a person who was once feared in the Old West. When he mysteriously disappears and a stranger enters the town to fix his wrongs, something happens later.

Recommended Age

For ages 6 and up.

Why It’s Great

Oldschool illustrations followed by realistic representations of vengeance, empathy, and kindness make this an immersive read for young readers.

10. Tales of Faith Series (Book 1)

Tales of Faith is set in medieval times where Belle tries to repair her relationship with her father who is the king of a castle. Her hopes are shattered when he refuses to see her and tragedy soon befalls. Will she be able to mend the relationship during times of crisis or fail?

Recommended Age

For ages 6 to 8.

Why It’s Great

Parents say the plot is the best part and there are many notable characters throughout the story.

11. Number The Stars

This is a book about a family who takes in a Jew as one of their own when the Nazis invade Denmark.

Recommended Age

For ages 8 and up.

Why It’s Great

It teaches kids about pride, heroism, and human emotions. It conveys the meaning of empathy and compassion above all.

12. Little House on the Prairie

If you’re looking for award-winning historical fiction children’s books, this title would be exactly what you want. It’s about the journey of the Ingalls family’s migration to another country set in a historical setting.

Recommended Age

For ages 8 and up.

Why It’s Great

Lots of terrifying adventures and challenges are faced by the characters in the book. There are eye-opening discussions on cultural and racial differences and shows how life can sometimes be unforgiving.

13. Anne of Green Gables

Written by L.M. Montgomery, it is the story of a young girl who stays at the Green Gables farmhouse. At first, she’s welcomed but when they plan on sending her to an orphanage, what will she do?

Recommended Age

For ages 8 and up.

Why It’s Great

It’s one of the most popular historical fiction children’s books to exist and shows a young girl’s drive and determination.

We hope you enjoyed our list of historical fiction books. These are treasure troves of memories and we’re sure your kids will love them too. Take your time and read along with your kids if you need to. The gorgeous illustrations in these make reading time a lot better too.

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