Nothing brings history to life like a book. As children become independent readers, they develop a fascination for the way that other people live. Little imaginations are sparked by stories that are set in times gone by and it’s the best kind of adventures that involve knights, pyramids, pirates, warriors or gladiators.
Historical fiction for children is wide-ranging; often we are drawn to books set in the world wars – classics like Carrie’s War, Goodnight Mister Tom and War Horse to name but a few – but there are many other periods that will inspire young readers. From Vikings to Victorians, Ancient Egyptians to the Stone Age, historical fiction can be a great way to bridge the gap between fiction and non-fiction, as budding historians will learn plenty as they enjoy the gripping stories. Books set in the past can have a lifechanging impact on young readers, challenging their perceptions of the world and exposing them to new questions and considerations.
History is of course a key topic at school, but history is about much more than dates and facts. Really it is about the stories of real people and how they lived and that is what intrigues young and old alike.
Most historical fiction books are for independent readers aged 7+, as children’s curiosity about how people lived really starts to develop at that age. As always there is plenty to choose from for different ages and interests. From books that help older children understand crucial historical events like the Holocaust such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas to funny books like David Walliams’ The Ice Monster, there is a huge range of books to choose from for all levels of reading ability. We also love historical adventure books with a hint of fantasy of magic, such as Cogheart and The Ruby in the Smoke. For younger readers, try fan favourite Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather set in Victorian England or the Viking world of the popular How to Train Your Dragon books.
Whatever you choose, these books will transport you to a new reality. So check out our list and get ready to step back in time…