Resource List: Articles

Articles for Reference and Further Research

Smith, Scot. (2007) “The Death of Genre: Why the Best YA fiction Often Defies Classification” The ALAN Review, 35.1: 43-50) Includes possibly the best explanation of historical fiction subgenres going.

Brown, J. (1998). Historical fiction or fictionalized history? problems for writers of historical novels for young adults. Retrieved from neatly sums up all the questions surrounding the definition of historical fiction, particularly for young adults.

Dublin, A. (June, 2005). Why should young adults read Holocaust literature, anyway?  AJL Convention, Oakland, California. Retrieved from:  A conference paper discussing literature and diaries about the Holocaust, curriculum development, and whether teens read and enjoy books from the period.

McElmeel, Sharron L.  “Getting It Right: Historical Fiction or Not?” Library Media Connection, Jan/Feb2009, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p. 40-41.  retrieved from This article is particularly interesting because it addresses the changing context of a book written several decades ago, and might contain dated elements. McElmeel’s extremely narrow definition of historical fiction requires the story to be tied to specific, accurate historical events; distinguishing historical from more general period fiction, which evokes the historical setting and social context more generally as a means to address more universal themes.

Hoffert, B. (2012, April 30). Historical fiction in the making.Library Journal, Retrieved from Examining the emergence and evolution of historical fiction as a genre, focusing on adult historical fiction. The article expresses the appeal of historical fiction beautifully. “Works of historical fiction  have one thing in common: through them, we enter a world different from our own, almost as in a fantasy. But it’s a real world, and with the best books we leave with some real understanding. Not that historical novels are encapsulated history lessons…What historical fiction instead delivers is an era’s sensibility. ”

Life during world war ii. (2009, November 04). Retrieved from A round-up of a few YA novels focusing on World War II.

MacLeod, A. S. (1998). Writing backward: Modern marvels in historical fiction. Retrieved from Taking a sharp look at accuracy and creative license in historical fiction, this article focuses particularly on the limitations of women’s roles and possibilities.

Paterson, Katherine. “Cultural Politics for a Writer’s Point of View.” The New Advocate, Spring, 1994. Retrieved from: (the source of her quote about YA historical fiction protagonists kicking the walls of their societies.)


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