Resource List: Books

Adamson, L. G. (1994). Recreating the past: A guide to American and world historical fiction for children and young adults. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. A well-organized annotated bibliography, arranged in sections by geographic region, and within the sections on region or country, laid out by time period. Useful appendices include lists broken down by readability level from grade 1 to grade 10, and interest level from grade 1 to grade 10, including a listing of adult books suitable for teens. Of course, being over a decade old, there is plenty of room for an update, or a companion website organizing subsequent titles in the same way.

The Distant Mirror, Joanne Brown and Nancy St. Clair

Brown, J., & St, C. N. (2006). The distant mirror: Reflections on young adult historical fiction. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press. This is not so much a typical readers’ advisory guide with book recommendations, as it is an impressionistic collection of riffs and essays on the nature of the appeal of historical fiction. In addition to providing an excellent discussion of the evolution of trends in historical fiction such as the treatment of gender, class and race, this is just a lovely, lyrical read.

The Teen Reader's Advisor Rosemary Honnold Image from WorldCat

Honnold, R. M. (2006). The teen reader’s advisor. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers. Honnold breaks down the discussion of historical fiction titles across two chapters, prehistory to 1900, then 1900 to the 80s and 90s. The two main chapters are divided into more specific time periods. A full list of the time periods she covers is here.

Reading Rants Cover Image taken from WorldCat

Hubert, J. (2007). Reading rants: A guide to books that rock! New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers. A companion volume to the author’s review website geared for teens, Reading Rants, this is a guide for teachers and librarians recommending genre fiction to teens. Chapter 7, “Historical Fiction for Hipsters,” provides advice for how to recommend historical fiction to teens, as well as detailed title recommendations.

Johnson, S. L. (2005). Historical fiction: A guide to the genre. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited covers historical fiction written for adults 1995 to 2004, arranged by subgenre and useful for finding readalikes.

Johnson, S. L. (2009). Historical fiction II: A guide to the genre. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited. The second volume, also indexed by subgenre, covers historical fiction written from 2004 to 2008.

Historical fiction for teens, Melissa Rabey, image via WorldCat

Rabey, M. (2011). Historical fiction for teens: A genre guide. Santa Barbara, California: Libraries Unlimited. A guide to historical fiction written for teenagers from 1975 to 2010, and covering time periods from prehistory to the Vietnam war, as well as subgenres such as historical romance and historical mystery. The books listed are books that would appeal to a reader from approximately 5th grade up, emphasizing historically accurate books. The included capsule reviews of books are written in a conversational tone. Some entries include a suggested readalike, including nonfiction focused on the region and time period covered in the historical fiction title.  Time period keywords, and thematic keywords, like women’s roles offer further guidance.

Saricks, J. G. (2001). The readers’ advisory guide to genre fiction. Chicago: American Library Association. Saricks’ guide provided the framework for much of our class discussion about genre appeal. Her framework of appeal factors is useful. Some of her discussion of historical fiction themes and appeal factors applies to the teen reader seamlessly, other aspects, not so much.


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One response to “Resource List: Books

  1. Pingback: The Appeal of Young Adult Historical Fiction… in particular | Books Back In Time

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