Summer is associated with sun, warm temperatures, water, sand, and page turning reads. We’ve probably all heard the phrase “beach reads,” most commonly thought of as romantic comedies, light, easy reads, or fast-paced thrillers, but in general, quick, compelling reads. They provide escapes from the everyday, keeping your interest until you reach the last word.
This summer, try changing it up and visit the past. Historical fiction gives us unique glimpses of life from points of view not found in history books while bringing to life historical events. Some are light reads while others show the emotions and difficulties people experienced in that specific era.
We have selected several historical fiction books for you to enjoy, including one of my favorites, the always amazing The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
DB 106794 I must betray you by Ruta Sepetys
1989. In a country governed by isolation, fear, and a tyrannical dictator, the secret police blackmails seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu to become an informer. He decides to use his position to outwit his handler, undermine the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2022.
DB 62431 The book thief by Markus Zusak
Death narrates the tale of nine-year-old Liesel from 1939 to 1943 in Nazi Germany. Liesel copes with a foster family, air raids, her friend Rudy, and a hidden Jew, sustained by the books she steals. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2006.
DB 106804 The red palace by June Hur
Korea, 1758. While investigating a series of grisly murders, eighteen-year-old palace nurse Hyeon navigates royal and political intrigue and becomes entangled with a young police inspector. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2022.
DB 104015 Last night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
1954. McCarthyism and the Red Scare are genuine threats to Lily's family; her father is already at risk of deportation despite his valid citizenship. Lily, who is Chinese American, could lose everything just for dating anyone white--let alone another girl--but she could lose herself if she isn't true to her feelings. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
DB 102613 The awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz
While in Charlestown Prison in the 1940s, Malcolm Little reads all the books in the library, befriends fellow prisoners, joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam, and emerges as Malcolm X. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
DB 101598 Someday we will fly by Rachel DeWoskin
1940s. After her mother mysteriously disappears, fifteen-year-old Lillia flees Warsaw with her father and baby sister. They struggle to make a new life in Shanghai, a place known to provide refuge to Jews without visas. Some violence. Commercial audiobook. Sydney Taylor Book Award. For senior high and older readers. 2019.
DB 101256 We are not free by Traci Chee
Three months after the attack at Pearl Harbor, fourteen-year-old Minoru Ito and her Japanese-American community live in a new nightmarish world. And now things are about to get worse as they are forced into internment camps. Violence and strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2020.
DB 96104 Like a love story by Abdi Nazemian
New York City, 1989. Three teens discover their sexuality, romance, AIDS activism, and the revolutionary act of living life to the fullest in the face of impossible odds. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019.
DB 94195 The weight of our sky by Alkaf Hanna
Amidst the Chinese-Malay conflict in Kuala Lumpur in 1969, sixteen-year-old Melati must overcome prejudice, violence, and her own obsessive-compulsive disorder to find her way back to her mother. Violence. For senior high and older readers. 2019.
DB 88952 Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Selected to be a colonist on Mars in 2065, loner Adri heads to Kansas to stay with her cousin until her training is complete. Adri soon discovers a trove of letters and finds a human connection she had been missing. Some violence. For senior high and older readers. 2017.
DB 76108 Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
1950. Josie, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, wants to escape New Orleans for prestigious Smith College. But a mysterious death in the Quarter draws Josie back into the underworld. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. For senior high and older readers. 2013.