Category Archives: Historical Fiction

The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

Chased from their home, Pan Andrew and his family have a treasure that must be delivered to the king of Poland.

The Trumpeter of Krakow begins most chapters with historical background information that somehow relates to that part of the story. The story unfolds slowly, with the mystery of the treasure sucking you in and keeping your interest. I recommend this book to kids studying medieval Poland and those who enjoy historical fiction.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 6
Pages Read in 2018: 1474
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

The Red Keep by Allen French

Conan, upon hearing that the Sauval have killed all but his last brother, sets out to seek revenge. In the process, he must defend his friend Anne’s Red Keep.

On occasion The Red Keep was very exciting, but much of the time it dragged and just didn’t keep my attention. I found my mind wandering often and had to remind myself to focus. I don’t really recommend this book, but I wouldn’t say not to read it either.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 170
Pages Read in 2017: 45,649
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-Reading for Fritz for This School Year

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Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

In the year 1290, Catherine begins a journal recording her life and thoughts. She counts fleas, she dodges suitors, she hides from her governess, and so much more.

I really, really liked Catherine, Called Birdy. Catherine is sometimes sarcastic and tells it like it is. Being written in journal form made me feel like I was talking to her and learning about her life. I highly recommend this book for middle grade kids.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 160
Pages Read in 2017: 43,209
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Fritz for This School Year

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Salt to the Sea by Ruth Sepetys

The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff near the end of World War II was one of the worst maritime disasters in history. Salt to the Sea tells the story through four different points of view. Joana is a Lithuanian nurse, Emilia is a pregnant Polish teenager, Florian is an injured Prussian opposed to the Nazis smuggling a treasure, and Alfred is a Nazi soldier who thinks he is more important than he really is. The characters are very well-developed and I really cared what happened to them. I very highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in World War II and people who enjoy historical fiction.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 132
Pages Read in 2017: 36,036
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (S in SAPPHIRE)

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Kula Keiki Ali’i by Rosemary I. Patterson

Part historical fiction, part science fiction, Kula Keiki Ali’i tells the story of the Hawaiian children sent to be taught and “civilized” by Calvinist missionaries. In between historical scenes, a story in the present plays out. The story is good, but it is in bad need of an editor. The speech patterns of the children sound like today, not over 100 years ago. For the historical content, I highly recommend this book. For the writing, it’s just not very good.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 117
Pages Read in 2017: 32,044
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for Next School Year

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Wulf the Saxon by GA Henty

I never realized the story of the Norman Conquest including descriptions of battles could be made incredibly dull and boring, but GA Henty did his best and definitely succeeded with Wulf the Saxon. I actually found myself making excuses not to read the book, and had I not been pre-reading it for my son for school, I am pretty sure I would’ve stopped reading it completely… something I’ve only done with exactly one book ever. I will say, though, that my house was incredibly clean by the time I finished reading it so I guess it was good for something.

1 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 115
Pages Read in 2017: 31,553
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for Next School Year

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If All the Swords in England by Barbara Willard

Edmund and Simon, orphaned twins, are split up when Edmund enters the service of the king and Simon goes to work for the exiled Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. The story covers from when all relations, no matter how distant, of Becket were sent into exile with him through his murder. It took a bit to really get into the story due to many stretches where it dragged a bit. I recommend this book to kids studying Becket or the late 1100s.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 109
Pages Read in 2017: 29,897
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Fritz for Next School Year

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