Category Archives: Historical Fiction

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 For the historical content, I highly recommend this book.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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Son of Charlemagne by Barbara Willard

Told from the point of view of Charlemagne’s son, Carl, Son of Charlemagne tells of King Charles of the Franks reign through being crowned Holy Roman Emporer. The story is engaging and drew me in. I recommend this book to kids learning about the Middle Ages.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 105
Pages Read in 2017: 28,939
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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Augustine Came to Kent by Barbara Willard

Set at the time Pope Gregory I sent Augustine to England, Augustine Came to Kent is the story of the first Archbishop of Canterbury through the eyes of a boy. It tells of Augustine preaching, baptizing King Ethelbert, and on through the end of Augustine’s life. It’s a gentle story with excellent pacing. I recommend it for kids studying medieval England.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 102
Pages Read in 2017: 28,464
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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My Story: The Great Plague by Pamela Oldfield

Alice is just shy of 14-years-old when the plague comes to London. She survives only to see fire break out in her beloved city the next year.

My Story: The Great Plague is written in diary format. It tells the story of the plague and fire in a quick, easy to read way perfect for middle grade age kids. I highly recommend reading it!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 101
Pages Read in 2017: 28,226
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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