Historical Fiction: Key Stage 3

Middle Ages
Fire, Bed and Bone: Henrietta Branford (2001)
An old hunting dog narrates the story of the Peasants’ Revolt. She has all a dog could ask for - fire, bed and bone. But unrest is spreading like plague among the peasants of southern England, who are tired of the hardship and injustice they suffer. Life for man - and dog - is about to change dramatically...

A Story About the Great Plague: Jennet's tale: Herbie Brennan (2000)
Jennet is a 14th-century maid. When the kindly Father Peter is replaced by a strange and sinister priest, she finds her life in danger as she discovers that he is not all he seems. Then rumours start about a terrible disease.

The Diary of a Medieval Squire: Moira Butterfield (2004)
It is 1332 and young William de Combe is very excited - he is to travel with his uncle, John de Walton, to a faraway jousting competition.

Catherine, called Birdy: Karen Cushman (1994)
It is 1291. Catherine is 14. She should get married, but is doing everything she can to get rid of Shaggy Beard, her disgusting suitor. She doesn’t wish to become the perfect medieval lady like her mother wants, either.

Matilda Bone Karen Cushman (2000)
It is the mid-14th century. The orphaned Matilda, brought up to be meek, saintly and bookish is abandoned in Blood and Bone Alley and must face a new and scary life as apprentice to Peg the Bonesetter. Can the saints help her now? Or can goodness take new and unexpected forms?

The Midwife's Apprentice Karen Cushman (1995)
A homeless waif named Brat roams the villages of 14th-century England, sleeping in dung heaps and begging for scraps. But when he meets Jane the midwife and becomes her apprentice his life changes forever.

A Tapestry of Murders Paul Doherty (1994)
In August 1358, the Dowager Queen Isabella, mother of King Edward III, dies in the sombre fortress of Castle Rising, where she has been held captive. Nicholas Chirke investigates the events following her death - and finds himself at his wits' end trying to resolve the mysteries before a great scandal unfolds.

Angel's Snare Dennis Hamley (2001)
Crispin is coming home to Hereford to claim his inheritance and Joslin goes with him. But a body is found at the foot of the tower of St Ethelbert’s Cathedral and when Crispin finds out who it is he realises that there are people who don’t want him there and are set on his death. (Part of the Long Journey of Joslin de Lay series)

The Wool-Pack Cynthia Harnett (1951)
In 1493 Nicholas Fetterlock, the 12-year-old son of a rich wool merchant, learns that he will marry Cecily Bradshaw, and that villainous swindlers want to ruin his father's business, and only he can stop them.

At Agincourt: G A Henty (1897)
A classic adventure set in the Hundred Years War (Free to download)

Wulf the Saxon: A story of the Norman Conquest: G A Henty (1895)
Wulf and his best friend, Beorn, fight bravely for their Saxon king — capturing castles, rescuing shipwrecked survivors, repelling Viking invaders, and fighting the Battle of Hastings. (Free to download)

A Little Lower than the Angels Geraldine McCaughrean (2003)
Gabriel runs away from his apprenticeship as a stonemason. But then he meets Garvey the playmaster, who wants him to be the angel in his play. But will his new life with the travelling players be any more secure?

Lionheart Sharon Penman (2013)
Richard I was crowned King in 1189 and set off almost immediately for the Third Crusade. Overshadowing the battlefields were the personalities of two great adversaries: Richard and Saladin. In this gripping narrative of intrigue, battle and deceit, a true and complex Richard is revealed – remarkable for his power and intelligence, his keen grasp of warfare and his concern for the safety of his men, who followed him against all odds.

When Christ and his Saints slept; Time and Chance; Devils Brood Sharon Penman (1995)
The Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy, beginning in the 12th Century with the civil war between Stephen and Matilda and exploring the relationship between Eleanor and her husband Henry II.

Katherine: Anya Seton (2006)
The story of Katherine, who came to the court of Edward III at the age of fifteen and eventually becomes the mistress of John of Gaunt.

The Forest Wife Trilogy Theresa Tomlinson (1984)
A powerful retelling of the Robin Hood story from Marian’s point of view. When fifteen year old Mary flees into the forest to avoid a fearsome marriage arranged by her uncle, she knows what challenges lie in store for her as the wise and magical Green Lady of the Woods.

Renaissance                            http://www.historicalnovels.info/Renaissance-YA.html
Jepp, who Defied the Stars: Katherine Marsh (2012)
Jepp is living happily in his mother's inn, when a nobleman entices him to become a court dwarf for the Infanta. The novel moves from late-sixteenth century Holland to Spain to Denmark and features a wide range of real people. As the historical note at the end reveals, even Jepp was a real person…

The Smile: Donna Jo Napoli (2009)
The story of a young girl who may have posed for Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting. The story includes many interesting details of Italian life, politics, and power struggles in Florence in the 1490s.

Gioconda: Lucille Turner (2012)
From the glittering court of the Medici to the mortuaries of Milan and the battlefields of the Po valley, this novel imagines Leonardo da Vinci’s lonely struggle to convince others of his vision of the world.

The Medici Seal Theresa Breslin (2008)
A boy is taken in by Leonardo Da Vinci after the artist's companions save him from drowning while he attempts to escape a murderous brigand.

A Golden Web: Barbara Quick (2010)
A girl in fourteenth-century Italy is desperate to escape her stepmother and the marriage plans being made for her, so she can pursue learning instead; based on the life of Alessandra Giliani, the first woman anatomist.

Wars of the Roses

The Sunne in Splendour Sharon Penman (1984)
Richard, last-born son of the Duke of York, bloodied himself at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, and earned his legendary reputation. Filled with the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and love of daily life, and the rigours and dangers of Court politics, this is a richly coloured tapestry of medieval England.

The Daughter of Time: Josephine Tey (2009)
An investigation into the real facts behind Richard III’s reign, examining his role in the death of his nephews and attempting to right what many believe to be the terrible injustice done to him by the Tudor dynasty.


Shakespeare’s Apprentice: Veronica Bennett (2007)
In 1598 Sam Gilburne, an apprentice actor, meets  Lady Lucie Cheetham, niece of Lord Essex, and the two fall in love. But when Lord Essex is convicted of treason there are repercussions for his whole family…

Spy for the Queen of Scots: Theresa Breslin (2013)
Ginette is Mary Queen of Scots’ lady in waiting. Growing up in the elegant but ruthless French court, she overhears a mysterious plot, followed by several unexplained deaths leading her to put her own life in danger.

Peril on the Sea: Michael Cadnum (2009)
A seventeen-year-old boy sails with an English privateer during the battle against the Spanish Armada.

The Lady of Fire and Tears: Terry Deary (1998)
In the north of England, in the last days of Elizabeth I, a silver cup has been stolen. . . Meg the serving girl will hang for it, unless she agrees to spy on her friends…

Armada: The Story of Thomas Hobbs (My Story): Jim Eldridge

The Spanish Armada told from the point of view of a young deck hand.
Raven Queen: Pauline Francis (2007)
About Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days before being executed for treason

At the House of the Magician: Mary Hooper (2007)
A young woman who becomes a maid for Dr. Dee, the court magician for Queen Elizabeth

The Devil and his boy: Anthony Horowitz (2000)
London is dirty, distant and dangerous ... but that's where orphan Tom Falconer is heading. And he's got a whole assortment of vicious criminals hot on his heels.

The Lady in the Tower: Mary-Louise Jensen (2009)
Spring 1540. Eleanor's mother is imprisoned after a terrible accusation. When she discovers a plot to murder her mother, she must free her before it is too late. She can trust no one - especially not her father. 

The Red Queen’s Daughter: Jacqueline Kolosov (2007)
The orphaned daughter of Queen Katharine Parr is given the opportunity to study magic and become a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth.

Tarnish: Katherine Longshore (2013)
Anne Boleyn is a new arrival at the court of King Henry VIII who accepts poet Thomas Wyatt's offer to teach her how to become popular.

Mary, Bloody Mary: Carolyn Meyer (1999)
about Mary Tudor, the daughter of King Henry VIII, during her teen years; #1 in the Young Royals series.

Raider’s Tide: Maggie Price (2009)
Strong historical fiction and powerful romantic drama set in border country during Elizabethan times – forbidden passions and family loyalties; heresy and witchcraft, and the burgeoning love of a young girl.

To the Edge of the World: Michele Torrey (2003),
A fourteen-year-old boy who joins the crew of Magellan's ship after his parents die of the plague.

Anne Boleyn and Me: Alison Prince; Bloody Tower; To Kill a Queen: Valerie Wilding
Diaries witnessing Anne Boleyn in Henry’s court, Lady Jane Grey plot and Mary Queen of Scots’ trial. From the My Royal Stories series.


Burning Issy:  Melvin Burgess (2012)
A twelve-year-old girl with mysterious abilities is accused of being a witch. Now she must run - from the Witch-finder, from the evil hag who wants her, from those she loves and maybe even from her own true nature...

The Great Fire of London: Gillian Clements (2002)
A retelling of the story of why the fire started in 1666 and its consequences for London.

Civil War (My story): Vince Cross (2002)
A personal account of the war from 1643-50 by the soldier Thomas Adamson

I Coriander: Sally Gardner (2005)
Coriander’s idyllic childhood in 1650s London ends when her mother dies and her father goes away, leaving her with her stepmother, who is in cahoots with a fundamentalist Puritan preacher. She is shut away in a chest and left to die, but is able to return, charged with a task that will transform her life.

The Dreadful Judgement Neil Hanson (2012)
The Great Fire of London told through the eyes of the individuals caught up in it. Modern knowledge of the physics of fire and forensics combines with eye-witness accounts to depict the terrible reality of the Great Fire

The Merrybegot Julie Hearn (2011)
In a remote village, all is not as it seems. The minister's daughters have taken to bed, howling and spitting. Rumours of witchcraft are spreading, and Matthew Hopkins, the Witch-Finder General, is on his way…

Friends: Though Divided G A Henty (1883)
A classic adventure tale from the Civil War (Free to download here)

The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose: Mary Hooper (2006)
Eliza is befriended by the Charles II's mistress Nell Gwynn after being thrown in prison for stealing bread.

Children of the New Forest: Captain Marryat (1847)
The turbulent setting of the English Civil war provides the background for this classic tale of four orphans as they face adversity, survival in the forest, reconciliation and eventual forgiveness. (Free to download here)

The Great Plague (My story) Pamela Oldfield (2008)
A thrilling story of a young girl during the plague epidemic of 1665.

Simonhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0192714422 Rosemary Sutcliff (1953)
Two childhood friends fight on opposite sides in the English Civil War.

Bonnie Dundee Rosemary Sutcliff (1983)
A boy fights in the army of Viscount Dundee in support of the King James during the 1689 Jacobite Rising

Trumpets in the West: Geoffrey Trease (1994)
Set in the West Country and London in the late 17th century, the story follows the adventures of Somerset boy Jack Norwood. Jack's first love is music, but he is threatened with a career in the wine trade instead…

No Shame, No Fear Ann Turnbull (2012)
1662 – England is reeling from the after-effects of civil war, with its clashes of faith and culture. Seventeen-year-old Will returns home after completing his studies, to begin an apprenticeship and falls in love with Susanna, a young Quaker girl who faces persecution from the government.

The Diary of Samuel Pepys's Clerk Philip Wooderson (2003)
It is 1665 and young tearaway Will Scratch has got a job. He is going to London to work as a clerk for Mr
Pepys at the Navy Office.

18th Century Britain

Cassandra’s Sister: Growing Up Jane Austen Veronica Bennett (2006),
Stories of the young Jane Austen.

Star-Crossed Linda Collison (2006)
An orphaned British girl who goes to sea and dresses as a boy to train as a surgeon's mate; #1 the Patricia MacPherson Nautical Adventure Series.

The White Cockade Janis Dawson (1998),
Jenna goes to live with her Scottish grandfather at the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie. How can she choose between her Jacobean cousin, Ewan, and the dashing English Lieutenant hunting Ewan down?

Coram Boy Jamila Gavin (2004)
A sweeping saga of growing-up, struggle, tradition and corruption  that spans the lives of several fortunate and unfortunate young people in 18th Century England. Winner of the Whitbread Children’s Book Award

Stowaway Karen Hesse (2000)
Eleven-year-old Nicholas Young stows away aboard Captain James Cook's ship Endeavour on its 1768 voyage.

The Highwayman's Footsteps Nicola Morgan (2007)
A young highwayman pursued across the moors by the redcoats.

18th Century Europe (Including the French Revolution)

The Pale Assassin Patricia Elliott (2009)
A girl in a convent school in Paris has no idea that a revolutionary mob is about to change her life; #1 in the Pimpernelles series.

The Red Necklace Sally Gardner (2007)
A fourteen-year-old gypsy boy works as a magician's assistant during the French Revolution.

The Bad Queen Carolyn Meyer (2010);
The story of Marie-Antoinette, the extravagant and doomed last queen of France; #6 in the Young Royals series.

In Mozart’s Shadow Carolyn Meyer (2008)
The story of Nannerl Mozart, sister of the musical prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who also felt a passion for music.

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Updated: June 2014

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