Random wars? Check.
Old men with wigs? Check.
Endless lists of monarchs and dictators? Check, check, and check.
With topics like this, it’s no wonder history class can seem dull. When everything seems so dead and gone, how can the past excite your average 6th or 7th grader?
Here at Literati, we have a solution—the thrill and imagination of historical fiction books.
With rich characters and engrossing stories, these reads spark life back into history. Our Club Phoenix tales of ancient cultures, underground societies, and historic scandals will convince your middle schooler that history isn’t dead—it’s a force that powers our everyday lives.
Here in the Real World – Growing Up Through History’s Magic
Ware has always felt like a lone wolf—he much prefers solo fantasies of Medieval duels over soccer practice. So when his parents send him off to summer camp, he can’t help but feel disappointed. Luckily, Ware finds an unlikely partner-in-sword-fighting through the mysterious Jolene. The pair skip activities to build their own historical sanctuary, an abandoned church perfect for knightly activities.
But alas, a threat looms near their dear castle!
Now, Ware and Jolene must use the knights’ Code of Chivalry to defend their manor—and learn a few social skills along the way.
With this playful take on medieval history and preteen years, Sara Pennypacker creates an anthem for introverts. Humorous and touching, Here in the Real World will help your middle schooler find their place in the world.
The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB – A Mystery of Viking Size
Image Source: https://www.adamshaughnessy.com/books
What is the unbelievable FIB?
That’s the question thrust upon eleven-year-old Pru, scribbled on an anonymous postcard. After the death of her detective father, she’s shied away from friends and activities. But now, a mystery from the past is calling her—one filled with Nordic myths and Viking lore.
Following a series of strange events (an odd man at the Vikings artifacts museum exhibit, uncommon weather, that cryptic letter), Pru decides it’s time to put on her own detective hat. With her friend Abe, she’s ready to confront these mysterious forces of historical magic—and her own grief.
Combining mystery, fantasy, and history, Unbelievable FIB sneakily leads readers down Nordic mythology and history. It’s one of the best chapter books to open the historical fiction gates—after all, who can resist tales of lightning-powered gods?
Season of the Witch – A Potion of Folklore, Mythology, and History
Flying broomsticks, black cats, cackling laughs, hundred-year curses—most kids start out with the same idea of a “witch.” But what if all witches weren’t so evil and menacing?
In fact, what if witches were an essential part of our history?
Enter Season of the Witch, an illustrated guide to our history’s most magical figures. Walk alongside Ancient Egypitian priestesses, Voodoo masters, and Nordic healers as the book explores (and beautifully illustrates) just how witches have cast a spell on our cultural history.
Blending mythical tales with real-life events, Season of the Witch is the perfect gateway to more advanced historical fiction. Before you know it, your kid will be under the can’t-put-it-down hex.
The Lost Property Office: Section 13, Book 1 – Adventures in Old London
Jack Buckles is a finder—like, really an expert finder. He’s got an uncanny knack for locating abandoned items, from felt hats to crumpled notes.
But when Jack’s father goes missing in the London streets, all seems lost. This is one item Jack can’t find for himself.
Or can he?
On a quest to save his family, Jack and his friend Gwen turn to the London underground. However, a centuries-old scandal unearths when Jack discovers his father was a tracker for the Royal Lost Property Office. Now it’s Jack’s turn to take up the detective mantle—or else his family may be lost forever.
Soaring through London sites and history, The Lost Property Office is an action-historical fiction hybrid. Gripping and clever, it’s one of the best books for young adults hungry for historical thrills.
Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History – Busting HIstory’s Best Cons
Alright, alright. Maybe it’s not historical fiction. But Famous Phonies is still a unique and hilarious look at some of history’s “good guys.” Turns out there’s more than meets the textbook paragraph.
Perhaps you know Shakespeare? Homer? Even the saintly George Washington? Yep, they all had a little trickster up their sleeve. Brianna Dumont’s writing exposes the cons and scandals buried under historical legacies. Get ready for some big laughs and deep gasps.
With cute entries like Top Confucius Sayings (That Would Totally Rule on Twitter), Famous Phonies stays educational and entertaining. Share the past’s most scandalous secrets with your favorite young reader.
Cruise Through History Class with Our Historical Fiction Reads
Sometimes, kids need a little sparkle and fun to make learning stick. After all, imagination is one of the greatest tools to teach—and it’s one of historical fiction’s best gifts.
For stubborn students or history buffs, our Club Phoenix selections make the past leap off the page (it’s a no-boredom guarantee). Give these books to your favorite middle school reader, and history will definitely be on your side.