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"Modern" Historical Fiction

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Michaela MacColl

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I need to write an article about historical fiction for our times.  How do we as writers and researchers bring history to our young readers? My agent thinks I should be discussing current novels. For example, I just finished The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. It did such a good job of connecting the reader with the 12 year old main character. We entered her experience on so many levels: sensory, emotional, etc.
Any reading suggestions for recent books (say within the past five years)  that may be about earlier times but speak to people now?  Please feel free to mention your own books! I appreciate any help anybody can give me.
#1 - April 14, 2010, 04:03 PM

My upper middle grade novel, Escaping The Tiger, just came out in March, and covers the time period from 1982-1986, which might be considered fairly recent historical fiction. It's set in a refugee camp in SE Asia and deals with a family hoping to come to America. Plenty of ripe sensory details in this one, from food to latrines to sweat. Yum!!
#2 - April 15, 2010, 04:46 AM
ESCAPING THE TIGER, Bank Street's "Best Books of the Year"
http://lauramanivong.wordpress.com

LRM,

Your novel sound fascinating. I keep being told recent historical won't sell. I've written one set in the 60s, so I guess there's hope. Can I ask who your agent is? If you don't want to mention it here, you can PM me.

Thanks
#3 - April 15, 2010, 07:31 AM
Come join my novel writing journey where I often offer writing tips at www.paulwwest.com, and find my novel Bridgetown High set in Crockett, Californi

ShannonH

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BLUE by Joyce Moyer Hostetter (set during WWII)

THE MISADVENTURES OF MAUDE MARCH by Audrey Couloumbis (set in 1869)

WINNIE'S WAR by Jenny Moss (1918)

GABRIEL'S HORSES by Alison Hart (Civil War)

THE ENTERTAINER and the DYBBUK by Sid Fleischman (immediately following WWII)

THE SACRIFICE by Kathleen Benner Duble (Salem Witch Trials)

A SEASON OF GIFTS by Richard Peck (1958)

WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS by Fran Cannon Slayton (1943)

I love historical fiction!!





#4 - April 15, 2010, 07:51 AM

mariannabaer

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CHAINS and FEVER 1793, both by Laurie Halse Anderson.
#5 - April 15, 2010, 08:24 AM

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And of course this year's Newbery, When You Reach Me. Another "recent historical" (1979, I believe.) I see no reason recent historical shouldn't sell, even though I keep hearing that too. The 80s and earlier are to today's kids what Depression-era stories were to me: Ancient!
#6 - April 15, 2010, 09:02 AM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
www.marciahoehne.com

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Any reading suggestions for recent books (say within the past five years)  that may be about earlier times but speak to people now?  Please feel free to mention your own books! I appreciate any help anybody can give me.

I hope that any book, even if about the past, will speak to today's readers.

My hope is that when girls read my books, they'll understand just how life has changed for women in the last two hundred years...and that being strong has *always* been a good thing.  :)
#7 - April 15, 2010, 09:13 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

mariannabaer

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Oh, I think that maybe I was confused by the request. I thought you were looking for historical fiction about any time period, that was written recently. If that's not the case -- if you're looking for "historical" fiction that takes place more recently -- I retract my recommendations and instead recommend WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED, by Judy Blundell. 20th century.
#8 - April 15, 2010, 09:23 AM
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 11:23 AM by mrb »

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My YA novel, Stuck in the 70s (Penguin, 2007), is about a girl from the present who accidentally time travels to 1978. It's entirely set in 1978.
#9 - April 15, 2010, 10:14 AM
Author of SILVER PONY RANCH and ZEKE MEEKS series

http://www.DebraLGreen.com

hart

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There's a new book called Crazy Summer set in the 1960's that, besides being a great story about three sisters sent to spend the summer with the mother who abandoned them, does a credible job of explaining the Black Panther movement. It's by Rita Garcia Williams. Horn book online has an interview. --hart
#10 - April 15, 2010, 10:17 AM

Michaela MacColl

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Oh, I think that maybe I was confused by the request. I thought you were looking for historical fiction about any time period, that was written recently. If that's not the case -- if you're looking for "historical" fiction that takes place more recently -- I retract my recommendations and instead recommend WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED, by Judy Blundell. 20th century.

That is what I meant. I think all of us know the classics -- but I'm interested in new takes on old historiy! I agree -- What I Saw was terrific. All these responses are great! Keep them coming!
#11 - April 15, 2010, 04:08 PM

Well, heck, in that case, there are a bunch of 2010 debuts in HF, in addition to mine...

Leaving Gee's Bends, Irene Latham
The Red Umbrella, Christina Gonzalez
Shooting Kabul, NH Senzai
#12 - April 16, 2010, 06:46 AM
ESCAPING THE TIGER, Bank Street's "Best Books of the Year"
http://lauramanivong.wordpress.com

Kate Kae

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BILLIE STANDISH WAS HERE by Nancy Crocker; happens in the 70s and is terrific

NORTHERN LIGHTS by Jennifer Donnelly; a turn-of-the-century story based on a real murder mystery.
#13 - April 16, 2010, 06:58 AM

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Just read a blog entry about a new book called Countdown about a girl in the 1960s during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Here's the info: 

http://community.livejournal.com/thru_the_booth/174710.html
#14 - April 16, 2010, 09:01 AM
You're never too old to become younger. - Mae West

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Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

Lost by Jacqueline Davies

Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards

(Hi Michaela!)  :bicycle

Bette Anne
#15 - April 16, 2010, 12:14 PM

Erin Edwards

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A Thousand Never Evers, by Shana Burg
#16 - April 19, 2010, 06:18 PM

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Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthur trilogy (including and especially the fourth book, Crossing to Paradise)
#17 - April 19, 2010, 07:10 PM

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