Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Historical Fiction Week - the book that started it all...

Happy Historical Fiction Week!

I wasn't kidding when I mentioned that in my review of "The Wicked and the Just". It's official. I just love historical fiction. I like to imagine that these books are my very own Tardis. Who doesn't want to be a Time Lord?
Today, I want to open up the discussion to all of you. What piece of middle grade or young adult historical fiction really made an impact on your life? For me, it was Karen Cushman's "Catherine Called Birdy".

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this book, it's the diary of a girl from the 13th century who feels traps. She would rather be "crusading, swinging my sword at heathens and sleeping under starry skies on the other end of the world" rather than fishing for a husband and learning lady like things. Catherine's story gives you a taste of a young girl's life and the troubles girls faced at such a young age. She's a strong willed girl whose interests and ambition are ahead of her time.

The author, Karen Cushman, is also an incredibly sweet and humble woman, despite the many honors she's won for her incredible books! I was lucky enough to meet her at KidLitCon last September and am looking forward to interviewing her for the podcast later this year.

So tell me, what book triggered your love of historical fiction? I want to know!


  1. One of my all-time favorites: "Jacob I Have Loved" by Katherine Paterson.
    "The Devil's Arithmetic" by Jane Yolen.

  2. I remember reading that book and enjoying it. It's probably still on my shelves somewhere.

  3. I remember reading Lyddie as an undergraduate also by Katherine Paterson. I loved the time period. For me, it was comparing the life of a teen 200 years ago to the lives of teens today.

    Also, I love Catherine Called Birdy. :)

  4. Great question!

    The first historical fiction I can remember reading (or rather, having read to me) is Laura Ingalls Wilder. It seems like I've always read historical fiction-- Betsy-Tacy, Anne of Green Gables, and I guess those are middle grade.

    I've always been fascinated with learning about life in another time and place. I think the Little House books instilled that fascination in me, because so much of the appeal of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books is in the little details about how things were done back then- their clothing, daily routines, meals, etc.

  5. Hey there,

    for me it would be The High Crusade by Poul Anderson. It is so unbelievable that it is actually believable, I guess, even thou it is fictional...


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