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Six Spins on Historical Fiction YA Novels

Michaela MacColl The Children’s Book Review | April 30, 2015

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YA Historical Fiction

Picture courtesy of Stacey Lee.

As the clock passes the release date (April 28th! Huzzah!) of The Revelation of Louisa May, I found myself in Texas at the Texas Library Association’s Annual Meeting. I’m on a panel with five other writers who, like me, are putting their spin on historical fiction. Between us we cover historical mysteries, contemporary historical reinterpretations, steampunk, historical romances, and more. I have received copies of all my co-panelist’s books but haven’t had a chance to read most of them yet. They are at the top of my [To Be Read] pile. Let me tell you what fun is waiting for me:

Lady Thief- A Scarlet Novel By A.C. GaughenLady Thief

Written by A.C. Gaughen

This is a sequel to Scarlet, a wonderful book recasting Will Scarlet in Robin Hood’s merry band of thieves as a very cool girl. It’s a love story but also a great adventure. I loved Scarlet and am looking forward to seeing the next installment. And happily, the third book, Lion Heart comes out in May.

Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0802737885

The Inventor's Secret By Andrea CremerThe Inventor’s Secret

Written by Andrea Cremer

The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery. I love steampunk. Add in alternate history and I’m there!

Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Philomel Books | 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0399159626

The Conjurer's Riddle (The Inventor's Secret)The Conjurer’s Riddle

Written by Andrea Cremer

The sequel [to The Inventor’s Secret], The conjurer’s Riddle[,] takes our intrepid protagonist to the mystical bayou of New Orleans.

Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Philomel Books | November 3, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0399164248

Under a Painted Sky By Stacey LeeUnder a Painted Sky

Written by Stacey Lee

I’m so excited to read this book. How often do we get a multi-cultural look at the Oregon Trail? Stacey has a Chinese-american protagonist and a runaway slave heading west for the California gold rush. Did I mention they are girls disguised as boys? The author’s own ancestors came from China in the days of the cowboys. Can’t wait for this one!

Ages 12 and up | Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers | November 3, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0399168031

Love, Lucy By April LindnerLove, Lucy

Written by April Lindner

I write literary mysteries about famous authors. April is retelling classics in a modern way. Love, Lucy is a new take on Room with a View by E M Forster, and Jane, of course, is based on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (coincidentally the subject of my book Always Emily). What’s not to love? And what a wonderful way to introduce young readers to these amazing books?

Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Poppy | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0316400695

no cover yetOut of Darkness

Written by Ashley Perez

Ashley’s book concerns the 1937 New London, Texas, school explosion, which claimed the lives of nearly 300 children and teachers. What a timely book these days when we’re all a little more afraid that we used to be to send our kids to school. I know this is going to be a tough read – but absolutely worth it!

Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Carolrhoda Books | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1467742023

About Michaela MaColl

Michaela MacColl (c) Melanie Lust

Michaela MacColl
Photo credit: Melanie Lust

Michaela attended Vassar College and Yale University earning degrees in multi-disciplinary history. Unfortunately, it took her 20 years before she realized she was learning how to write historical fiction. Her favorite stories are the ones she finds about the childhood experiences of famous people. She has written about a teenaged Queen Victoria (Prisoners in the Palace, Chronicle 2010) and Beryl Markham’s childhood (Promise the Night, Chronicle 2011). She is writing a literary mystery series for teens featuring so far a young Emily Dickinson in Nobody’s Secret (2013) and the Bronte sisters in Always Emily (2014).  She has recently begun a new series with Boyd’s Mill/Highlights called Hidden Histories about odd events in America’s past. The first entry in the series is Rory’s Promise and will be published in September 2014. She frequently visits high schools and has taught at the Graduate Institute in Bethel, CT.   She lives in Westport CT with her husband, two teenaged daughters and three extremely large cats.

www.michaelamaccoll.com | Facebook | Twitter

Revelation of Louisa May_FC_HiResThe Revelation of Louisa May

Written by Michaela MacColl

Publisher’s Synopsis: Louisa May Alcott can’t believe it—her mother is leaving for the summer to earn money for the family and Louisa is to be in charge of the household. How will she find the time to write her stories, much less have any adventures of her own? But before long, Louisa finds herself juggling her temperamental father, a mysterious murder, a fugitive seeking refuge along the Underground Railroad, and blossoming love. Intertwining fact, fiction, and quotes from Little Women, Michaela MacColl has crafted another spunky heroine whose story will keep readers turning pages until the very end.

Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Chronicle Books | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1452133577

Available Here: 

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For the CCSS-Aligned Discussion/Teacher’s Guide, visit: http://www.chroniclebooks.com

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Revelation of Louisa May, by Michaela MacColl. Giveaway ends May 29, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST. US and Canadian addresses only. Enter here»

Michaela MacColl, author of The Revelation of Louisa May, selected the historical fiction young adult novels featured in this list. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with , and .

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