I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!

Search This Blog

Friday, July 10, 2015

Trends and Recommendations in YA Historical Fiction

During the Historical Novel Society Conference this year, one topic that seemed to pop up in one way or another in every panel I attended, what young adult historical fiction novels.  Much of what was discussed was from readers who can't find enough choices and from authors who tend to have a harder time pitching YA novel to agents.  So one of the first things that I wanted to check out when I got home was what recent YA HF novels have been released.  I always tend to recommend novels from those whom I consider classic YA authors: Ann Rinaldi, Libba Bray, Carolyn Meyer, Scott O'Dell, and Eva Ibbotson.  Even though some of their novels were released a long time ago, I find them still relevant today and books that I love to share. 


During the survey of recently released YA novels (recent within the last 5 years or so) available on Amazon, I found a couple trends:

  • There appears to be more YA novels set in the United States than I typically see in adult novels and they appear across all time periods.  One critique I have heard is that not enough adult HF is set in America.
  • There appears to be less focus on royals and more on youth in interesting situations and settings - Africa, musicians, times of war
  • One publisher that I have noticed that publishes a decent amount of YA HF is Bloomsbury Children - I have enjoyed many of their books


Now for some recommendations - I have only read a couple of these, the rest are based purely because they looked interesting - a couple I do have on my TBR:

Michaela MacColl

  • Prisoners in the Palace - My Review
  • Promise the Night - My Review
  • The Revelation of Louisa May
  • Nobody’s Secret
  • Always Emily

Esther Friesner

  • Threads and Flames - On My TBR - Focuses on the Triangle Fire, so I'm excited for this one.

Princesses of Myth Series: Each is a 2 book series, I'm assuming there will be a sequel for Deception's Princess

  • Nobody’s Princess
  • Nobody’s Prize
  • Sphinx Princess - On My TBR
  • Sphinx Queen
  • Spirit’s Princess
  • Spirit’s Chosen
  • Deception’s Princess

Susanne Dunlap

  • The Musician’s Daughter - On My TBR
  • Anastasia’s Secret - On My TBR
  • In the Shadow of the Lamp - On My TBR
  • The Academie
  • Emilie’s Voice
  • Liszt’s Kiss

Lavender_Aftershock_1.inddbehind enemy linesjeffersons sons

Livia Bitton-Jackson

  • I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust
  • My Bridges of Hope: Searching for Life and Love After Auschwitz
  • Hello, America

Sherri L. Smith

  • Flygirl

Seymour Reit

  • Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy
  • Guns for General Washington: A Story of the American Revolution

Padma Venkatraman

  • Climbing the Stairs

Kirby Larson

  • Hattie Big Sky
  • Hattie Ever After

Caroline B Cooney

  • The Ransom of Mercy Carter

L.M. Elliott

  • Annie, Between the States

Mary E. Lyons

  • Letters from a Slave Girl

Vicky Alvear Shecter

  • Cleopatra’s Moon - On My TBR
  • Curses and Smoke - On My TBR

lettersfromaslavegirlopheliapromise the night

Dina L. Sleiman

Valiant Hearts Series

  • Dauntless
  • Chivalrous

William Lavender

  • Just Jane
  • Aftershocks

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

  • For Freedom
  • Jefferson’s Sons
  • The Lacemaker and the Princess

Lisa Klein

  • Two Girls of Gettysburg
  • Ophelia - On My TBR
  • Cate of the Lost Colony - On My TBR
  • Lady Macbeth’s Daughter - On My TBR
  • Love Disguised

Norah Perez

  • The Slopes of War

There are SOOO many more out there too!  If you are looking for even more recommendations, Amazon has a great sub-category for it and there are some excellent lists on Goodreads.  My guess is it might not be as easy to find these titles on the bookshelves of your local book store, but there are definitely choices available online!


Have you read any recent YA HF that I have not mentioned here?  Any special things you are looking for in YA HF?  I would love to hear it!!



Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I have The Revelation of Louisa May sitting on my shelf. Now to find time to read it!

  2. Sounds good. I have reviewed a few of Lisa Klein's books.


Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!