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Five Historical Fiction Summer Reads

Today the weather will be hot where I live, and the summer is projected to be hot and dry. Again. Nothing to do but stay inside the air-conditioned house and read. I know absolutely everyone has a summer reading list, so I’m going to try and recommend some books you may not have come across. Keep in mind I read and write historical fiction, and this blog is dedicated to real women that no one knows about. I appreciate books that are well-researched with compelling characters.

Historical Young Adult: Susanna’s Midnight Ride: The Girl Who Won the Revolutionary War by Libby Carty McNamee

This book starts with a somewhat timid sixteen-year-old girl, Susanna Bolling, and describes her life in Virginia during the Revolutionary War. When the British come to her family’s plantation, though, Susanna overhears secret plans and has to grow up and be brave in a hurry. Based on the life of the real Susanna Bolling, this is a great book for students studying the Revolutionary War.

Historical WWII.: The Berlin Zookeeper by Anna Stuart

This is a dual timeline novel, set in Berlin in the present and during the war. Several women stay at the zoo to care for the animals during the bombing raids that send people fleeing from the city. Ten year old Adelaide plays with her baby sister and the monkeys. Then her mother’s closest friend arranges to evacuate the children and animals. What results causes a secret that the modern-day Bethan must unravel.

Historical Middle East: The Sky Worshipers by F.M. Deemyad

First of all, this book has one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen. The story has princesses, kidnapping, and issues of diversity. It tells of Marco Polo, the silk road, and three women, princesses of China, Poland, and Persia, who are captured by Genghis Khan. The sublime writing brings the reader right into the culture and time period. My favorite book this year!

Historical Mystery: Face Down In Rising Sun: A Missing Small Town Girl and the Crime That Shocked the World  by KD Allbaugh

Clara Olson is a small town girl from Wisconsin who is bowled over by the handsome and worldly Erdman. Erdman’s fast-paced life among the speakeasies is a far cry from Clara’s family farm. She loves the excitement, but she’s unable to cope with Erdman’s way of life. This is based on the true story of a missing girl and presents a possible solution.  

Historical Adventure: Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas by Morgan Llywelyn

Grace O’Malley was a real pirate in the sixteenth century. A female pirate. This story tells of her toughness as a captain as well as the highs and lows of her love life. She is fierce in her push for Irish unity, but along the way she learns to love. Her lifetime struggle, pitting her clan against the forces of England’s Queen Elizabeth, make for great reading.

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