Best Children's Historical Fiction

Your favorite children's books with a strong historical setting.
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4.20 avg rating — 251,069 ratings
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4.26 avg rating — 701,963 ratings
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4.08 avg rating — 1,635,882 ratings
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4.14 avg rating — 864,120 ratings
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3.99 avg rating — 130,951 ratings
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4.15 avg rating — 433,064 ratings
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4.37 avg rating — 1,776,642 ratings
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4.18 avg rating — 225,731 ratings
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3.84 avg rating — 282,814 ratings
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10

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4.20 avg rating — 265,540 ratings
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11

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3.82 avg rating — 1,135,087 ratings
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12

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3.99 avg rating — 169,763 ratings
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13

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4.15 avg rating — 75,824 ratings
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14

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4.07 avg rating — 54,533 ratings
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15

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3.78 avg rating — 72,767 ratings
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16

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3.91 avg rating — 739,190 ratings
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17

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4.20 avg rating — 89,728 ratings
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18

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3.65 avg rating — 39,046 ratings
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19

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4.01 avg rating — 46,839 ratings
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20

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3.83 avg rating — 77,261 ratings
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21

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4.22 avg rating — 135,597 ratings
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22

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3.84 avg rating — 109,817 ratings
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23

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4.24 avg rating — 128,640 ratings
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24

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3.72 avg rating — 36,018 ratings
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25

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3.96 avg rating — 232,070 ratings
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26

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3.98 avg rating — 69,217 ratings
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27

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3.83 avg rating — 388,744 ratings
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28

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3.93 avg rating — 94,499 ratings
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29

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4.02 avg rating — 53,050 ratings
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30

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3.72 avg rating — 37,740 ratings
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31

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3.92 avg rating — 102,078 ratings
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32

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4.01 avg rating — 6,713 ratings
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33

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4.10 avg rating — 45,986 ratings
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34

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4.14 avg rating — 82,683 ratings
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35

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4.01 avg rating — 6,387 ratings
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36

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4.19 avg rating — 64,690 ratings
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37

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3.97 avg rating — 20,021 ratings
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38

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3.99 avg rating — 28,582 ratings
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39

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4.18 avg rating — 67,093 ratings
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40

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4.05 avg rating — 47,071 ratings
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41

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3.98 avg rating — 74,684 ratings
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42

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3.81 avg rating — 30,864 ratings
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43

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3.75 avg rating — 14,949 ratings
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44

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4.06 avg rating — 70,525 ratings
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45

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4.24 avg rating — 9,744 ratings
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46

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3.92 avg rating — 263,927 ratings
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47

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3.96 avg rating — 5,233 ratings
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48

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4.11 avg rating — 27,714 ratings
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48

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3.90 avg rating — 7,153 ratings
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50

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4.34 avg rating — 139,705 ratings
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51

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4.28 avg rating — 4,372,248 ratings
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52

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3.94 avg rating — 31,611 ratings
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53

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4.19 avg rating — 79,006 ratings
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54

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4.10 avg rating — 4,271 ratings
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55

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4.08 avg rating — 17,796 ratings
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56

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4.07 avg rating — 2,139 ratings
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57

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3.87 avg rating — 12,067 ratings
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58

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3.92 avg rating — 2,794 ratings
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59

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3.86 avg rating — 105,412 ratings
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60

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4.19 avg rating — 38,396 ratings
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61

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4.03 avg rating — 5,476 ratings
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62

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3.75 avg rating — 67,152 ratings
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63

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3.68 avg rating — 15,668 ratings
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64

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4.03 avg rating — 29,569 ratings
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65

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4.12 avg rating — 15,388 ratings
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66

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3.99 avg rating — 15,640 ratings
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67

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3.98 avg rating — 56,985 ratings
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68

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4.48 avg rating — 11,038 ratings
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69

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4.02 avg rating — 36,984 ratings
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70

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4.17 avg rating — 16,219 ratings
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71

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3.98 avg rating — 9,692 ratings
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72

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3.88 avg rating — 33,989 ratings
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73

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3.67 avg rating — 30,718 ratings
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74

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3.84 avg rating — 2,967 ratings
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75

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4.20 avg rating — 24,253 ratings
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76

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3.84 avg rating — 8,991 ratings
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77

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4.22 avg rating — 22,981 ratings
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78

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3.87 avg rating — 32,841 ratings
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79

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3.89 avg rating — 14,027 ratings
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80

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4.11 avg rating — 41,554 ratings
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81

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 25,701 ratings
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82

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4.03 avg rating — 6,544 ratings
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83

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 27,245 ratings
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84

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4.49 avg rating — 14,356 ratings
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85

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3.98 avg rating — 1,460 ratings
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86

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3.84 avg rating — 39,732 ratings
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87

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3.57 avg rating — 23,274 ratings
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88

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3.88 avg rating — 4,738 ratings
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89

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3.90 avg rating — 9,957 ratings
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90

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3.93 avg rating — 10,454 ratings
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91

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4.15 avg rating — 11,520 ratings
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92

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3.79 avg rating — 16,216 ratings
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93

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3.85 avg rating — 3,078 ratings
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94

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4.07 avg rating — 21,975 ratings
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95

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3.49 avg rating — 11,427 ratings
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96

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3.73 avg rating — 3,394 ratings
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97

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3.99 avg rating — 5,153 ratings
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98

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4.43 avg rating — 11,979 ratings
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99

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4.12 avg rating — 20,666 ratings
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100

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3.93 avg rating — 12,490 ratings
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772 books · 771 voters · list created August 15th, 2008 by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (votes) .
150 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3191 books
850 friends
Angel 875 books
44 friends
Amanda 303 books
67 friends
Nicole 1691 books
65 friends
Emily 83 books
2 friends
Mary 148 books
733 friends
Ashley 1181 books
44 friends
Antoine 949 books
180 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Bialys It has to be 12-year old Makenna Gold. The Virago!


message 2: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Most of these seem to be written more for girls, but The Golden Goblet, The Wind in the Door, Johnny Tremain, and The Bronze Bow are all good for boys. Plus the the Time Warp Trio books are a sort of skewed historical fiction that is really funny for kids.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Carry On, Mr. Bowditch would probably also be good for boys, now that you mention it, Cindy.


message 5: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Thanks to everyone for voting on this list. I started it to tout my favorite characters, but I found some new characters in the process. My favorite so far is Phedre from the Kushiel's Dart series.


message 6: by Janna (new)

Janna Good list, but some should be removed because they aren't historical fiction: The Secret Garden, Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, A Little Princess. Also I think Anne of Green Gables, Mary Poppins, Heidi... I'm pretty sure they are all set in the time they were written.


message 7: by A.C (new)

A.C allthough most of them (who I know) are great my favorite heroine must be Snake from Dreamsnake by Vonda Mcintyre!


message 8: by Kiri (new)

Kiri #24 Pride and Prejudice???? Great novel, yes, great female protagonist, yes, but on a list of best fantasy heroines????

Not enough people have read Elizabeth Moon's fantastic "The Deed of Paksenarrion" clearly, or it would be higher on the list. There is a kick-ass female protagonist making it in a man's world (although she is certainly not the only female mercenary).


message 9: by Wealhtheow (new)

Wealhtheow Heh, everyone recommended The Deed of Paksenarrion to me. I was really disappointed to find it to be wish-fullfillment drek--like Mercedes Lackey or Tamora Pierce, a lot of fun as a tween, not so much later. There's no depth or danger to the protagonist--I never worried if she'd make the right choice or if she'd die. It was a little too clear that Moon thought her main character was the bestest. This the same reason I dislike the Honor Harrington series.


message 10: by Kiri (new)

Kiri Wealhtheow, I suppose it is true that fiction with exceptional main characters could be considered "wish-fulfillment drek", and you could certainly make the point that, including the grandfather of all such novels ("Lord of the Rings"), they present an unrealistic view of the world and the characters lack depth and complexity... But hey, this is a list of "best fantasy heroines", and as a genre fantasy tends to be exactly "wish-fulfillment drek". You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but you must find something to appreciate in fantasy or you wouldn't have even looked at this list.


message 11: by Wealhtheow (new)

Wealhtheow I think there's a huge difference between being a fantasy with a talented or exceptional main character and something I would term "drek." Most of it's writing ability on the part of the author. I mean, I love Alanna of Trebond (from Tamora Pierce), even though she has purple eyes, extra powerful Gift, psychic bond with her cat, relationship with The Goddess, ancient magical sword, prophecies about her...all very wish-fullfillment-y. Yet the author makes her a well-rounded character, with flaws and quirks and her own personality, as opposed to an Authorial Insert.


message 12: by Kiri (new)

Kiri I guess Elizabeth Moon just rubbed you the wrong way! I thought she made Paks quite an interesting character, and I did not find her to be "perfect". She has a quick temper, and for the first two books of the series she struggles with a tendency to trust too readily. I will grant you that I found her a lot less interesting in the second half of the third book - I felt that Moon lost her edge and Paks was suddenly too wise, too knowing.
I too enjoyed the Alanna books, but I gotta say that I found Alanna less interesting in the end because of all her special attributes. As Pierce's characters go I loved Keladry of the "Protector of the Small" quartet - precisely because she has no magical talent she seems much more like an average person who makes good on the basis of hard work and honorable character.


message 13: by Wealhtheow (new)

Wealhtheow I'll always love Alanna best of all Pierce's heroines, because I started the series when I was 10 or 11, Alanna's age. But I agree that Keladry was a refreshing change, and I'm really glad there are fantasy books out there with main characters with no special powers and nothing to rely on beyond their own wits and honor.


message 14: by Anny (new)

Anny Lin These Books Are Amazing!


message 15: by Anny (new)

Anny Lin i love the adventures of tom sawyer


message 16: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen SAD NOT TO SEE THE SACRIFICE OR QUEST
ON THIS LIST


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It's easy to add books to lists; at the top of the list, at the tab next to "All Votes."


message 18: by Pickles (new)

Pickles Please look up the definition of historical fiction, some of tis stuff is not even CLOSE to historical fiction. I mean what historical event is "To kill a mockingbird" about?? You guys are completely useless


message 19: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Arrowsmith To Kill a Mockingbird is about the way people lived in the American Deep South in the 1930s, and therefore is a historical novel. It is also based on a true event, a trial of a black man in 1936.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads On the other hand, is it really for children?


message 21: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Arrowsmith Not really - it just has main characters who are children. Though I read it when I was about eleven.


message 22: by Rosella (new)

Rosella Janna, I don't know about all of the ones you listed, but the Anne of Green Gables series and the Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn books (yes, there were more than the two) were set in the time period of the author's childhood, so yes they were written as historical fiction.
Pickles, historical fiction means the books take place in an historical time period. Not that they tell about a specific event.


message 23: by Marleny (new)

Marleny My daughter saw the movie To Kill A Mockingbird when she was 12 and enjoyed it so much that she read the book. It's actually sold as a young adult book. It's also been read by high schoolers so I guess those are teens/kids. However, I'd agree it's not a book for the elementary and middle school reader.


message 24: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Johnson Pickles wrote: "Please look up the definition of historical fiction, some of tis stuff is not even CLOSE to historical fiction. I mean what historical event is "To kill a mockingbird" about?? You guys are complete..."

I agree not all of them are great picks...but I have looked up the definition of historical fiction (after all I'm a librarian) and there are several types of historical fiction. It doesn't have to be based on a specific event.


message 25: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Johnson Janna wrote: "Good list, but some should be removed because they aren't historical fiction: The Secret Garden, Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, A Little Princess. Also I think Anne of Green Gables, Mary Poppins, Heidi... ..."

Contemporary fiction becomes historical fiction as it ages (so said my librarian professor).


message 26: by Kate (last edited May 04, 2014 07:19AM) (new)

Kate In terms of genre, contemporary fiction does NOT become historical fiction as it ages - it becomes a period piece. Therefore, books like Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables are not historical fiction; they're period pieces or classics. Readers might perceive these books to be historical fiction, and so the way they are read changes, but the fact that they were written by a contemporary of the time period doesn't.

Since there seems to be dissent about what should be included on this list, for now I'm only removing books that are not directed at children. Is the list creator still around to specify what he or she intended when creating this book list?


message 27: by Rosella (new)

Rosella Kate wrote: "In terms of genre, contemporary fiction does NOT become historical fiction as it ages - it becomes a period piece. Therefore, books like Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables are not historic..."

I don't have an opinion about contemporary fiction becoming historical fiction, but I'd like to point out that by your own definition the Anne of Green Gable series is historical fiction. L.M. Montgomery wrote the early books based on her childhood and thus set them a couple of decades earlier. For proof, note how the last couple of books foreshadow WWI.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I am indeed around. I didn't intend for say, older contemporary novels to be included.

I don't know enough about the writing of Anne of Green Gables to address that, but Little Women certainly isn't "historical fiction." Or The Secret Garden.

I don't mind the Little House books.


message 29: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Johnson Actually there are multiple lines of thought on that one...and some of them, to which I agree say that contemporary fiction does become historical fiction as it ages.


message 30: by Pam (new)

Pam great list to check out


message 31: by Lolade (new)

Lolade Hello,

The Horse & His Boy is NOT historical fiction. It's fantasy. Perhaps those 17 voters need to give it another look. Horses do not talk.

Okay. Bye.


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