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Historical Fiction - North America: Book Suggestions for Comp

How to use this guide

Click on a tab to find a selection of books from a particular US time period.  The library is always adding new books and accepts suggestions so don't hesitate to stop by or search the catalog.  


What is historical fiction?

The genre of historical fiction includes stories that are written to portray a time period or convey information about a specific time period or an historical event. Usually the event or time period is about 30 years in the past.

In historical fiction, setting is the most important literary element. Because the author is writing about a particular time in history, the information about the time period must be accurate, authentic, or both. To create accurate and authentic settings in their books, authors must research the time period thoroughly. They must know how people lived, what they ate, what kinds of homes they had, and what artifacts were a common part of their lives.

Historical fiction books—whether they are picture books, transitional books, or novels—may have characters who are either imaginary or who actually lived during the time period. Settings also may be real or imaginary. The plot events may be documented historical events or they may be fictional. If they are fictional, it means that the author created the events for the telling of the story. The fictional characters, settings, and plot events must be portrayed authentically as if they actually could have happened.

Adapted from Read*Write*Think

Ms. Hopkins, School Librarian

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Rachel Hopkins
44 Geremonty Rd. Salem, NH 03079