Historical Fiction: 19th-Century 


Westward Expansion & Mexican War 1800-1860
Pre-Victorian & Victorian 1800-1901
Heuston, Kimberley. The Shakeress.
While searching for her true self and for the way to meet the needs of her personal sense of spirituality, an orphaned teenaged girl joins a Shaker community in mid-nineteenth century New England and learns about a new religion called Mormonism.

Holm, Jennifer. Boston Jane.
Schooled in the lessons of etiquette for young ladies of 1854, Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia finds little use for manners during her long sea voyage to the Pacific Northwest and while living among the American traders and Chinook Indians of Washington Territory.

Ives, David. Scrib.
In 1863, a sixteen-year-old boy nicknamed Scrib travels around the West making his living writing and delivering letters, an occupation that leads to him nearly getting killed, being jailed as a criminal, joining up with the notorious Crazy James Kincaid, and delivering a letter from President Abraham Lincoln to a Paiute Indian.

Meyer, L.A. Bloody Jack.
Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.

Morgan, Nicola. Fleshmarket.
In nineteenth-century Scotland, following the death of his mother during surgery, Robbie decides to take revenge on the surgeon who performed the operation, Dr. Robert Knox, and in the process, makes a gruesome discovery about the lengths the medical profession will go to advance its knowledge of anatomy.

Mosley, Walter. 47.
Number 47, a fourteen-year-old slave boy growing up under the watchful eye of a brutal master in 1832, meets the mysterious Tall John, who introduces him to a magical science and also teaches him the meaning of freedom.

Twain, Mark. Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The adventures and pranks of a mischievous boy growing up in a Mississippi River town in the early nineteenth century.

Civil War & Reconstruction 1850-1877
Victorian 1837-1901

Alcott, Louisa Mae. Little Women.
Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young women in nineteenth-century New England.

Brenaman, Miriam. Evvy's Civil War.
In Virginia in 1860, on the verge of the Civil War, fourteen-year-old Evvy chafes at the restrictions that her society places on both women and slaves.

Paterson, Katherine. Rebels of the Heavenly Kingdom.
Abducted from his home by bandits, fifteen-year-old Wang Lee is rescued from slavery by a mysterious girl who introduces him to the Taiping Tienkuo, a secret society partly based on Christian principles and dedicated to the overthrow of the Manchu government.

Paulsen, Gary. Nightjohn.
Sarny, a female slave at the Waller plantation, first sees Nightjohn when he is brought there with a rope around his neck, his body covered in scars. He had escaped north to freedom, but he came back-came back to teach reading. Knowing that the penalty for reading is dismemberment Nightjohn still retumed to slavery to teach others how to read. And twelve-year-old Sarny is willing to take the risk to learn.

Paulsen, Gary. Soldier's Heart.
Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.

Pearsall, Shelley. Trouble Don't Last.
Samuel, an eleven-year-old Kentucky slave, and Harrison, the elderly slave who helped raise him, attempt to escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad.

Peck, Richard. River Between Us.
During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.

Rinaldi, Ann. Amelia's War.
When a Confederate general threatens to burn Hagerstown, Maryland, unless it pays an exorbitant ransom, twelve-year-old Amelia and her friend find a way to save the town.

Taylor, Mildred D. The Land.
After the Civil War Paul, the son of a white father and a black mother, finds himself caught between the two worlds of colored folks and white folks as he pursues his dream of owning land of his own.

Updale, Eleanor. Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman?
In Victorian London, after his life is saved by a young physician, a thief utilizes the knowledge he gains in prison and from the scientific lectures he attends as the physician's case study exhibit to create a new, highly successful, double life for himself.

Industrialization & Reformation 1878-1899
Victorian 1837-1901
Bray, Libba. Great and Terrible Beauty.
After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.

Hobbs, Will. Jason's Gold.
When news of the discovery of gold in Canada's Yukon Territory in 1897 reaches fifteen-year-old Jason, he embarks on a 10,000-mile journey to strike it rich.

Gutman, Dan. The Edison Mystery.
Thirteen-year-old Robert "Qwerty" Stevens uses the time machine he finds in his back yard to visit Thomas Edison's workshop in 1879, and there helps develop the electric light bulb, but then needs his sister's help to return to his own time.

Karr, Kathleen. 7th Knot.
Two brothers touring Europe in 1896 become embroiled in adventures with dungeons and explosions and airships and a mystery involving Albrecht Durer's knot woodcuts and a secret German society when they go in search of their uncle's enigmatic missing valet.

Peyton, K.M. Snowfall.
A dependent girl without money or status has few options in Victorian England, and sixteen-year-old Charlotte Campion-who knows little about the world beyond her stultifying vicarage childhood-is no exception. But when her grandfather arranges to have her marry a man who repels her, Charlotte determines she must find not only excitement in her life, but freedom, too.

Pullman, Philip. Shadow in the North.
In 1878 in London, Sally, now twenty-two and established in her own business, and her companions Frederick and Jim try to solve the mystery surrounding the unexpected collapse of a shipping firm and its ties to a sinister corporation called North Star.

Pullman, Philip. Tin Princess.
In 1882 sixteen-year-old Becky applies for a tutoring job in London and becomes embroiled in assassination, intrigue, and dangerous politics in the small European kingdom of Razkavia.

February 2006



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