Historical Young Adult Fiction Around the World

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Article in Young Adult Fiction, Location, Historical, and Diversity categories.

North America

Canada

Lyn, who works in a reconstructed colonial settlement in Nova Scotia, finds herself transported back to 1744, when the French inhabitants are at war with England.
When an injury keeps his father from going into northern Canada with fur traders, 13-year old Pierre decides to take his father's place.

Mexico

15-year-old Lorenzo is conscripted into the Mexican Army and finds himself in the middle of the battle for the Alamo against the Americans.

Latin America

When Marta's father, a newspaper editor who persistently attacks the military dictator of their Latin American country, decides to take a moral stand, the family becomes political prisoners.

Europe

Elenor and Thomas, unhapy at being chosen by their families to be wed, discover love and respect for each other during a pilgrimage taking them across Europe to Spain.

Check the titles in Holocaust fiction for stories from the era of World War II.

Great Britain

A fictional account of the life of Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, who led British tribes in a revolt against the Romans in 62 A.D.
An inexperienced Roman army officer is sent to England as a punishment to command a group known as the Frontier Wolves.
Galwyn, son of a Roman Celt, escapes from his tyrannical uncle and joins King Arthur to acquire the Libyan horses that Arthur hopes to use in battle against the Saxons.
Evyn's experiences as slave to King Harold of England.
Will's dreams of experiencing the adventure and excitement of aknight come true when, as a page at his uncle's castle, he becomes involved in a battle for control of the English throne.
Catherine knows the limitations of women in the Middle Ages, but her diary tells of her dreams of adventure and her efforts to avoid being married off until she experiences those adventures.
In medieval England, a homeless girl is taken in by a midwife and finds stability and a purpose in life.
King Arthur prepares to assure his role as the rightful ruler of England, which will be guaranteed to the person who removes a sword placed in a stone by the magician Merlinnus...until someone removes the sword first.
During the Scottish uprising against the English throne, Jeannie's loved ones are in great danger, and she must seek out the Kelpie, a Scottish spirit in the form of a horse, in the hopes of saving her family.
Sally, recently orphaned, becomes involved in a deadly search for a mysterious ruby.
Sally tackles the mystery surrounding the 1878 collapse of a shipping firm and its ties to the sinister North Star.
In London in 1881, Sally finds her young daughter and her possessions assailed by an unknown enemy, while a shadowy figure involves her in his plot to defraud and exploit recent immigrants.
In Victorian-era London, a badly injured thief is brought back to health by an innovative physician and uses the knowledge he has gained about the city's new sewer system to create a profitable dual life for himself. Continued in *Montmorency on the Rocks: Doctor, Aristocrat, Murderer?, *Montmorency and the Assassins, and *Montmorency's Revenge.
A battered child learns to trust again when he is adopted by an old man during World War II.
At a 1950's boarding school, Toby befriends a boy who claims to be Jesus Christ.

France

In this fictionalized account, Gabrielle joins her friend Joan of Arc on a pilgrimage to learn about the art of healing and to help crown the French king.
In a very oppressive, hysterical era, Rose's mother is accused of being a witch, and Rose is challenged with clearing her name.
In this gripping story of one soldier's efforts to save a Jewish boy from the Nazis, the quiet heroics of ordinary people caught in war come to life.
With German soldiers rapidly advancing on France, Jo and Benjamin devise an escape plan for Jews being hidden in the area.

Netherlands

A modern story of Jacob, an English teen who travels to Amsterdam and meets a Dutch woman who had cared for his soldier grandfather when he was wounded in battle alternates with an historical tale narrated by the woman about her relationship with Jacob's grandfather during World War II.

Denmark

Annemarie helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis during Germany's occupation of Denmark during World War II.

Germany

On a school trip to Germany in 1937, a Danish boy becomes involved in the activities of the anti-Nazi underground.
Alice has lived hidden away with her grandparents in Nazi Germany. But they have been discovered and are now riding on a train with other Jews to an unknown destination.
Death tells the story of a young girl in World War II-era Germany, whose book stealing helps to sustain her and others around her through the horrors of the war.

Austria

A Jewish girl and the daughter of a Nazi have been best friends for years, but with the onset of World War II, they find their friendship difficult to maintain.

Italy

Working as an artist's apprentice in Renaissance Florence, Arduino makes a discovery that may cost him the chance to become a painter.

Poland

Upon his father's death, Matt becomes both an orphan and a king. His hope is for children and adults to truly understand one another, but his idealism is viewed with suspicion by others in power.
Living on the outskirts of the Warsaw ghetto during World War II, Marek and his grandparents shelter a Jewish man from the Nazis.

Greece

A fictional account of the Trojan War, as told by Helen of Troy and Cassandra.

Africa

Morocco

In this sequel to *The Ramsay Scallop, Etienne reaches the Middle East in 1302, where he meets an engaged couple who are separated because of warring tribes.

Northwestern Africa

After witnessing the annihilationh of his people by El Muerte's legions, Tarik undergoes training in order to destroy the fierce leader.

Egypt

A retelling of the story of Moses and his sister Almah, told from both their viewpoints.

Nigeria

Okonkwo and his family see their native ways challenged when his favorite son converts to Christianity.

South Africa

As Kathy grows up in South Africa in the 1960's, she gradually learns how the Apartheid society will judge her based on her skin color.


Middle East

Israel

The story of Miriam, who grows up in ancient Israel to become Mary Magdalene.
Having survived the Holocaust, Ruth is recruited by the Jewish underground to help smuggle children into Palestine.
In this sequel to AFTER THE WAR, Ruth and her friends are struggling for the formation of a Jewish state.
Yulek, believing he's the only member of his family to survive the German concentration camps during World War II, joins other Jews who are headed for a kibbutz in Israel, unaware that his aunt in London is trying to find him.

Asia

India

Thirteen-year-old Leela's structured life and arranged marriage comes to an end when her husband dies, leaving her a widow but also aware for the first time of the changes taking place in India during the era of Gandhi's reforms.

China

Brothers chen and Hong experience adventure and a secret society while traveling across the country in order for Chen to take government examinations that will determine his future.
After being abducted by bandits, Wang Lee is rescued from slavery gy a girl who introduces him to a secret society planning the overthrow of the Manchu government.

Japan

The daughters of a Japanese feudal lord, barred from being samurai due to their gender, disguise themselves as boys to seek revenge against a relative who had betrayed the family. The story continues in *Chasing the Secret and *Journey through Fire.
Taro, an orphan, is taken in by a great warlord and grows up to be a samurai fighting for the enemies of his dead family.
Sixteen-year-old Toyo is receiving a modern education in the changing Japanese society of the 1890s but learns to draw from traditional practices as well when playing on his school's baseball team.

Korea

Sookan survives the oppressive Japanese and Russian occupation of North Korea and later escapes to freedom in South Korea.

Australia and South Pacific

New Zealand

Alex struggles to overcome personal trauma and hardship as she competes with a rival for a spot on New Zealand's swimming team at the 1960 Olympics.