Top 10 Historical Fiction Chapter Books

Top 10 Historical Fiction Chapter Books & GIVEAWAY

I’m part of the Between the Lines by Claudia Whitsitt blog tour, a historical fiction chapter book. Today, I have Claudia posting on her Top 10 favorite historical fiction chapter books for kids. This came about because my 10-year-old son in 4th grade has been on a steady diet of action adventure chapter books, mostly by Rick Riordan.

His teacher this year wanted him to branch out into different genres and he discovered that he also likes historical fiction after reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis, So Far From Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, An Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 (Dear America Series) by Barry Denenberg, and Joshua’s Song by Joan Hiatt Harlow. We will picking summer reading books from this list!

How about you and your kids? What favorite historical fiction chapter books have you enjoyed? Please share!

Top Ten Historical Fiction for Kids from Claudia Whitsitt

10. Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Spears

In this tale of survival, thirteen-year-old Matt is left alone in the wilderness during colonial times. The details about living in the wild and the relationships that form between Matt and the Native Americans of the 1700s are both fascinating and educational, and provide opportunities for great discussions. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

9. Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit

In this true story, Emma Edmonds, posing as a man, enlists in the Union Army and as a cunning master of disguise risks discovery and death behind Confederate Lines. This is one of my absolute favorite works of historical fiction. Both captivating and realistic, Emma is a wonderful example of a strong, brave woman. [young adult, ages 12 and up]

8. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Based on the actual epidemic of yellow fever in Philadelphia, readers are swept into Mattie Cook’s world and her desperation when she and her grandfather must flee their town. I love the vivid details and the depth of character in this novel. A must read for all! [young adult, ages 10 and up]

7. The Keeping Room By Anna Meyers

A coming of age story, The Keeping Room showcases the bravery of twelve-year-old Joseph Kershaw when he is left as the man of the house while his father goes off to lead the American Rebels against the British. I love this book for the strong messages it offers about war. [chapter book, ages 7 and up]

6. Lyddie by Katherine Paterson

Ten-year-old Lyddie and her younger brother must help pay their family’s debts and Lyddie goes to work in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, only to realize her dreams of returning to the family farm will never come true. This story is a rich tale of determination and personal growth, devastating at times, but ultimately a tale of strength and fortitude. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

5. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spears

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler leaves her beloved Barbados to live in Connecticut in 1697. Faced with an impossible decision, she must decide between her heart and her duty. Her one true friend, a woman whom the town believes to be a witch, is more hated than she could have imagined. This is a story of bravery, friendship and honor. One of my all-time favorites! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

4. Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone

Twelve-year-old orphan Samuel Collier meets his fortune in Captain John Smith and makes his way by ship to Jamestown, but with the journey comes hardship and confusion like he’s never known. This is one of my favorites, too, because it so actually portrays Indian life. I lived this journey with young Samuel, it was that realistic! [chapter book, ages 10 and up]

3. Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

Wolf Brother tells the story of twelve-year-old Torak who live six thousand years ago during the New Stone Age. I love this harrowing tale a boy and his wolf who set out to save the world. It’s a compelling read! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

2. Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

During World War II, Lily makes a new friend, Albert, a refugee from Hungary. They share secrets and Lily tells a lie that may cost Albert his life. A coming of age story, I love Giff’s writing. Everyone I know loves the suspense, emotional tugs, and well-crafted prose of this tale. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

1. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

A story of life during the Depression, the motherless Bud sets search for his father, following the only clues his mother left behind. This book is laugh out-loud funny, and has some of my favorite characters to date. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]


Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the middle grade book, “Between the Lines” by Claudia Whitsitt from May 18 to 31, 2015.


About the Book

Title: Between the Lines | Author: Claudia Whitsitt | Publication Date: March, 2015 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 318 | Recommended Ages: 9+

Summary: Between the Lines tells the story of three girls who become friends during the racially-charged aftermath of the 1967 Detroit Riots.

Hattie Percha is crushed when the riots start on her tenth birthday, and when she must move away from her treasured childhood home and friends, attending public school for the first time, she’s afraid her life is over. Then, she meets Beverly Jo Nichols, her first black friend, and Crackers, a fearless tomboy. Despite opposition from Hattie’s mother and a racist teacher, the unlikely friends join forces. As the self-proclaimed Dream Girls, they challenge bigotry and intolerance, willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto what’s most precious to them all, their friendship.


Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Amazon (CA)

B&N * iTunes * Kobo * Smashwords * Goodreads


The Buzz

Between the Lines is a powerful piece of historical fiction that must be added to the reading list of every middle grade student.~ 5 Stars, Lori L., Goodreads

“Teachers and parents need to purchase this novel… Parents could use this novel to engage their kids in discussions to help develop a sense of social responsibility, friendship, and morality… Ultimately, this story is inspirational.” ~ 5 Stars, Amazon Customer

“This book is a must read for everyone, no matter what age … I would recommend it highly to be in the curriculum of every 5th and 6th grade classroom. ” ~ 5 Stars, Sandra W., Amazon

My daughter and I read this book together and loved it. It is a story that will stay with both of us for many years to come!~ 5 Stars, aleblanc, Amazon

Between the Lines tells a really heartbreaking but uplifting story, about race and loyalty and friends, in a way that any kid will relate to. A perfect gift book for that hard-to-please youngster!~ 5 Stars, Jimmy, Amazon


About the Author: Claudia Whitsitt


Claudia Whitsitt spent a lifetime teaching special education and writing before becoming a full-time author. She believes in the power of friendship, small acts of kindness, and paying it forward. Nothing makes her happier than spending time with her children, which includes not only the five she raised but the countless students who touched her life over the years.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



“Between the Lines” Blog Tour Schedule (2015)

May 18

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

Cherry Mischievous (Author Interview)

May 19

My Love For Reading Keeps Growing (Review)

May 20

Sher A Hart: Written Art (Review)

Coffee Books & Art (Excerpt)

May 21

Books Direct (Author Interview)

My Soul Called Live (Review)

May 22

B’s & Prose (Review)

May 23

Icefairy’s Treasure Chest (Review)

May 24

LibriAmoriMiei (Guest Post)

May 25

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

May 26

Oh My Bookness (Review)

Bookworm for Kids (Excerpt)

May 27

Doodles, Doodles Everywhere (Author Interview)

Too Clever (Review)

May 28

Kay LaLone ~ I Love Books! (Review)

The BookDragon (Review)

May 29

View From the Birdhouse (Excerpt)

Beauty Brite (Review)

May 30

Rockin’ Book Reviews (Review)

May 31

Pragmatic Mom (Guest Post)

Undercover Book Reviews (Review)


* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Contest closes: June 7, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Claudia Whitsitt and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Top 10 Historical Fiction Chapter Books

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay the postage and handling for my giveaways.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Renee MDBR

    Thanks so much for hosting Claudia for the “Between the Lines” Blog Tour, Mia! Claudia has put together such an interesting list. Most of these books are completely new to me so I’m definitely pinning. My daughter has started to really show an interest in historical fiction so I’d love her to try out a few of these.
    Renee MDBR recently posted…ENDING SOON! Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet Giveaway 2015My Profile

    • Hi Renee,
      Thanks so much for setting up the blog tour and the guest post!!! It’s such a great list!!! I will be using it this summer and I can’t wait. A good historical fiction book is worth its weight in gold; story and history!!! (But a bad one can be a permanent turn off too!)
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…How to Draw Hands and FeetMy Profile

  2. Historical fiction is one of my most favorite genres! I also love Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains & Forge–so wonderful! I’ve been waiting for Ashes, the 3rd book for ages, and I hope it will be released soon!

    I hadn’t heard of The Sign of the Beaver, and it definitely sounds like a book I’d like.

    Since he was also reading some verse, he might like Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust (LOVE this book), or Witness.

    Karen Cushman is also a great author of historical fiction, and her Alchemy & Meggy Swann is hilarious and touching and has lots of fun insults and expressions. Catherine Called Birdy is good too.

    Jennifer Holm’s Turtle in Paradise is a beautiful and funny book & her Amelia books are good too.

    Gary D. Schmidt’s OK For Now is one of the best books I’ve ever read–I just LOVE it (and the audio book is excellent too), and I also really liked its predecessor, The Wednesday Wars.

    I could go on & on & on but I’ll just mention a few more:

    Deborah Wiles’s Countdown & Revolution
    Clare Vanderpool’s Moon over Manifest
    MT Anderson’s Octavian Nothing books are nothing short of amazing, (but more of a YA-ish audience)
    Caroline Lawrence’s PK Pinkerton series–fast-paced and action packed
    Pam Munoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising & Echo
    Ruta Sepetys’s Between Shades of Gray is powerful but very intense. It took time to recuperate after reading it.

    And classic Island of the Blue Dolphins is still one of my favorite books!

    Stopping now :O

    • Hi Maria,
      I LOVE your recommendations and many are new to me. We LOVED Turtle in Paradise too and Moon Over Manifest. My kids read Esperanza Rising for 4th grade immigration unit and rave about it. My middle child is a huge fan of Laurie Halse Anderson but she hasn’t read the slavery series … might suggest that to her for summer reading. Is OK For Now too intense? I’m scared to read it. I hate reading about child abuse. It’s so sad. I’m a big fan of Deborah Wiles and I own Countdown but haven’t seemed to manage to read it yet. I’ll pull it from the shelves too! THANK YOU!!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…How to Draw Hands and FeetMy Profile

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