Monday, August 13, 2012
A Look at Historical Fiction in the YA World
So, although I've been venturing out a bit and testing the waters in some contemporary YA fiction, I feel most at home and most captivated in the worlds created within historical fiction novels. After posting this past week about my reading lists for my classes this fall here, I couldn't help but think about the fact that when talking about Young Adult fiction, historical fiction usually gets pushed off the radar. I'm taking a class this fall on Literature for Adolescents (aka YA fiction) and there is not one historical fiction book on the list. I'm currently reading parts of a textbook on the subject and yet again there are very few historical fiction books. And it seems like usually the only historical fiction book mentioned in terms of YA books is, The Book Thief, which I LOVE but why aren't there others?
Recently, Ruta Sepetys' novel Between Shades of Grey brought some wonderful historical fiction work into the YA world which was exciting. So perhaps this will start a trend in historical fiction much like the dystopian trend and the unfortunate vampire trend...?
However, when most people think of YA novels it seems to be predominantly those contemporary fiction novels like Judy Blume's work or more recently John Green's novels.
Why is this so? Do you have any ideas?
Here are some of the Historical Fiction YA (ok so Breaking Stalin's Nose, The Impossible Journey, and Dovekeepers aren't YA, but they were great ones) books I've read recently:
Historical Fiction YA books I remembering enjoying a while ago:
Ones I've been wanting to read or that are coming out soon, but mostly ones I haven't had a chance to read (Is "A Great and Terrible Beauty" a good book? I've seen it alot but never read it...) :
These last two are really intriguing me...they mix fairy tale retellings with the Holocaust novel and the first one is by Jane Yolen. Maybe I'll have to bump these to the top of my list since I'm taking a class on Fairy Tales and I've always been swept up and taken with novels about the Holocaust.
Well, now after finishing this post I feel like there are a lot of historical fiction novels that I haven't read after compiling my "want to read" list that I've had specifically for historical fiction and after finding some new ones when looking up the ones I already had! However, I still stick with my original thought from the top of this post that there seem to be fewer Historical fiction novels in the YA world and more importantly that they are often looked over when talking about Young Adult work.
Do any of you have any great historical fiction recommendations??