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Historical fiction

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Older children and teenagers will enjoy these compelling stories set in times past - from exciting adventures to thought-provoking tales of troubled times. 

With a range of periods, locations and themes there is something here for everyone.

Find more historical fiction for older children and teenagers.

  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

    Author: John Boyne
    Publisher: Random House
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 11+

    Bruno is exploring his new home at 'Out-With' when he meets Shmuel, who lives on the other side of a fence which surrounds a large camp in the grounds.

  • The Red Necklace

    Author: Sally Gardner
    Publisher: Orion Children's Books
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 10+

    Gardner skilfully sets the scene, in which extra-sensory abilities can be turned to many uses, and where good and evil, identity and destiny are not as clear cut as we might think.

  • Chains

    Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 10+

    A brilliantly told, exciting story, with a brave and dignified heroine, which reveals the complexities of this chapter of American history.

  • Revolver

    Author: Marcus Sedgwick
    Publisher: Orion Children's Books
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 11+

    'They say dead men tell no tales, but they're wrong. Even the dead tell stories.'

  • The Kite Rider

    Author: Geraldine McCaughrean
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 11+

    Haoyou feels powerless when the man responsible for his father's death demands to marry his mother. Determined to support her himself, the young boy joins a travelling circus.

  • Bracelet of Bones

    Author: Kevin Crossley-Holland
    Publisher: Quercus
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 9+

    Solveig is a fourteen-year-old Norwegian who, in 1036, follows her father to Constantinople, where he is a member of the Viking guard.

  • Life: An Exploded Diagram

    Author: Mal Peet
    Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
    Interest age: 14+
    Reading age: 13+

    In this intelligent young adult novel, Clem's coming-of-age story of first love and burgeoning sexuality is woven around a tense account of the mounting Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Prisoner of the Inquisition

    Author: Theresa Breslin
    Publisher: Corgi Children's
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 11+

    Zarita, only daughter of the town magistrate, lives a life of wealth and privilege

  • VIII

    Author: H M Castor
    Publisher: Templar Publishing
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 11+

    This outstanding young adult novel tells the story of Henry VIII, from his earliest days as precocious young Prince Hal, right up until his death

  • Velvet

    Author: Mary Hooper
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 12+

    This novel engagingly depicts the Victorian fascination with spiritualism and also paints a vivid picture of  life for a working class girl in this era

  • Code Name Verity

    Author: Elizabeth Wein
    Publisher: Electric Monkey
    Interest age: 14+
    Reading age: 14+

    Two young women become unlikely best friends during WWII, until one is captured by the Gestapo...

  • A World Between Us

    Author: Lydia Syson
    Publisher: Hot Key Books
    Interest age: 14+
    Reading age: 14+

    Spirited young nurse Felix shakes off her restrictive family to follow her heart and her political convictions to Spain to support the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War.

  • The Quietness

    Author: Alison Rattle
    Publisher: Hot Key Books
    Interest age: 14+
    Reading age: 14+

    Growing up in Victorian London, Queenie and Ellen lead very different lives, but they find themselves drawn together in dark and dangerous circumstances.

  • Wild Boy

    Author: Rob Lloyd Jones
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    In 1840s London, Wild Boy leads a miserable life in a travelling freak show. Treated as a monster and excluded from society, he develops an unusual talent for observation.

  • The Jade Boy

    Author: Cate Cain
    Publisher: Templar
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 10+

    What is Count Cazalon's sinister plan - and can Jem and his friends stop him?

  • Sawbones

    Author: Catherine Johnson
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 11+

    In 18th century London, 16-year-old Ezra is working as apprentice to a highly respected surgeon, William McAdam.