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Middle School Historical Fiction Books

Middle school historical fiction books are usually enjoyed by students. They like reading about historical events and people. Use this book list to help students find great books.

Middle school historical fiction books are usually enjoyed by students – they like reading about historical events and people. I have compiled a list of middle school historical fiction and historical memoirs in the book list below.

This Middle School Historical Fiction blog post contains affiliate links that are of no cost to the reader. If you make a purchase through the provided links, this blog will receive a small commission to help with the financial costs of maintaining the site.

15 Middle School Historical Fiction

Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley

When World War II starts, Betty wants to do her part. She lies about her age to become a spy and ends up in the thick of the war.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Set during the winter of 1945, during World War II four refugees seek freedom aboard the ship “Wilhelm Gustloff”. Each one has a different story.

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Helmut Hubner listens to an illegal radio and learns from a BBC news report that Germany is lying to everyone. He hands out leaflets to try to expose the truth and is tried for treason. Helmut is sentenced to death, and while he waits, his story is told in flashbacks.

Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker

Julilly is taken by a slave trader and dreams of freedom. Julilly and her friend Liza are ready when people from the Underground Railroad offer to help them escape.

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Three young people leave their homes in Berlin, Cuba and Syria to seek refuge from the unsettling events taking place in the countries they call home. Each of these stories takes place during different time periods 1938 Berlin, 1994 Cuba, and 2015 Syria, but all three face imminent dangers throughout their lives and journeys. Though each of them is separated by different years and countries, the common theme of survival and a better life join them together.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Ten-year-old Kenny lives in Flint, Michigan, with his mother, father, sister and his older brother Byron who at thirteen has been labelled a “juvenile delinquent.” They depart on a trip to visit grandma the only one who can help Byron. During their visit to Birmingham, Alabama Grandma’s church is attacked.

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Gerta and her family are divided by the Berlin Wall. Her father sends a secret message for her and her brother to tunnel under the wall to freedom.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

The story of a young girl and her family as they flee Vietnam for America.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

Set during the Vietnam War era, Holling Hoodhood is in Grade 7 at Camillo Junior High. Every Wednesday afternoon his peers attend religious classes outside of school. Holling is the only one who does not have a religion class to attend. He must stay behind with his teacher Mrs. Baker who is not super thrilled to have Holling stay with her every week. Holling must navigate the social pressures of Grade 7 along with pleasing his parents.

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

In this classic romantic comedy between a boy and a girl, Bryce and Juli met in the second grade. She falls madly in love with her new neighbour Bryce. Unfortunately, he does not reciprocate her feelings. During the various events of the novel, Bryce is not as nice to Juli as he should be. Something happens that makes Juli lose her feelings for Bryce, just as he finally starts to see her differently.

Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood

Gloriana June Hemphill is turning twelve and sometimes wishes she could go back a year. Her sister is going to high school and no longer has time for her, things aren’t as easy with her best friend anymore and the town is deciding if the segregated public pool should remain open.

Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper

Amari is a young girl who enjoys her life in an African village until she is taken and sold into slavery. She has lost everything except for hope.

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

Leon Leyson was ten-years-old when his family had to move to the Krakow ghetto because of the Nazi invasion of Poland. Oskar Schindler added the names of Leon and his family to his list of workers in his factory, which ultimately saved them all. The Boy on the Wooden Box is the memoir of Leon Leyson.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Marlee is a shy twelve-year-old starting middle school in Little Rock in 1958. Liz is the new girl at school and always knows what to say. The two become friends until Liz leaves school without saying goodbye and it is rumoured she has left for racial reasons. The girls fight to remain friends despite the pressures of society.

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

This book is set in the summer of 1793. Mattie Cook’s family runs a coffee shop and Mattie plans on making it the best in Philadelphia. When a fever breaks out and begins to kill people Mattie’s mother, who becomes ill, makes her flee with her grandfather. Mattie realizes the fever is all over and she must learn how to survive.

I hope you found something on this middle school historical fiction book list that will engage and excite your students.

12 Genre Book Reports Assignment


Love teaching with genres?

Help your students dive deeper into their reading with these 12 different genre-focused book report assignments. Each assignment enables students to showcase their creativity while meeting curriculum standards. This assignment covers both fiction and non-fiction books. The assignment structure rotates every three months helping students achieve proficiency, while still providing student choice. Assignments can be used in any order. A sample teaching schedule is provided.

Included Genres

  • Realistic Fiction
  • Mystery Fiction
  • Graphic Novel
  • Science Fiction
  • Biography & Memoirs
  • Historical Fiction
  • Classical Fiction (pre-1970)
  • Fantasy Fiction
  • Non-Fiction
  • Traditional Literature vs. Fractured Fairy Tales
  • Sports Fiction
  • Free Verse Fiction

Assignment Types:

  1. Written Response – critical thinking and written reflection assignment.
  2. Creative Choice Board – students are provided with 3 options and must select which creative option they want to produce.
  3. Oral Presentation – a book talk format assignment.
  4. Student-Created Lesson based on a non-fiction book
  5. Traditional Literature vs. Fractured Fairy Tales Comparison Assignment

Find the 12 Genres Book Reports resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.

For more great middle school books, check out this blog post – Best Middle School Book Recommendations. Also, check out some fantastic YA books in this blog post – High School Book Recommendations.

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