Showing posts with label humanities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humanities. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Not Your Average History Lesson - A Look at Historical Fiction

I’ve always been a fan of historical fiction – When I was a kid I loved reading about people that really excited in faraway times and places. My favorite book in high school was none other than Gone with the Wind which was set in the Civil War (go figure??) I think this love followed me to college because I went on to study Humanities in college and learned about the history of art, music, philosophy, religion, language, and how people experience all of these things. Nowadays, I love reading for fun and I love coming-of-age stories combined with fascinating periods of history around the world. If you are tired of the same old boring history lessons you’ve seen and want a great Historical Fiction read then this is place for you! Tune in each month as Mrs. Librarian Lady starts from zero and goes all the way up to the 1990’s. You will be amazed at how many great stories are based on real life people in history!

Here’s a little Historical Fiction kick starter for you!

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill - I have always been entranced with the Salem Witch Trials, so I am so glad that I found this terrific book! This story written in verse is based on the epic historical event that took place in Salem, Massachusetts throughout the year of 1692. Wicked Girls is very engaging and brings a stunning reality to the actual girls that accused many people of being witches in Salem during the 1600’s. This is a fictional account of what it might have been like for the girls that started the vicious lies and rumors about their friends and neighbors. The historical information on this subject is very easy to find in any history book or in the Salem museum. However, Hemphill gives a more personal look at how a handful of Puritan girls took hold of a town and used this fortune to their own advantage. I found this book to be a truly amazing account of how that year in 1692 unfolded in the town of Salem. This book also gives the reader insight on how difficult it must have been to live in the rural area of Salem and how strict and narrow minded the Puritan townspeople were.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – Set in New Orleans, in 1950, the city is getting back to regular life with the war over. But for Josie Moraine, there’s no such thing as a normal life. Her mother is a brothel prostitute and Josie only wants to get out of New Orleans and attend college where she can make a life for herself without her mother’s reputation always tainting her attempts to make something of herself. But then someone dies in a pretty suspect way and Josie’s involvement in the investigation might keep her from ever being able to escape the Big Easy.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein– All I can say is that reading this book takes you back in time to World War II and it is an emotional and intense ride from the start. You get to read the story through written pages and notes. One side of the story is of Queenie the British spy who has been captured by the Nazi's in Nazi occupied France in 1943. She made the crucial mistake of looking the wrong way while crossing a busy street in the town of Ormaie, France. The Gestapo orders Queenie to unravel the tale of how she met her best friend Maddie and how they went down in the plane that Maddie was flying over France. Queenie manages to stay alive in prison as long as she's writing what the Gestapo approves of. Otherwise, she is horribly tortured. The second half is the story of Maddie and how she has to hide and survive in France after crashing the plane. The two stories woven together are totally compelling and the courage that these two young women possessed was amazing. I felt as if I was reading their personal diaries as it really happened all those year ago.This book is definitely a tribute to women and has resounding themes of friendship and courage throughout the book.

Tune in next month for more YA Historical Fiction recommendations!

Mrs. Librarian Lady ♥