This was the first main series that REALLY got me into history as a kid. I knew way too much about the lost Roanoke colony way too early because of this series. Awesome if you’re interested in sci-fi and time travel (and mysteries!) along with history.
Another one of my first favorite series. This one doesn’t delve into history quite as deeply (or accurately) as The Missing, but it does cover a wide variety of topics. And of course, it’s thrilling to keep younger readers invested. I can’t say I recommend the spin-off series, though.
On the back of the copy I read, one of the reviews said, “You take Little House, I’ll take Caddie Woodlawn any day.” As Little House’s No. 1 fan as a fifth grader, I was properly offended. But that guy was kind of right. It’s pretty dang good.
This one kind of teeters into the YA category, just because Thomas Jefferson Is An Awful Person. This book is good for all ages, in my opinion, especially if you’re interested in the era that Thomas Jefferson was alive, or if you have any small knowledge on the Sally Hemmings affair.
Okay, this one might not be super historical overall, but the first part of the three definitely is. Three different stories all take place with different people during different times in different places, but they all involve one harmonica made by a Jewish family in Nazi Germany (this may not be completely correct; it’s been awhile since I read it, but more or less.) Also sort of YA, also one of my favorites because it involves music.
If you’ve ever heard me talk about books, you’ve heard me mention GDS one of five million times. Both Trouble, The Wednesday Wars, and Okay For Now take place during the Vietnam War, but Trouble specifically focuses on the impact Vietnam immigrants made in America and how they were treated by the white communities. I love these books gosh.
Alright, this is primarily a fantasy series, but it is DANG GOOD on all accounts. Takes place during the 1920s, with prohibition, eugenics, and flappers being all the rage. Pretty horror influenced, but absolutely phenomenal.
I never thought I’d read a book like this. This is about the miracle woman, or “heretics” as the Catholic church called them, during the 1000-1300s. Really interesting read, as it’s also strongly influenced by Shakespeare and (in my opinion) fantasy as well as legitimate historical events and places. There’s even a reading list in the back. How nice.
This is basically cheating, since RUF is more or less a continuation of CNV, but it’s far less technical than CNV. It also takes place in a concentration camp and introduces new kickass characters while keeping tabs on the old favorites. Also incorporates poetry, which led my jaw to dropping more than once.
Yet another WWII, because YA can’t get enough of that. But seriously, this was just an interesting, cool read about the different perspectives of the persecuted people in Nazi Germany. Also based on true events? Cool.
We’re out of the WWII section thank god. But guys, as someone who has very little understanding of Asian history, these graphic novels are super important and super interesting. They may lean more towards YA, but they’re pretty dark in some parts, and they’re definitely fact based. But yeah. Super quick, super important stuff to know.
The Great Comet Characters as Books They Should Read
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha VanLeer
I Was Here by Gayle Forman, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan, Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash, As You Like it by Shakespeare, Carrie by Stephen King
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Aimee Kaufman
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetrys, The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling