Forthcoming childrens and YA historical novels for 2020

The Historical Novel Society lists mainstream and small press titles for readers aged 4 – 18. Details are compiled by Fiona Sheppard. The publisher-recommended age category is represented as Pic (Picture Book 4/5+), Chap or ER (Chapter Book or Easy Reader), Mid-grd (Middle-Grade 8-12), 10+ and YA (Young Adult 13+).

This is a work in progress. Do visit us again soon! And other than short excerpts, please remember to link to this page rather than copying the entries – thank you!

January 2020

Beth Anderson, illus. E. B. Lewis, Lizzie Demands a Seat!, Calkins Creek, Pic 7+ (in 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar)

Julia Billet, illus. Claire Fauvel, (trans. Ivanka Hahnenberger), Catherine’s War, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (based on a true survival story of World War II, graphic novel follows a Jewish girl’s journey to the free zone of France)

Tonya Bolden, Saving Savannah, BloomsburyYA, YA (Washington DC 1919 ― brings the women’s suffrage movement to life with a teen girl finding her own way to change the world)

Emily Conlan, Move the Mountains, A & U Children, Mid-grd (an interactive adventure set in 1951)

Joseph Elliott, The Good Hawk, Walker US, 10+ (a pair of teens set out on a quest to rescue their clan from Nordic raiders in a historical fantasy set in the hills of ancient Scotland)

Andrew Fukuda, The Light Between Us: A Novel of World War II, Tor Teen, YA (story of the unlikeliest of pen pals—a Japanese American boy and a French Jewish girl—as they fight to maintain hope in a time of war)

Dee Garretson, All Is Fair, Square Fish, YA (a young lady is pulled out of school and into a secret wartime mission with a dashing American spy in this historical mystery)

Dee Garretson, Gone by Nightfall, Swoon Reads, YA (a young woman is torn between her home and her dreams on the eve of the Russian revolution)

Lori Haskins Houran, illus. Luke Flowers, The Tale of Paul Bunyan, Golden books, Pic 3+

Maureen Johnson, The Hand on the Wall, Katherine Tegen, YA (conclusion to the Truly Devious series as Stevie Bell solves the mystery that has haunted Ellingham Academy for over 75 years)

Kassandra Luciuk, illus. Nicole Burton, Enemy Alien, Between the Lines, YA (graphic novel of Canada’s first national internment operations through the eyes of John Boychuk, a Ukrainian internee held in Kapuskasing from 1914 to 1917)

Anna-Marie McLemore, Dark and Deepest Red, Feiwel & Friends, YA (straddling five centuries novel centers on a young woman uncovering her family’s history while fighting her attraction to the wrong boy)

Jerdine Nolen, illus. James E. Ransome, Freedom Bird, S&S/Paula Wiseman, Pic (an enslaved brother and sister are inspired by a bird to escape to freedom)

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, illus. Iacopo Bruno, The Story Seeker, Henry Holt (BYR), Mid-grd (mystery adventure set in the iconic New York Public Library during the Roaring Twenties)

Mary Pope Osborne, illus. AG Ford, Narwhal on a Sunny Night, Random House Books for Young Readers, 6+ (Magic Treehouse – meet famous explorer Leif Erikson and help save a narwhal)

Lana Popovic, Blood Countess, Abrams, YA (tale of intrigue, mystery, and murder set amid young royals in 1602 Hungary)

Lisa Cline-Ransome, illus. James E Ransome, Overground Railroad, Holiday House, Pic (a perceptive girl tells the story of her train journey from North Carolina to New York City as part of the Great Migration)

Jodie Lynn Zdrok, Spectacle, Tor Teen, YA (a killer stalks the streets of 1887 Paris in this historical thriller)

February 2020

Veeda Bybee, illus. Alessia Trunfio, Lily and the Great Quake, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (a San Francisco earthquake survival story)

EM Castellan, In the Shadow of the Sun, Feiwel & Friends, YA (YA fantasy/romance novel set in 1661 Versailles)

Gwendolyn Clare, Mist, Metal and Ash, Square Fish, YA (in this alternate version of 19th-century Italy, a girl genius with the ability to write worlds into creation is the only one who can save the Earth)

Henry Cole, Another Quest for Celeste, Katherine Tegen, Mid-grd (It is 1822 and a mouse called Celeste meets a tall, lanky boy wielding an ax: a young Abraham Lincoln)

Sassafras De Bruyn, The Hunter and His Dog, Eerdmans BfYR, Pic (the hunter and his dog begin a madcap chase across the world of Pieter Bruegel the Elder introducing young readers to the Flemish Renaissance)

Jim Di Bartolo, The Boy Who Became a Dragon, Scholastic Inc, Mid-grd (fictional biography of Bruce Lee)

Mario Escobar, Children of the Stars, Thomas Nelson (an inspirational story of escape, sacrifice, and hope amid the perils of the second World War)

Julie Gilbert, illus. Matt Forsyth, Daisy and the Deadly Flu, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (a 1918 influenza survival story)

Marthe Jocelyn, illus. Isabelle Follath, Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano, Tundra, Mid-grd (middle-grade mystery series starring young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector in England, 1902)

Mackenzi Lee, The Madness Blooms, Flatiron, YA (LGBT coming-of-age romance set in Holland in 1637)

Tricia Levenseller, Warrior of the Wild, Square Fish, YA (an 18-year-old chieftain’s daughter is banished after being betrayed during her coming-of-age trial in this Viking-inspired historical fantasy)

Adriana Mather, Killing November, Ember, YA (thriller set at a secretive boarding school where students are trained to carry on family legacies that have built—and toppled—empires)

Brad McLelland, Louis Sylvester, The Fang of Bonfire Crossing: Legends of the Lost Causes, Square Fish, 10+ (middle-grade western adventure series about a ragtag group of vigilante orphans)

Margi Preus, Village of Scoundrels, Amulet, 10+ (true story of a group of French teenagers who helped save refugees in WWII)

Doreen Rappaport, illus. Eric Valasques, Ruth Ojects, Hyperion, Pic 6+ (fictional biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

Andrea L. Rogers, illus. Matt Forsyth, Mary and the Trail of Tears, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (a Cherokee removal survival story)

Geoff Rodkey, illus. Hatem Aly, The Story Pirates Present: Stuck in the Stone Age, Yealing, Mid-grd (time-travel adventure doubles as a creative writing guide for young writers!)

Danielle Rollins, Twisted Fates, HarperTeen, YA (follow up to time travel romance Stolen Time)

Alisha Sevigny, The Lost Scroll of the Physician, Dundurn, Mid-grd (Sesha, daughter of the pharaoh’s royal physician, must find the scroll her father was transcribing before his death, to save the kingdom and her brother’s life)

Nikki Shannon Smith, illus. Alessia Trunfio, Sarah Journeys West, Stone Arch, Mid-grd (an Oregon Trail survival story)

Geronimo Stilton, Time Warp, Scholastic, Mid-grd (Geronimo visits Plato in Ancient Greece, the mythical Atlantic and Stonehenge)

Jane Yolen, illus. Christine Davenier, Emily Writes, Henry Holt (BYR), Pic (imagined childhood biography of Emily Dickinson’s poetic beginnings)

Jodie Lynn Zdrok, Sensational, Tor Teen, YA (follow-up to Spectacle in which a killer haunts the Paris World’s Fair of 1889)

March 2020

Iris Argaman, illus. Avi Ofer, (trans. Annette Appel), Bear and Fred, Amazon Crossing Kids, Mid-grd (during World War II, Fred must leave his home and live in hiding, apart from the rest of his family, but he always keeps Bear by his side. Based on true events)

Avi, Gold Rush Girl. Candlewick, Mid-grd (story of a mud-caked, tent-filled San Francisco in 1848 with a willful heroine who goes on an unintended — and perilous — adventure to save her brother)

Michelle Barker, My Long List of Impossible Things, Annick, YA (explores the chaos and destruction of WWII from the perspective of the implications of the Soviet occupation on a German population grappling with the horrors of Nazism and its aftermath)

Helaine Becker, illus. Liz Wong, Pirate Queen, Pic (China early 1800s – a story of Zheng Yi Sao)

Rob Currie, Hunger Winter, Tyndale, Mid-grd (story of one boy’s quest to find his father and protect his younger sister during the great Dutch famine of World War II)

Daphne Kalmar, A Stitch in Time, Square Fish, Mid-grd (an orphan grapples with her unpleasant aunt and the even more unpleasant idea of moving to Boston)

Abie Longstaff, illus. James Brown, The Trapdoor Mysteries: A Sticky Situation, Little, Brown BfYR, Mid-grd (a series about Tally, an orphaned servant girl who solves mysteries with the help of a secret library)

Patricia Lyfoung, Scarlet Rose #5: You Should Let Me Die, Charmz, YA 12+ (in this installment, the Scarlet Rose must free her friend Guilhem from prison)

Adriana Mather, Hunting November, Knopf BfYR , YA (can November Adley find her missing father before her enemies find her? Sequel to Killing November )

Helen Moss, illus. Misa Saburi, Time Dogs: Barry and the Great Mountain Rescue, Henry Holt (BYR), Chap (in 3rd adventure, Time Dogs are transported back to Swiss Alps in 1800)

Benjamin Read, Laura Trinder, The Midnight Hour, Chicken House, Mid-grd (fantasy adventure in which Emily has to negotiate a Victorian London frozen in time and full of magic and monsters)

David Salter, 28 Days, Feiwel & Friends, YA (a novel of resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto)

Marcus Sutter, Soldier Dogs #6: Heroes on the Home Front, HarperFestival, Mid-grd (twin siblings give their dog to the Coast Guard during WWII—only to discover a German threat on their own home turf)

Lila Quintero Weaver, My Year in the Middle, Candlewick, Mid-grd (in 1970, Alabama, blacks and whites don’t mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign, in the classroom Lu can’t stay neutral about the racial divide)

Mark Wilson, Eureka!, Lothian Children’s, Pic (story of the goldfields and the Eureka Rebellion inspired by real people and historical events)

April 2020

Samira Ahmed, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know, Soho Teen (follows a Muslim-American teenager who partners with a descendant of French author Alexander Dumas to unravel a 19th-centry mystery)

Cindy Anstey, Deadly Curious, Swoon Reads, YA (a young lady who aspires to be a detective investigates the murder of her cousin in this thriller set in London 1834)

Michael Burgan, Great Escapes #1: Nazi Prison Camp Escape, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (Royal Canadian Air Force officer Bill Ash escapes from a German POW camp during World War II)
Also: Great Escapes #2: Journey to Freedom, 1838

Riccardo Guasco, What a Masterpiece, Eerdmans BfYR, Pic (a boy’s daily routines bring him face-to-face with Escher’s winding stairs, Banksy’s balloon girl, Picasso’s dancing fauns, and many more)

Dan Gutman, Flashback Four #4: The Hamilton-Burr Duel, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (four brave friends head back in time to record the most infamous duel in U.S. history)

Monica Hesse, They Went Left, Little, Brown BfYR, YA (after release from Gross-Rosen concentration camp, a journey through Germany and Poland takes Zofia on a quest to find her brother)

June Hur, The Silence of Bones, Feiwel & Friends, YA (Joseon (Korea), 1800 ― a 16-year-old indentured servant within the police bureau becomes entangled in the politically charged investigation into the murder of a noblewoman)

Kathy Kacer, Louder Than Words, Annick, Mid-grd (3rd in Heroes Quartet series – based on the true story of one woman’s incredible heroism in the most dangerous of circumstance)

Gail Carson Levine, A Ceiling Made of Eggshells, HarperCollins, Mix-grd (story, about a smart young Jewish girl who is full of heart, and who travels across 15th-c Spain with her grandfather to help save her people)

Abie Longstaff, illus. James Brown, The Trapdoor Mysteries: The Scent of Danger, Little, Brown BfYR, Mid-grd (2nd in series about an orphaned servant girl who works at Mollett Manor)

Andy Marino, The Conspiracy (The Plot to Kill Hitler #1), Scholastic, Mid-grd (based on the real-life scheme, this trilogy puts two courageous kids at the center of the plot to kill Adolf Hitler)

Angela Misri, The Detective and the Spy, Cormorant, YA (4th in adventure series set in 1930s London)

Sheila Seifert, Chris Brack, The Imagination Station: Poison at the Pump, Focus on the Family, Chap (Patrick and Beth travel back in time to London, England, during the cholera epidemic of 1854)

S. S. Taylor, illus. Ben Towle, Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean, Disney-Hyperion, Mid-grd (with an introduction by astronaut pioneer Eileen Collins, story focuses on Amelia’s triumphant crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 1928 – graphic format novel)

Deborah Wiles, Kent State, Scholastic Inc, YA (exploration of one of the darkest moments in our history, when American troops killed four American students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State)

May 2020

David Almond, illus. David Litchfield, War is Over, Candlewick, Mid-grd (1918 – story, explores the fear and hope of children in time of war)

Elizabeth C. Bunce, Premeditated Myrtle, Algonquin YR, 10+ (introduces a brilliant young investigator ready to take on hard cases and maddening Victorian rules for Young Ladies of Quality in order to earn her place among the most daring amateur detectives of her time)

Susan Kaplan Carlton, In the Neighborhood of True, Algonquin YR, YA (New York transplant Ruth Robb hides her Jewish identity to fit into the segregated Atlanta of the 1950s, until a hate crime forces her to come to face the whole truth about the choices she’s made)

Weng Wai Chan, Lizard’s Tale, Text, Mix-grd (adventure, set in a British colony in Asia in 1940 as the Japanese invasion of Singapore looms)

Peter Lerangis, Throwback: The Chaos Loop, Harper Collins, Mid-grd (to set history right, Corey must return to the past and find a way to stop a cohort of Nazis who’ve evaded capture and escaped Germany for South America)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illus. G. Brian Karas, The Village Blacksmith, Candlewick, Mid-grd (a contemporary envisioning of Longfellow’s 19-century poem. Afterword about tools and trade of blacksmithing)

Abie Longstaff, illus. James Brown, The Trapdoor Mysteries: Thief in the Night, Orion Children’s, Mid-grd (3rd in series about an orphaned servant girl who works at Mollett Manor)

Molly MacPherson, illus. Teresa Martinez, William Wallace, Kelpies, Pic (story of William Wallace’s decisive victory in the Scottish Wars of Independence reminds us that brain conquers brawn)

Andy Marino, The Execution: The Plot to Kill Hitler #2, Scholastic, Mid-grd (based on the real-life scheme to take down one of history’s greatest monsters)

Angela McAllister, illus. Jannicke Hansen, A World Full of Dickens Stories, Frances Lincoln, Mid-grd (illustrated anthology includes Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Hard Times, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, A Tale of Two Cities)

Tessa McWatt, illus. Zuzanna Celej, Where Are You, Agnes, Groundwood, Pic (Agnes Martin was born on the Canadian prairies in the early twentieth century and grew up to become a famous abstract expressionist artist)

Christopher Myers, Henri is Full, Six Foot Press, Pic (there are days when an artist has no ideas left. For Henri Matisse, the great French artist, this is one of those days)

Laura Ruby, York: The Map of Stars, Walden Pond, Mid-grd (third and final volume in alternate history trilogy)

Angie Smibert, The Truce, Boyds Mills, 10+ (final book in the supernatural trilogy Ghosts of Ordinary Objects)

Jordyn Taylor, The Paper Girl of Paris, HarperTeen, YA (a girl who sets out to discover the truth about her family’s past after she inherits a Parisian apartment that has been abandoned since the end of World War II)

Eve Titus, Cathy Hapka, illus. David Mottram, Basil and the Library Ghost, Aladdin, Mid-grd (next in series)

June 2020

Mary Helen Fein, Stitching a Life, She Writes, YA (a young Jewish girl from Russia comes alone across the Atlantic to the Lower East Side of New York in the year 1900 and devotes herself to bringing the rest of her family to safety)

Kathryn Lasky, Tangled in Time 2: The Burning Queen, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (time-travel series about newly orphaned Rose, who finds herself traveling between present-day Indiana and the royal English courts of Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor)

Sonia Levitin, Journey to America, Aladdin, Mid-grd (1938―classic story about a young Jewish girl forced to flee her home)

Abie Longstaff, illus. James Brown, The Trapdoor Mysteries: The Lost Treasure, Orion Children’s, Mid-grd (4th in series about an orphaned servant girl who works at Mollett Manor)

Andy Marino, The Escape, Scholastic, Mid-grd (book 3 in The Plot to Kill Hitler series)

Daniel José Older, Thunder Run, Scholastic, Mid-grd (Dactyl Hill Squad book 3)

Lauren Tarshis, Georgia Ball, illus. Haus Studio, I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916, Graphix, Mid-grd (graphic novel adaptation)

M.J. Thomas, The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls, Worthykids, Chap (time-traveling chapter book sends Peter and Mary back to Jerusalem, where a teacher named Jesus has started teaching and performing miracles)

July 2020

W. N. Brown, Great Escapes #3: Civil War Breakout, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (Civil War, 1863. Based on true events)

Meg Caddy, Devil’s Ballast, Text, YA (based on the true story of pirate Anne Bonny)

Will Hobbs, City of Gold, HarperCollins, Mid-grd (an odyssey set in the twilight of the Wild West)

Gordon Korman, War Stories, Scholastic, Mid-grd (a story of telling truth from lies — and finding out what being a hero really means)

Dawn Kurtagich, Teeth in the Mist, Little, Brown BfYR, YA ( genre-bending horror-fantasy, inspired by the legend of Faust, that spans generations as an ancient evil is uncovered)

Michelle Lovric, The Wishing Bones, Orion Children’s, Mid-grd (historical fantasy set on the canals of Venice in 1740)

Kate Messner, illus. Kelley McMorris, Attack on Pearl Harbor, Scholastic, Mid-grd (Ranger in Time series, book 12)

Emily Bain Murphy, Splinters of Scarlet, HMH BfYR, YA (historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark, where secrets can kill and magic is a deadly gift)

Linda Sue Park, Prairie Lotus, Clarion, YA (story about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend. Set in 1880 small town America)

Gary D. Schmidt, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Clarion, YA (set in 1912 and centered on a historical event: coming-of-age story of a white minister’s son who discovers joy through his friendship with a black girl)

August 2020

Paro Anand, Being Gandhi, Harper Children’s, Mid-grd (novel that explores, not Gandhi the man or his life as a leader, but the Gandhian way that must remain relevant to us)

Pam Berkman, Dorothy Hearst, illus. Claire Powell, Minsha’s Night on Ellis Island, Margaret K. McElderry, 6+ (follow Minsha, a determined terrier, as she travels to Ellis Island in this third book of the ‘At the Heels of History’ series, inspired by important events)

Kate Hannigan, illus. Patrick Spaziante, Mask, Aladdin, Mid-grd (The League of Secret Heroes Bk 2)

Kerri Maniscalco, Capturing the Devil, jimmy patterson, YA (next in series – Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil)

Lisa Maxwell, The Serpent’s Curse, Simon Pulse, YA (conclusion to The Last Magician series)

Marcus Sutter, illus. Andie Tong, Soldier Dogs #7: Shipwreck on the High Seas, HarperFestival, Mid-grd (1944―a merchant marine ship is attacked by Nazi subs)


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