History Reimagined: Great Historical Fantasy for Kids

Historical fantasies are often fun and engaging ways to learn about history. Some add magic or supernatural creatures to an historic setting. Others allow contemporary teenagers to be whisked through time and experience other eras through their modern eyes. The following list includes ten historical fantasies aimed at teens.

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Wrede The Thirteenth Child

#1 The Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede

Eff is the 13th child, which means she'll be unlucky and cause misfortune. Lan is the seventh son of a seventh son, which means he'll be especially magical and lucky. These twins live on the Western frontier in early America. In the novel, magic exists for good and bad against the backdrop of a rugged lifestyle.

Westerfeld Leviathan

#2 Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

This novel is an alternate telling of World War I. The global war pits the Clankers against the Darwinists. While the Clankers believe in the power of machines, the Darwinists focus on developing new species. The action-packed story follows two teens from opposing sides whose lives intersect.

Bemis The Nine Pound Hammer

#3 The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis

The Nine Pound Hammer is a fantasy novel steeped in the themes and folklore of the American South. Ray Cobb is a 12-year-old orphan who travels south from Maine on a train known as the Ballyhoo. A medicine show uses the train and this leads Ray to meet an eclectic group, including a snake dancer, blind sharpshooter and fire-eater. He also learns about a battle between good and evil in which he quickly becomes embroiled.

Bow The Young City Unwritten Books

#4 The Young City: The Unwritten Books by James Bow

Rosemary and Peter are about to begin at a university in Toronto and they're excited to live like adults. Yet after falling into an underground river, they're magically swept back in time to 1884. Once there, they must learn to adapt to an entirely different Toronto. Just when they think they'll be forever stranded in the nineteenth century, they receive a battery-powered watch that was made in Taiwan.

Prevost The Book of Time

#5 The Book of Time by Guillaume Prevost

This first book in a trilogy begins with Sam looking for clues regarding his missing father. He soon finds himself traveling through time, beginning with medieval Iona during a Viking invasion. His other stops include France during World War I and ancient Egypt. Eventually, Sam receives a message from his father, who is trapped in the castle of Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as Dracula.

Clare Clockwork Angel

#6 Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Tessa Gray is a 16-year-old headed to Victorian England in search of her brother. What she finds are supernatural creatures, including vampires and warlocks, filling London's Downworld. Soon, Tessa learns that she possesses supernatural powers herself. She joins the Shadowhunters, who fight demons to keep order, where she finds both love and danger.

Masson Serafin

#7 Serafin by Sophie Masson

This novel follows Frederic and Catou on their journey throughout 17th century France. They are forced from their village after Catou is accused of being a witch and Frederic staunchly defends her. As time passes, Frederic begins to learn that his companion is actually a matagot, or half-angel and half-human.

Woodbury Footsteps in Time

#8 Footsteps in Time: A Time Travel Fantasy by Sarah Woodbury

When Llywelyn ap Gruffydd was murdered by English soldiers in 1282, it marked the end of an independent Wales and seven centuries of English rule. This novel questions how history might have been different if Llywelyn was saved by a pair of teenagers. Footsteps in Time begins the After Climeri series, which also includes Prince of Time and Daughter of Time.

Bergren Waterfall

#9 Waterfall: A Novel by Lisa T. Bergren

This young adult novel, which begins Bergren's River of Time series, centers on the Bentarrini sisters. Their archeologist parents take them on annual digs that bore the teenage girls to no end. Yet their lives are upended when they are transported to 16th century Italy, where they're suddenly immersed in a world of knights, battles and romance.

Cooney Both Sides of Time

#10 Both Sides of Time by Caroline B. Cooney

Both Sides of Time is a historical fantasy steeped in romance. Annie Lockwood is frustrated with her car-obsessed boyfriend and annoyed by her parents' fighting. While strolling through a formerly elegant mansion that's about to be razed, she falls through a landing and ends up in 1895. She quickly finds love in the 19th century, only to realize that she belongs at home in her own time.

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