10 Must-Read Historical Fiction Books for High School Students

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Did you know history opens doors to past incidents, secrets of wars, and hardships of people across the world? History is such an interesting topic that evokes a sense of freedom and survival. With engaging history essay topics and other activities, high schoolers like you get an opportunity to delve into tough situations, stories of empowerment, victories, and more. However, if you are willing to explore more about Hitler’s reign, Nazis, German invaders, and World War, books can be super helpful to do so.

Historical fiction books offer a combination of learning and exploring the past. You can easily immerse into the social, political, and cultural scenarios thereby allowing you to sharpen your thinking capabilities. With challenges people faced in the past, it gives you a practical understanding of life where you develop gratitude and appreciation for others. As you read about struggles and triumphs, you can acquire a more open-minded perspective on various issues. Hence, this article is drafted to introduce some of the important historical fiction books for an enjoyable reading experience.

Interesting historical fiction books for high schoolers

Books crafted for historical understanding are a contribution to ignite the curiosity in students for secretive information and happenings of the past. The below-mentioned historical fiction books are drafted to offer an understanding of critical events, important leaders, and the contributions of locals in times of war. Students may also check out different nonfiction books for exploring a different genre.

1. An American Beauty

American Beauty is one of the must-read books if you love historical fiction. It is based on a true story of rags to riches focusing on Arabella Huntington. This book is a classic contribution towards female empowerment as Arabella Huntington fights against the odds to achieve her dreams. 

Arabella’s life is showcased from the gilded age where she makes difficult choices, learns in her journey, and achieves success ahead of her time. The biographical historical novel is indeed filled with modernly dynamic twists. It is a combination of history, survival, and victory through constant hardships.

2. Only The Beautiful 

Only The Beautiful is an engaging historical fiction book drafted by Susan Meissner. The story is divided into two different parts where you meet two different individuals with their stories. It begins with Rosie’s story who loses her mother, gets pregnant, and fights through hardships. The book teaches how some battles have to be fought at home which are almost like a war.

The second half of the book introduces you to the story of Helen who is stuck between many choices. She decides to free disabled children from the Nazi territories. She sets on a mission to free disabled children from being murdered by Germans. With engaging statements and usage of words, you can feel as if you are living in that time and age.

3. The Nazi Conspiracy

The Nazi Conspiracy is a thrilling book that takes you down the possible conspiracy planned by the Nazis. It is a strangely popular book that offers various twists throughout the reading journey. The book takes into account a crucial conference that was held to kill Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt.

The book takes you through various plots including the network of spies and the selection of the city for the conference. With dramatic statements and revealing evidence, this book keeps you engaged in the historical journey. It makes you aware if there was an actual plot making it suspenseful for readers. 

4. The Huntress

The Huntress is a worthy contribution to the list of historical fiction books. It is set amidst the situation of World War II where two characters make interesting turns. There are three different characters fighting their way out to find justice. While one is trying to fight against the German invaders, the other two go on a journey to uncover the truth of the Huntress. 

The dramatic lines take you through the path of secrets, war criminals, and human drama. The book has an interesting plot with a combination of characters that are dedicated to solving the mysteries in their own journeys. Also, you get an opportunity to learn language and vocabulary skills.

5. A Long Walk to Water

As the name suggests, A Long Walk to Water starts with the tale of a girl Nya who travels a lot to fetch water. While the first part of the novel talks about the struggle of fetching water and facing an adverse situation, you are certain to enjoy the twist. 

The second part of the story introduces Salva who is stuck in the situation of a civil war in Sudan. The next page you turn and you only see how well drafted it is to convey messages of danger and uncertainty. As the story proceeds, Nya and Salva meet to make a positive impact. The book indeed is a guide to understanding resilience, compassion, love, and bravery.

6. 47 Days

People went through the most devastating times during World War II and this book exactly highlights the hardships of common men. 47 Days is based on a true story where Annette Oppenlander, the writer, talks about her grandfather. 

Guinter and Helmut were best friends who decided to disobey Hitler’s orders and went through days of dangerous times and unforgiving situations. As the two best friends fight their ways, you get an opportunity to learn about freedom, survival, and friendships. It is also a wonderful book teaching you the resilience of people during wars.

7. The Boy from Block 66

The Boy from Block 66 is an interesting historical story that is based on a true story. It talks about bravery and commitment to survival during the toughest times. Moshe Kessler, a 14-year-old, goes through rough times only to reach Block 66 during the Holocaust survival. 

He gets on the mission to protect the children’s camp and the story turns into a piece of art with vocabulary aiming at producing sensitivity in readers. The cruelty of the Germans and Buchenwald’s secret resistance is an important learning for high school students.

8. The Nightingale 

The Nightingale written by Kristin Hannah takes you on a journey of love, loss, and commitment towards the land. The book highlights a tale of two sisters who decide to put their foot forward during World War II in France. 

You are certain to enjoy the story where both sisters take different actions to fight against the fear of Nazi soldiers. With the usage of words, you can instantly feel the emotions of the unimaginable trials of war. As you proceed ahead, you get to explore the stories of bravery, persistence, and heart-wrenching scenarios.

9. Girl in the Blue Coat

Imagine reading about the struggle of a woman named Hanneke Bakker during World War II. Girl in the Blue Coat is a treasure for history lovers as you can learn about the Nazi occupation. The story elevates when the girl explores the secrets of people who indirectly help others in danger. 

This well-drafted story takes you through emotions of joy and despair as it teaches you how people make tough decisions during times of war. With suspense and thrill, the story of Hanneke is worth a read for high school students.

10. The Saints of Swallow Hills

The Saints of the Swallow Hills is an amazing collection in the list of history fiction books. Written by Donna Everhart, this book takes you to the time of the Great Depression Days when families held each other stronger than ever. 

The story is about two individuals, Del and Rae who go on their journey of hardships and commitment. As it focuses on turpentine camps, the descriptive texts and easy language enhance the reading time. With a unique storyline and distinctive characters, the book delves you into the past era.


Historical fiction books can be the best companion for students willing to explore history and gain knowledge. The above-mentioned books are well-written and loved by readers across the globe. With nuanced writing and dramatic scenes, they make sure to immerse the readers into a realistic zone of wars and victories. Apart from books, students can also play US history games and check different history websites to continuously charge their brains with fresh information and facts.

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