Having four children and no cable meant a lot of reading in our home. My 2 oldest children who started home schooling in grades 7 and 9 said they learned more history from historical fiction than they ever did in school!
I am going to post some of our favourites (most of the ones in this post have a Canadian connection) and feedback on them. It will take several more posts, because we have a lot of favourite historical fiction!!
First, one that I have read aloud a few times and our girls enjoyed was Indian Captive, The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski. This book is a vivid picture of the fear and hatred that comes when you have been ripped from your home and family to the respect that came from living years with your captors - an Iroquois Seneca tribe. It was so well written and was very heartfelt, but not in a sappy way. There was an incredible amount of information on the Seneca, their way of life and the structure of their society. I can highly recommend it!
Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare was another book that our girls read and enjoyed. I also read this one aloud last year to "Little One". It was a great book about the human spirit and how we can choose to be oppressed or rise above our circumstances with hope for the future. These were amazing times in our history where there were next to no human rights. A person could be captured, taken from their home and sold into slavery. It was based in the time of the French and Indian Wars in the 1700's.
Bully Boys by Eric Walters was one that we read and enjoyed (including me!). It gives you an interesting look into the War of 1812, Lieutenant James FitzGibbon - his ingenuity and courage and his men The Green Tigers (or Bully Boys). In many ways FitzGibbon was almost larger than life! This is a great book for boys!
Another book we have read was The Wintering by William Durbin. The first book of this series (The Broken Blade) we didn't get until after we had read The Wintering. The young man in the story has to work very hard as a voyageur and he really has to adjust his thinking more than once about the men that he works along side. They need to survive the winter and Pierre is challenged physically, mentally and emotionally in the story. Another good novel for boys!
Charlie Wilcox by Sharon McKay is a great book by a gifted author who has a engaging way of exposing our children to the very young men who went to war in World War 1. Charlie from Newfoundland is ill prepared for what he encounters in the war and is forever changed. The book is somehow personal and we seem to get to know Charlie as he changes. Through him we can understand what is was like to be a soldier in World War 1.
I hope you will enjoy these books as much as our family has. Blessings!