Historical fiction can be used to reinforce topics a student is studying in school or as entertainment for a child interested in historical events. There are many free historical fiction stories available to read online. Even if you don't own an eReader, these platforms offer the ability to download a free reader that can used on any computer.
Pirates of Savannah: The Hunt for Shamus's Booty
The Pirates of Savannah: The Hunt for Shamus's Booty is a book set in modern times but with characters who visit several historic locations in Savannah, Georgia. The main characters are four teenagers. Locations they visit include Savannah's underground tunnels and forgotten islands.
The book is aimed at ages 12 and up, but older readers may find it a bit juvenile. However, some adults even enjoyed this book.
Robin Hood is a classic fictional story about a band of merry men who rob from the rich to give to the poor. The book offers a look at historical figures such as King Richard the Lionheart, and a general look at life in England during the 15th or 16th century.
Children may recognize this story from the Disney movie by the same name. The book is aimed at ages 12 and up but serves as an excellent story to read as a family.
A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is set during the French Revolution. You've likely heard the opening line from this book before: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
It should be noted that the book has dramatic scenes involving mob violence and the guillotine so it's not suitable for younger children, but does make excellent reading for your high school student. The book rates an average of four stars on Barnes and Noble and four stars on Google.
The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers is set in 17th century France and was written by Alexandre Dumas. The story is about a young man who leaves home, encounters the three musketeers and has some amazing adventures as he travels the French countryside on his way to Paris. The book features real historical figures such as Queen Anne of Austria and Cardinal Richelieu.
The book rates four out of five stars on Google Play with readers commenting on the adventurous nature of the book and that it provides romance, fighting and drama all rolled into one.
Scholastic estimates the reading level for this book to be that of an eighth grader, so this book is best for middle school and early high school.
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is by Frances Burnett Hodgson and published in 1911. This book, like The Three Musketeers above, was initially published in a serial format, which was a popular format for magazines and newspapers of the time. The book talks about the cholera epidemic in India and gives a view of what it was like to live in the English countryside during that time.
The book is aimed at ages 9 to 12. Be warned that the protagonist, Mary Lennox, is a spoiled child. Her boredom is what leads her to explore the grounds of her uncle's estate. Several sources mention that Hodgson's book is heavily influenced by Christian Science.
Good Reads members give the book 4.09 out of 5 stars.
Timewrecked is a free fiction story written by Karen Sandler. The book follows seventh grader Kevin's life. Kevin has a big history report due that he hasn't even started.
Fortunately Kevin goes back in time 100 years and befriends a girl named Sarah who needs his help. He solves the mystery before coming back to the present.
The book is for preteens from about 9 to 12 years of age, but older students will enjoy it, too. It has a five-star rating on Amazon.
The Adventures of Akbar
The Adventures of Akbar by Flora Annie Steel was originally published in 1893. A few original illustrations are included. The book focuses on a young boy's adventures in the plains from India to Afghanistan. It mixes real historical figures with a few fictional ones.
The book is appropriate for ages 6 to 9. While there are not yet any reviews of this book available, it is a unique story that will help your child understand Middle East history a bit.
The Aeneid by Virgil is an epic poem. However, an epic poem of the time of Virgil was the length of a short novel and has a plot similar with a beginning, middle and end. It was written between 29 and 19 BC. It is the legend of Aeneas who was a Trojan. He traveled from Troy to Italy. Some of the history mentioned includes the Trojan horse and the burning of Rome. It's a great book for those who are interested in mythology.
The book is for upper level secondary students in 11th or 12th grade because the language can be challenging to read, even translated. The book has a rating of four out of five stars on Google.
Paul of the Timber Mill
Paul of the Timber Mill is an online book by Robin Robilliard. The book is set in the 1960s in New Zealand. The story follows a young boy living in a timber mill town. It's a short, quick read, but what makes it especially interesting is that there are historical photographs on each and every page.
The reading audience for this story is young children 6 to 9 years old. No reviews were available for this story, but it reads easily and is packed with excellent historical information.
The Cat of Bubastes
The Cat of Bubastes is by historical fiction writer G.A. Henty. Henty is known for writing fictional stories based on historical fact. This is the tale of a young prince who becomes a slave when the Egyptians overtake his people. Later, he kills a sacred cat and is forced to flee.
- Takes place around 1250 BC
- Location is ancient Egypt
- Christian themes are present
The book is best suited for ages 9 to 12. The books has four out of five stars on Amazon.
Free Historical Fiction
Fiction books that also delve into history help children learn about a specific time and place in a fun way. Information learned while enjoying a good story is more likely to be retained than information lectured at a child. Plus, these books are fun to read.