Historical Fiction Assignment

Assignment: A history teacher wants to incorporate novels into his curriculum. Create a list of books based on a certain time period.

Middle Ages Historical Fiction

High School

I imagine students could sign up and read the book they find most interesting. Then when the time period in which their story is set comes up, they could speak with authority about the book, the life of the characters, and the major events of the time period based on what they learned from the story.

  1. The Skystone by Jack Whyte–This story is full of battles, military strategy of the time period, and brilliant description. The author of this book is well versed in the life of a Roman soldier. This is set in the late 4th century and is actually just prior to the official start of the Medieval Period in the 5th century, but it would be a good book to set the stage for the beginning of the new age.
  2. Mosaic of Shadows by Tom Harper – This is the beginning of a trilogy which ends with the Crusades.  (Starred review by PubWeekly) (11th Century)
  3. Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz- This is a delightful story which is fun, full of middle ages details, and not too difficult of a read. Students could learn a little bit about the major religions and how they viewed each other during this time period.
  4. Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett–This is an immense story which will fascinate students who love political intrigue. It goes deeply into the religious structure of the time period and the methods in which cathedrals were built. (beginning of a series) This is set in the middle of the 12th century when the throne of England was divided by two contenders: Stephen of Blois and Maud.  
  5. Canterbury Tales by Chaucer– A challenging read for more advanced students who are interested in learning to read Middle English. The raucous bawdiness of some tales might surprise students who imagine old stories to be prudish and boring. Set in the 12th century.
  6. Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman–This is a Newbery Medal winner about the life of a commoner. This book would give insight into the life of a girl born of the lowest social rank and how she moves up to a skilled woman, thus increasing her social rank a little bit. (13th Century)
  7. Crispin by Avi–Another Newbery Medal Winning book, about a boy accused of murder. An excellent story to give insight into various aspects of medieval life. (14th Century)
  8. Here be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman–This book is set in Wales. It is about a truce secured by marriage.
  9. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory– Setting: The War of Roses 15th century. This is the beginning of a series which spans a great deal of England’s history, ending with book 14 in the Tudor Period.
  10. Brethren: An Epic Adventure of the Knights Templar by Robyn Young–This is a trilogy story about the Knights Templar near the end of the last crusade. (13th Century)

Bonus:Life in a Medieval City, Life in a Medieval Castle, Life in a Medieval Village by Joseph and Frances Gies (for nonfiction readers)

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