Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

Compiling a list of great contemporary historical fiction!

Here is an exciting new focus I found for this blog (with the help of my super-duper agent!) :): contemporary historical fiction – writing it, reading it, thinking it, dreaming it, okay, okay, I’ll stop here . . .

I am compiling a “master list” of awesome contemporary historical books for YA and middle grade audiences. If there is a recently published book out there that you think absolutely BELONGS on such a list, let me know!! If you are an author of contemporary historical fiction – or just writing it like I do – don’t be shy, either, I’d love to hear from you.

More soon,



February 19, 2010 - Posted by | Updates |


  1. Katia,

    I’ll start! I absolutely love The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party and Vol. 2: The Kingdom on the Waves by M. T. Anderson. The writing, the language, the plot twists, and the unique characters are absolutely engrossing. These are set in the Revolutionary War era, and Octavian is the subject of experiments by scientists and philosophers. Have you read these two?


    Comment by Patti Brown | February 21, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thanks, Patti! No, I haven’t read those: meant to for a long time 🙂 No more excuses!! I am not a hundred percent sure they belong on a list of “contemporary historicals” though: the Revolutionary war isn’t so recent . . . 🙂 Do you know of any titles that cover more modern history? If anyone would, it’d be you! 🙂

    Comment by Katia Raina | February 22, 2010 | Reply

  3. Since this was my idea, I’ll add some JVNLA titles! ALL ABOUT LULU by Jonathan Evison (mid-70’s Santa Monica) and BUFFALO AFTERNOON (Vietnam War) by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer. 🙂

    Comment by Jessica Regel | February 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Jessica! I loved Lulu, as for Buffalo Afternoon, just looked it up, and it made me want to gobble it up, IMMEDIATELY. These two titles aren’t strictly young adult, but Lulu is a coming of age story, and Buffalo has a 17-year-old protagonist, so we’ll take it! 🙂 Thanks!!
      I have some other titles I have come up with, too. But in the meantime, anyone else? Do I hear more? 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 23, 2010 | Reply

  4. Hi Katia,

    I would recommend BLUE by Joyce M. Hostetter. The book is set during WWII, and is about a girl stricken with polio. The dialogue is spot-on for the rural South, and the amount of research that went into this novel is astonishing. I know it has been picked for a couple of state lists, and I think most fans of historical fiction would enjoy it.

    Another good one is WINNIE’S WAR by Jenny Moss, and a hysterically funny HF is THE MISADVENTURES OF MAUDE MARCH by Audrey Couloumbis.

    Comment by Shannon Hitchcock | February 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Shannon, thanks so much for dropping by! This wouldn’t be the same without your opinion!! 🙂 You’re the HF expert 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 24, 2010 | Reply

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