Historical fiction reads

By Sicily Weitz, Hawkeye Staff

Although student life has been stressful with school starting again and the sudden increase in homework, people still might want to sit down and read a book, whether it’s for personal enjoyment, a school project or anything else. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some recommendations.

Published in 1945, “Animal Farm” by George Orwell is a heart-wrenching satire of the Russian Revolution. This is a classic example of not to judge a book by its cover, or title in this case. To avoid spoiling the story by saying too much, just know that this is a great book for any school report, or even for casual reading. The characters are easy to get attached to, and at most points in the story they’re compelling to root for. As the story continues, moments with the characters really pull on the reader’s heartstrings, and it feels like time flies by while reading. It’s masterfully written, and even though I’m personally not usually interested in historical books, I thoroughly enjoyed it after being assigned it in class. A slight warning to keep in mind before delving into the book is that it’s dark. There are multiple violent scenes, including murder, brainwashing, political sabotage and manipulation. If you’re someone who can’t handle these topics, this book may not be the best option for you. 

The historical fiction book “Into the Killing Seas” by Michael P. Spradlin has the right amount of action and characters that are likable from the second they’re introduced. In the story, two boys in the middle of World War II get separated from their parents and are forced to board a U.S. Navy ship in hopes of getting home. To the boys’ surprise, the ship goes under fire by Japanese torpedoes and they must manage to survive in the middle of the ocean. The ending is shocking and has a big twist that will leave you feeling many emotions at once. When reading the book for a second time, it’s also much easier and exciting to pick up on all the little hints and clues that were easy to miss the first time around. 

“A Night Divided” by Jennifer A. Nielsen is yet another historical fiction book, this time immersing the reader into the life of someone living during the 1960s while the Berlin Wall was being built. The book centers around a girl named Greta whose family is divided by the wall. Her family on the west side is trying to get her family on the east to a tunnel underneath where they can escape to safety. There are some incredibly tense moments that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. If you enjoy suspenseful books, this is a great option.

These three books are all suspenseful and the authors do a good job of telling their stories. These are great books to read if you want to immerse yourself into an action-packed world from the past.