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Transcript of Historical Fiction
October 7, 2013
What is Historical Fiction?
Historical fiction is stories that "brings history to life by placing appealing characters in accurately described historical settings" (Pace, 2001).
Historical fiction tells a fiction story placed in a time period in history. The characters and events follow social conditions at that time ("What is Historical Fiction?", 2013).
Well Known Authors of Historical Fiction
Louisa May Alcott
Mary Pope Osborne
Magic Treehouse Series
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie Series
Island of the Blue Dolphins tells of a girl named Karana and her adventures as the Russian Hunters, the Aleuts come to her island to hunt. Her tribes tribulations with the Aleuts cost some their lives. Then, Karana is left on the island to survive along after events occur beyond her control. Story of adventure, heartbreak, and survival.
The story takes place during the time of the Civil War in New England. Four sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy live with their mother while their father is away as a chaplain to the soldiers. The story follows the four sisters as they grow up and become young women, marry, and start their own life.
American Girl Series
Maud Hart Lovelace
Betsy Tacy Books
L. M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables
American Girl Series is written to accompany the American Girl dolls. Each book takes a character and tells of their adventures during a certain time period in history. The American Girl dolls looks like the characters in the book during that time period in history.
The Betsy Tacy Books take place in the early 20th century. The main character is Betsy Ray, and the books follow her as she grows up and the adventures that she has in the town of Deep Valley, Minnesota.
Anne is an orphan who is adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, unmarried siblings who live on their farm, Green Gables. Anne has never had the opportunity to be taught manners or education. She unintentionally messes up quite often. She meets the neighbor, Diana Barry, and they become friends. Throughout the novel, a boy names Gilbert Blythe is Anne's rival. Anne devotes time to her studies and earns the prestigious Avery Scholarship, which gives her enough money to finish 4 years of school. Unfortunately, Matthew has a heart attack and passes away. Marilla starts to go blind, and Anne decides to selflessly give up school to stay with Marilla. Anne teaches at the Avonlea school to be close to Marilla. As the years pass, Gilbert and Anne grow to be close friends. Anne looks forward to an optimistic future.
"I Survived Series"
"I Survived Series" relives events that have occurred in history. In each story, characters describe the feelings and occurrences of the event. The story allows the reader to relate to the event and aftermath even though they were not there to experience it.
The Magic Treehouse Series is a creative way to tell children about different time periods and events in the world. The books follow Jack and his sister Annie as they go on different adventures by using their treehouse.
Quality Historical Fiction Literature
Historical Fiction Characteristics. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Mitchell, D. (2003). Children's literature: An invitation to the
world. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Pace, D. (2001). Historical Fiction Genre Study. Retrieved
What is historical fiction?. (2013). Retrieved from http://
Characteristics of Historical Fiction
Characters: All the characters behave in realistic ways.
Setting: The setting is authentic to the particular period in history.
Plot: Plot is based on real events that occurred in history mixed with fictional events. The events that occur are sensible to that particular time period.
Dialogue: Dialogue between characters reflect thoughts and views during the time period
Description: Events, characters, and places are described vividly. The author explains any unfamiliar historical information for the reader.
Conflict: The main characters are involved in a conflict that would be realistic for the time period.
"Historical Fiction Characteristics", n.d.)
References for Images Used in Presentation
Alcott, L. M. (1868). Little Women. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from: www.lindacrew.com
Lovelace, M. H. (1979). Betsy-Tacy. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from: www.betsy-tacysociety.org
Montgomery, L. M. (1908). Anne of Green Gables. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from: www. bluepyramid.org
O'Dell, S. (1960). Island of the Blue Dolpins, Retrieved September 25, 2013, from: www.hellogiggles.com
Osborne, M. P. (1992) Magic Tree House Series. Retrieved September 25, 2013 from: www.ops.org
Tarshis, L. (2012). I Survived Series. Retrieved September 25, 2013 from: www.scholastic.com
Tripp, V. (1991). Valerie. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from: www.amazon.com
Wilder, L. I. (1935). Little House on the Prairie, Retrieved September 25, 2013, from: www.wikipedia.org.
1. Is fact distinguished from fiction?
Fact is not distinguished from fiction. The story uses events that have occurred in history to illustrate Josefina's life with her family.
2. From the inside jacket flap, acknowledgments, or author’s note, can you get a sense of the research the author did and learn what sources were used?
You can get a sense of the research the author completed in the section at the end of the book titled Looking Back, American in 1824. The author presents true information about the Southwest and Mexico during the time period.
3. Do the action and plot develop out of the time period? If the book could be set in any other time period with the same conflicts present, it’s not historical fiction.
Yes. Josefina tells about her grandfather taking the goods to sell to Mexico on the caravan. Grandfather brings Aunt Dolores to come help the family since Josefina's mother has passed away.
4. Do the characters jump to life and make the reader feel connected to them? Do they express attitudes and beliefs consistent with the time period?
The characters do jump to life. It is easy for the reader to feel instantly connected to Josefina and her family members. The characters do express beliefs consistent with the time period. Father works in the fields and the women stay at home and do the cooking and cleaning.
5. Are the historical setting and events woven into the story in seamless ways, or do the characters spout history lessons?
Events occur in Josefina's life that explain what life was like in the 1800s in the American Southwest.
6. Are the themes significant ones?
The theme of loyalty to family runs throughout the story. It is the most significant theme throughout the book.
7. Does the writing bring the story to life?
Valerie Tripp does an amazing job writing about the life of Josefina, who along with her family, attempt to find a new "normal" since their mother has died.
8. Is the story authentic in language, details, and spirit of the times?
The story is authentic in language. Many words are used in their Spanish form throughout the book. The author provides a glossary in the back for readers. Details about clothes and jobs the characters are required to do are authentic. The spirit of Josefina is one of hopefulness. She is looking forward to her grandfather coming back home. The surprise is that he brings Aunt Dolores to help the family heal from their mother's death.
Meet Josefina by Valerie Tripp