Readers, we just released a delightful episode of What Should I Read Next featuring our first grandmother-granddaughter duo. Rebekah and Beverly might be from different generations, but judging by their taste in books, you’d never know it!
One of their favorite spans of common ground is their mutual love of realistic books that are based around—or simply include—lesser-known historical events. I so enjoyed hearing their favorites when we talked, and after our recording I spotted a plethora of titles on my own shelves that would likely make similarly-minded readers very happy.
Although I certainly enjoy nonfiction about historical events, there’s something special about the way a fictional story illuminates a piece of history. Fictional characters spark our imaginations and immerse us in the setting, inviting us to empathize with their journeys while we learn something new on every page.
Today I’m sharing 15 novels that incorporate real historical events and careful research but focus on the story. And we’re betting these novels focus on events you didn’t learn about in history class!
If you’re looking for even more page-turning untold stories—or inspiration to form your own intergenerational book club— don’t miss WSIRN Episode 273: Realism, redemption, and reading across generations.
15 fiction books about lesser-known historical events
Do you have a favorite book about a lesser-known historical event? Build out our TBR in the comments.
P.S. If you love history, check out these 25 fascinating true stories you didn’t learn about in history class or try 8 novels paired with 8 nonfiction books to illuminate your reading experience.