7 Reasons You Will Love Middle-Grade Historical Fiction

Good news! There may be a minimum age for reading middle-grade but there’s no maximum age.

Why will you love middle-grade historical fiction?

  1. Well-crafted novels – Charming characters and captivating settings are needed for quality historical fiction. Literature has standards, no matter the target age.
  2. Loads of action – Children are in front of screen an average of 5-7 hours per day (stat from Medlineplus.gov). Authors use action to grab and hold a middle-grader’s attention.
  3. Surprises – Who doesn’t love a good plot twist? Authors use this writing tool to keep readers guessing.
  4. Heart-wrenching scenes – A terrible accident leaving a character devastated or an unexpected kind gesture from an unexpected source. Childhood can be intense and confusing. Fictional childhoods are no different.
  5. Informative details – Historical fiction writers at all levels are serious about historic details.
  6. Fast-paced plots – Middle-grade novels keep the stakes high. Try to keep up!
  7. Smaller word counts – Smaller word-count plus fast-paced action makes most middle-grade historical fiction a quick read.  alittlewicked_williamsburgrl

Have a favorite middle-grade historical fiction novel? Please leave it in the comments.

When to Cheer for Tartan Day!

Tomorrow! We set aside April 6th as National Tartan Day to celebrate Scotland and those Scottish-Americans who have contributed greatly to the world.

Why April 6th? The date was chosen to honor the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. In this declaration named after the abbey where the men sealed this remarkable document, Scottish nobility expressed their desire to be ruled as Scots, by a Scottish king, King Robert the Bruce at the time. These men made impressive statements that day, including that the will of the people should be considered above the will of a king. If the nobles believed the king was not serving them well, they reserved the right to oust him and appoint another. In 1320! Brave and thoughtful men indeed.

For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
From The Declaration of Arbroath 1320.

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Abroath Abbey

There is reason to believe, although with no irrefutable proof, that the Declaration of Arbroath was one of the sources Thomas Jefferson consulted as he wrote the US Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia that hot summer of 1776. In fact, the Declaration of Arbroath is sometimes referred to as the Scottish Declaration of Independence. That is why this date was chosen for the American holiday that celebrates Scottish people, especially Scottish-Americans, and their many essential contributions to the world.

So on April 6th , this and every year, read the Declaration of Arbroath and think about how it my have influenced the Declaration of Independence.

Happy Tartan Day!

Fun Lesson Plan for Middle-Grade Historical Fiction

Use historical fiction in the classroom as a tool for honing writing skills. This plan is useful after the class has read a middle-grade historical fiction novel together.

♦ Objective: Broaden students’ understanding of character motivation

♦ Activity: Create and compare two Motivation Maps

  • Draw the outline of a person on the board or with an overhead projector. You can use craft paper and make it life size.
  • Ask students to write personality traits of the main character inside the outline, one at a time.
  • Ask students to write outside influences on the main character outside the outline, one at a time. Include influences specific to the time period.
  • Have students draw the outline of a person on their own large sheet of paper.
  • Have them copy all the outside influences from the class outline to their own.
  • Ask students to write their own personality traits inside the outline.

♦ Discussion: Ask students how they would react differently than the main character did to the outside influences and why.

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Find more lesson plan ideas at Marcie Colleen’s website. Share your experiences in the comments.

Put Yourself on the A Little Wicked Reader Map!

Put Yourself on the A Little Wicked Reader Map! Follow these simple steps to add yourself!

  1. Click on the link to the map.
  2. If asked for a key, type in IREADIT! (no spaces) and click the “Unlock” button.
  3. In upper left of the page, hover over the “Additions” button.
  4. Choose Add Marker – Simple
  5. In the pop-up window add your FIRST NAME, NICKNAME, or simply put “Me!No last names or anything with personal identification!
  6. In Location, type in the name of your town or city. Do not enter anything in the other boxes.
  7. Choose a color for your marker and hit Submit!

https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=1544776

ZeeMap

Thank you for reading A Little Wicked!

If you haven’t read it yet, ask about it at your local library!

The A LITTLE WICKED Library Network – Thank You Libraries!!

Librarians and Teachers:

Is your library part of the A Little Wicked Library Network? If your library holds a copy of A Little Wicked (thank you!) it should be listed on this map. The list was found at www.WorldCat.org. Please contact me with any changes.  Thank you!

ZeeMap

https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=1544576

You may need the key! If prompted, enter ViewTheM@p and click the “Unlock” button.

Readers:

If you have read A Little Wicked (thank you!), stay tuned for another blog post with a map where you can add your city and state to let everyone know Who Has Read A Little Wicked!

Curriculum Guide

A Little Wicked Guide – free PDF download

“…readers will learn a lot about resilience and Scottish identity.” – Publisher’s Weekly

Now that A Little Wicked is available in libraries across the country (and a little in Canada!), it’s a good time to repost the link to the FREE A Little Wicked Curriculum Guide written by Marcie Colleen.  It is an excellent resource for homeschool families, librarians, book clubs, teachers and other educators.

Remember the multi-talented and effervescent Marcie Colleen has written many amazing curriculum guides for picture books as well as middle grade. Take a look!

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