My students are noticeably more engaged when they can relate to the protagonist in a book they read. History is not my students' favorite subject, but they are beginning to express their interest in history as they started working on National History Day research projects.
With these new historical fiction books, my students will be able to choose from a variety of historical contexts that will not only allow them to understand the past on a more personal level but also to make more sense of the current world they are living in.
Even with the limited selection of historical fiction books I have in my class now, my students are already having insightful discussions. One of my students realized how there was a thin line between bravery and foolishness when she read Number the Stars. Another student read My Name Was Keoko and questioned the communication channel among Koreans when they were occupied by Japan.
It is my hope that my students will find out more, question more, and make more connections between the past and the present as they step inside the world of historical fiction.
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