January 4, 2012

Historical Fiction - What is it ?

Students in Mr. Penner's class will begin a literacy study using historical fiction books this month. So, what is historical fiction and why do teachers use this genre to teach ?  Wikipedia defines the genre this way.....

"Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the main characters tend to be fictional."

"Historical fiction presents readers with a story that takes place during a notable period in history, and usually during a significant event in that period. Historical fiction often presents actual events from the point of view of fictional people living in that time period."

Teachers use historical fiction [HF] for many reasons but two key reasons are that HF gives students a richer understanding of the past, and helps students learn to view issues and historical events from different viewpoints. Many teachers use HF to enrich a Social Studies theme or when examining the history of a current world event.

We have many historical fiction books in the Kent School library. The DEAR Canada series, written by notable Canadian authors, is an interesting collection of stories about Canadian history told through the diary format, giving our elementary students a glimpse into the lives of children who lived through various time periods in our country's past. Each book is extensively researched to be both historically accurate and entertaining. Many of these books have been awarded the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction is another prestigious award given for outstanding HF for children and young adults.
Many adults also enjoy reading historical fiction. Do you ?
Happy Reading !
Mrs. Dumas