Historical Stories for Kids

  • ICEM 7 years +
    7 years +
    (3)
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    The launch of a new David Walliams book is one of the highlights of the year in children's books and we're so excited to read the epic tale of The Ice Monster.

    Elsie is an orphan who lives on the streets of Victorian London. When she hears reports of a woolly mammoth (The Ice Monster of the title) being spotted at the North Pole, she makes it her mission to see for herself.

    A chance encounter later and Elsie is on the adventure of a lifetime - all the way from London to the heart of the Arctic... Will Elsie's dreams come true?
  • FHAR 14 years +
    14 years +
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    This collection features Frances Hardinge's Costa Book of the Year winner The Lie Tree alongside two other deliciously dark and twisted tales. They're suitable for ages 12 and over, but we wouldn't be surprised if adults find themselves fully absorbed into these rich worlds...

    In The Lie Tree, Faith's father is found dead under very mysterious circumstances. While searching through his belongings for clues, she discovers a strange tree that only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. This fruit will then deliver a hidden truth to anyone who eats it...

    Cuckoo Song is a beautifully eerie story that was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Triss wakes up after an accident and knows something is off. She's hungry; her sister is scared of her and her parents are whispering. She looks in her diary to find out what happened but the pages have been ripped out. Her quest for the truth takes her to places more strange and terrible than she could have ever imagined...

    Fly by Night is Frances' wonderfully inventive debut novel about a 12-year-old girl and her bad-tempered goose who become the unlikely heroes of a radical revolution.

    Format: paperback
  • Just William Collection - 8 Books - Collection - 9781529010855 - Richmal Crompton
    JWLM 9 years +
    9 years +
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    • Just £1.50 per book
    There is only one Just William. This lovable trouble-maker has been harassing his unfortunate family and delighting hundreds of thousands of readers for decades and now he is ready to entertain and exasperate a whole new audience with this eight-book collection.

    Each of these gorgeous books features at least nine Just William stories. Your young readers will love meeting the Outlaws as they set about causing chaos and the marvellous frilly-dressed Violet Elizabeth who not only expects to play fairies with William, but also expects a kiss!

    Each book also features eye-catching cover artwork by a different talented illustrator. Lauren Child, Chris Riddell and Adam Stower are among those to have contributed.
    Format: paperback
  • Little Women Collection - 4 Books - Collection - 9780349011998 - Louisa May Alcott
    LTLW 12 years +
    12 years +
    (1)
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    One of the all-time classics, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is the touching and heartbreaking tale of the four March sisters: sensible Meg, tomboy Jo, shy Beth and fiery Amy.

    It follows the girls as they grow up and deal with life's various issues. From squabbles to struggles to make ends meet and missing their father to the perils of sickness, it's a novel that captures the feelings of impending adulthood.

    This collection contains Little Women and its sequels Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys.

    Format: paperback
  • Emily of New Moon Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9780349012070 - L.M. Montgomery
    ENWM 11 years +
    11 years +
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    The Emily of New Moon trilogy is a timeless, charming and unforgettable series from L.M. Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables.

    Emily Starr has never known what it is to be unloved. But when her father dies, she is left in the care of her mother's family. Emily is a stranger to the proud Murrays, none of whom think they can cope with such a heartbroken, headstrong girl...

    They decide to draw lots to see who should look after her and Emily is sent to live at New Moon with her stern Aunt Elizabeth, kind Aunt Laura and eccentric Cousin Jimmy.

    Although Emily is enchanted by her new home, she can't believe she will ever belong there. But then she makes some close friends and everything starts to make sense...

    Format: paperback
  • Michael Morpurgo Collection - 12 Books - Collection - 9780007974603 - Michael Morpurgo
    RPUR 9 years +
    9 years +
    (5)
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    • Just £1.25 per book
    Former Children's Laureate and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo writes heartfelt and poignant stories based around animals and wartime and this collection brings together 12 of his most beloved books.

    His bestsellers Born to Run, Shadow and Private Peaceful are among the bestsellers featured in this collection. Suitable for children aged 9 and over, these page-turners feature moments of triumph and tragedy, kindness and cruelty and heroism and heartbreak.

    Exceptionally written, these heart-warming books explore the power of humanity in all its forms and our love for animals and will introduce so many important themes.

    Format: paperback
  • Time Hunters Collection - 10 Books - Collection - 9780007974641 - Chris Blake
    TMEH 7 years +
    7 years +
    (1)
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    After roaring through the Beast Quest books, adventure-loving children can take exciting trips through time with the 10 books in Chris Blake's Time Hunters collection.

    These pacy stories follow Tom and Aztec girl Zuma as they battle against some of history's greatest warriors including Isis the Egyptian mummy who's been imprisoned for years and outlaws, samurais and pirates!

    Packed with action and historical facts, these books find Tom and Zuma trying to track down hidden amulets and are oh-so addictive.

    Please note: this is a 10-book collection and titles not included are Mohican Brave and Aztec Attack.

    Format: paperback
  • BRIAH
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    Hilary McKay's The Skylarks' War is a beautiful story following the loves and losses of a family growing up against the harsh backdrop of World War One. It has been shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2018.

    Clarry and her older brother Peter live for their summers in Cornwall, staying with their grandparents and running free with their charismatic cousin, Rupert. But normal life resumes each September - boarding school for Peter and Rupert, and a boring life for Clarry at home with her absent father, as the shadow of a terrible war looms closer.

    When Rupert goes off to fight at the front, Clarry feels their skylark summers are finally slipping away from them. Can their family survive this fearful war?
  • Nina Bawden Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9780349010625 - Nina Bawden
    NBAW 9 years +
    9 years +
    (1)
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    • Just £1.66 per book
    Nina Bawden's children's books were a huge influence on the likes of Michael Morpurgo and this three-book collection contains some of her most beloved and inspirational work.

    Carrie's War is a moving story about evacuees that finds Carrie and her brother being sent to Wales and living away from home for the very first time; The Peppermint Pig has a family welcoming a tiny pig into their home and reveals how his naughtiness and clever nature kept a family happy in the most difficult of times; and Keeping Henry asks whether a squirrel can really be a suitable pet.

    Format: paperback
  • AOKA 7 years +
    7 years +
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    Children can learn all about the dramatic reign of King Arthur with this comic strip-style book.

    Gripping from start to finish, this is an epic tale of swords and sorcery that has detailed illustrations that are sure to excite and entertain young readers.

    Children will want to learn more about the legend as they read through this narrative retelling.
  • PPUL 13 years +
    13 years +
    (5)
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    Philip Pullman's books tackle important, controversial and difficult subjects with style, wisdom and authority. The His Dark Materials trilogy is often heralded as a modern masterpiece and it's featured on this unabridged audio collection across three CDs. There are also four CDs featuring the unabridged books from the Sally Lockhart Quartet.

    The monumental His Dark Materials books introduce Lyra, an orphan who lives in a parallel universe where science, theology and magic are entwined. As she embarks on a search for a sinister plot that involves stolen children, she soon finds herself on a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust...

    The Sally Lockhart Quartet opens with The Ruby in the Smoke, a book that finds Sally receiving an anonymous letter shortly after the death of her father at sea; the dire warning it contains makes a man die of fear at her feet... Sally decides to find out the truth about her father's death and finds herself plunged into a terrifying mystery in the heart of Victorian London - and it all seems to revolve around a deadly blood-soaked jewel.

    The His Dark Materials audiobooks are read by Philip Pullman and a full cast, while the Sally Lockhart Quartet is read by Anton Lesser.
    Approximate running time: 70 Hours 45 Minutes
    Ages 13 plus
    Please note this collection contains CDs that can only be played on MP3-accessible CD players, devices, computers and laptops. All post-2001 car model stereos are MP3 CD accessible.
    Import into iTunes or any other media player, then transfer to your MP3 device or player. Suitable for smartphones, iPads and tablets
    Format: MP3 CD

    MP3 CDs in this collection:
    Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass, The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well and The Tin Princess.
  • SGJ2 7 years +
    7 years +
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    Michael Morpurgo offers his take on the classic Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

    Sir Gawain is King Arthur's greatest night and he finds himself battling the Green Knight in a challenge that strikes fear and dread into Arthur's court...

    This is a thrilling and enchanting read about an incredible quest.
  • OTDE 7 years +
    7 years +
    (1)
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    The Discovery Express is arriving at your destination... all aboard!

    It's 1937 and a professor on the verge of an important discovery has disappeared. Can your children solve the clues and track down this missing scientist? Along the way, they'll learn about the history of transport, meet incredible engineers and even unveil the design of the world's first jet engine.

    With plenty of flaps to lift and graphic novel-style illustrations, this adventure will spark the imagination of aspiring scientists and engineers! It also provides an enticing introduction to the history of transport.
  • GMR2 9 years +
    9 years +
    (1)
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    In Michelle Magorian's classic Goodnight Mister Tom, a young Willie Beech is evacuated to the countryside due to the outbreak of the Second World War.

    A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of a kind old man, Tom Oakley. But then his cruel mother summons him back to war-torn London... Will Willie ever see his friend Mister Tom again?

    Full of characters to both love and hate, moments of grief and joy, and a marvellous, emotion-grabbing narrative, Goodnight Mister Tom will captivate adults and young readers aged 9 and over.
  • WOF2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver is a haunting prehistoric adventure that will appeal to children from 9+.

    When his father is killed by a bear that has been taken over by a demon, 12-year-old Torak is left living alone in the forest but he has a quest to follow. As his father dies, he tells Torak that it's up to him to find and get help from the Mountain of the World Spirit, so that the bear can be prevented from destroying others.

    Terrifying adventures lie in wait for Torak. Can he succeed in his quest? Michelle Paver's skilful storytelling will enthral and entrance!
  • BJQ2 8 years +
    8 years +
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    From the best-selling author of Horrible Histories... Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland, 5000 years ago On the cold and windy island of Skara Brae, Tuc and his sister Storm try to catch birds in their fishing net. They eat fish day in, day out, and they're sick of it. But when a thief steals half their tribe's winter food stores, being bored of their dinner is the least of their problems. What if they starve? And even worse, what if it's true that their father's the thief? A brand new and exciting tale, based on real historical and archaeological evidence, this story is full of Terry Deary's imaginative style and dry wit.
  • EIK2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    This wartime novel for children aged 8 and over finds an evacuee delivering the post for her curmudgeonly guardian. Olivia likes to think these letters are secret messages and missives...

    Sent to the Devon coast, the siblings are desperate to be helpful but then they come across a strange coded note that might just link their missing older sister Sukie to Devon and something dark and dangerous.
  • DIE2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are off to the Rue Theatre to take on an exciting new challenge in Death in the Spotlight.

    Part of the Murder Most Unladylike Mystery series, this book finds Hazel and Daisy facing danger around every corner of the theatre.

    As jealousy, threats and pranks spiral out of control, a body is discovered - and our heroes face a race against tome before the killer strikes again.
  • JOR2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    A huge favourite with us at Book People and described by the Sunday Times as 'the most perfect children's book', Eva Ibbotson's Journey to the River Sea is an enchanting read that proves that every kid should live their life full of adventure.

    The story of an orphan shipped to her distant relatives, Maia is disappointed when she is not welcomed with the open arms she was expecting... but the wonders of the Amazonian rainforest soon make up for this!

    When she meets a mysterious boy who lives alone on the wild river shores, things become even more extraordinary. A beautiful, traditional adventure story, we just know you will adore this book.
  • PYM2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his own country, his own father. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

    Bruno's friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

    John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is poignant, heart-warming and illustrates how friendship knows no boundaries - a beautiful book!
  • WAM2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    In War Horse, award-winning children's author Michael Morpurgo allows readers to understand the horror of the First World War by recounting the experiences of a farm horse who is commandeered to join the front line.

    The unbeatable storytelling skills of Michael Morpurgo make War Horse a stunning, unputdownable tale that won't fail to move all readers from 9+.

    As Steven Spielberg's epic film version gained a whole new audience for this stunning novel, there's never been a better time to read the book.
  • MZA2 11 years +
    11 years +
    (2)
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    Adapted into a film starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, The Book Thief is a moving and breathtaking novel that young readers and adults will devour. This 10th anniversary edition contains exclusive material from the author, Markus Zusak.

    Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, the country holds its breath, waiting on the brink of war. Young Liesel's life is changed forever as she stands by her brother's grave and picks up The Gravedigger's Handbook from the snow, committing her first act of book thievery and changing her life forever...

    So follows her love affair with books in an increasingly dangerous time. When her foster family hide a Jewish boy in their basement her world is both opened up and shut down, but the power of words and the ability for books to feed the soul is explored and enjoyed by both youngsters.

    Superbly crafted and incredibly moving, children aged 11 and over simply must read this award-winning tale which has proved to be one of the most enduring and respected of recent times.
  • CWH2 9 years +
    9 years +
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    One of the most loved and enduring wartime novels, Carrie's War is a modern classic. WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY MICHAEL MORPURGO AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALAN MARKS 'A touching, utterly convincing book' Jacqueline Wilson 'Poignant and realistic . . . Carrie's War captures the true reality of war for a child, and it doesn't sentimentalise war' Shirley Hughes, Guardian 'I did a dreadful thing, the worst thing of my life, when I was twelve and a half years old, and nothing can change it' It is wartime and Carrie and her little brother Nick have been evacuated from their London home to the Welsh hills. In an unfamiliar place, among strangers, the children feel alone and find little comfort with the family they are billeted with: Mr Evans, a bullying shopkeeper and Auntie Lou, his kind but timid sister. When Carrie and Nick visit Albert, another evacuee, they are welcomed into Hepzibah Green's warm kitchen. Hepzibah is rumoured to be a witch, but her cooking is delicious, her stories are enthralling and the children cannot keep away. With Albert, Hepzibah and Mister Johnny, they begin to settle into their new surroundings. But before long, their loyalties are tested: will they be persuaded to betray their new friends? This collection of the best children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.