Top 10 Best Historical Books for 9-year-olds

Discover the stories and events of the past in these thrilling historical books for 9-year-olds, from the Ancient Romans to World War II. Featuring a range of different eras, adventures, characters and tales, kids will be enthralled by these brilliant historical books.

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1. The Great Fire

Ann Turnbull

It is 1666, and young Sam has been left alone and homeless by the Great Plague. He's lucky to get a job working for the Giraud family, although Andre, the son of his boss, makes things difficult for him. But then a fire breaks out on Pudding Lane. Before anyone fully realises what's happening, London's burning, and no-one can put the fire out. It's time for Sam to prove what he's worth - if he can make it out alive, that is... This riveting adventure is both gripping and illuminating.

2. Little House on the Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Based on Wilder's real-life childhood adventures, this captivating series follows a family in Wisconsin, who set up their home amongst Indians and wild bears. The books describe the way the different groups learn to live together in harmony, as well as what happens once the family leaves the prairie and Mary and Laura start school...

3. War Horse

Michael Morpurgo

In this gripping tale, a horse named Joey witnesses the deadly reality of battle from both sides of the trenches in the First World War. He will come to understand the chaotic power of war, and the boundless beauty of peace. His owner, Albert, is determined to bring his beloved horse home safely. This engrossing story is a favourite with kids, parents and teachers alike, and has been adapted for film and stage.

4. Hetty Feather

Jacqueline Wilson

This heart-warming, funny and fascinating novel will captivate young readers. London, 1876, and Hetty Feather is left at the Foundling Hospital when she is just a tiny baby. She goes to live with a foster family in the countryside, and, with her 'brothers' Jem and Gideon, she sneaks off to visit the travelling circus, where she is enthralled by Madame Adeline and her horses. However, when Hetty returns to the Foundling Hospital, she goes back to a tedious life of uniforms and horrible food. Could her real mother be the marvellous Madame Adeline? Or is the truth even more surprising?

5. Roman Mysteries Stories

Caroline Lawrence

Children can travel back in time to the exciting, perilous world of the Romans with these thrilling fictional tales. They feature authentic period detail and follow natural problem-solver Flavia Gemina, who - alongside her friends Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus - sets forth to solve a series of perplexing mysteries.

6. Swallows and Amazons

Arthur Ransome

In this unforgettable tale, the Walker children - Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty and Ship's Boy Roger - set sail on their dinghy, the Swallow, and head for Wild Cat Island. There, they camp under starry skies, swim in clear water and fish for their dinner. But their bliss is disturbed by the Blackett sisters, otherwise known as the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows and Amazons must battle it out, and so begins a summer of incredible adventures.

7. Carrie's War

Nina Bawden

Discover an evocative picture of life for evacuee children in World War II with this stunning classic novel. Carrie and her brother Nick are evacuated to Wales with severe shopkeeper Mr Evans and his gentle sister, Lou, whom he cruelly bullies. It's not long before the two children meet a cast of quirky village characters and become immersed in every aspect of village life - including a strange and unsettling mystery. Featuring suspense, intrigue and excitement, young history fans will love this wonderful story.

8. Little Women

Louisa May Alcott

Follow Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they must face the hardest of times and pull together, whilst their father goes to fight in the civil war. Though they may be poor, their lives are rich with colour and fun as they play games, put on dramatic theatricals, make new friends, argue, grapple with vices, learn from mistakes, nurse each other, and get into all sorts of trouble. This stunning tale is sure to enchant young readers, featuring the unconditional love between sisters and the challenges they face.

9. The Famous Five Series

Enid Blyton

Join Dick, Anne, Julian, George and Timmy the dog on all of their exciting escapades - in caves, castles, secret passageways and more! The gang must outsmart thieves, hunt for hidden treasure, and unravel all sorts of mysteries in these riveting classic tales, published from 1942 to 1963.

10. Illustrated Stories from Dickens

Charles Dickens

Five much-loved Dickensian classics have been retold for younger readers in this gorgeously illustrated collection. It includes Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield, as well as a short biography of the world-famous author himself. It also features internet links so kids can discover more about the life and times of Charles Dickens.

  • CWZ2 9 years +
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    Nina Bawden, award-winning author of The Peppermint Pig, creates an evocative picture of life for evacuee children in World War Two with her classic novel Carrie's War.

    Carrie and her brother Nick are evacuated to Wales and live with strict shopkeeper Mr Evans and his sister Lou. They quickly meet a host of quirky village characters and find themselves absorbed into every aspect of life in the village.

    With plenty of suspense and intrigue, this book will enthrall readers aged 9+, fans of Carrie's War may also enjoy Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian.
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    Little Women is the warm and touching tale of the four March sisters: sensible Meg, tomboy Jo, shy Beth and fiery Amy and the trials they face struggling to make ends meet while their father is away from home. This classic tale is perfect for reading aloud to youngsters or ideal for confident young readers aged 9+ to tackle independently.

    Little Women is narrated by Jo, who is fiercely independent and desperate to become a writer, but she and her sisters' ambitions are frustrated by lack of money and a series of misfortunes.

    Absorbing and inspiring, Little Women is a must-read classic that is guaranteed to make you laugh and cry.
  • WHQ2 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 piece of literature, there's never been a better time to read the book.
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    This is a beautifully illustrated collection of five best-loved classics from one of Britain's most famous writers, Charles Dickens, retold for younger readers. It includes "Oliver Twist", "Bleak House", "Great Expectations", "A Tale of Two Cities" and "David Copperfield" as well as a short biography of the great author himself. It is presented with internet links to find out more about the life and times of Charles Dickens.
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    Warm, moving, funny and totally fascinating, this Jacqueline Wilson book, Hetty Feather, is the perfect gift for young readers aged 8 and over.

    It's London, 1876, and Hetty Feather is just a tiny baby when her mother leaves her at the Foundling Hospital. The Hospital cares for abandoned children - but Hetty must first live with a foster family until she is big enough to go to school. Life in the countryside is hard but with her 'brothers' Jem and Gideon, she helps in the fields and plays imaginary games. Together they sneak off to visit the travelling circus and Hetty is mesmerised by the show, especially Madame Adeline and her performing horses. But Hetty's happiness is threatened once more when she is returned to the Foundling Hospital. The new life of awful uniforms and terrible food is a struggle for her. But now she has the chance to find her real mother. Could she really be the wonderful Madame Adeline? Or will Hetty find the truth is even more surprising?

    Jacqueline Wilson will surprise and delight old fans and new with this utterly original take on a historical novel. Set in Victorian times and featuring a brand new feisty heroine, Hetty Feather, this is a Tracy Beaker-esque tale that will thrill young readers.
  • AEVFK 9 years +
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    Swallows and Amazons for ever!' The Walker children - also known as Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty, and Ship's Boy Roger - set sail on the Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island. There they camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner. But their days are disturbed by the Blackett sisters, the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows and Amazons decide to battle it out, and so begins a summer of unforgettable discoveries and incredible adventures. See inside: Crack the Swallow's code and learn all about the real locations that inspired the adventurous author.
  • Little House on the Prairie Collection - 7 Books - Collection - 9780603571688 - Laura Ingalls Wilder
    LHSE 8 years +
    8 years +
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    With fresh new covers from award-winning illustrator Jonathan Burton, this seven-book collection will introduce a whole new generation to the delights of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books.

    Timeless tales that have continued to grow in popularity ever since the 1970s' TV adaptation, the Little House on the Prairie book and continuing series were actually based on Wilder's real-life childhood adventures.

    Starting with the Ingalls family building their house in Wisconsin and setting up home amongst some wild bears and Indians, the books describe how the different groups learned to live together and even look at what happened after the family left the prairie and Mary and Laura started school...
  • The Roman Mysteries Collection - 10 Books - Collection - 9781510102507 - Caroline Lawrence
    RNMY 9 years +
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    With authentic period detail, these 10 books from Caroline Lawrence are set in Ancient Rome and the mysteries are sure to keep children at with an interest in history guessing and racing through the pages as they discover the answers.

    The stories follow Flavia Gemina, a natural at problem solving, as she teams up with her friends Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus to solve a series of puzzling mysteries.

    Very readable, highly addictive and accessible enough for younger readers to enjoy, these are books children will return to again and again.
  • The Famous Five Collection - 22 Books - Collection - 9781444936278 - Enid Blyton
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    With mysteries, adventure and lashings of ginger beer, The Famous Five have entertained generations of young readers. In fact, the books have never been out of print!

    Here, in a keepsake box, you can enjoy all 22 novels that follow Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog as they visit some thrilling places and explore and uncover all sorts of secrets. To complete the set, there's a book of short stories about our favourite would-be detectives.

    From Kirrin Island to the lighthouse at Demon's Rocks and farms, castles, caves and secret passages galore, the gang outwit thieves, seek hidden treasure and encounter spook trains in their exciting journeys. Illustrated by Eileen Soper, this complete set of books shows how courage and determination can always help children achieve great things.

    Book People and Enid Blyton - A Lifetime of Adventure
    Format: paperback
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    "In sixteen hundred and sixty-six, London burned like rotten sticks." Left alone and homeless by the Great Plague, Sam struggled to survive. He was lucky to get a job working for the Giraud family. Though Andre, the son of his boss, doesn't make life easy. And then a fire breaks out on Pudding Lane. Before anyone fully realises what's happening, London's burning ...and this fire can't be put out. Now it's time for Sam to prove what he's really worth. If he can get out alive...A thrilling historical adventure produced in partnership with the National Archives. Sam's previous adventure is The Great Plague: A Cross on the Door, published by A&C Black.