Library Blog

YA Alternate History

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You’re probably studying history for school, or maybe you enjoy reading historical fiction.  Perhaps you’re only interested in specific historical events.  No matter what, though, these books are sure to turn your historical knowledge and thrown it into a wormhole as they take history and change a thing or two…or five.


Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

You’ll be going back to post-Civil War America to follow the adventures of Jane McKeen.  Jane was born just before the Battle of Gettysburg ended…because the dead soldiers rose as zombies.  Or shamblers, as they’re called in the book.  Now that she’s grown, Jane is being trained as an Attendant, which means learning weaponry and manners to protect the rich.  It’s also one of the few positions available to Jane as Black woman.  But she has bigger dreams.  And shamblers are going to be the least of her problems.  This one is available as an e-book on Overdrive and Hoopla and as an e-audiobook on Overdrive and Hoopla.  BONUS: The sequel, Deathless Divide, is available as an e-audiobook on Hoopla.


Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Travel back to Victorian England, when dirigibles floated through the air, vampires were looked to for fashion advice, and werewolves struggled to be accepted by polite society.  Wait…what?!  We know that’s not how it was, but adventure-loving Sophronia is in for even more of a surprise when she learns the finishing school her mother has shipped her off to is, in fact, going to train her to be a spy for crown and country. But she’ll make more than friends there—she’ll make plenty of enemies as she uncovers secrets and lies.  This first-in-a-series is available as an e-book and an e-audiobook on Overdrive. BONUS: Books 2-4 in this completed series are also available as e-books and e-audiobooks on Overdrive.


My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
So you know it’s going to be a good read when the authors apologize to England for messing up history.  Lady Jane Grey doesn’t want to get married (let alone to someone she won’t meet until their wedding day), and her cousin King Edward has made peace with the fact that he’s going to die.  But in this hilarious alternating point of view story, neither is prepared for what awaits them—magic, evil plots, traitorous friends and family, and maybe, possibly, even a bit of love.  Available as an e-book on Overdrive and as an e-book and e-audiobook on Hoopla.  BONUS: The next book in the series, My Plain Jane, is available as an e-book and e-audiobook on Overdrive and as an e-audiobook on Hoopla.


Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
We all agree that Hitler winning World War II would have been a horrible thing.  But in Yael’s 1956, that’s exactly what happened.  Not only is she in hiding a because she’s Jewish, she’s in hiding because she’s part of a resistance movement to kill Hitler.  Her time spent in a concentration camp gave her an invaluable skill, too—the ability to skinshift, or take on the appearance of someone else.  Now she’s going to use that ability to do the one thing she, and countless others, have been dreaming of.  She’ll enter the annual motorcycle race across Europe and Asia impersonating another racer so she can win and get close enough to Hitler to complete the job.  Available as an e-audiobook on Overdrive. BONUS: the sequel, Blood for Blood, is available as an e-book on Overdrive.

Enjoy the time travel!  Happy reading!


Sarah is a youth services librarian in Canfield. She pretty much only reads YA books, but she is easily distracted by a good picture book or anything Doctor Who related. Sarah loves to crochet and knit and can usually be found with a pile of yarn in her lap with one of her three dogs nearby. Originally from Texas, she still says “y’all” all the time and refuses to call carbonated beverages “pop.”