Get ready to be transported from the late 1700s through the very early 1900s with these seven heavenly pre-20th Century historical novels by 2022 debut authors sure to captivate every reader!
Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter by Lizzie Pook
Pan Macmillan/Mantle - 3.3.22
It is 1886 and the Brightwell family has sailed from England to make their new home in Western Australia. Ten-year-old Eliza knows little of what awaits them in Bannin Bay beyond stories of shimmering pearls and shells the size of soup plates – the very things her father has promised will make their fortune. Ten years later, as the pearling ships return after months at sea, Eliza waits impatiently for her father to return with them. When his lugger finally arrives however, Charles Brightwell, master pearler, is declared missing. Whispers from the townsfolk point to mutiny or murder, but Eliza knows her father and, convinced there is more to the story, sets out to uncover the truth.
Gold Mountain by Betty G. Yee
Lerner Publishing/Carolrhoda Lab 4.5.22
In 1867, fifteen year old Tam Ling Fan disguises herself as a boy and journeys from China to America to work on the transcontinental railroad. She vows to earn the money so desperately needed to save her father, but encounters far more danger than she ever anticipated. How far will she go to achieve her goal?
Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary by Laura Stanfill
Lanternfish Press - 4.19.22
Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary is a nineteenth-century fable that will appeal to fans of Chocolat and The Invention of Hugo Cabret. In sunny Mireville, France, Henri Blanchard grows up in his legendary father Georges’s shadow. Georges is a master serinette craftsman, building high-pitched barrel organs to train songbirds to sing human melodies—and village lore credits him with chasing off the clouds. Henri, alas, prefers making bobbin lace with the local girls to the workshop he’s supposed to inherit. But when he discovers a secret trove of letters that reveal a prodigy half-brother in America, his efforts to impress his father become increasingly outlandish—and ultimately dangerous. Populated with strong women and one odd young man who doesn’t fit into the box society has chosen for him, Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary is about finding your place in the world—even if it’s all the way across the ocean.
Cabby Potts, Duchess of Dirt by Kathleen Wilford
The Little Press/Blue Bronco Books - 9.1.22
Twelve-year-old Cabby Potts is an outdoors kind of girl with an "intemperate tongue," as her Ma puts it. When she's forced to work as a housemaid at grand Ashford Manor, it seems like a miserable fate. Desperate to get away, and equally desperate to save her family's struggling homestead, Cabby plays matchmaker between the young lord of Ashford Manor and her romantic older sister, Emmeline. If there are a few lies involved, well, it's for a good cause.
The Lioness of Punjab by Anita Jari Kharbanda
Yali Books - 9.17.22
It is the winter of 1705, and the tenth Guru of the Sikhs is under attack by the armies of the mighty Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. Under siege and isolated, Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s men are exhausted beyond measure, and forty soldiers decide to head home. Back in the villages of Punjab, these forty men are met by a fiery Sikh woman—a warrior who has been preparing all her life for this very moment—who leads the deserters back to the Guru. This is the story of that warrior, the fierce Mai Bhago, who chose the sword to symbolize her unwavering loyalty and devotion to her people and her faith.
The Second Death of Edit and Violet Bond by Amanda Glaze
Sterling Children's - 10.4.22
A historical YA novel with a supernatural twist that follows a pair of runaway twins in the 1880s who take refuge with a traveling Spiritualist show after their father discovers their spirit medium abilities and threatens to commit them to an asylum. But when their fellow mediums begin disappearing, the twins must repair their broken bond in time to unveil a killer who will stop at nothing to cheat death.
Jaguars and Other Game by Brynn Barineau
Orange Blossom Publishing - 11.22.22
In the spirit of The Three Musketeers and Pirates of Caribbean (but with less misogyny and not only white people), Jaguars and Other Game is a historical fiction set in 1809 Rio de Janeiro. Three women are brought together on the hunt for a murderer after a friend is wrongly imprisoned for the crime. As they interrogate smugglers, dodge corrupt police, and crash a royal ball, the friends realize they've uncovered a plot that reaches the highest levels of the Portuguese monarchy. Jaguars is an adventure about found family and how far we'll go to save them from injustice. There's also a mad queen and some kick ass whip wielding.
Curator & blogger: Susan Azim Boyer