Historical Fiction Guided Notes Notes Title: Historical Fiction Notes Here are your questions: 1. What is Historical Fiction? 2. What is Historical Fiction like? 3. What types of events does historical fiction refer to? 4. What is the first type of historical fiction? 5. How do you identify the first type of historical fiction? 6. What is the second type of historical fiction? 7. How do you identify the second type of historical fiction? 8. What is the third type of historical fiction? 9. How do you identify the third type of historical fiction? 10. What are the elements of historical fiction, and how do you identify them? Definitions and Descriptions • Historical Fiction is realistic fiction set in a time remote enough from the present to be considered history, usually set apart by one generation (which is typically defined as twenty years). • Like all realistic fiction stories, historical fiction narratives are imaginary and the events and character’s actions must be within the realm of the possible. • In historical fiction, actual historical events, authentic period settings, and real historical figures blend with imaginary characters and plot. An imaginary story is constructed around the facts. THINK – PAIR - SHARE • Complete a Venn diagram detailing the similarities and differences between realistic fiction and historical fiction. There are 3 types of historical fiction. Historical Fiction 1: Imaginary and Real Characters • The first type of historical fiction and the most common form has imaginary main characters, but some secondary characters may be actual historical figures. These stories usually depict a significant historical event, such as a war, an economic depression, or a natural disaster Example: Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes • Set in the Revolutionary War period, this story tells of Johnny, a fictitious character, apprenticed to a silversmith. In the course of the story, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere are introduced as minor characters. Historical Fiction 2: Cultural References • The second type of historical fiction depicts the physical location of the story through descriptions of social traditions, customs, morals, and values of the period but with no mention of an actual historical event or actual historical figures as characters. Example: The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare. • The Puritan way of life in Connecticut in the 1600’s is depicted in this story about a young Kit from Barbados who becomes involved in a witchcraft trial. Historical Fiction 3: Historical Fantasy • The third type of historical fiction is not actually realistic fiction. • In this type of historical story, elements of fantasy are found, therefore disqualifying it from realistic fiction. • Time warps, secret portals to another time, and other supernatural features are a subcategory of historical fiction which are categorized as historical fantasy. Notable Authors of Historical Fiction: Avi James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier Karen Cushman Peter Dickinson Patricia Reilly Giff Karen Hesse Kimberly Willis Holt Iain Lawerence Geraldine McCaughrean Uri Orlev Katerine Patterson Richard Peck Ann Rinaldi Mildred Taylor Laurence Yep The Scott O’Dell Award • The award was established in 1981 by author Scott O’Dell and honor what is judged to be the most outstanding work of children’s historical fiction published in the previous year. • The work must be written by a U.S. citizen and be set in the New World. • www.scottodell.com Universal themes in historical fiction : • Several reoccurring elements are pervasive throughout modern selections of historical fiction. • The most common themes are the effects of war, family closeness in times of trouble, seeking refuge, opportunity through immigration, and economic challenges How do you identify historical fiction? Elements of Historical fiction • Historical Events: Authors of Historical Fiction will write about important events and phenomena that happened in the past. These are usually events that significantly impacted people living at that time. • Real Places: Fictional stories set in the past often take place in real places that are relevant to the story. • Cultural Artifacts: Fictional Stories set in the past must include cultural artifacts from that time to make the setting believable. This might include objects, music or artistic references, television shows or movies, hairstyles and clothing. How do you identify historical fiction? Elements of Historical fiction (Continued) • Historical Language and Slang: People spoke differently in the past. In Historical Fiction, you will read accents, vocabulary, and slang that you don’t use today. You will mostly read familiar language and words because, for th reader to understand the story, it has to be told in a modern voice. • Realistic Characters: In some works of Historical Fiction, there are real, important characters from history. In other works, the characters are fictional, but live in a real, historical time. In Conclusion: • Through historical fiction, young adults have an opportunity to learn by living vicariously through the lives of people long ago – people from different cultures and from different parts of the world.