8 great books to get your children and grandchildren excited about history

3 min read

Historical fiction opens an exciting window into our complex past. It allows children to identify with events that are often too far removed from their own experience to fully understand. 

Stories put young readers at the centre of the action, broadening their understanding through relatable experiences. This particular list of classic novels will encourage young readers to feel excited about the past and explore history for themselves.

Browse Ladybird History books

On the Field of Waterloo, Captain F. S. Brereton (1915)

On The Field of Waterloo

This beautifully illustrated volume is a fascinating read. It is an enthralling and visually captivating story, perfect for children curious to learn more about the British Empire. 

Filled with adventure and heroism, it takes the reader on a journey back in time. War and peace, empire and glory all weave their way into the plot to create an intriguing historical tale.  

 Discover vintage children's history books

 

 

 

Stories of King Arthur and His Knights, U. Waldo Cutler (1907)

The Stories of King Arthur

Arthurian legend has been threaded through many written works for centuries. This collection, a re-telling of theMorte D’Arthur, provides a wonderful insight into an imaginative history of the Breton King.

Re-imagined in different countries and across the centuries, the Arthur tales have been passed from generation to generation. Cutler’s writing will captivate young readers, especially those who love tales of knighthood, chivalry, fantasy, and myth.

Find vintage editions of children's books

 

 

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (1843)

A Christmas Carol

Loved by readers for decades,A Christmas Carolhas made its name as a heartwarming classic. Filled with Victorian Christmas traditions, family festivities and ghostly encounters, it is the perfect introduction to Dickens. 

While raw and realistic at times, the story comes alive with warmth and entertainment. It captures the trials of poverty and factory labour but also bears a strong message of transformation and optimism. 

 Explore our Charles Dickens Collection 

 

 

Smith, Leon Garfield (1967)

Smith
Set in Victorian London, Smith mirrors the atmospheres and contexts made popular by Charles Dickens in his famous works. The story follows the adventures of Smith, a young pick-pocket whose habits lead to an unexpected change of circumstances. 

Reminiscent of Oliver Twist, the book is filled with thrilling adventures and betrayal. It offers a glimpse of 18th Century London, a slice of realism with an underlying moral thread. Gripping and mysterious, it is ideal for children interested in English history. 

 Shop classic children's novels 

 

 

The Cat of Bubastes, G. A. Henty (1889)

The Cat of Bubastes

In Egypt, in the year 1250 BC, a young prince becomes a slave and a fugitive after the accidental killing of a sacred cat. 

The Cat of Bubastes transports the reader to an ancient world. Filled with stunning illustrations, it vividly explores the lives and customs of the ancient egyptians. With its thrilling sense of adventure, it hooks readers in from the start. 

Browse our Children's Books Collection

 

 

 

Masterman Ready, Captain Marryat (1841)

Masterman Ready

Masterman Ready may resonate with those who have read and lovedA Swiss Family Robinson andTreasure Island. It is a tale of shipwreck, danger, and survival, bound by a strong tone of optimism. 

Marooned on a desert island, the Seagrave family fight for their survival with the aid of veteran sailor, Masterman Ready. Their story is intriguing and draws readers into a spirited and hazardous adventure. 

Take a look at our range of children's historybooks

 

 

Arabian Nights Entertainment Hon. Mrs Sudgen (1884) 

Arabian Nights

More commonly titledOne Thousand and One Nights, these collected tales explore a fascinating world of Middle Eastern folklore traditions. Redesigned for juvenile readers, they bring many myths and magical tales to life. 

First collected in the Islamic Golden age, these stories have been retold countless times. 

Romances, tragedies and comedies, bound together by folklore and oriental history. The tales are bewitching, stories within stories of trials, friendship and adventures.  

Discover beautiful editions of children's classics

 

Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain (1876)

Tom Sawyer

A well-known classic,Tom Sawyeris a remarkable novel. Filled with humour, adventure and historical poignancy, it can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. 

Set in Twain’s own boyhood home of Hannibal, Missouri, it follows the exploits of a mischievous schoolboy, Tom Sawyer. The story provides a nostalgic insight into American history and has captivated readers of all ages for decades.  

Find vintage copies of MarkTwainbooks

 

 

 

Shop children's books 



Also in Must Reads by Genre

10 books every sports fan should have on their reading list
10 books every sports fan should have on their reading list

11 min read

2021 promises to be a truly vintage year for international sport. Not only will appreciative fans be admitted back into stadiums to cheer on their favourites, but some of the biggest sporting events are returning to our screens after nearly two years away. 
Read More
Crafts, hobbies and home: 8 books to spark your creativity
Crafts, hobbies and home: 8 books to spark your creativity

3 min read

During lockdown the homely, traditional pastimes of years gone by made a real comeback. Baking, cross-stitch and embroidery, cultivating houseplants, painting - lots of us embraced our creative side, rediscovered old pastimes or learned new skills. We’ve put together a list of vintage reading recommendations to help inspire your next creative project.
Read More
10 Young Adult Fiction Books from Classic Literature
10 Young Adult Fiction Books from Classic Literature

5 min read

Long before anyone had come up with the term ‘young adult’, books for that age group were a tenant of classic literature. Historically, the boundary between children’s books and adult literature was only loosely identified.
Read More