Historical Fiction

Jon M, Austin K, Nick M, Lauren K, Melissa F, and Nicole S

Common Characteristics of Historical Fiction

  • Historical fiction blends real historical events from the past with a little bit of fiction
  • Historical event is explained in beginning so that reader will understand what is going on
  • Often times dialogue has key role in describing historical event/s


  • Mix between fictional and non fictional characters
  • Behave in realistic ways


  • Definite period of time in a real place
  • Takes place in a real place


  • Solution to real problem
  • No fictional events; all events have either happened or could have happened

A Thousand Sails - Summary

This short story takes place at sea in 1859. A man sails around the world because of his job, however during his experience he learns about other cultures. This journey takes a total of thirty years and throughout this time period he writes and receives letters from his son. The man writes about all the cultures and religions he has learned about; cultures and religions he never knew existed. He also uses lots of emotion in the letters he writes as well. For example, in the text it is written, "but your last letter left my hands shaky, my mind distressed, and my eyes teary..." This story is about a man who takes a journey at sea to make money for his family.

A Thousand Sails - Lesson

This story teaches us to be grateful for the loved ones we have around us. In the story, the main character has to leave his family for a long period of time. Through all the tears and letters from his son, he learned to be grateful for the time you have with the ones you love because it won't last forever. For example, "forgive me as I still speak to you as if a boy, the years tell me you are a man." This connects with the theme because the father doesn't remember much of his son and he wishes he could have spent his time with his son and wife instead of traveling.

Trait: Connects to history

Characteristics in this book are religion and culture, it dates back to December 31, 1859, describes historical event. Religion is discussed when he speaks with tribal people, dates back in the begging and talks about how he sails for 30 years around the world.

The input of the date adds the aspect of history to the short story. The fact that the sailor and his son were writing letters rather than emailing/texting each other also implies that its probably not in the present day.

Trait: Realistic Characters

In the short story, all the characters are realistic and could be real people. This is shown with the sailor, the son, and the sailors wife. Together they are a family but they are split apart similar to families from the past to present.

This is important in identify our story because in all historical fiction, characters are realistic. The characters aren't real people who have actually lived, but they are characters that could've lived.

Trait: Realistic Solution to a Problem

The father has been at sea for 30 years and fights the guilt of not being there for his son. Inside he knows that his son needs a father and he wasn't there.

In historical fiction there has to be an aspect of realism to complete the realistic aspect of the problem and solution. Since it has already happened it has to be historically accurate.

Novel Suggestions

The Book Thief By:Markus Zusak

Number the stars By: Lois Lowry

To Kill a Mockingbird By: Harper Lee

My Brother Sam is Dead By:Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collie

Bud Not Buddy By: Christopher Paul Curtis