Off and on for the past three years I’ve been working on an idea for a Young Adult Victorian Gothic thriller. I even have an entire first draft—which, like all rough first drafts, needs extensive revisions and some re-imagining. I recently pulled it out and brainstormed some new ideas to write a proposal for my agent.
Which means that my mind is filled with all sorts of Victorian era setting and dress and manners—and got me wondering about books for Middle-Grade readers set in the Victorian Era. Are there any? Do they exist, and if so, what are they like?
I began hunting (as well as digging into my gray memory cells) and found some serious, some lighthearted, and some very clever novels—as well as a Newbery Honor Title. The list, with book covers, are below herewith! And, of course, in MG Victorian Era books we have orphaned children, castles, governesses and headmasters, mansions, secrets, and even murder.
I’ve actually read several of these and highly recommend them. They are award-winning titles with rave reviews. I’m now looking forward to the few I had never heard of though they are fairly recently published.
Are there other titles I’m missing? Have you read these? Which are your favorites? Please share in the comments!
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Mary Rose Wood
A Drowned Maiden’s Hair: a melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson
The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove
I included the following because I wanted a nonfiction title, even though some might not consider it strictly Victorian Era. But this infamous and intriguing family was born and rose to power in the Victorian Era, although their deaths occurred in 1918.
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming
I love A Drowned Maiden’s Hair. It’s a must-read! Maude is an amazing character.
Absolutely an amazing book! I loved it, too!
Nancy Springer and her Enola Holmes MG novels!
Thanks for the recommendation, Kathleen!
That’s a great list. Good luck with your project. Elizabeth Varadan has a Sherlock Holmes related middle-grade novel, Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls set in Victorian London. It’s a terrific mystery. I think you will enjoy it.
Thanks for the book rec, Rosi, I’ve always adored mysteries – and thanks so much for the good wishes, too! We’ll see if I can create something that works. 🙂
So interesting Kimberly! Can’t wait to dive in. Thanks and Happy Writing. Maybe you should try a quill pen and ink!! Cynthia Wetzler
I’m glad you found the post helpful, Cynthia! And a quill pen and ink – sounds like fun!