Historical Fiction & Nonfiction for Tweens, a guest post by Susan J. Austin

What I love most about writing historical fiction for middle grades is bringing alive periods, people, events and places in compelling ways. Unfortunately, far too many kids think of history as a list of facts and dates, unconnected to their lives when the opposite is true. Historical fiction helps them see that the past is closer to the present than they ever imagined, that the lives of people who lived long ago are not so different from their own.

In my new book, Drawing Outside the Lines, we meet brilliant, fearless, and ambitious young Julia Morgan growing up in Victorian Oakland, California. The focus of the story is on her early years, before becoming the legendary architect we know today. We watch as she clings to the unlikely dream of becoming an architect in the late 1800s.