Spotlight on the 19th Century
Entertainment Weekly recently had a timeline labeled “The 19th Century is Having a Moment.” The 19th Century time period has been heating up in teen books as well. It’s a century of big moments: Jane Austen, the Industrial Revolution, women’s rights, the Civil War, Western exploration, the Napoleonic Wars, the War of 1812, Queen Victoria’s reign, the Trail of Tears, the potato famine, the Second Opium War, the Franco-Prussian War, the assassination of Czar Nicholas II, Jack the Ripper, and Athens holding the first modern Olympic Games.
Some of my favorites
Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
Persephone and Penelope are set to make their debut into London society when their governess goes missing. As the two 17 year olds dig into her disappearance, they don’t just uncover a kidnapping, but also a magical plot that could foil Princess Victoria’s reign.
Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Tiki and her family of orphans have been living in a secret room near Charing Cross Station. They make their living picking pockets in Victorian England. Lately their luck hasn’t been too good. Tiki steals a gold ring with a large ruby, thinking that their luck has changed. Little does she know that ring is actually a symbol between the Queen and the fey. As long as the ring is protected, the truce between them remains. However, if something happens to the ring, all bets are off.
In the Shadow of the Lamp by Susanne Dunlap
Out of work and terrified of her future, Molly sneaks aboard a ship headed for the Crimea with Miss Nightingale and her nursing staff. Once there, she becomes part of the nursing team. Molly tends to the soldiers as best she can — helping to wrap their bandages, assisting doctors, wiping their brows, and talking to them in an attempt to keep them calm. Although the work is tough and the conditions hard, she knows that she’s making a difference.
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
Lia and Alice are twins. Their father has just died, making them orphans. On the day she’s to bury her father, Lia soon discovers she’s one half of an ancient prophecy that could save or end the world. Lia discovers an ancient text in the library. Upon translation, it reveals that one sister is the guardian and one sister is the gate. The devil is trying desperately to come back into the normal world and wreck havoc. Her job is to make sure that never happens, even if it means fighting her twin.
A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
Mary Quinn graduates from Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls; afterwards she learns the women who run the school also run a spy agency. They believe she’d be a great addition to the Agency. After training, her first mission is to infiltrate the home of a wealthy merchant, under the guise of a lady’s maid for his daughter. Once in the home, she’s to uncover any information of a suspected smuggling ring.
The Season by Sarah MacLean
Lady Alexandra is set to make her first societal debut, amidst ball gown, parties, and suitors. Alex overhears something that might be a clue to the unexpected death of a family friend. Could his son win Alex’s heart?
- Annie Between the States by L.M. Elliott
- Boston Jane by Jennifer Holm
- Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
- Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney
- Death Cloud by Andy Lane
- Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
- Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer
- Josephine by Beverly Jenkins
- Luxe by Anna Godbersen
- March Toward the Thunder by Joseph Bruchac
- Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot
- Parliament of Blood by Justin Richards
- Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves
- Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
- River Between Us by Richard Peck
- Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
- Sarah’s Ground by Ann Rinaldi
- Velvet by Mary Hooper
- Victoria Rebels by Carolyn Meyer
- Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
— Jennifer Rummel, currently reading Venom by Fiona Paul