On the website of the British newspaper The Guardian, I found a link to this article by British author Julia Golding, describing the top 10 characters in children’s historical fiction.
This particular list stands out to me for several reasons. First, many authors who try to make such lists end up using only classics or only recently published books. Golding does an excellent job in this article of striking a balance between the two. Four of the titles she mentions could be considered literary classics (King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Ivanhoe, Treasure Island, and A Little Princess), but the rest were all published within the last forty years. In this way, Golding mixes modern historical fiction with novels that have themselves virtually become part of history.
One more feature makes this particular list stand out: not all of the characters are human. One, in fact, is a volcano. As a matter of fact, it’s Mount Vesuvius from the novel The Secrets of Vesuvius by Caroline Lawrence. Caroline also wrote a guest post for us a few weeks ago. I doubt many authors would have thought to list such a thing as a character, but I suppose it goes to show that you don’t have to be human to have a place in history.
Melissa L. is the YA Editorial Assistant for Wonders and Marvels. You can read more about her here: Editorial Staff.