Normal Public Library Teens

Middle Ages

Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

Aster’s son, Crispin, has always lived on the edge of his world—separated physically and emotionally from the others in his medieval village. But after his mother dies, he learns that he must flee his village to save his life. In a world where, for most people, their village is all they ever know, disease is a constant danger, and one word from a powerful person means death, Crispin struggles to stay alive while fitting together the pieces to the puzzle of who he really is. (M)

Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett

In the eleventh century the teenage princess Anna Comnena fights for her birthright, the throne to the Byzantine Empire, which she fears will be taken from her by her younger brother John because he is a boy. (M, S)

The Book of the Lion by Michael Cadnum

In twelfth-century England, after his master, a maker of coins for the king, is brutally punished for alleged cheating, seventeen-year-old Edmund finds himself traveling to the Holy Land as squire to a knight crusader on his way to join the forces of Richard Lionheart. (M, S)

The Queen’s Daughter by Susan Coventry

Joan’s mother is Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most beautiful woman in the world. Her father is Henry II of England. She loves them both—so what is she to do when she’s forced to choose between them? As her parents’ arguments grow ever more vicious, Joan begins to feel like a political pawn. When her parents marry her off to the king of Sicily, Joan finds herself stuck with a man ten years her senior. She doesn’t love her husband, and she can’t quite forget her childhood crush, the handsome Lord Raymond.  Is it too late to figure out whom to trust? And, more importantly, whom to love? (M, S)

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

It’s 1290, and thirteen-year-old Catherine, the daughter of an English country knight, decides to keep a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off. (M)

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher

When Marjan joins the Sultan’s harem in ancient Persia, she gathers for Shahrazad the stories that will save the queen’s life. (M, S)

Blood Red Horse by K.M. Grant

Will longs to be a knight, like his older brother Gavin. Then he could ride a charger, fight bravely in the Crusades for King Richard and win the heart of a fair maiden. All he needs is a horse. And when he chooses a horse, he chooses well – a small chestnut stallion with a blaze on its forehead. (M, S)

The Falconer’s Knot by Mary Hoffman

Silvano and Chiara, teens sent to live in a friary and a nunnery in Renaissance Italy, are drawn to one another and dream of a future together, but when murders are committed in the friary, they must discover who is behind the crimes before they can realize their love. (M, S)

Pagan’s Crusade by Catherine Jinks

In twelfth-century Jerusalem orphaned sixteen year-old Pagan is assigned to work for Lord Roland, a Templar knight, as Saladin’s armies close in on the Holy City. (M, S)

The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan

When a headstrong young woman accused of witchcraft befriends a deaf young man believed to be possessed by the devil, a turbulent yet deeply satisfying romance evolves. (M, S)

Ophelia by Lisa Klein

In this re-imagining of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen’s most trusted lady-in-waiting.  She catches the attention of Prince Hamlet, and their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and ultimately, Ophelia must choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. (S)

The Squire’s Tale by Gerald Morris

In medieval England, fourteen-year-old Terence finds his tranquil existence suddenly changed when he becomes the squire of the young Gawain of Orkney and accompanies him on a long quest, proving Gawain’s worth as a knight and revealing an important secret about his own true identity. (M, S)

Breath by Donna Jo Napoli

It is the late thirteenth century, and Hameln town and its surroundings are overwhelmed by a terrible, incurable illness. Everywhere animals are sick and dying; humans may be next. What can be causing the scourge? Perhaps it’s the result of the recent infestation of rats. No one knows for sure, but Salz hopes the piper he meets has the answers. (S)

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters’ village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself. (M, S)

Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve

Gwynna is forced to run when her village is attacked and burns to the ground. To her horror, she is discovered in the wood. But it is Myrddin the bard who has found her, a traveler and spinner of tales. He agrees to protect Gwynna if she will agree to be bound in service to him. Gwynna is frightened but intrigued, for this Myrddin serves the young, rough, and powerful King Arthur. (M, S)

Song for Eloise by Leigh Sauerwein

In twelth-century France, fifteen-year-old Eloise, newly and unhappily married to the rough, ambitious, much older but devoted Robert of Rochefort, finds it difficult to adjust to her new life and unwisely falls in love with the young troubadour who comes to sing at her husband’s castle. (M, S)

The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle

When fifteen-year-old Æthelflæd is suddenly and reluctantly betrothed to an ally of her father, the king, her world will never be the same. For as a noblewoman in the late 800s, she will be expected to be meek and unlearned-and Flæd is anything but meek and unlearned. Her marriage will bring peace to her land, but while her royal blood makes her a valuable asset, she is also a vulnerable target. And when enemies attack, Flæd must draw upon her skills and fight to lead her people to safety and prove her worth as a princess-and as a warrior. (M, S)

Far Traveler by Rebecca Tingle

Shy and timid Ælfwyn is left alone and grieving after her mother Æthelflæd suddenly dies. But when her uncle, King Edward, tries to force her to marry, Ælfwyn flees, disguising herself as a boy storyteller. But she cannot escape her destiny—or her heart—and the choices she makes now will decide her future and the future of her country. (M, S)

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson

Born on the Mongolian steppes during the reign of Kublai Khan, Oyuna’s future seems decided when, as an infant, her foot is crushed by a horse and her clan decides she has been cursed by bad luck. But Oyuna dreams of bringing honor to her family. Disguised as a boy and with only her beloved old mare and heroic cat for company, she sets off on a journey that will change her luck forever. (M, S)

Girl in a Cage by Jane Yolen

When her father, Robert the Bruce, becomes King of Scotland, Marjorie Bruce becomes a princess. But Edward Longshanks, the ruthless King of England, has set his sights on Robert and his family. Marjorie is captured and imprisoned in a wooden cage in the center of a town square, exposed to wind, rain, the taunts of the townspeople, and the scorn of Longshanks himself. (M, S)

 
 

Grade Level Interest
M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

 
 
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