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The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Historical Fiction
Jennifer S. Baker
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1165-5
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $55.00
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352 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1165-5
Year Published: 2014
AP Categories: A, C, E

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Whether set in ancient Egypt, Feudal Japan, the Victorian Age, or Civil War-era America, historical fiction places readers squarely at the center of fascinating times and places, making it one of the most popular genres in contemporary publishing. The definitive resource for librarians and other book professionals, this guide
  • Provides an overview of historical fiction’s roots, highlighting foundational classics, and explores the genre in terms of its scope and style
  • Covers the latest and most popular authors and titles
  • Discusses appeal characteristics and shows how librarians can use a reader's favorite qualities to make suggestions
  • Includes lists of recommendations, with a compendium of print and web-based resources
  • Offers marketing tips for getting the word out to readers
Emphasizing an appreciation of historical fiction in its many forms and focusing on what fans enjoy, this guide provides a fresh take on a durable genre.

Series Introduction
  1. A Wall of Portraits, A Hall of Doors
  2. Talking with Historical Fiction Readers
  3. Historical Fiction by Time Period
  4. Historical Fiction by Place
  5. Biographical Historical Fiction
  6. Historical Fiction by Subject
  7. Culture, Ethnicity, Religion, and Gender in Historical Fiction
  8. Historical Fiction and Other Genres
  9. Expanding Readers' Advisory Services: The Whole-Collection Approach
  10. Keeping Current, Staying Relevent
    • How to Read a Novel in Just Minutes - by George Olson
    • Literary Historical Fiction and Classics for Book Groups
    • Form-Based Readers' Advisory: A List of Libraries
Appeal/Subject Index
Author/Title Index

About the Author

Jennifer Baker earned her master's degree in librarianship at the University of Washington and now works at the Seattle Public Library's  Reader Services Department as a reference and readers' advisory librarian. Baker currently services on the Listen List Award committee, sponsored by the Reference and User Services (RUSA) division of the American Library Association, and she has also served on the Reading List Council. She reviews historical suspense for Booklist, serves on the consulting team for EBSCO Publishing's Adult Core Collection, and is the author of several readers' advisory articles in Library Journal, NoveList, and Reference and User Services Quarterly


”These entries are concise and informative, with suggestions for further reading for fans of individual authors and series. As such, this book also functions as a primer on readers' advisory services, helping librarians understand its scope and practice. To be an effective readers' advisor, one must not only be a reader but maintain an awareness of genre, trends, and resources for keeping current. Librarians will find this book most informative, but it may have an off-label use by scholars of historical fiction as a resource to identify and classify titles of interest for research and teaching."

”A must-have overview … The totality of historical fiction could keep a bibliophile immersed for a generation. Baker’s insights provide a valuable tool for aiding the reluctant, ESL, or at-risk learner. By pinpointing distinct interests, the text enables librarians, parents, homeschoolers, and teachers to fit book to reader."

”Deserves to be picked up by anyone who provides readers’ advisory on a regular basis … This book is clear and well written, and provides an amazing, fresh look at the world of historical fiction."
— Reference Reviews

”Indexes by appeal factor as well as title and author will make the volume easy to use with readers. A thorough, practical mix of reading suggestions and RA advice, this book is recommended for public libraries."
— Booklist

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