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To the delight of publishers, girls are showing a voracious appetite for learning about their predecessors -- a pursuit that has propelled historical fiction into an unexpected big-bucks commodity.
Historical novels and biographies were once the preoccupation of a devoted but small band of readers. Now they\'re flying off bookshelves, particularly those books aimed at 7- to 14-year-old girls.The trend has nourished a new appreciation for history among young readers, and offered a potential antidote to the flagging self-image to which so many adolescent girls succumb. It also signals a cultural shift: The chronicles of
history are no longer ignoring women.
Publisher after publisher has introduced a line of historical fiction featuring admirable heroines, artfully marketed not only to young females, but to their parents, teachers, and librarians.
\"It\'s become a really flourishing market, especially in the last five years,\" said Cindi Di Marzo, associate children\'s book editor at Publishers Weekly. \"There didn\'t used to be nearly as much history-based fiction, and what was available was never this accessible. These new books make history much
more memorable and exciting for kids.\"