A couple years ago, in a Russian History class , we got a little bit off topic, and my professor asked us what our earliest historical memories were.* Most people mentioned the beginning of the First Gulf War (1991), or possibly the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989). If we define historical fiction as fiction taking place outside of living memory, then really, for today's teens, that constitutes anything before 1995.
However, this more recent history rarely makes it into the classroom (perhaps because parents and teachers don't think of the 70's and 80's as history), and so I was especially impressed with Dandi Daley Mackall's Eva Underground.
The novel begins with a tense scene at the Polish border, and the reader is immediately swept into Eva's story. The year is 1978, and Eva Lott is looking forward to starting her senior year of high school, when her father suddenly announces that he has accepted a teaching job in Poland, and Eva has no choice but to go with him, but not willingly. But after she arrives and meets her father's students (including the very handsome Tomek), she begins to get swept up in the revolutionary cause.
My only complaint (and I have to echo Jackie on this one), was that the novel ended rather suddenly -- and I just wanted to keep reading. Sequel? Please?
*Mine, though I didn't say this in class, was watching the Tianamen Square protests on the news, and asking my mom what was going on. Her explanation, as I remember it, was something about how in some parts of the world, people don't have the freedom to say or think whatever they want to. I was four years old.