OF BETTER BLOOD Blog Tour & Giveaway

Welcome to Day #5 of the Of Better Blood Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Of Better Blood by Susan Moger (2/1/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Susan and 5 chances to win a SIGNED copy of Of Better Blood, as well as a chance to win a 6-book YA Prize Pack in the Grand Prize Giveaway!

5 Recommended Historical Novels for YA Readers 
(1 is SciFi/Time Travel!)
by Susan Moger

I’ve always loved reading historical fiction, and now that I’ve written Of Better Blood, my historical YA novel, I’m even more entranced by writers who know how to immerse readers in a period not our own. The books below are listed in the order of the time period in which the story takes place starting with the earliest.

Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter
Setting: 14th century Norway
In the three volumes published together as Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset takes us to Norway in the 14th century. The novel, completed in 1922, continues to delight readers around the world. Undset’s far ranging knowledge of Norse sagas and folktales brings the period to life. But it is her characters, particularly the title character, whom readers come to care passionately about. Their vivid lives and the struggles of their everyday existence raise this novel far above other historical novels. Sigrid Undset received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928.

Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Setting: 16th C. England in the reign of King Henry VIII
In her novel Wolf Hall, Mantel introduces a character based on an actual person, Thomas Cromwell. From scraps of information about him that scholars have found, Mantel builds a vibrant individual, a man readers come to admire, despite his ruthlessness. His service to King Henry VIII in the England in the 1520s is full of intrigue and danger. Among other duties, Cromwell aids the King in his pursuit of a Church-approved marriage to Ann Boelyn. Mantel’s writing style is so compelling and the images of the era so real, she is like a time traveler reporting back from the 1500s. Enjoy this book (and the sequel Bring Up the Bodies) before viewing the excellent mini-series, “Wolf Hall,” which is based on both novels.

Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity (YA)
Setting: World War II, Nazi-Occupied France, England
Julie tells us her story of capture, torture and interrogation at the hands of the Gestapo in France through her handwritten confession (it goes on for many pages) they have demanded in exchange for her life. She write to the Gestapo about her mission, as well as British spycraft, aircraft, and her friendship with Maddie a woman pilot with the RAF. Julie’s voice in her written “confession” is delightful, searing, disturbing, and triumphant. In a word—unforgettable. The second part of the book is told by Maddie and it is equally riveting and disturbing. This book succeeds and satisfies because readers come to care for Julie and Maddie as much as they care for each other.

Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea (YA)
Setting: World War II, January 1945, East Prussia/Baltic Sea
In January 1945, the Russian army is advancing on East Prussia, then part of Germany, now part of Poland. The population, a mixture of Germans, and Polish and Lithuanian refugees, desperately want to escape. When the Nazi government of Germany finally permits evacuation. 10,000 people crowd onto the Wilhelm Gustloff, a former a cruise ship that promises escape via the Baltic Sea. By this time, readers are deeply acquainted with the four desperate teenage characters who alternate telling this story. Out of these four points of view, Sepetys creates distinctive individuals who face a looming tragedy. Sepetys is an immaculate researcher and passionate historian; that passion makes this book impossible to put down.

Connie Willis, The Doomsday Book
Setting: Characters time travel from England in the near future to England in the 14th century
A flu epidemic in the near future and the Black Death (bubonic plague) in the 14th century influence the historian time travelers in this powerful, moving novel. The 14th century sections alternate between harrowing, even more harrowing, and humorous. The flu in the near-future “present” adds uncertainty to the time-travel mechanism itself; we come to fear for the survival of the protagonist time traveler as well as for her 14th century research subjects, whose vivid passions and everyday concerns mirror hers. This is a book to read and re-read.

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OF BETTER BLOOD Blog Tour & Giveaway

Of Better Blood by Susan Moger

Published by Aw Teen on February 1st 2016
ISBN: 0807547743
Pages: 272
5 Stars

Teenage polio survivor Rowan Collier is caught in the crossfire of a secret war against "the unfit." It's 1922, and eugenics--the movement dedicated to racial purity and good breeding--has taken hold in America. State laws allow institutions to sterilize minorities, the "feeble-minded," and the poor, while local eugenics councils set up exhibits at county fairs with "fitter family" contests and propaganda. After years of being confined to hospitals, Rowan is recruited at sixteen to play a born cripple in a county fair eugenics exhibit. But gutsy, outspoken Dorchy befriends Rowan and helps her realize her own inner strength and bravery. The two escape the fair and end up at a summer camp on a desolate island run by the New England Eugenics Council. There they discover something is happening to the children. Rowan must find a way to stop the horrors on the island if she can escape them herself."


About the Author

About Susan Moger

Susan Moger’s YA historical novel OF BETTER BLOOD (coming in February 2016 from Albert Whitman & Company) explores a deadly experiment to eliminate “unfit” orphans on a Maine island in 1922.


  • One (1) winner will receive a 6-book YA Prize Pack featuring AW Teen’s spring lineup (Of Better Blood by Susan Moger, Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown, Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal, Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs, Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer, and South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf).
  • Enter via the rafflecopter below
  • US Only
  • Ends 4/3 at midnight ET

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Today is the last day of the tour! Stop by the other blogs for more posts and chances to win!

Blog Tour Schedule:
March 28th – The Book Cellar
March 29th — Once Upon a Twilight
March 30th — Good Choice Reading
March 31st — Reading Teen
April 1st — Parajunkee


  1. Whitney

    Really interesting collection of Y.A. Historical Fiction, I’ll have to check some of these out.

  2. Gloria Petit-Clair

    Susan Moger’s book “Of Better Blood” introduced me to the genre of YA. Thanks for an awesome book and introducing me to a world of potential reads. Besides being a great author, with plans for more books in the works, Susan is a great creative writing instructor. Pass the word along.
    Gloria Petit-Clair

    • Susan Moger

      Thanks, Gloria! Looking forward to seeing you next week in class!

  3. Susan Moger

    Thanks for commenting, Mary and Erin!

  4. erinf1

    what a great batch of books!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Mary Bargteil

    This is an awesome collection of YA books. Susan Moger’s book, Of Better Blood, unveils a part of history that is nearly forgotten, rarely mentioned. Yet our contemporary world has many displays of discrimination based on physicality. Timely and important!