While novels in verse tend to focus on contemporary settings and situations, historical novels in verse, like May B--which Sandra reviewed earlier today, historical fiction has a pretty strong hold in the verse format as well.
Let's take a look at a few.
Crossing Stones by Helen Frost | Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2009)
Laura highly recommends this novel in verse by Helen Frost which chronicles the experiences of two families during World War I. The main character, 18-year old Muriel, becomes interested in the women's suffrage movement, so it's a good choice for folks who are also interested in women's history.
Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards | Knopf Books (2010)
I recently bought this slim novel in verse which focuses on two teens in the late-1800s who cross class barriers to forge a friendship, and eventually a romance. Their happiness is threatened when the Johnstown flood sends 20 million gallons of water into Johnstown, Pennsylvania. This definitely falls into the "poetic" side of the verse novel spectrum.