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Historical Fiction - World War II

 

Finding Zasha by Randi Barrow

Twelve-year-old Ivan has escaped the siege of Leningrad, but when the town he has taken refuge in is occupied by Hitler’s troops, he sees his chance to help the partisans and to rescue two German shepherd puppies, Zasha and Thor, from the cruel Commander Recht.

 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called “Out-With” in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.

 

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley

A young disabled girl during World War II and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II and escape from an abusive mother.

 

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.

 

Emil and Karl by Jacob Glatstein

In Vienna, Austria, in 1940, two nine-year-old boys, one Jewish and one Aryan, are classmates and best friends. They must fight to survive and escape the Nazi Occupation.

 

Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz

It is 1943, and thirteen-year-old Michael O’Shaunessy, son of the British ambassador to Nazi Germany in Berlin, is also a spy of the British Secret Service so he has joined the Hitler Youth.

 

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

Twelve-year-old Sumiko and her Japanese-American family are relocated from their flower farm in southern California to an internment camp on a Mojave Indian reservation in Arizona.

 

Dash by Kirby Larson

When her family is forced into an internment camp, Mitsi Kashimo is separated from her home, her classmates, and her beloved dog Dash.

 

Duke by Kirby Larson

In 1944 Hobie Hanson’s father is flying B-24s in Europe, so Hobie decides to donate his beloved German shepherd, Duke, to Dogs for Defense in the hope that it will help end the war sooner.

 

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.

 

The Bicycle Spy by Yona McDonough

Twelve-year-old Marcel loves riding his bicycle. He rides his bicycle to deliver bread from his parents’ bakery and one day discovers that is not just bread he is delivering. Suddenly he finds himself in possession of dangerous secrets about his parents.

 

The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo

When Boowie reads the diary that his grandmother sends him, he learns of her childhood in World War II England when American and British soldiers practiced for D-Day’s invasion in the area of her home, and about her beloved cat, Adolphus Tips, and the cat’s namesake.

 

The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo

A young journalist goes to Venice, Italy, to interview a famous violinist, who tells the story of his parents’ incarceration by the Nazis, and explains why they can no longer listen to the music of Mozart.

 

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park

A brother and Sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.

 

On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck

A boy in Illinois remembers the homefront years of World War II.

 

The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

A Dutch girl describes the two-and-one-half years she spent in hiding in the upstairs bedroom of a farmer’s house during World War II.

 

My Brother’s Secret by Dan Smith

In 1941 twelve-year-old Karl is proud to be a member of the Hitler Youth, then after his father is killed and everything changes. He begins to realize that his sixteen-year-old brother has joined a youth group who opposes the Nazis.

 

Elephant Run by Roland Smith

Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father’s plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, and when his father and others are taken prisoner.

 

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

A Jewish orphan must use his wits and courage to survive the hardships and cruelty of life in the ghettos of Warsaw during the Nazi occupation.

 

Honey Cake by Joan Stuchner

David and his family live in Denmark during the Nazi occupation, until September 1943 when their neighbors help smuggle them to Sweden to escape Hitler’s orders to send the Danish Jews to concentration camps.

 

Hitler’s Canary by Sandi Tolsvig

Ten-year-old Bamse and his Jewish friend Anton participate in the Danish Resistance during World War II.

 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Trying to make sense of the horror of World War II, Death relate the story of  Liesel-a young German girl whose book-stealing and storytelling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

 
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