Thursday, November 11, 2021

WWII nonfiction for children and adults

I am not sure why, since they often break my heart, but I have been drawn to (fiction and non-fiction) WWII stories since I was nine years old. They touch on something deep in my heart. 

Amelia Lost... This middle grade biography is far more about Amelia Earhart than WWII, but I consider her mystery to be a WWII story so she makes it onto the list. This book was fascinating and well-written but parents should be aware that Amelia had an affair and this book (tastefully) tells the reader. 

Born Survivors... This was a nonfiction about three women who gave birth in Holocaust concentration camps. I’m sure there were many others, but these three women, along with their babies, all survived and were able to tell their stories to an interviewer. It feels strange saying it was one of my favorites since it was so wrought with horror and despair, but it was also an amazing portrayal of human resilience and it was very inspiring. It’s definitely extremely disturbing at times but if you are interested in Holocaust memoirs or biographies I for sure recommend this one. (But. Not while you are pregnant. Yikes)

Boxes for Katje... This picture book, found through TGTB's book list, reads like a fiction but is a true story about a girl in Holland receiving boxes of help from a new American pen pal right after the war. 

The Boy on the Wooden ... This memoir (also on the TGTB book list) is one man's account of his Holocaust experience and his rescue by Schindler. I just finished this the other day and now I want to watch Schindler's List. 

Candy Bomber... Also found via TGTB's book list...  This is the story of Gail Halverson, the candy bomber who dropped chocolate out of his plane as he flew over restricted areas after the war. This is a very uplifting read unlike so many WWII stories. There are also some great picture books on this subject but I adored this middle grade nonfiction and hope anyone who likes WWII stories will give it a whirl. 

The Diary of a Young... I first read Anne Frank's diary in sixth grade and did appreciate it, but it was when I had to re-read it in ninth grade that I was able to really appreciate their plight. 

Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport... This middle grade read talks about the children who were sent away on trains for protection. Many endured abuse or never reunited with their parents so this was an informative but devastating read. 

The Faithful Spy... I adored this graphic novel about Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life and involvement in WWII. Highly recommend for middle school or even early high school. 

God is my Hiding *... I was deeply moved by Corrie ten Boom's book The Hiding Place so jumped at the chance to read this book of 40 devotions put together with her writing. They did not disappoint! She was one faithful, inspiring woman and this is one faith-filled, inspiring book! 

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History... I just listened to this middle grade as an audio book last week and was fascinated by the story of the Monuments Men, a part of WWII I had never learned about before. There were two (at least) graphic descriptions of bodies discovered so I put it in my kids' 9th or 10th grade reading list. 

Man's Search for Meaning... Victor Frankl was a psychiatrist before being imprisoned in a concentration camp so his memoir tackles psychology elements I had never considered before and was rich with insight. Still, many have called this one depressing so be prepared for a darker memoir if you go this route. 

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot... This younger version of the candy bomber story was a big hit with my son!  

Unbroken... This story about POW Louis Zamperini is engaging and fascinating, but still, reader beware. I found it to be too much for me on multiple occasions.  

* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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