Book list

Second World War

You may feel that you don't really want to read about the Second World War, in case it's too upsetting for you. But it did happen, and it happened to children as well as adults. All these books are set in real situations, though they aren't necessarily true. I promise you, there is nothing in the recommendations for younger readers to give you nightmares. You may have to be a bit tougher to read some of the recommendations for older readers.

All books

Other Echoes by Adele Geras

Flora, living in Borneo, finds there is more to life than being frightened of spiders and snakes . . . and some things you just needn't fear at all.

Goodbye Marianne by Irene N Watts

Marianne escapes from Germany to Britain as a refugee just before the outbreak of the Second World War, but has to leave her parents behind.

Daisy Chain War by Joan O'Neill

Growing up pains in Ireland during the Second World War.

Hitler's Daughter by Jackie French

If Hitler had really had a daughter, how could she have loved him? And how could she live a normal life after his death at the end of the war?

And The Stars Were Gold by Gaye Hicyilmaz

In 1940 a young Polish boy is dragged from his bed, given thirty minutes to pack, and transported with his mother and brother thousands of miles acrossEurope to Kazakhstan.

Music on the Bamboo Radio by Martin Booth

Hiding out with Chinese friends for the duration of the war after Hong Kong surrenders to the Japanese Army, Nicholas Holford becomes useful both to the Chinese Communist guerrillas and the British Army, who are working together against the Japanese.

Dreaming in Black and White by Reinhardt Jung

How it was to be a disabled child in the Third Reich.

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Away from his deprived and brutal background in London, Willie Beech is thrown a lifeline when he is evacuated to the country.

I Have Lived A Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson

The memoir of Elli Friedman, who recounts what it was like to be one of the few teenage inmates of Auschwitz.

I Am David by Anne Holm

Escaping from a concentration camp, David learns to live life as he tramps across Europe.

Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter

A tale of two boys in Hitler's Germany - one boy is German, the other is a German Jew.

The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

The silver sword, a little paper-knife, is a symbol of hope to four children as they make their way across the wastes of post-war Europe from Warsaw to Switzerland in search of their parents.

The Machine-Gunners by Robert Westall

Children capture a German machine-gun, but their dream of defending their fortress against the German invasion turns into a nightmare.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

Anna and her family try to make a new life for themselves as refugees in Europe in 1933.

Carrie's War by Nina Bawden

Life as an evacuee with the difficult Mr Evans is bad enough. But did Carrie also bring down a curse on those she loved, living at Druid's Bottom?

War Dog by Martin Booth

Jet, the poacher's dog, is taken into the army when her owner is sent to prison. She is trained as an infantry patrol dog and sent to France on active service.