A hushed, contemplative picture book based on an episode from the author’s own childhood. What happens when a father returns from war, a stranger to his child? Gentle, honest, a tale that examines one of the difficult aspects of war with real tenderness.
Escape From Warsaw
A classic, long beloved tale of a family separated by war, and determined to find their way back to each other. With both of their parents arrested by Nazis, Ruth, Edek, and Bronia must fend for themselves until they meet a boy who tells them that their father is alive and waiting for them… in Switzerland. Thus begins a dangerous journey across war torn Europe as the children fight to survive and find their father.
I Am David
I read this book as an adult, and it startled me with its beauty. The story of a boy who has known nothing but a concentration camp, and how he learns what it means to be, not merely physically free, but liberated in heart as well, free to take on the bonds of love.
Irena's Jars of Secrets
A picture book telling of the true story of a young Polish woman who was a nurse during the Nazi Occupation and helped to save the lives of hundreds of Jewish children.
Number the Stars
The story of ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen who becomes caught up in the Danish Resistance during the Nazi Occupation when the life of her best friend is endangered.
Passage to Freedom
Based on the inspiring true-to-life story of a Japanese diplomat whose heroic resolve to write visas for the Jews in his jurisdiction saved hundreds of lives.
An adventure story involving four brave Norwegian children who smuggle gold right under the noses of the Nazis – by sledding.
A true-to-life story by the marvelous Polacco, rich with her unique illustrations, this book recounts the tale of a young French girl who discovers a strange child and realizes that her mother is involved in the French Resistance.
The Diary of Anne Frank
The actual journals of a young Jewish girl forced into hiding in Amsterdam during WWII. Poignant in its rich portrait of a young girl hoping, dreaming, waiting like any other, even as her life hung in the balance. (Best for older children or teens for slightly mature content.)
The Endless Steppe
I read this book over and over, fascinated by the story (memoir that reads as compelling fiction) of a young Polish girl deported to Siberia during WWII. Fascinating for its historic detail and portrait of life in Siberia, the hardships and cold, its also intriguing for its portrayal of the way that life, especially for children, normalizes, even in times of war.
The Snow Goose: A Story of Dunkirk
A bittersweet, beautiful story set in England during WWII, about an isolated hunchback artist, a gentle girl named Fritha, and the snow goose they save. A tale of sweet friendship set against the darkness of WWII and the heroic actions of so many at Dunkirk. I love the illustrations by Beth Peck, but there is also a more recently published version, also with fascinating illustrations by Angela Barrett.
The Winged Watchmen
A classic, and fascinating story of how the Dutch resistance used Windmills to send vital signals right under the noses of the Nazis.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
A fascinating story based on the childhood memories of the author, this story offers a child’s view of life as a refugee as her father is pursued by the Nazis. Consider this quote by the author: “My parents were wonderful. My brother Michael and I knew there wasn’t much money but it didn’t seem to matter much. They made us feel it was an adventure. I much preferred it to the sort of childhood I would have had had we had a so-called normal childhood. When we were in Paris we had this grotty, tiny flat and were looking out over Paris and I said to my father, ‘Isn’t it wonderful being a refugee!”