A reading list for WWII YA books

Haven’t done one of these in a while! So: World War II YA fiction. It’s one of those topics that’s been done so much it’s hard to do much more, and in fact I’ve become way more interested in other wars that don’t get much attention compared to WWII (WWI, for instance). However, some of my favorite YA fiction just so happens to take place during WWII, and it’s some really good fiction.

So: a list of seven WWII YA books that rocked my socks off.

  1. I Go By Sea, I Go By Land by P.L. Travers (1941).
  2. Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn (1991).
  3. Spying on Miss Muller by Eve Bunting (1995).
  4. Theatre Shoes (aka Curtain Up) by Noel Streatfeild (1944).
  5. Lydia, Queen of Palestine by Uri Orlev (1993).
  6. Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff (1997).
  7. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (1947). Not YA FICTION, I know, but it was written by a young adult and plenty of young adults read it, so I’m putting it on the list.

Also, I wasn’t sure whether or not to put A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones (1987) on the list, since it DOES have a WWII London evacuee as a protagonist, but it mostly takes place in teh future and it’s more sci-fi than, like, anything else.

(I found this article while Googling around, and I think it makes an interesting read: World War II As Seen Through Children’s Literature. Also,here’s a list of YA historical fiction booklists.)

Thanks to Once Upon a Bookshelf for the list-y inspiration!

3 thoughts on “A reading list for WWII YA books”

  1. Have you read The Devil’s Arithmetic? I just finished it the other day. I think you’d really like it. It’s about a young girl being transported into WWII Europe.

  2. Oh! While I prefer reading WWI books too, there are quite a few WWII YA books that I think are pretty awesome:

    – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    – Guest of War Trilogy by Kit Pearson
    – Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
    – The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (or does this count as a children’s book?)

  3. Hi Anastasia,

    I have a few authors I work with who you may be interested in reading. One is a fictionalized account from a woman who spent many years of her childhood in a Japanese concentration camp. The other two are purely fiction/romance novels. If you like, send me an email with your address and I’ll send them out for free!

    Thanks for the consideration,
    Sara Croft

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