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“On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month 1918, the guns of World War One fell silent.”
This year’s Remembrance Day, coming up in just over a week is very significant. It will mark 100 years since the Great War ended. To commemorate that, I will attempt to present to you in the days leading up to Remembrance Day with 100 children’s books that take place during either World War One, or World War Two. For the full list without pictures or description, scroll right down to the bottom of the post.
To begin here are the first 30 books
World War I Books
This is a lovely book! It is the true story of the Bear who played a role in the creation of A. A. Milnes Winnie the Pooh books. The story of a bear who helped boost soldiers moral during World War I.
Trying to find books about World War One or Two. When in doubt look up Michael Morpurgo. He has plenty of books that fit the category. War Horse is one of them. It is about a young boy who raises a colt. When the colt and the boy are grown up, they both end up in the front lines of World War I.
Hero Over Here is a short read. Definitely appropriate for younger children to enjoy.
When little Theo (the boy on the front cover) becomes the man of the house, because his Father and brother are off fighting in the war, he sees his chance to be a hero. He learns what it means to be a hero, when his mother and sister become victims of the deadly flu epidemic of 1918.
Charlotte Sometimes is an interesting read. It is the story of a young girl sent to a boarding school in the 1960’s. When she arrives she gets first dibs on which bed she wants. She picks a unique looking one at the end of the row of beds, by the window. When she wakes up next morning, she senses something is different. Sitting up she notices that the beds which last night were full of giddy little girls were now empty except the one beside her in which a very little girl is sitting up and addressing her as Clare!
Every second day Charlotte time travels to 1918 and trades places with a girl named Clare, until one day stuck in times not their own they no longer swap places. Will they ever make it back to their own proper time? Read it to find out.
Note to parents: Charlotte Sometimes is a very good book, that is why I am recommending it, however in Chapter 7 of part 2 there is a visit from a medium. I don’t personally think that the chapter has anything really of importance in it, I literally just skimmed over it ( because I don’t believe in mediums) so if you aren’t comfortable with it, just skip chapter 7 of part 2 altogether.
This book tells a story based on a true account of the football (soccer) game played by the English and German troops in No-man’s-land Christmas 1914.
Desperate Glory: The Story of World War One, present the story and issues of WWI in a clear way. On every page there are photographs, original sketches, and maps. This book is written in a Canadian perspective.
In this book you can find the enchanting lines of the famous poem written by John McCrae during World War One. Along with the famous poem, Linda Garfield has included information about WWI, and Janet Wilson has finished the masterpiece by adding wonderful illustrations.
This book, brought to us by author Gene Gurney contains chapters devoted to eight different flying aces from countries such as France, Britain, the United States and more. This book is filled with lots of facts, and information.
This books tells the story of a devastation that happened in Halifax. Starting with a normal winter morning in Halifax, kids going to school shops opening etc. Suddenly, an explosion that leveled entire city blocks at once! Glass and rubble and bricks flying everywhere. People being buried alive all around. What caused the explosion? The ‘Mont Blanc’ a small freighter carrying explosives collided with another ship in the narrows. The freighter light on fire, and the explosives ignited causing devastation.
The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy is the sequel to The Good Master. If you haven’t read the Good Master yet, you should. The Singing Tree is the continued tale of a young boy Jancsi, and his cousin Kate living on a farm in Hungary during World War I.
Jancsi and Kate must grow up faster. When Hungary sends troops to fight in the great war Jancsi’s father is called to fight. The cousins now must take care of the farm and their relatives, as well as some Russian soldiers and German war orphans.
This is a collection of true stories that happened during World War I, as the title implies. It also include plenty of facts, drawings, maps and more.
Winnie’s Great War is co-authored by the author of Finding Winnie. finding Winnie is a picture book, this book is a chapter book, that tells the story of the bear that inspired Winnie the Pooh.
Brothers Far from Home: The World War I Diary of Eliza Bates, is one of many fictional diarys in the Dear Canada series.
This is the story of a family living in the U. S. A. during World War I. The kids and their mom go about their life, helping with the war effort, and getting into scrapes.
To prepare his daughter, Sara, for society, wealthy widower Captain Ralph Crewe enrolls her in Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies. Unspoiled and genial, Sara is given all the luxuries her father can afford—and the obsequious Miss Minchin is happy to indulge. But when her father dies and his fortune is lost, Sara is forced into servitude, stripped of her privileges and possessions, and subjected to Miss Minchin’s true cruel nature.
World War II Books
This is the story of a family living in the U. S. A. during World War II. The Melendy children and their father go about their life, helping with the war effort, and getting into scrapes. I have more about this book and the Melendy Quartet series here.
Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.
During the German occupation of France, twenty French children were brought to a refuge in the mountains. One day a young man came to their school with a request: Could they take in, and hide, ten Jewish refugee children?
Sister Gabriel spoke up. “The Nazis are looking for those children. If we take them we must never let on they are here. Do you understand?”
This is another great WWII book.
During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, ten-year-old Joris and his older brother Dirk Jan become involved in the resistance movement and, with the help of their parents, help conceal a British airman.
Tien Pao is all alone in enemy territory. Only a few days before, his family had escaped from the Japanese army, fleeing downriver by boat. Then came the terrible rainstorm. Tien Pao was fast asleep in the little sampan when the boat broke loose from its moorings and drifted right back to the Japanese soldiers. With only his lucky pig for company, Tien Pao must begin a long and dangerous journey in search of his home and family.
With their Father off to war, the Mitchell Family are left to hold the fort in their Washington D. C. home. One of the last things Daddy had said to his oldest daughter Joan was “No Dogs!”
Joan who would love to have a pet dog, puts her energy instead to forming a club to help at home. But when one after another unexpected pet joins the ‘Mitchell Zoo’ Joan wonders what her father would have to say about it all.
This is the first book of the Mitchells series, the other two are Canadian Summer and Friendly Gables.
This is a classic story of young London children being evacuated to the countryside. Young Carrie and her little brother Nick get sent to the Welsh countryside. When they arrive they get taken in by a seemingly nice young lady. But for every bit as nice as the young lady, Miss Evans is, her brother Mr. Evans is nasty. He is a stingy man telling the children they must only go up and down the stairs twice. Once to come down in the morning, and once to go up in the evening. He with hardly any interest in the children except when it comes to punishing them.
But, fear not. Life isn’t all bad for the young Londoners. Adventures and mis-adventures this book will keep your kids engaged.
Oh my gosh, I love this book! This is one of my top favorite World War II books.
This wonderful book brought to us by renowned author Michael Morpurgo spins a tale inspired by the true story of one man who could have prevented WWII from ever happening.
The book begins with a young boy named Barney, who is traveling on a train with his mother in 1940. The train is under attack from German fighters above. In the darkness of the railway tunnel, where they have taken the train to refuge, Barney asks his mother to tell him a story to pass the time. Suddenly they hear someone else in the train car. A man. This man begins to tell the tale of young soldier in World War I.
This book is a short read, so not very committal, but definitely engaging.
“Take care of the little riders,” says Johanna’s father to the eleven-year-old when he leaves her with his parents for an extended vacation in their Dutch village. And Johanna does. She loves the twelve metal figures on horseback who ride forth each hour from the clock on the ancient church tower. She would do anything to protect them, anything. And on night she risks her life to prove it.
Set during the Second World War when the German army occupied Holland, The Little Riders is an exciting, moving adventure story, just right for reading aloud.
A collection of twelve true stories that took place during World War Two, including a real life naval battle, a duel between solitary snipers for the control of Stalingrad and other tales of bravery and heroism. This book is more factual than a lot of others.
I think that quite a few people now about this book. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis begins with the Pevensie children being evacuated to the countryside during a time of heavy bombing in the cities.
This book is much like an American Girl story, though it is British.
Josie, the main character is sent to live with her aunt and cousin, while her mother cares for Josie’s grandma. War is everywhere by this point. Josie is glad to get away from her regular school because her class mates are constantly teasing her and alienating her because he older brother Ted decided to be a conscientious objector and refused to figt in the war.
Living with her aunt and cousin isn’t much better, Josie soon discovers as her cousin and her friend convince Josie to gang up on a girl with German background at school.
Josie is torn between keeping her ‘friends’ and sticking up for the girl with a German background.
This book is one of the many fictional diaries in the Dear Canada series.
Devorah learns that 5,000 Jewish children in France have visas to leave the country, but the Canadian government will not let them in, leading Devorah to desperately lobby the government to change its policies.
Turned Away illustrates the restrictions on the life of Jews in Paris via letters from Sarah who is living in German-occupied France. It also reveals Canada’s dismal record on Jewish immigration during World War II and depicts the impact of the war in Canada. In Winnipeg, one intriguing response to the war was “If Day,” when local people posed as Nazis and staged a mock invasion to illustrate what it would be like if the city was occupied. Also included are fascinating period documents and photographs, many from the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
This semi-autobiographical book is one from the perspective of a Jewish family fleeing from Germany during the Second World War.
This is another one of my favorites. This is the story of a young girl named Ada. She lived in a flat with her mother and younger brother Jamie.
As all good main characters have, Ada has a problem. She has a clubbed foot. Her mother is embarrassed by her daughter foot, and will not let her go outside and play with the other kids. Poor Ada is shut in the flat alone most of the time. Her brother Jamie goes to school, but her oppressive mother does not allow her to, so she does not even know how to read or write. Her mother would even shut her up in the dark cupboard under the sink.
Finally when Ada hears that Jamie’s school is going to evacuate all of the students attending out of the city and into the countryside, she runs away from home and goes to Jamie’s school to be evacuated with him.
They get sent to live with a wonderful lady named Susan, who lives all alone. Being evacuated was the best thing that could have happened to Ada.
Here is a list of all of the titles I mentioned:
World War I
- Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattik
- War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
- Hero Over Here by Kathleen V. Kudlinski
- Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
- War Game by Michael Foreman
- Desperate Glory by John Wilson
- In Flander’s Fields by Linda Granfield
- Flying Aces of World War One by Gene Gurney
- The Halifax Disaster by Ernest Fraser Robinson
- The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy
- True Stories of World War One by Paul Dowswell
- Winnie’s Great War by Lindsay Mattik
- Brothers Far From Home
- The Moffats by Eleanor Estes
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
World War II
- The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop
- The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum
- The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong
- The Mitchells: Five for Victory by Hilda van Stockum
- Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden
- An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo
- The Little Riders by Margaret Shemin
- True Stories of the Second World War by Paul Dowswell
- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
- Josie Under Fire by Ann Turnbull
- Turned Away
- When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
- The War That Saved My Life
I hope you will write down some of the titles I mentioned above. They are definitely worth reading, as read – alouds, audio books, or just for your kids to read by themselves.
If you have read any of the books above feel free to share your thoughts on them in the comment section below, or on our Facebook page.