YA Book Lists: World War II Fiction

[Printable book list]

John Boyne / YP FIC BOYNE
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called "Out-With" in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.

Joseph Bruchac / YP FIC BRUCHAC
Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two
After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.

Tanita S. Davis / YP FIC DAVIS
Mare's War
Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells them about growing up black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women's Army Corps.

Paul Dowswell / YP FIC DOWSWELL
The Ausländer
German soldiers take Peter from a Warsaw orphanage, and soon he is adopted by Professor Kaltenbach, a prominent Nazi, but Peter forms his own ideas about what he sees and hears and decides to take a risk that is most dangerous in 1942 Berlin.

Kathleen Benner Duble / YP FIC DUBLE
Phantoms in the Snow
In 1944, recently orphaned 15-year-old Noah Garrett is sent to live at Camp Hale, Colo., with an uncle he has never met, and there he finds his pacifist views put to the test.

David L. Dudley / YP FIC DUDLEY
Caleb's Wars
Fifteen-year-old Caleb's courageous commitment to justice grows as he faces a power struggle with his father, fights to keep both his temper and self-respect, and puzzles over the German prisoners of war brought to his rural Georgia community during World War II.

Laura Elliot / YP FIC ELLIOT
Under a War-Torn Sky
After his plane is shot down by Hitler's Luftwaffe, 19-year-old Henry Forester of Richmond, Va., strives to walk across occupied France, with the help of the French Resistance, in hopes of rejoining his unit.

Laura Elliot / YP FIC ELLIOT
A Troubled Peace
World War II may be ending, but for 19-year-old pilot Henry Forester, the conflict still rages. Henry is still reliving air battles with Hitler's Luftwaffe and his torture by the Gestapo. Mostly, Henry can't stop worrying about the safety of those who helped him escape — especially one French boy, Pierre, who, because of Henry, may have lost everything.

Morris Gleitzman / YP FIC GLEITZMA
Once
After living in an Catholic orphanage for nearly four years, a naive Jewish boy runs away and embarks on a journey across Nazi-occupied Poland to find his parents.

Janet Graber / YP FIC GRABER
Resistance
In German-occupied Normandy, France, 15-year-old Marianne worries that her mother is exposing the family, especially Marianne's deaf younger brother, to great danger by volunteering for more perilous assignments in the resistance movement.

Miriam Katin / YP FIC KATIN
We Are on our Own
A stunning memoir of a mother and her daughter's survival in WWII and their subsequent lifelong struggle with faith. In this captivating and elegantly illustrated graphic memoir, Miriam Katin retells the story of her and her mother's escape on foot from the Nazi invasion of Budapest.

Susan Kim / YP FIC KIM
City of Spies
In 1942 New York City, when budding cartoonist Evelyn and her new friend Tony find a genuine Nazi spy after some false alarms, it soon looks like Evelyn might end up in the kind of adventure she writes about in her comics.

Kathryn Lasky / YP FIC LASKY
The Extra
Arrested by Hitler's police and imprisoned as part of the "Gypsy plague," 15-year-old Lilo is chosen by Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl to work as an extra, forcing Lilo to choose between working under constant danger or fleeing for her life.

Carol Matas / YP FIC MATAS
The Whirlwind
In 1941, 14-year-old Ben flees Nazi Germany with his family, hoping to find stability in Seattle, but when his new friend John, a Japanese American, is sent to an internment camp, he does not feel safe anywhere.

Harry Mazer / YP FIC MAZER
Heroes Don't Run
To honor his father, who died during the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor, 17-year-old Adam eagerly enlists in the Marines in 1944, survives boot camp, and faces combat on the tiny island of Okinawa.

Amy McAuley / YP FIC MCAULEY
Shelter Me
Maggie leaves London during the 1941 German blitz to stay in Wales at a secluded boarding school, but when it turns out not to be as safe as it was supposed to be, she and three other girls flee and begin a harrowing journey back to London.

Amy McAuley / YP FIC MCAULEY
Violins of Autumn
When World War II breaks out, 17-year-old Betty, an American studying in England, trains as a spy and parachutes into German-occupied France to join the Resistance, but after meeting a young American pilot she begins to realize fully the brutality of the war and their dangerous position.

Walter Dean Myers / YP FIC MYERS
Invasion
Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry were friends in Virginia, but now that they are both involved in the Normandy invasion, the differences in their positions is uncomfortable, for Josiah is a white infantryman and Marcus is a black transport driver, the only role the segregated army will allow him.

William Osborne / YP FIC OSBORNE
Hitler's Secret
In June 1941, Otto and Leni, two young refugees from the Nazis living in England, are sent on a secret mission to Bavaria to extract a young girl attending a summer camp who may hold the key to the war.

Curtis Parkinson / YP FIC PARKINSO
Man Overboard!
A World War II tale based on a true historical event follows the experiences of 16-year-old Scott and his friend, Adam, who while performing summer job duties on a ship on the St. Lawrence River discover that a German agent is on board.

Gudrun Pausewang / YP FIC PAUSEWAN
Traitor
During the closing months of World War II, a 15-year-old German girl must decide whether or not to help an escaped Russian prisoner of war, despite the serious consequences if she does so.

Lois Ruby / YP FIC RUBY
Shanghai Shadows
From 1939 to 1945, a Jewish family struggles to survive in occupied China: young Ilse by remaining optimistic, her older brother by joining a resistance movement, her mother by maintaining connections to the past, and her father by playing the violin that had been his livelihood.

Sherri L. Smith / YP FIC SMITH
Flygirl
During World War II, a light-skinned African American girl "passes" for white in order to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

Laura L. Sullivan / YP FIC SULLIVAN
Delusion
Two beautiful teenage sisters, Phil and Fee Albion, descendents of a long line of stage illusionists, are sent from London to the countryside during World War II, only to discover a hidden college of real magicians who just might help them save England from the Nazis.

Sandi Toksvig / YP FIC TOKSVIG
Hitler's Canary
Ten-year-old Bamse and his Jewish friend Anton participate in the Danish Resistance during World War II.

Ann C. Voorhoeve / YP FIC VOORHOEV
My Family for the War
Before the start of World War II, 10-year-old Ziska Mangold, who has Jewish ancestors but has been raised as a Protestant, is taken out of Nazi Germany on one of the Kindertransport trains, to live in London with a Jewish family, where she learns about Judaism and endures the hardships of war while attempting to keep in touch with her parents, who are trying to survive in Holland.

Elizabeth Wein / YP FIC WEIN
Code Name Verity
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.

Elizabeth Wein / YP FIC WEIN
Rose Under Fire
When young American pilot Rose Justice is captured by Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp, she finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery, and friendship of her fellow prisoners.

Marcus Zusak / YP FIC ZUSAK
The Book Thief
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.