24 Best Holocaust Books For Middle School Update 05/2022

Holocaust Books For Middle School

Holocaust Books – Fiction

My favorite things have an asterisk next to them. All of these books are written for kids and young adults and don’t have a lot of adult content. A lot of violence is shown, but it isn’t very detailed unless it’s said to be. There is no sexual content or profanity.

Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas

Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas

This is one of my favorite Holocaust books because it’s a mix of Elie Wiesel (Night) and Anne Frank. This is a great story about a teenager’s trip through two concentration camps, the famous Auschwitz Birkenau and Buchenwald. Even though it shows a lot of violence from the past, this is still a great story.

Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura Williams

Korinna, a young member of the Hitler Youth, finds out that her parents are hiding Jews in her bedroom wall. If there is something “suspicious” going on, Korinna has to decide what she wants to do about it.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Classic: Number the Stars is about a Danish girl and her family. Her Jewish friend is saved by the girl, who is a friend of her family. It was written for kids in elementary school, but it’s a good way to learn about the Holocaust. It is also a winner of the Newbery Award. Grab the study of the book here.

The Island on Bird Street by Uri Orlev

In this semi-autobiographical book, a Jewish boy has to live on his own in the Warsaw Ghetto while he waits for his father to come back. My favorite parts were the book and the movie, which I’d recommend to students ages 12 and up.

In My Enemy’s House by Carol Matas

Her blonde hair and blue eyes make it possible for her to look like an Aryan. Marisa has to work for a Nazi family in order to stay alive. Good characters, a good plot, and a simple story line make this book a good one to read.

Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz

Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz

When Michael was 13, his father, the Irish ambassador in Germany, moved to Germany. He is 13 now. As a spy, he joins the Hitler Youth as a member. He wants to get top-secret blueprints. In this book, there is a lot of action and the pace is very quick (to a point the ending is 100 percent unrealistic). Still, I think it’s worth it. It gives a lot of information about the Hitler Youth and talks about morals and ethics. Grab the book study from this link.

Escape From Warsaw by Ian Serraillier

This was one of the first Holocaust books I read, and it is still one of my favorites. It is partly based on a true story. It tells the story of three Polish siblings who are separated from their parents and have a lot of fun. They want to get to a free and neutral Switzerland.

Once by Morris Gleitzman

It’s 1942 and Felix is Jewish. He lives in a Catholic orphanage with other kids who aren’t his own. It can be dangerous when he goes out to try to save his parents when he thinks they are in danger. He isn’t aware of the war going on around him. This is the first in a set of four. A lot of middle schoolers like this book, but it was not as good as other books I’ve read. It also showed more of the horrors than some of the other things on this list did.

The Book Thief by Markuz Zusak

This story is told by death, and it’s about 11-year-old Liesel, a young girl who lives in Munich, Germany, as a foster child. Books help Liesel connect with her neighbors during bombing raids and the Jewish man hiding in her basement. Liesel is known as a “book thief.” This book has also been made into a movie, and it’s good for high school students to read.

Holocaust Books – Non-Fiction

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson*

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

They are one of the youngest Jews on Schindler’s List. This memoir is written by one of them. Leon Leyson was 10 years old when the war started. His parents, two of his siblings, and both of them made it out of the war alive. If you want to read a good memoir, this one is a good one to start with. The full review is here.

Beyond Courage by Doreen Rappaport*

A common myth is that Jews did not fight back against the Nazis and went to their deaths like sheep. This is not true. Rappaport tells many stories about Jewish resistance during the Holocaust that aren’t well-known. She talks about Jewish escapes, the Sondorkommando uprising, the Jewish partisans, and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, among other things. My Holocaust Unit Study for grades 6-8, Tell Them We Remember, has this book as one of the lessons.

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

This book has been read by a lot of people all over the world. It was written by Anne Frank, a young girl, while she was hiding from the Nazis.

Survivors by Allan Zullo

This book might be too young for this age group, but Survivors is a great little book with 9 stories from kids who have been through things. As you read this, you’ll learn about their lives, from hiding in the woods to living in concentration camps.

My Survival: A Girl on Schindler’s List by Joshua Greene and Rena Finder

Only 11 years old when she and her family were forced into the Warsaw Ghetto. By working for Oskar Schindler, who was a Nazi, Rena and her mother were able to stay alive. Schindler hired more than 1,000 Jews to work in his factory, and he saved them all. This book wasn’t as interesting to me as some of the others on the list, but it’s still worth reading. The horrors of the Holocaust are explained, but they are toned down. My store or Teachers Pay Teachers have the book guide. You can also get it there.

Four Perfect Pebbles by Lila Perl

Four Perfect Pebbles by Lila Perl

For six years, Lila and her family moved around a lot of refugee, transit, and prison camps. After the war, they finally moved to the United States. The story isn’t as detailed or graphic as some other books, but it’s still a good read.

Corrie ten Boom (Christian Heroes Series) by Janet Benge

Her home, called The Hiding Place, was used by Dutch Christians to hide several Jews. When she and her sister were caught, they were taken to a concentration camp. Corrie and her sister stayed true to this inspirational story, even though they had a lot of problems. Students may also like The Hiding Place, which is a good fit for this age group.

I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson*

The pre-war life of Livia is one of my favorite parts of the book. I think this made the story a lot more real. Elli was 13 years old when the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944. Her whole life changes. Elliott’s sense of normalcy starts to fall apart as Jews are stripped of their rights, so we see that. Elli is able to get through Auschwitz because she has hope. Two more stories follow, but I haven’t yet.

Surviving Hitler by Andrea Warren

Amazingly, this is the story of Jack Mandelbaum, who was 12 years old when he went through a concentration camp and lived to tell the tale. It is a short story with many important lessons for today.

Things We Couldn’t Say by Diet Eman*

Diet’s memoir was better than The Hiding Place, even though it was very similar. Diet (pronounced deet) Eman was a young Dutch woman during World War II. She was a member of the Resistance and worked hard to help the Dutch people. Her faith helped her get through even though she was arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Here, I have only one adult book. It has Christian themes and no profanity or sexual content, and it’s good for middle schoolers, so it’s OK for them.

Surviving the Angel of Death by Eva Kor

Surviving the Angel of Death by Eva Kor

When Eva Kor was just a little girl, she met the Angel of Death, Josef Mengele, who killed her. Mengele was a Nazi scientist who was very interested in twinning because he wanted to make a perfect blond-haired blue-eyed race. Kor and her twin Miriam were incredibly lucky to be alive. Kor was angry with the Nazis for a long time, but later, he went back and forgave them.

Hiding to Survive by Maxine Rosenberg

This is a book that tells the stories of children who were hidden during the Holocaust. I found it very interesting. The brave men and women who cared for France’s Jewish children helped them all get through the Holocaust.

Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti*

Hitler Youth is a must-read. The Hitler Youth should be taught to every child. You can start with this book, which tells you about the history of Nazi Germany, Hitler Youth, and this kind of brainwashing. I also liked how Bartoletti also told stories about teenagers who resisted Hitler. This book was a Newbery Honor winner, which means it was good enough to be read. Grab the book study from this link.

My Holocaust Unit Study for grades 6-8, Tell Them We Remember, has this book as one of the lessons.

I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree by Laura Hillman

It’s written by Hannelore, one of “Schindler’s Jews.” Tearjerking love stories are in the middle of this book. They show how love can be strong even when there are bad things going on in the world.

Irena’s Children by Mary Cronk Farrell

She was a Catholic social worker who helped 2,500 Jewish children get out of the Warsaw Ghetto. She and all of her children made it. Here is a story about her. This book comes in two different editions: one for adults and one for young adults. Irena is also the subject of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.

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