10 Best WW2 Books For Teens Update 05/2022

When World War II was over, it took place over six years. There are many stories of bravery, sacrifice, and struggle from the many people who were affected by the war, whether they took part in it or the war came to them. Young people also played important roles that deserve to be remembered: They enlisted, they fought for their countries, they kept their families safe in harrowing situations, and they survived by any means possible. Young adult novels about World War II will take you all over the world, from Western Europe to Japan to South Korea, as the war goes on. It’s important to tell the stories of the teenagers these stories focus on, both to show how difficult World War II was for them and to shine a light on how they persevered and fought back.

When My Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park

This is a map of South Korea in 1940: People in Sun-home hee’s could only speak Korean at home, and all of her school lessons were about Japan and in Japanese. Laws that put Japan above South Korea were not new to her until a law was passed that made all Koreans take Japanese names. In the end, Sun-hee became Keoko. When Sun-hee became Keoko, World War II came to Korea, and Japan made their Korean subjects fight with them. It is Sun-hee who stays behind when her older brother joins the Korean resistance. Sun-hee helps protect the secrets of her family while the country is under Japanese rule.

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

People lived there for a while in 1941. Even when the United States joins the war, Ida Mae Jones can’t be the pilot she always wanted to be. That is, unless she’s willing to act like a white girl to join WASP, the Women Airforce Service Pilots, which was formed because there were not enough men to fly. WASP was not given military status until the 1970s. As long as she can fly and serve, Ida will join the 1,100 other women.

My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih

When did this happen? In 1941, Ukraine. Shelele is in danger when the Nazis invade Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Hanna and her family have to flee into the woods around their home to avoid being caught. Because they get sick and starve to death in caves, they take refuge there. And then Hanna’s father goes away. When the war is going on, Hanna has to find him and help her family and friends stay alive.

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

In 1941, California. Was used to being the only Japanese girl in her class and being teased about it. She still had her family and her family’s flower farm to deal with. Everything changed when Pearl Harbor was bombed. In Arizona, she and her family are forced out of their home and sent to the Poston internment camp in order to stay there. There, the flowers in Sumiko’s life are replaced by unbearable heat and dust storms. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the camp was built right next to a Native American reservation, and the Japanese Americans feel the same way about it as they did everywhere else. The first real friend that Sumiko has is Frank, a young Mohave boy who knows all too well what led to Sumiko’s terrible situation.

Once by Morris Gleitzman

Poland in 1942. It doesn’t matter that Felix doesn’t know much about the war or that his parents are only going to be away for a short time. He hides from the Nazis in a Catholic orphanage even though he doesn’t know much about the war and it’s just short-term because his parents are going to be away. They’ll come back and get him. As soon as he thinks that his parents are in danger and tries to go after them through Nazi-occupied Poland, the war is very real for him! To make things more difficult for Felix, some things have more difficult truths than he wants to deal with, which makes it more difficult for him to make up stories that are kind.

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

Second World War: 1942. Kii Yázhi turns into Ned Begay at the mission boarding school, where they cut his hair, don’t let him speak Navajo, and try to remove every trace of his heritage from him, which he refuses to do in small acts of rebellion with other kids. When Pearl Harbor happens, the military goes looking for Navajos who can use their native language to come up with a secret communication code that can be used to send messages. In order to join the Code Talkers, Ned sneaks in just before the age limit. He will send important messages in his sacred language back and forth to help fight Japan.

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

In 1942, Germany. Helmuth Hübener was a good person: This person was a lawful German citizen and a member of the Hitler Youth. He was also a fan of Hitler and his regime. Before Helmuth got his hands on a short wave radio, he didn’t know what was going on. When he tuned in to BBC news, he learned the truth. Anger at the lies he’d been told and disgusted by what he now knows about Nazi Germany, he can’t sit by and not do something about it. He tries to spread the truth through leaflets. The problem is that it’s against the law to do so, and Helmuth is sentenced to death. The true story of Helmuth’s realization and how he grows and joins the resistance is told through his time in prison, as Helmuth thinks about his life while he waits for his sentence to start.

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

It was in 1943 that Amsterdam was hit by a big storm. Hanneke buys things on the black market to give people things they can’t get because of rationing: sugar, bacon, tea, alcohol. Hanneke’s boyfriend died on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. The smuggling also takes her mind off of her grief, which is always there. Hanneke is used to breaking the rules, but when a client asks her to find a person instead of a good: a Jewish teen. Her mother, Mrs. Janssen, had been hiding her from the Germans, but she went away. Hanneke doesn’t want to, but she agrees because she wants to find the girl in the blue coat. This decision brings her closer to the Dutch resistance as she tries to find the girl.

White Rose by Kip Wilson

Germany in 1943. A group of people called the Gestapo are questioning Sophie Scholl because she wrote and distributed anonymous letters that were critical of the Nazi regime. I think she’s guilty. She doesn’t feel bad about being guilty, even though the sentence is death. As a college student, Sophie and her brother started a non-violent resistance group called The White Rose. They wanted to fight back against Nazi propaganda in their country and encourage other people to do the same. Her refusal to give up information about other White Rose members leads to a conviction of high treason and an interrogation for information about other White Rose members.

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Poland in 1943. Her name is Dita Kraus and she is 14 years old. She is from Prague, but now she lives in Auschwitz. I don’t know how she’s going to get through this. In fact, she didn’t think Fredy Hirsch would give her the most dangerous thing to have: books. Eight books, to be exact, were smuggled into Auschwitz and used to start a school for the kids there. It is Dita’s job to be a librarian at Auschwitz, which is a very dangerous job.

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