What are the best YA Holocaust and World War II novels?

asked by Anonymous
369 contributors
33 solutions
  1. 41

    #1Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was written by Anne Frank, published from the diary she kept when she and her family were in hiding from the Nazis in the then German-occupied Netherlands.
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    Howard Gibson
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "GOOD ONE"
  2. 37

    #2If I Should Die Before I Wake

    If I Should Die Before I Wake
    If I Should Die Before I Wake is Han Nolan's novel about an anti-Semite girl named Hilary who suffered an accident that brought her consciousness to the body of Chana, a Jew living in the concentration camps in World War II.
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    Amanda Meyer
    Written on April 1, 2018
    "I read this book for the first time in high school and thought it was fantastic then. Recently, I reread it again and it is still great. I passed it on to my young niece who is an avid reader. She enjoyed it so much that she could not put it down until she had finished it. If I Should Wake Die Before I Wake by Han Nolan, is a beautiful story about a girl in the present-day, being transported back in time to the Nazi era, to experience the Holocaust as a Jewish girl during WWII. I think this is a good book to read."
  3. 36

    #3Maus

    Maus

    This metaphoric comic winner of the Pulitzer Prize by Art Spiegelman tells us the story of the father of the author during World War II. The story mixes past and present while the author asks his father about his own story. 

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    Nicholas Estrada
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "Interesting perspective on the war and one that is worth picking up and giving a read. Awesomely well written and intriguing."
  1. 34

    #4Night

    Night
    Night is the first book in Elie Wiesel's historical trilogy about the Holocaust. Night shows the worst side of humanity during World War II, when familial relationships blurred because of hunger, pain, and fear inside concentration camps.
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    Jose Stone
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "Night is a fantastic read for young adults being introduced to the Holocaust and its atrocities. Its understandable, can be consumed by younger audiences without some of the gore & unpleasantries and is told in a really compelling way!"
  2. 32

    #5Yellow Star

    Yellow Star

    Yellow Star is a novel by Jennifer Roy about the heartbreaking story of a survivor of the Holocaust in the Lodz ghetto in Poland. With historical notes and accurate timeline, Roy painted a tale of courage and faith.

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    Gregory Medina
    Written on March 28, 2018
    "Good"
  3. 31

    #6The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    Bruno returns home after a school day in the Berlin of 1942, when he discovers that his family should move to another house close to a tall fence where he can see strange people in the distance. Bruno discovers there a desolate place where he'll make a friendship, with devastating consequences. 

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    Rose Cruz
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "The Boy in The Striped Pajamas is a horrifying, yet deep account of the Holocaust and World War II. I enjoyed this book because the story is told in a delightful way, considering the nature of the topic. The time passed quickly as I read of 9 year old Bruno and his trials and tribulations during the Holocaust. It's a truly a story line that reveals the devastation of the Holocaust through an innocent boy's eyes."
  4. 28

    #7Those Who Save Us

    Those Who Save Us
    Those Who Save Us is a dramatic novel by Jenna Blum about Trudy and her examination of her mother's life in Germany during World War II when she and her mother were still living with a Nazi officer before being saved by an American soldier.
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    Angela Carpenter
    Written on March 29, 2018
    "A really good novel that does a great job in conveying a story and all around I think it's something we all can check out."
  5. 26

    #8All the Light We Cannot See

    All the Light We Cannot See
    All The Light We Cannot See is a vividly-written story about Marie Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German boy in the Nazi army. Winner of a 2015 Pulitzer Prize, it shows that there can still be beauty amidst the tragedy of war.
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    Gerald Coleman
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "Not your average story. The prose is a bit different, but in a good way. It's totally engrossing and fantastic introduction into the horrors of that time."
  6. 21

    #9Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer tells the story of nine-year-old Oskar Schell. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.
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    Arjun Bose
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "This is an absolutely fascinating book. It is the story of a young boy who searches for the lock to the key that he found from his father, who happened to die on September 11, World Trade Center attacks in New York. This begins a scavenger hunt throughout the boroughs of New York. He finds many new people and discovers tragic information about his grandparents along the way. I recommend reading the book, even if I don't like thinking about 9/11."
  7. 18

    #10Salt to the Sea

    Salt to the Sea

    Salt to the Sea is a historical adventure novel for young adults written by Ruta Sepetys. It was a New York Times Bestseller a winner of the Carnegie Medal. It is set in the dying days of World War II and is a remarkable story of survival.

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    Angela Gomez
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "I love a great historical fiction book and Salt to Sea by Ruta Sepetys did not disappoint. This is a beautifully written book but the subject matter is also very intense. Sepetys did not hold back in her descriptions of the horrors of war. At times it did get a bit much for me, and it may be too graphic for some. It is an excellent book and I encourage anyone to read it."
  8. 15

    #11My Father Bleeds History (Maus)

    My Father Bleeds History (Maus)

    Possibly the most original way to understand and explain the holocaust and the Nazis prosecution against the Jews. A brutal graphic novel over a real story where the jews are wide-eyed mice and the Nazis are menacing cats. 

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    John Romero
    Written on March 28, 2018
    "Great book and interesting read, if you have never read it in the past. Interesting topic and procpective that makes you want to read the entire book. Made me go back and want to get to the end as fast as I could. "
  9. 12

    #12The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a historical novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Set in 1946, it tells the story of Juliet Ashton, a writer, and her correspondence with members of the titular society.
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    Joshua Chavez
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the best YA Holocaust and World War II novels"
  10. 4

    #13Code Name Verity

    Code Name Verity
    It's wartime in Great Britain when one young woman on a mission to occupied France is captured by the Gestapo and became a prisoner of war. Everything from that point is written by "Verity" to her captors. 


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    Scott Newman
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "This is an award winning novel that is very interesting, that's shows friendship and courage, I strongly recommend it."
  11. 1

    #14Number the Stars

    Number the Stars
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry follows the journey of a Jewish family escaping from Copenhagen during the ruthless days of World War II. This novel also shows the strong power of friendship and how solid bonds can move people.
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    Judith Campbell
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "Number the Stars topic matter may seem scary, but it is really age appropriately written. You'll learn about the time and feel like you are right there with the character."
  12. 0

    #15The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day

    The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day

    The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day is a book by historian Cornelius Ryan about D-Day. It is widely considered as the best account of the invasion of Normandy. It was originally published in 1959.

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    Patricia Amador
    Written on April 3, 2018
    "A very well written account of D-Day, with awesome reviews. Can not go wrong with this as a history story. "
  13. 0

    #16By Tank Into Normandy

    By Tank Into Normandy
     By Tank Into Normandy is an autobiography book written by Stuart Hills about his experiences as a 20-year-old tank engineer in the hazardous battlefields in Normandy during World War II.
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    Kathryn Herrera
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "I really enjoyed reading this book. Unlike other historical books, it was not dry or difficult to get through. I think the fact that it was told from first hand experience made it really easy to read and interesting. I even learned a lot of history from the book without trying."
  14. 0

    #17Annexed

    Annexed
    Annexed is a book by Sharon Dogar that tells the story of the boy who was trapped with her in the annex. This is a fiction book as the author tries to give a side story of what it might have been for the boy who was trapped with Anne.
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    Eugene Mendoza
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "This book offers a totally new view that I had never thought about before. Another person who was hiding out with Anne Frank and there point of view, this story is compelling and though provoking. In all I was not let down with it as it delivers a serious counter point to the widely known original tale."
  15. 0

    #18An outcast of the Islands

    An outcast of the Islands

    An outcast of the Islands is a book by Joseph Conrad that tells the story of Willems. He was left by his fellow Europeans on a deserted island in the Malayan Island and this is the story of his struggle. 

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    Sonia Vásquez
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "An outcast of the Islands by Joseph Conrad is an interesting read for Young Adults wishing to learn more about WWII. It is the story of Willems, left by his fellow Europeans and stuck on a deserted island."
  16. 0

    #19Rudder's Rangers

    Rudder's Rangers

    Rudder's Rangers is a book written by historian Ronald L. Lane detailing the lives of Lt.Col. James Rudder and his men and their importance to the D-Day invasion. It has official documents and excerpts of interviews with the people involved.

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    Shreyas Kapur
    Written on March 30, 2018
    "Yet another book about WWII and Nazis. I'm really over the whole fascination with this war, but I have to admit this book was really compelling. It really shows the hardship these men faced and endured to keep the world away from a madman."
  17. 0

    #20The French Girl's War

    The French Girl's War

    The French Girl's War is a historical fiction book set in World War II written by Herb Williams-Dalgart. This holocaust fiction novel is published in  2014 by CreateSpace. 

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    Hao Feng
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I found this book to be rather interesting even though I'm not a big fan of fiction books having to deal with historical events. The book is about the perspective of a French girl during World War II and the ensuing Holocaust, the main character exhibits somewhat of Anne Frank sort of archetype still with more heroic appeal. I have to say the stories pretty well written and definitely makes you feel like you're in the World War II era. I would recommend this book to any military history enthusiasts who want to read a book with a strong female character and still maintain the genre of War."
  18. 0

    #21The Madonnas of Leningrad

    The Madonnas of Leningrad

    The Madonnas of Leningrad is a standalone historical fiction novel written by Debra Dean which centers on Marina who is already losing her fight with Alzheimer's disease.

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    Edward Keller
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I loved this story and i love Debra the author. She makes just fantastic books overall and her execution is fabulous. This story is just touching. Just a overall gem and would honestly recommend it to anyone."
  19. 0

    #22We All Wore Stars

    We All Wore Stars

    We All Wore Stars is a book by Theo Coster that tells the story of the classmates of Anne Frank in Amsterdam Jewish Lyceum. It is a combined story of her classmates' message for her before she died. 

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    Elizabeth Reyes
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "This is a book that I recommend all young readers studying the Holocaust pick up. It really gives another perspective to the famous Anne Frank, and feels very relatable for students. The way that this book is written, it is easy to imagine yourself as one of the many students sitting there, beside Anne, and reminds you that she was just a normal girl with a zest for life. "
  20. 0

    #23The Man With the Golden Arm

    The Man With the Golden Arm
    The Man With the Golden Arm is a realistic drama novel for young adults and adults written by Nelson Algren and with the introduction from James R. Giles. It was originally published in 1949. It won the first National Book Award.
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    Andrea Valdez
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "The Man With the Golden Arm is a great book for young adults. I purchased this for my nephew and he thanked me not even a week later after finishing the book. He is very interested in history, so this was a winner for him."
  21. 0

    #24A Navy Soldier on Omaha Beach

    A Navy Soldier on Omaha Beach
    A Navy Soldier on Omaha Beach is a biography written by Alan Dube about his father. Gilbert Dube, a Navy Soldier for the Americans who was sent to join the Marines on their invasion of Omaha Beach in D-Day.
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    Jacob Andrews
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "This is a very short book that is more of an account of a man returning to Normandy than it is a WW2 novel, and it's certainly not young adult nor does it touch on the Holocaust."
  22. 0

    #25Invasion! They're Coming!

    Invasion! They're Coming!

    Invasion: They're Coming!: The German Account of the D-Day Landings and the 80-Day Battle for France is a book by Paul Carell about the strategy and response from the Third Reich when they learned of D-Day. It was translated by David Johnston.

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    Jesse Gilbert
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "Finally, a book that takes a different angle. This account of D-day is from the German side and really is fascinating and tough to put down."
  23. 0

    #26The Postmistress

    The Postmistress

    The Postmistress is a standalone historical fiction novel written by Sarah Blake which centers on the lives of women Iris James and Frankie Bard. This is first published on December 24, 2009.

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    Christopher Castillo
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "a WWII novel"
  24. 0

    #27Omaha Beach and Beyond

    Omaha Beach and Beyond
    Omaha Beach and Beyond: The Long March of Sergeant Bob Slaughter is a memoir written by John Robert Slaughter with the help and foreword of Alex Kershaw. It is about the main author's experience in the U.S. invasion of Omaha Beach.
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    Frank Chavez
    Written on March 30, 2018
    "Omaha Beach and Beyond isn't a fiction book. It doesn't really fit into the category of young adult novels or any type of novels for that matter. That said, if you are looking for a fascinating first hand account of a soldier going to the D Day invasion, this book would be a great read for any young person. "
  25. 0

    #28Parachute Infantry

    Parachute Infantry
    Parachute Infantry: An American Paratrooper's Memoir of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich is an autobiography written by David Kenyon Webster about his memories of the invasion of the Normandy beach and the Reichstag.
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    Danielle Washington
    Written on April 3, 2018
    "I refuse to read or watch anything about this subject. It pains me to know this evil."
  26. 0

    #29Utah Beach

    Utah Beach

    Utah Beach: The Amphibious Landing and Airbourne Operations is a book by historian Joseph Balkoski that narrates and analyses the strategy behind conquering the beach code-named Utah on June 6, 1944.

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    Vibhore Saxena
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "There are so many perspectives to World War II that lend unique looks to what actually happened. Books are a way that I like to explore this history from all angles. Utah Beach does a nice job of shedding light on the Holocaust where others do not. I really have enjoyed this work."
  27. 0

    #30The Hidden Life of Otto Frank

    The Hidden Life of Otto Frank

    The Hidden Life of Otto Frank is a book by Carol Anne Lee that tells the story of Anne's father Otto Frank. He is the one who found his daughter's diary and pushed it to be published all around the world. 

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    Charles Jensen
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "I'm sure that there are many other readers who have a great deal more expetise on the subject of Anne Frank than I do. As a result, I'm sure that there are persons who will question aspects of Carol Ann Lee's thesis about Otto Frank, his relations with the Germans her theory on who turned the Franks in."
  28. 0

    #31Anne Frank and the Children of the Holocaust

    Anne Frank and the Children of the Holocaust

    Anne Frank and the Children of the Holocaust is a book by Carol Ann Lee that tells the story of the victims of Holocaust. It is a story combined with the narratives of Anne Frank and narratives from other victims that come with heart-wrenching photographs. 

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    Jennifer George
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "If you've read the Diary of Anne Frank, this is a nice accompaniment. The stories are narratives from many other victims. The photos were so heart breaking. "
  29. 0

    #32The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank

    The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank

    The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank is a book by  Willy Lindwer that tells the story of how Anne suffered after she was arrested. The story is from the six Jewish women who saw how Anne died. 

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    Kevin Ruiz
    Written on April 3, 2018
    "Very interesting how the last years of Anne Frank were. I feel like that is just terrible. I think that to be honest she lived one of the most interesting lives. The end was really sad, really depressing. Reading this put me in her shoes, in a first person view. I recommend this to anyone that is interested in Anne Frank"
  30. 0

    #33The Story of Anne Frank

    The Story of Anne Frank

    The Story of Anne Frank is a book by Mirjam Pressler that tells the life story of Anne Frank. This book gives new life to Anne's life story by sharing what her life was while hiding and suffering the consequences of it.

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    Jose Gonzalez
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "This is a good novel for youth, particularly teenage girls because they can relate to the subject of the book and the situations she is in."

Summary

Best What are the best YA Holocaust and World War II novels
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young GirlBooks 41 Paid
2If I Should Die Before I WakeBooks 37 Paid
3MausBooks 36 Paid
4NightBooks 34 Paid
5Yellow StarBooks 32 Paid
6The Boy in the Striped PajamasBooks 31 Paid
7Those Who Save UsBooks 28 Paid
8All the Light We Cannot SeeBooks 26 Paid
9Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseBooks 21 Paid
10Salt to the SeaBooks 18 Paid
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