Elliot, L. M. Under a War-Torn Sky (Hyperion Books, 2001).
After his plane is shot down by Hitler's Luftwaffe, nineteen-year-old Henry Forester of Richmond, Virginia, strives to walk across occupied France, with the help of the French Resistance, in hopes of rejoining his unit.
Fox, Anne and Eva Abraham-Podietz. Ten Thousand Children: True Stories Told by Children Who Escaped the Holocaust on the Kindertransport (Behrman House Publishing, 1998).
The Kindertransport was a rescue operation that saved 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Europe between December 1938 and September 1939 and found homes for them in England. Only 1,000 of them ever saw their families again. Olga Levy Drucker's Kindertransport (1992) is one survivor's detailed story. The authors of this book were also Kinder who got away to England, and they have written a profoundly moving, accessible account that combines the history of the time with the first-person testimonies of 21 survivors. Each chapter begins with the big picture--life under Hitler, Kristallnacht, preparing to leave, the journey, life in England through the war years and afterward--and then includes brief vignettes by Kinder who remember how it was for them; finally, a brief note summarizes what happened to each child afterward. The design is like an open scrapbook, with different size typefaces, snapshots, news photos, and marginal notes; and the combination of the general overview with personal memories will bring readers, from middle grades through adult, close to the experience. These people escaped; the brutality is offstage, but the anguish is in the childhood details. What was it like to say good-bye to your parents, knowing you might never see them again? To arrive in a new country, learn a new language, and live with strangers? To discover after the war that your family was gone? Or to find your parents, leave your foster home, and try to be a family again? The authors' quiet final note is rooted in the survivors' stories: the Kinder have learned, among other things, to appreciate people's differences and to remember the kindness of strangers. (Hazel Rochman for Booklist)
Frank, Anne. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Bantam, Reprint edition, 1993).
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.
Fraser, George MacDonald. Quartered Safe out Here (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., New edition, 2000).
At the age of nineteen, the author saw nerve-wracking action during the British army's struggles against the Japanese in Burma, the last great land campaign of World War II. Fraser has now added to his rattling-good common soldier's memoir a substantial new afterword occasioned by the fiftieth anniversary of VJ-Day.
Gaeddert, LouAnn Bigge. Friends and Enemies (Atheneum, 2000).
Jim and William quickly become friends. They share many classes, band, and lunch. On Saturdays, they often go fishing. Late in the autumn, they camp out, and Jim demonstrates astonishing courage. But when Pearl Harbor is bombed, war divides the town and destroys William's friendship with Jim. Caught up in the mood of patriotism that sweeps the country, William is eager to do whatever he can to support the war effort. Jim, a Mennonite pacifist, won't even sing patriotic songs, much less help the war effort by collecting scrap iron and newspapers. Clive's brother is fighting in the Pacific, but Jim's brothers refuse to carry guns.
Although William's father, the Methodist minister, preaches tolerance, Plaintown's "patriotic Americans" harass their Mennonite neighbors, accusing them of cowardice and of sympathy for the enemy. William finds himself alone and isolated, distanced from Jim and Jim's Mennonite friends, yet unwilling to surrender to the demands of Clive and Clive's friends. Drastic changes within William's family add to his distress. This novel about friendship and courage explores the issue of pacifism against the backdrop of World War II.
Giblin, James Cross. The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler (Clarion Books, 2002).
Many people believe Hitler was the personification of evil. In this intriguing biography, James Cross Giblin penetrates this facade and presents a picture of a complex person at once a brilliant, influential politician and a deeply disturbed man. In a straightforward and non-sensational manner, the author explores the forces that shaped the man as well as the social conditions that furthered his rapid rise to power. Against a background of crucial historical events, Giblin traces the arc of Hitler's life: his childhood, his years as a frustrated artist in Vienna, his extraordinary rise as dictator of Germany, his final days in an embattled bunker under Berlin. Powerful archival images provide a haunting visual accompaniment to this clear and compelling account of a life that left an ineradicable mark on our world.
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Lily's Crossing (Yearling Newberg, 1999).
Every summer Lily and her father go to her family's house in Rockaway, near the Atlantic Ocean. But the summer of 1944 is different. World War II has called Lily's father overseas, Lily's best friend Margaret had to move with her family to a wartime factory town, and Lily is forced to live with her grandmother. But then a boy named Albert, a refugee from Hungary, comes to live in Rockaway. He has lost most of his family to the war. Soon he and Lily form a special friendship, and they have secrets to share. But they have both told lies, and Lily's lie may cost Albert his life.
Glatshteyn, Yankev. Emil and Karl (Roaring Brook Press, 2006).
Written in the form of a suspense novel, Emil and Karl draws readers into the dilemma faced by two young boys,one Jewish, the other not,when they suddenly find themselves without homes or families in Vienna on the eve of World War II. A taut, gripping page-turner, it offers a picture of life during the period and the moral challenges faced under Nazismand a prescient glimpse of the early days of the Holocaust. Written in Yiddish, it is here translated into English for the first time.
Gold, Alison Leslie. A Special Fate: Chiune Sugihara : Hero of the Holocaust (Scholastic, 2000).
It's one of the great Holocaust rescue stories. Chiune Sugihara, Japanese consul in Lithuania, defied his government and personally wrote transit visas for about 6,000 desperate Jewish refugees, visas that allowed them to travel across Russia and escape the Nazis. Ken Mochizuki's Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story (1997) was an immediate account for younger readers but left them wanting to know more about the man and the history. Gold's biography fills in the details. She draws on interviews with Sugihara's wife and other witnesses. She also weaves in the stories of two Jewish refugee families. Unfortunately, the awkward, plodding style almost buries the drama. A map would also have helped: where exactly did the refugees go, and how did they get there? Still, the exciting facts will hold readers' interest in the heroic story of one man who did so much. A moving epilogue describes how, after years of grief and disgrace, Sugihara was finally honored in his own country and in Israel. (Hazel Rochman for Booklist)
Greene, Bette. Summer of My German Soldier (Puffin Modern Classics, Reissue, 2006).
Minutes before the train pulled into the station in Jenkinsville, Arkansas, Patty Bergen knew something exciting was going to happen. But she never could have imagined that her summer would be so memorable. German prisoners of war have arrived to make their new home in the prison camp in Jenkinsville. To the rest of her town, these prisoners are only Nazis. But to Patty, a young Jewish girl with a turbulent home life, one boy in particular becomes an unlikely friend. Anton relates to Patty in ways that her mother and father never can. But when their forbidden relationship is discovered, will Patty risk her family and town for the understanding and love of one boy?
Greenfeld, Howard. The Hidden Children (Houghton Mifflin, 1997).
Over a million Jewish children were killed during the Holocaust. From ten thousand to 100 thousand Jewish children were hidden with strangers and survived. In this powerful and compelling work, 25 people share their experiences as hidden children. Black-and-white photos.
Gruenewald, Mary Matsuda. Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese American Internment Camps (New Sage, 2005).
In 1941, Mary Matsuda Gruenewald was a teenage girl who, like other Americans, reacted with horror to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Yet soon she and her family were among 110,000 innocent people imprisoned by the U.S. government because of their Japanese ancestry. In this eloquent memoir, she describes both the day-to-day and the dramatic turning points of this profound injustice: what is was like to face an indefinite sentence in crowded, primitive camps; the struggle for survival and dignity; and the strength gained from learning what she was capable of and could do to sustain her family. It is at once a coming-of-age story with interest for young readers, an engaging narrative on a topic still not widely known, and a timely warning for the present era of terrorism. Complete with period photos, the book also brings readers up to the present, including the author's celebration of the National Japanese American Memorial dedication in 2000.