Best Children's Books about World War II (1939-1945)

Young readers are fascinated with World War II, but teachers and parents have a hard time finding books to recommend. List your favorites here.
1

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4.08 avg rating — 1,812,813 ratings
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2

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4.35 avg rating — 1,081,443 ratings
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3

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4.09 avg rating — 316,960 ratings
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4

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4.08 avg rating — 270,900 ratings
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5

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4.09 avg rating — 53,046 ratings
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6

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3.90 avg rating — 7,126 ratings
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7

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4.16 avg rating — 293 ratings
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7

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4.14 avg rating — 1,223 ratings
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9

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4.07 avg rating — 34,707 ratings
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10

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4.34 avg rating — 81,094 ratings
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11

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3.97 avg rating — 6,963 ratings
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12

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3.97 avg rating — 4,295 ratings
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13

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4.42 avg rating — 154,388 ratings
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14

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4.08 avg rating — 14,285 ratings
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15

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4.08 avg rating — 3,227 ratings
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16

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3.95 avg rating — 4,270 ratings
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17

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4.34 avg rating — 168,131 ratings
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18

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3.84 avg rating — 461,156 ratings
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19

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4.06 avg rating — 3,522 ratings
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20

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3.65 avg rating — 13,339 ratings
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21

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4.17 avg rating — 10,405 ratings
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22

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3.94 avg rating — 3,870 ratings
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23

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3.50 avg rating — 7,881 ratings
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24

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3.86 avg rating — 8,034 ratings
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25

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4.16 avg rating — 4,152 ratings
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26

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4.12 avg rating — 12,280 ratings
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27

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4.50 avg rating — 284 ratings
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28

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3.82 avg rating — 1,414 ratings
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29

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4.35 avg rating — 1,937 ratings
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30

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4.21 avg rating — 28 ratings
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31

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4.34 avg rating — 10,885 ratings
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32

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4.22 avg rating — 5,704 ratings
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33

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4.22 avg rating — 171 ratings
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34

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4.11 avg rating — 4,756 ratings
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35

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3.78 avg rating — 10,607 ratings
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36

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4.03 avg rating — 3,641 ratings
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37

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4.34 avg rating — 5,377 ratings
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38

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4.08 avg rating — 2,202 ratings
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39

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3.85 avg rating — 5,208 ratings
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40

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4.05 avg rating — 84 ratings
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41

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3.95 avg rating — 2,826 ratings
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42

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4.26 avg rating — 27,142 ratings
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43

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4.09 avg rating — 716 ratings
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44

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4.22 avg rating — 1,394 ratings
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45

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4.01 avg rating — 9,378 ratings
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46

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4.19 avg rating — 8,741 ratings
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47

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3.93 avg rating — 27 ratings
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48

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3.99 avg rating — 18,625 ratings
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49

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3.75 avg rating — 812 ratings
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50

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4.12 avg rating — 60 ratings
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51

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3.89 avg rating — 3,110 ratings
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52

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4.02 avg rating — 4,839 ratings
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52

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3.90 avg rating — 897 ratings
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54

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4.06 avg rating — 174 ratings
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55

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3.89 avg rating — 875 ratings
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56

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3.92 avg rating — 1,130 ratings
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57

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4.01 avg rating — 8,065 ratings
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58

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3.73 avg rating — 161 ratings
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59

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4.10 avg rating — 3,023 ratings
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60

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4.15 avg rating — 1,635 ratings
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60

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3.77 avg rating — 345 ratings
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62

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3.91 avg rating — 4,199 ratings
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63

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4.29 avg rating — 911 ratings
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64

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3.98 avg rating — 57 ratings
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64

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3.68 avg rating — 189 ratings
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66

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3.08 avg rating — 13 ratings
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67

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4.03 avg rating — 39 ratings
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68

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3.80 avg rating — 5 ratings
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69

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 29 ratings
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70

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4.36 avg rating — 264 ratings
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71

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4.16 avg rating — 2,062 ratings
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72

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4.36 avg rating — 322 ratings
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73

by
4.09 avg rating — 251 ratings
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74

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3.68 avg rating — 1,845 ratings
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75

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3.76 avg rating — 2,089 ratings
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76

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3.46 avg rating — 83 ratings
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77

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4.16 avg rating — 135 ratings
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78

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3.57 avg rating — 193 ratings
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79

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4.42 avg rating — 346 ratings
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80

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4.19 avg rating — 3,556 ratings
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81

by
3.75 avg rating — 158 ratings
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82

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3.53 avg rating — 531 ratings
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82

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4.57 avg rating — 28 ratings
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84

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3.97 avg rating — 4,295 ratings
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85

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3.99 avg rating — 2,200 ratings
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86

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4.32 avg rating — 249 ratings
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87

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3.84 avg rating — 278 ratings
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88

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3.89 avg rating — 803 ratings
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88

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4.31 avg rating — 1,122 ratings
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90

by
4.16 avg rating — 679 ratings
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91

by
4.08 avg rating — 3,746 ratings
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92

by
3.61 avg rating — 264 ratings
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93

by
3.79 avg rating — 209 ratings
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94

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3.92 avg rating — 1,080 ratings
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95

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3.93 avg rating — 171 ratings
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96

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4.05 avg rating — 55 ratings
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97

by
4.17 avg rating — 24 ratings
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98

by
liked it 3.00 avg rating — 2 ratings
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99

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3.93 avg rating — 302 ratings
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100

by
4.40 avg rating — 5 ratings
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214 books · 223 voters · list created February 16th, 2012 by Teresa Funke (votes) .
42 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Teresa 227 books
85 friends
Alessandra 2196 books
68 friends
Meghan 796 books
202 friends
Kelsey 723 books
10 friends
Abbey 104 books
2 friends
Terrie 2159 books
12 friends
Cathy 2460 books
29 friends
Jazelle 683 books
92 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-30 of 30) (30 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Funke I'm so excited to see people adding to this list. It's going to be such a great resource for teachers, parents and writers like me who are writing about this fascinating time period!


message 2: by P.J. (new)

P.J. Sullivan What do you mean by "young readers"? What ages?


message 3: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Funke "Young readers" would mean, to me, children and teens both. Thank you for asking.


message 4: by Alice (new)

Alice Marlin How does one get to be a Goodreads Author?


message 5: by Alice (new)

Alice Marlin Picking up on P.J.'s comment, should the age or grade range be specified for each book? Some of these books are for grades 4-8 and a few seem to be for grades 1-3, judging by the authors. Also, there seem to be 13 different editions of The Diary of Anne Frank, which I voted for. I can't comment on which edition is best but maybe someone else could.


message 6: by Alice (new)

Alice Marlin Three of the Anne Frank editions are on the list.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Alice wrote: "How does one get to be a Goodreads Author?"

You need to have written a book (obviously!) and then claim your page at the "is this you?" on the author page for the book in question.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Jo Walton's Small Change series (Farthing, Ha'Penny, Half a Crown) is excellent, but A. alternative history set in alternative 1949 and alternative 1959, and B. probably not for any level below high school.


message 10: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Funke I, too, noticed repeats of a few books being added to the list. If you want to add a book, please check to see that it has not been added already. I've been so surprised to see how many books match the criteria for this list. As mentioned before, some will be for elementary school readers, some for teens, so please do read descriptions of the books and author comments before suggesting any of the books for your very young children. On the other hand, many teens and even adults are reading my Home-Front Heroes books and enjoying them, even though they are middle-grade books!


message 11: by John Tepper (new)

John Tepper Marlin Thank you for starting this list. With 125 books on it, parents and teachers and young readers all need someplace to check on which books are most appreciated. New generations must be reminded about the evils done by the Nazis so that we can prevent a horror like that happening again...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Hans Fallada's Every Man Dies Alone is for children?


message 13: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Funke I would agree that Every Man Dies Alone is not a children's book, but I can't figure out how to remove books. Any ideas?


message 14: by John Tepper (new)

John Tepper Marlin There should be a WW2 list for adults. And there should be a list of lists somewhere!!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Teresa wrote: "I would agree that Every Man Dies Alone is not a children's book, but I can't figure out how to remove books. Any ideas?"

I can remove it, Teresa. You want me to?


message 16: by Emily (last edited Apr 07, 2014 10:12AM) (new)

Emily The Farthing trilogy by Jo Walton was written for adults. Also, as Susanna points out, they are set in an alternate history. The third one is set in an alternate 1950s. I don't think they belong on the list, although personally I think they're wonderful.


message 17: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Funke John Tepper wrote: "There should be a WW2 list for adults. And there should be a list of lists somewhere!!"
Yes Please, thank you!


message 18: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Funke Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "Teresa wrote: "I would agree that Every Man Dies Alone is not a children's book, but I can't figure out how to remove books. Any ideas?"

I can remove it, Teresa. You want me to?"


Yes please, Thank you!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads OK, I've removed Every Man Dies Alone.

If there's anything else, just mention it.


message 20: by Elizajane (new)

Elizajane I added a whole lot of books to this wonderful list but only about half are still here ten minutes later! What am I doing wrong??


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Are they missing from your list at the right side of the page?


message 22: by Elizajane (new)

Elizajane I think I've figured it out now - don't know what happened the first time around but they are appearing now.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Glad to hear it.


message 24: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Funke Thank you, Susanna. You're such a help! I don't know The Farthing Trilogy myself, but given that they were not written for youth and are alternative history, I think we should remove them for the sake of clarity. That's not to say I don't enjoy a good yarn that engages alternative history, by the way, just that this list was meant to show good literature (fiction or nonfiction) about the war itself and geared toward young readers. Incidentally, The Book Thief was originally written for adults, but in America it is categorized as Young Adult. I think teen readers can handle heavier material, but please do read book descriptions before you hand any of the books on this list to very young readers.


message 25: by Penny (new)

Penny why oh why do we have to have different titles on different sides of the Atlantic? drives me mad! several of these books are well-known by a different title - sorry I'll stop ranting now!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It used to be very common practice (sometimes I think half of Agatha Christie has alternate titles).

The best justification for it I can think of is "title is offensive" in X country (for example "The Book of Negroes" is "Someone Knows My Name" in the U.S.).


message 27: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Scramble is the first of an enjoyable series for elem. ages about the RAF.I first bought these for my son and now my grandsons are reading them.Author is Don Patterson.
Sandy mosolgo


message 28: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Thank you this list, it's very useful!

One book that jumps out to me as missing though is The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It's easy to add books to lists; at the top of the list, at the tab next to "all votes."


message 30: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Funke Thanks, Ruth. I'll add it to the list. Wonder if we can still find the TV show.

Ruth wrote: "Thank you this list, it's very useful!

One book that jumps out to me as missing though is The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier."



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