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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4.12 avg rating — 363,597 ratings
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2

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4.11 avg rating — 2,214,043 ratings
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3

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4.36 avg rating — 1,431,126 ratings
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4

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4.11 avg rating — 368,895 ratings
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5

by
4.03 avg rating — 159 ratings
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6

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4.07 avg rating — 74,622 ratings
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7

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4.37 avg rating — 115,602 ratings
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8

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3.93 avg rating — 9,662 ratings
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9

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4.02 avg rating — 47,190 ratings
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10

by
4.41 avg rating — 203,188 ratings
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11

by
4.28 avg rating — 82 ratings
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12

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3.97 avg rating — 8,420 ratings
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13

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4.16 avg rating — 369 ratings
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14

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4.17 avg rating — 1,678 ratings
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15

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3.99 avg rating — 5,320 ratings
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16

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3.97 avg rating — 5,071 ratings
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17

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4.12 avg rating — 3,900 ratings
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18

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4.34 avg rating — 211,526 ratings
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19

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4.10 avg rating — 17,603 ratings
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20

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4.47 avg rating — 31,266 ratings
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21

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3.90 avg rating — 769,895 ratings
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22

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4.09 avg rating — 4,353 ratings
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23

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4.21 avg rating — 14,040 ratings
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24

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3.67 avg rating — 14,755 ratings
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25

by
3.97 avg rating — 4,507 ratings
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26

by
3.55 avg rating — 9,708 ratings
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27

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3.86 avg rating — 9,623 ratings
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28

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4.29 avg rating — 32,922 ratings
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29

by
4.14 avg rating — 16,541 ratings
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30

by
4.13 avg rating — 7,731 ratings
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31

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3.82 avg rating — 1,842 ratings
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32

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4.04 avg rating — 4,499 ratings
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33

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3.89 avg rating — 6,525 ratings
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34

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4.14 avg rating — 6,204 ratings
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35

by
4.47 avg rating — 367 ratings
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36

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4.37 avg rating — 2,949 ratings
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37

by
3.78 avg rating — 12,283 ratings
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38

by
4.17 avg rating — 30 ratings
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39

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,067 ratings
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40

by
3.95 avg rating — 3,448 ratings
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41

by
4.24 avg rating — 234 ratings
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42

by
4.10 avg rating — 5,650 ratings
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43

by
4.37 avg rating — 7,223 ratings
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44

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4.10 avg rating — 2,885 ratings
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45

by
4.01 avg rating — 11,679 ratings
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46

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4.20 avg rating — 4,413 ratings
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47

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3.76 avg rating — 208 ratings
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47

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4.03 avg rating — 5,733 ratings
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49

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4.20 avg rating — 12,579 ratings
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50

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 22,050 ratings
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51

by
3.81 avg rating — 31 ratings
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52

by
4.14 avg rating — 2,734 ratings
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53

by
4.34 avg rating — 312 ratings
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54

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3.80 avg rating — 1,016 ratings
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55

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3.89 avg rating — 3,633 ratings
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56

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4.40 avg rating — 383 ratings
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57

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3.92 avg rating — 1,287 ratings
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58

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3.90 avg rating — 1,163 ratings
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59

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3.90 avg rating — 1,467 ratings
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60

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3.79 avg rating — 2,634 ratings
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61

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4.22 avg rating — 1,730 ratings
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62

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3.90 avg rating — 4,858 ratings
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63

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3.78 avg rating — 401 ratings
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64

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4.07 avg rating — 1,454 ratings
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64

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3.73 avg rating — 228 ratings
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66

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3.96 avg rating — 2,151 ratings
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67

by
3.94 avg rating — 70 ratings
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68

by
4.17 avg rating — 80 ratings
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69

by
4.09 avg rating — 215 ratings
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70

by
3.63 avg rating — 326 ratings
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71

by
4.09 avg rating — 362 ratings
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71

by
4.12 avg rating — 188 ratings
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73

by
4.03 avg rating — 9,890 ratings
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74

by
4.13 avg rating — 4,193 ratings
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75

by
3.69 avg rating — 2,367 ratings
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76

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4.17 avg rating — 2,039 ratings
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77

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3.59 avg rating — 753 ratings
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78

by
4.28 avg rating — 1,218 ratings
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79

by
3.87 avg rating — 320 ratings
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80

by
3.89 avg rating — 959 ratings
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81

by
4.39 avg rating — 314 ratings
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82

by
3.08 avg rating — 13 ratings
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83

by
4.09 avg rating — 45 ratings
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84

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 6 ratings
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84

by
4.18 avg rating — 1,178 ratings
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86

by
3.97 avg rating — 38 ratings
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87

by
3.87 avg rating — 537 ratings
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88

by
3.69 avg rating — 378 ratings
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89

by
3.81 avg rating — 237 ratings
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90

by
3.92 avg rating — 1,275 ratings
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91

by
4.37 avg rating — 140 ratings
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92

by
3.51 avg rating — 95 ratings
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93

by
3.57 avg rating — 225 ratings
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94

by
4.42 avg rating — 431 ratings
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95

by
3.73 avg rating — 194 ratings
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96

by
3.92 avg rating — 209 ratings
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96

by
4.40 avg rating — 42 ratings
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98

by
4.01 avg rating — 2,551 ratings
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99

by
4.30 avg rating — 3,198 ratings
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99

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,476 ratings
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235 books · 280 voters · list created February 16th, 2012 by Teresa Funke (votes) .
54 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Teresa 250 books
88 friends
Alessandra 2196 books
66 friends
Meghan 969 books
234 friends
Kelsey 858 books
11 friends
Abbey 104 books
2 friends
Terrie 2668 books
13 friends
Cathy 2504 books
35 friends
Jazelle 743 books
103 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-35 of 35) (35 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."



message 31: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Klapperich Looking for the title of a book I gave my son over 30 years ago. WWII POW camp in the US. Young boy with a blind puppy gets help training it from a POW who was a veterinarian. Later the river threatens the town and the POWs help stack sand bags. Pretty sure the dog drowns rescuing someone (the boy?) because I remember my son crying while he threw the book at me saying, It was really good. Thanks for any help.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Have you tried the group What's the name of that book?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed Ha'Penny and Half a Crown (by Jo Walton) because they are not children's books. (I recommend them - for adults.)


message 34: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Klapperich A Facebook friend found the title for me: All the Days Were Summer by Jack Bickham. Thanks all.


message 35: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Klapperich Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "Have you tried the group What's the name of that book?"

Good referral. Thanks.


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