© 2017 The Literacy Classroom 

World War 2

A Candle in the Dark
by Adele Geras
 
A story set on the brink of the Second World War. Germany in 1938 is a dangerous place for Jews. Clara and her little brother, Maxi, are leaving behind everything they know and going to England to live with a family they have never met. Will Clara and Maxi adapt to life in an English village, and will they ever see their parents again?
The Little Ships: A Story of the Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk
by Louise Borden and illustrated by Michael Foreman

In May 1940, many countries in Europe were at war with Nazi Germany. Half a million British and French soldiers were trapped on three sides in northern France by German troops and tanks. The only escape for the Allied army was the sea. An incredible armada of over 800 craft, including Royal Navy ships and a flotilla of small river and coastal boats, thereafter known as “the little ships”, was assembled on the south-eastern coast of England. They sailed across the English Channel to Dunkirk in France to rescue the beseiged troops. The wide Dunkirk beach was covered with men who were hungry and thirsty, with horses running loose from their French riders, with dozens of barking dogs, with trucks and equipment – the disarray of an army on the run.

In her vivid and deeply moving text, Louise Borden tells the story of one small fishing craft from Deal that was part of the armada. It is told from the point of view of a young girl who donned her brother’s old clothes and sailed with her father on the family boat, the Lucy. The story of that incredible venture is part truth, part fiction. 

Tail-End Charlie
by Mick Manning and Brita Granström

As a boy, Mick Manning listened to his father’s hair-raising tales about life as an RAF airgunner during the Second World War. Now, years later, he has carefully recreated his father’s stories, writing them down as if his dad was speaking the words. In collaboration with Brita, he has illustrated them too. 

Find out what it was really like to:  Put up with food rationing, Undergo RAF Training, Take off in a bomber, Face enemy fighters, Survive the Battle of the Bulge.

Using comic strip, contemporary photographs and full-page pictures, it covers both everyday details and moments of extreme danger.

Rose Blanche
by Roberto Innocenti and Ian McEwan

Rose Blanche was the name of a group of young German citizens who, at their peril, protested against the war. Like them, Rose observes all the changes going on around her which others choose to ignore. She watches as the streets of her small German town fill with soldiers. One day she sees a little boy escaping from the back of a truck, only to be captured by the mayor and shoved back into it. Rose follows the truck to a desolate place out of town, where she discovers many other children, staring hungrily from behind an electric barbed wire fence. She starts bringing the children food, instinctively sensing the need for secrecy, even with her mother. Until the tide of the war turns and soldiers in different uniforms stream in from the East, and Rose and the imprisoned children disappear for ever . . .

My Secret War Diary
by Flossie Albright

Flossie is just nine years old when, in 1939, Britain declares war on Germany and her father leaves the family home to join the army. Flossie is left to bring up her baby brother and to face a whole host of new experiences on her own. Her diary becomes an outlet for relaying all the news from at home and abroad. From the first evacuees arriving to her sweetheart being killed in Normandy in 1944, Flossie has to endure much hardship. But her own special blend of courage, humour and fighting spirit see her through to the Armistice, when she can welcome her dad home at last.

War Boy
by Michael Foreman

Michael Foreman’s award-winning memoirs about his wartime childhood. ‘I woke up when the bomb came through the roof. It came through at an angle, overflew my bed by inches, bounced up over my mother’s bed, hit the mirror, dropped into the grate and exploded up the chimney.’

The Second World War is an exciting time for a young boy growing up in a small town in Suffolk – sometimes far too exciting! Life during wartime is vividly brought to life in this personal story filled with childhood memories – from hiding in air-raid shelters to playing in the bombed-out ruins and the arrival of American soldiers. War Boy is a modern classic that combines a touching personal story with factual information and wonderful illustrations.

The Machine Gunners
by Robert Westall

Michael Foreman’s award-winning memoirs about his wartime childhood. ‘I woke up when the bomb came through the roof. It came through at an angle, overflew my bed by inches, bounced up over my mother’s bed, hit the mirror, dropped into the grate and exploded up the chimney.’

The Second World War is an exciting time for a young boy growing up in a small town in Suffolk – sometimes far too exciting! Life during wartime is vividly brought to life in this personal story filled with childhood memories – from hiding in air-raid shelters to playing in the bombed-out ruins and the arrival of American soldiers. War Boy is a modern classic that combines a touching personal story with factual information and wonderful illustrations.

The Mozart Question
by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Michael Foreman

The author of the international phenomenon War Horse brings us a moving tale of secrets and survival bound together by the power of music. When Lesley is sent to Venice to interview world-renowned violinist Paulo Levi on his fiftieth birthday, she cannot believe her luck. She is told that she can ask him anything at all - except the Mozart question. But it is Paulo himself who decides that the time has come for the truth to be told. And so follows the story of his parents in a Jewish concentration camp, forced to play Mozart violin concerti for the enemy; how they watched fellow Jews being led off to their deaths and knew that they were playing for their lives. As the story unfolds, the journalist begins to understand the full horror of war - and how one group of musicians survived using the only weapon they had.

An Eagle in the Snow
by Michael Morpurgo 

The powerful new novel from the master storyteller - inspired by the true story of one man who might have stopped World War II.

1940. The train is under attacks from German fighters. In the darkness, sheltering in a railway tunnel, the stranger in the carriage with Barney and his mother tells them a story to pass the time.

And what a story. The story of a young man, a young soldier in the trenches of World War I who, on the spur of the moment, had done what he thought was the right thing.

It turned out to have been the worst mistake he ever could have made – a mistake he must put right before it is too late…

The Boy at the top of the Mountain
by John Boyne

When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler. 

Quickly, Pierrot is taken under Hitler's wing, and is thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets and betrayal, from which he may never be able to escape.

Carrie's War
by Nina Bawden

Carrie's War by Nina Bawden is an unforgettable Second World War story.

'I did a dreadful thing...or I feel that I did, and nothing can change it...'

It is the Second World War and Carrie and Nick are evacuated from London to a small town in Wales, where they are placed with strict Mr Evans and his timid mouse of a sister.

Their friend Albert is luckier, living in Druid's Bottom with Hepzibah Green who tells wonderful stories, and the strange Mister Johnny, who speaks a language all of his own. Carrie and Nick are happy to visit Albert there, until one day when Carrie does a terrible thing - the worst thing she ever did in her life...

Based on her own childhood, Nina Bawden's enchanting story Carrie's War has delighted readers for almost 40 years.

The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips
by Michael Morpurgo

A heart-warming tale of courage and warmth, set against the backdrop of the second world war, about an abandoned village, a lifelong friendship and one very adventurous cat!
‘Classic Morpurgo brilliance’ – Publishing News

"Something's up. Something big too, very big. At school, in the village, whoever you meet, it's all anyone talks about. It's like a sudden curse has come down on us all. It makes me wonder if we'll ever see the sun again."

It's 1943, and Lily Tregenze lives on a farm, in the idyllic seaside village of Slapton. Apart from her father being away, and the 'townie' evacuees at school, her life is scarcely touched by the war. Until one day, Lily and her family, along with 3000 other villagers, are told to move out of their homes – lock, stock and barrel.

Soon, the whole area is out of bounds, as the Allied forces practise their landings for D-day, preparing to invade France. But Tips, Lily's adored cat, has other ideas – barbed wire and keep-out signs mean nothing to her, nor does the danger of guns and bombs. Frantic to find her, Lily makes friends with two young American soldiers, who promise to help her. But will she ever see her cat again? Lily decides to cross the wire into the danger zone to look for Tips herself…

Now, many years later, as Michael is reading his Grandma Lily's diary, he learns about The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips – and wonders how one adventurous cat could still affect their lives sixty years later.

Goodnight Mr. Tom
by Michelle Magorian

Young Willie Beech is evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley - but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London . . .

Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
by Judith Kerr

Partly autobiographical, this is first of the internationally acclaimed trilogy by Judith Kerr telling the unforgettable story of a Jewish family fleeing from Germany at the start of the Second World War

Suppose your country began to change. Suppose that without your noticing, it became dangerous for some people to live in Germany any longer. Suppose you found, to your complete surprise, that your own father was one of those people.

That is what happened to Anna in 1933. She was nine years old when it began, too busy with her schoolwork and toboganning to take much notice of political posters, but out of them glared the face of Adolf Hitler, the man who would soon change the whole of Europe – starting with her own small life.

Anna suddenly found things moving too fast for her to understand. One day, her father was unaccountably missing. Then she herself and her brother Max were being rushed by their mother, in alarming secrecy, away from everything they knew – home and schoolmates and well-loved toys – right out of Germany…

I am David
by Anne Holm

David escapes from the concentration camp where he has spent his entire life and flees across Europe. He is utterly alone – who can he trust? What will await him? And all the while, how can he be sure that they won’t catch up with him . . .

This is the remarkable story of David’s introduction to the world: sea, mountains and flowers, the colours of Italy, the taste of fruit, people laughing and smiling, all are new to David.  David learns that his polite manner, his haunted eyes and his thin features are strange to other people. He must learn to fend for himself in this strange new world.

This is The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas meets Jonathan Safran Foer for children. An incredible story of survival against all odds and self discovery.

The Boy in the striped Pyjamas
by John Boyne

Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno's friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

The Revenge of Tirpitz
by M. L. Sloan

The thrilling WW2 story of a boy’s role in the sinking of the warship Tirpitz.

 

TWO BOYS. TWO COUNTRIES. ONE MISSION.

Norway 1944

When Erik strikes up an unlikely friendship with German Radar operator, Hans, the pair soon become involved in a race against time to help destroy the Nazi warship, Tirpitz.
Will their secret mission succeed? 

Shetland 2014

Finn’s great-grandfather receives a letter threatening the “revenge of Tirpitz”. They escape on a fishing boat, making the perilous journey to Norway, where they realise that facing up to the past puts their future in danger... 

We know what you did.
We know where you are.
Tirpitz will have her revenge.

'Spies, ships, and Nazi gold in a fast-paced and thrilling action-packed adventure across the generations. A fantastic tale of courage and determination in the face of evil.'

Wave Me Goodbye
by Jacqueline Wilson

September, 1939. As the Second World War begins, ten-year-old Shirley is sent away on a train with her schoolmates. She doesn’t know where she’s going, or what’s going to happen to her when she gets there. All she has been told is that she’s going on ‘a little holiday’.

Shirley is billeted in the country, with two boys from East End London, Kevin and Archie – and their experiences living in the strange, half-empty Red House, with the mysterious and reclusive Mrs Waverley, will change their lives for ever.