Uchida, Yoshiko. Invisible Thread (HarperTrophy, 1995).
The author of The Best Bad Thing, The Happiest Ending, and A Jar of Dreams tells of her childhood in Berkeley, California. Although her parents were both born in Japan, Yoshiko, her older sister Keiko, and her parents all consider themselves Americans. Although Yoshiko and her family are happy in the United States, she describes her feelings of not fitting in and her fears about being different from her mostly white classmates and neighbors. When Yoshiko is in college, her fears of discrimination become reality when, because of mass hysteria, racism, and paranoia after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese-American population of California and other western states are forced to live in internment camps in the United States. The people in the camps—many of them American citizens—are stripped of their civil rights and treated like criminals. Yoshiko describes the harshness of life in these camps, and how she and her family struggled to survive. After being released, Yoshiko became a teacher and the author of Journey to Topaz and Journey Home, which are based on her experiences in the internment camps.
Uchida, Yoshiko. Desert Exile: the Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family (University of Washington Press, 1984).
Yoshiko Uchida has given us a chronicle of a very special kind of courage, the courage to preserve normalcy and humanity in the face of irrationality and inhumanity. Her family's story, told in loving detail, brings alive the [Japanese] internment experience and is an important book for all Americans.
Uchida, Yoshiko. Journey Home (Alladin, 1982).
This sequel To Journey To Topaz takes place after 12-year-old Yuki and the rest of her Japanese-American family are released from Topaz, the internment camp they and many other Japanese-Americans were forced to live in during World War II. Although Yuki and her family are once again free, they are still often treated with hatred and prejudice. Will Yuki be able to readapt to life in California?
Uchida, Yoshiko. Journey to Topaz (Creative Publications, 1971).
Eleven-year-old Yuki Sakane and her family are living in California when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. Suddenly, it seems as if all people of Japanese descent are seen as suspicious. Soon Yuki's father is taken away by the FBI, and Yuki, her mother, and her brother are sent to an internment camp--first at the horse stalls of the Tanforan Racetrack and then at a desert camp called Topaz. Life in the camp is scary and difficult, and Yuki wonders whether she and her family—and the thousands of other Japanese-Americans held in internment camps—will ever get their freedom back.
Walsh, Jill Paton. Fireweed (Univ of Nebraska Press, 1994).
In this novel set in London during the 1940 blitz, readers follow the adventures of a boy and girl who have run away from their families.
Watkins, Paul. Night Over Day Over Night (St. Martin’s Press, 1997).
This ``remarkably accomplished'' first novel comes at WW II from an unusual angle. Its protagonist is the wry, embittered 17-year-old Sebastian Westland, who lives in a small German town and, during the last year of the war, enlists in the SS. PW called this ``a dark triumph, with the grip of nightmare.'' (Publisher’s Weekly)
Weinblatt, Charles S. Jacob's Courage (Mazo Publishers, 2007).
Jacob's Courage is a beautiful love story set against the backdrop of the Holocaust. Jacob's Courage chronicles the dazzling beauty of passionate love and enduring bravery in a lurid world where the innocent are brutally murdered. In 1939, seventeen-year-old Austrians Jacob Silverman and Rachael Goldberg are bright, talented, and deeply in love. Because they are Jews, their families lose everything; their jobs, possessions and money, contact with loved ones, and finally their liberty at the hands of the Nazis. Jacob and Rachael "grow up" during the Holocaust. As teenagers, they survive the beatings, rapes, and murderous acts of the Nazis, enjoy the physical and spiritual pleasure of being in love and are able to become husband and wife in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, before being imprisoned in Auschwitz. Eventually Jacob and Rachael become Partisans to fight the Nazi enemy. While "Jacob's Courage" is a novel, the author, Charles Weinblatt, has based portions of the story on his mother's experience. Clara Volk Weinblatt was a childhood victim of pogroms in her Russian Jewish village. Much of Weinblatt's maternal extended family perished in the Holocaust. Great grandparents, great-aunts and uncles and many cousins disappeared into the void of Nazi annihilation. This book is dedicated to the 6,000,000 Jews who perished in the Holocaust. They have been lost, but will never be forgotten. Jacob's Courage is Holocaust literature for adult readers. Jacob's Courage is a beautiful love story set against the backdrop of the Holocaust. Jacob's Courage chronicles the dazzling beauty of passionate love and enduring bravery in a lurid world where the innocent are brutally murdered. In 1939, seventeen-year-old Austrians Jacob Silverman and Rachael Goldberg are bright, talented, and deeply in love. Because they are Jews, their families lose everything; their jobs, possessions and money, contact with loved ones, and finally their liberty at the hands of the Nazis. Jacob and Rachael "grow up" during the Holocaust. As teenagers, they survive the beatings, rapes, and murderous acts of the Nazis, enjoy the physical and spiritual pleasure of being in love and are able to become husband and wife in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, before being imprisoned in Auschwitz. Eventually Jacob and Rachael become Partisans to fight the Nazi enemy. While Jacob's Courage is a novel, the author, Charles Weinblatt, has based portions of the story on his mother's experience. Clara Volk Weinblatt was a childhood victim of pogroms in her Russian Jewish village. Much of Weinblatt's maternal extended family perished in the Holocaust. Great grandparents, great-aunts and uncles and many cousins disappeared into the void of Nazi annihilation. This book is dedicated to the 6,000,000 Jews who perished in the Holocaust. They have been lost, but will never be forgotten. Jacob's Courage is Holocaust literature for adult readers.
Werner, Emmy E. Through the Eyes of Innocents: Children Witness World War II (Westview Press, 2001).
World War II was the first modern war in which more civilians than soldiers were killed or maimed: When it ended in August 1945, more than thirty-nine millions civilians had died as a direct result of the war, and some thirteen million of these were children. In Through the Eyes of Innocents, Emmy Werner tells the story of the children of World War II through their own words. Drawing on diaries, letters, and journals kept by youngsters caught up in the war, Werner shows the universality of their experience. Children and teenagers from a dozen countries - England, Germany, France, Japan, the former Soviet Union, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Poland and the United States - are all represented in some 200 eye-witness accounts. Werner focuses on their shared reactions to the war, the hardships they endured, how they coped, and how the war experience shaped their lives. The message they share with other children in contemporary wars is an extraordinary affirmation of life and the sustaining power of hope and human decency.
Westall, Robert. The Kingdom by the Sea (Egmont Books, 2002).
A riveting story of a boy's struggle to survive after the loss of his family in World War II. Harry, 12, accompanied by a dog he finds, must provide for the two of them while avoiding the authorities who will certainly turn him over to his dreaded Cousin Elsie. On his travels, he meets physical and emotional challenges with growing confidence based on innate resourcefulness and sensitivity. The novel is sparely written but rich in details of time and place and especially in character. Even minor characters are vividly depicted. Adult concerns Harry must contend with (the death-dealing destructiveness of war, potential child molestation) are handled appropriately for young readers. The plot is engrossing, studded both with moments of drama and action, and quieter, more reflective scenes. Sights, sounds, smells, and emotions are all revealed with clarity and honesty. British terms and occasional dialect are discernible in context. The one real flaw in an otherwise superior novel is the resolution, which takes an unfortunate change of direction without preparing readers, a change that seriously undermines the magic of what has gone before. It also seems gravely unfair to Harry, who has undergone so much and matured so greatly. This concern aside, Kingdom would be an excellent selection for private enjoyment, for reading aloud, as a supplement to units on war, or as a discussion starter on the human capacity to survive extreme adversity. (Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria Public Library, B.C., Canada for School Library Journal)
Westall, Robert. Blizt Cat (Macmillan Children's Books, 1995).
A view of the Second World War seen through the eyes of a cat. The fear, loneliness, bravery and comradeship which many experienced is brought vividly to life by a master writer. A recommended read for any child with an interest in history. Wonderful images of a turbulent period in our past. The Blitz Cat touches many lives and you can't help but feel a whole spectrum of emotions as she searches for her lost owners. Westall uses fact and fiction to explore the idea of psi-trailing, the cat's ability to travel hundreds of miles to find people it cares about. (Mrsmad.com)
Westall, Robert. The Machine Gunners (Macmillan Children's Books,New edition, 2001).
Based on a true accident during WWII, this Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book tells the story of a group of teenagers who plan to use a scavenged Nazi machine gun to launch a counter-attack on invading Germans.
Westall, Robert. Fathom Five (Macmillan Children's Books; New Edition, June 1996).
A teenage boy and his friends spend the spring of 1943 trying to discover who in Garmouth, a sleepy English seaport, is passing information to the Germans.
Williams, Laura. Behind the Bedroom Wall (Milkweed Editions, 2005).
It's 1942. Thirteen-year-old Korinna Rehme is an active member of her local Jungmadel, a Nazi youth group, along with many of her friends. She believes that Hitler is helping Germany by instituting a program to deal with what he calls the "Jewish problem," a program that she witnesses as her Jewish neighbors are attacked and taken from their homes. Korinna's parents, however, are members of a secret underground group providing a means of escape to the Jews of their city. Korinna is shocked to discover that they are hiding a refugee family behind the wall of her bedroom. But as she comes to know the family, her sympathies begin to turn. When someone tips off the Gestapo, loyalties are put to the test and Korinna must decide what she really believes and whom she really trusts. Filled with adventure, Behind the Bedroom Wall helps readers understand the forces that drove so many to turn on their neighbors and the courage that allowed some to resist.
Wilson, John. Flames of the Tiger (Kids Can Press, Ltd., 2003).
As a boy growing up in Germany during Hitler's rise to power, Dieter has been seduced by the pomp and circumstance of war. But as global hostilities intensify, Dieter is called upon to fight for his country in a conflict that he doesn't fully understand. With most of his family dead, Berlin in ruins and the Russian army closing in, Dieter can no longer naively cling to his childhood beliefs. The world he is facing is brutal, dirty and unforgiving, and the most he can hope for is the chance to survive.
Wiseman, Eva. My Canary Yellow Star (Tundra Books, 2001).
The Second World War was a time of terrible injustices. It was also a time of incredible bravery. My Canary Yellow Star is the remarkable story of one of the last century’s greatest heroes, Raoul Wallenberg, who was responsible for saving as many as 100,000 lives. Young Marta’s life in Budapest has been shattered by the war. First, her school closes. Jews are prohibited from attending classes. Then her father, along with other able-bodied men, is arrested and sent to work digging ditches on the eastern front. The family’s apartment is confiscated, and Marta, her brother, and her mother must share cramped space with her aunt and cousin. Food, warm clothing, and any kind of personal freedom have all but vanished.
Jewish life becomes more and more confined as the old people, women, and children are forced into the ghetto. From there, the next step is the waiting cattle cars and the concentration camps. But Marta’s family is lucky. They are numbered among those who could be saved by the efforts of Raoul Wallenberg. Among the few points of hope was this extraordinary Swedish diplomat. Raoul Wallenberg issued papers to thousands of Jews, declaring them to be Swedish citizens. Wallenberg was questioned by the Russians after the war and disappeared, possibly to die in Siberia. An international movement has been in place for decades to press Russia for news of his fate. Although details of his death remain a mystery, he has come to represent courage and justice in the face of great evil.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Coming On Home Soon (Putnam Juvenile, 2004).
Ada Ruth's mama must go away to Chicago to work, leaving Ada Ruth and Grandma behind. It's war time, and women are needed to fill the men's jobs. As winter sets in, Ada Ruth and her grandma keep up their daily routine, missing Mama all the time. They find strength in each other, and a stray kitten even arrives one day to keep them company, but nothing can fill the hole Mama left. Every day they wait, watching for the letter that says Mama will be coming on home soon. Set during World War II, Coming On Home Soon has a timeless quality that will appeal to all who wait and hope.
Wulffson, Don L. Soldier X (Puffin; Reprint edition, 2003).
Sixteen-year-old Erik Brandt barely knows what Germany is fighting for when he is drafted into Hitler's army in 1944. Sent to the killing fields of the Eastern Front, he is surrounded by unimaginable sights, more horrific than he ever thought possible. It's kill or be killed, and it seems clear that Erik's days are numbered. Until, covered in blood and seriously injured, he conceives of another way to survive. Filled with gritty and visceral detail, Soldier X will change the way every reader thinks about the reality of war.