war based books for children

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11 War-based Books for Children that touched my Heart

I am an avid reader, and somehow I have always found myself getting pulled towards historical fiction, especially those based on the lives of children during various wars. These books sensitize us about the real-life struggles of young, innocent lives who have had no role to play in causing these conflicts but unwittingly become victims. Harsh experiences leave unerasable memories in their minds and long-lasting impressions that they can’t get rid of. Here is a list of 11 war-based books that I have read and that touched my heart. I would highly recommend these to my readers:

  1. Refugee


    In this book, the author has intertwined three stories about three children in 3 different timelines- Josef ( 1939 – Jews escaping and running away from Nazi Germany ), Isabel (1994 – Cubans trying to flee from Cuba under Fidel Castro, trying to find a safer haven in Florida) and Mahmood ( 2015- trying to escape from war-torn Syria to Europe). A riveting and thought-provoking book indeed.
    Buy here. Read more about it here.
  2. Nowhere Boy

    Nowhere boy

    Nowhere boy is the story of a 14-year-old boy named Ahmed, who escapes Syria when the war breaks out and lands in Belgium through the dangerous sea route on a rubber dinghy. After losing his father and getting cheated on by a smuggler, the boy sneaks into a house and stays hidden in its basement for many weeks before he is found by Max, a boy his age, who lives in that house.
    Buy this book here. Read more about this powerful book with a beautiful message here.
  3. Als die Welt uns gehörte

    Als die Welt uns gehörte

    I have read this book in German, but the book is available in English too. It is called ‘When the World was ours’. This is a tragic story of 3 children who become victims during the second world war. Their belief that the world belonged to them is shattered when they are forced to separate from each other and undergo experiences they had never imagined.
    Buy this book here. Read more about this book here.
  4. Projekt 1065

    Projekt 1065

    This is a story about Michael O’Shaunessey, a 13-year-old Irish boy, who lives with his parents (Irish ambassadors)  in Germany in 1943 when the second world war is in full steam. To everyone, Micheal seems like a regular boy living with his parents, attending school like other kids, and serving the country by being a part of the Hitler youth. But Michael is not a Nazi. He is a spy and a man on a mission. Read more about Michael’s misadventures and struggles in this gripping book.
    Buy this book here. Read more about it here.
  5. Der Pfad

    der pfad

    I have read this book in German, but it is also available in English as ‘ The Path’. It is the story of a 12-year-old boy Rolf who escapes Germany during the 2nd world war with his father and his pet dog Adi. Their destination is New York, where Rolfs’s mother lives. It is a story of separation and reunion; hope and despair, and reinventing relations.
    Buy this book here. Read more about it here.
  6. An Elephant in the Garden

    An Elephant in the garden

    This story is written in the form of a narration by an older woman, Lizzie, to her nurse and her son at a nursing home. She narrates her experiences when she was a 16-year-old girl and when the second world war was going on. She recounts her life and experiences during the war when her father went to fight in the war, and she lived with her mother and younger brother Karli in Dresden.
    Buy this book here. Read more about this heartwarming book here.
  7. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

    This book describes the miseries and unfortunate events during the holocaust through the story of a 9-year-old boy called Bruno who moves with his family to Auschwitz because his father works for the Hitler army. Young Bruno is unable to understand what is going on around him. He befriends a Jewish boy who lives in the concentration camp to fight his loneliness. This changes his life forever.
    Buy this book here. Read more about this book here.
  8. The Night Diary

    The night Diary

    This book is written in the form of diary entries by a young girl, Nisha, during the partition of India into India and Pakistan. Nisha is born to a Muslim mother and a Hindu father. As the country gets partitioned and a mass exodus starts, Nisha and her family are forced to move from present-day Pakistan to the other side of the border. The young girl chronicles her life and her innermost feelings.
    Buy this book here. Read more about this book here.
  9. The Breadwinner

    Mud city

    This is a set of 3 books – The Breadwinner, Parvana’s journey and The Mud City. The books cover the story of two girls- Parvana and Shauzia, who live in Taliban-occupied Afghanistan. With their houses bombed, male family members arrested and extreme restrictions imposed on girls and women, the girls decide to disguise themselves as boys and become the breadwinners of their families.
    Buy The Breadwinner, Parvana’s Journey and The Mud city.
  10. A Little Piece of Ground

    A little piece of ground

    A little piece of Ground is the story of a 12-year-old boy called Karim who lives in Palestine and is caught in the Israel-Palestine conflict. As tensions rise and curfews become an everyday affair, the family must stay cooped up in their home. The book describes the struggles of this young boy who every day wades through dangerous circumstances.
    Buy this book here. Read more about this book here.
  11. Number the Stars

    Number the stars

    Number the Stars is a story about Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen, who live with their respective families in Denmark during the 2nd World War. As the war breaks out, the lives of all the Jews are in danger. This book highlights the remarkable courage the ordinary people of Denmark showed in helping their Jewish friends find safe havens far from Nazi rule. But the book here. Read more about it here.

We all know that books require space. They are also heavy and difficult to take everywhere, so the best option is to use Kindle. I use it and find it very useful. I travel with it; I can read it when the lights are switched off, and I also get books cheaper on Kindle. If you like the idea of reading on Kindle, check out your options here. I use this one and have been a satisfied customer.

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