World War II Novels and Nonfiction

On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, and World War II began. So I’ve gathered up for you and for me a list of as many of the reviews of novels and nonfiction set during World War II that I could find while looking through the back posts of the Saturday Review of Books.

Adult Novels:
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute.
The Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada. Reviewed at Bart’s Bookshelf.
War on the Margins by Libby Cone. Reviewed at Amy Reads.
The Gathering Storm by Bodie and Brock Thoene. Reviewed by Beth at Weavings.
Against the Wind by Brock and Bodie Thoene. Reviewed by Beth at Weavings.
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell.
The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean. Reviewed by Mindy Withrow.
My Enemy’s Cradle by Sara Young.
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay. Reviewed at Small World Reads.
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson.
The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey. Reviewed by Beth at Weavings. Reviewed at 5 Minutes for Books.
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico.
Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis.
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. Reviewed at Small World Reads. Reviewed at Diary of an Eccentric. Reviewed at The Common Room. Set in New England and in London.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Reviewed by Janet at Across the Page. Set on Guernsey Island.
While We Still Live by Helen MacInnes. Sheila Matthews, a young Englishwoman is visiting in Warsaw when the Nazis invade. She stays and joins the Polish underground to fight against the German occupation.
The Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff. Reviewed at Lucybird’s Book Blog.
The Winds of War by Herman Wouk.
Atonement by Ian McEwen.
Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom.
My Enemy’s Cradle by Sara Young.

Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction:
Eyes of the Emperor by Graham Salibury.
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac.

The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen.
Meet Molly by Valerie Tripp. Reviewed at Diary of an Eccentric.
Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop. Reviewed by Nicola at Back to Books. Set in France.
Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf.
Don’t Talk To Me About the War by David A. Adler.
On Rough Seas by Nancy L. Hull. Young adult fiction. Fourteen year old Alex lives in Dover, England in 1939, and he is eventually a hero as he participates in the rescue of the British soldiers at Dunkirk.
Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan. Reviewed by Nicola at Back to Books. Set in Norway.
Blue by Joyce Meyer Hostetter.
Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy.
Jimmy’s Stars by Mary Ann Rodman
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen.
Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata
The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis by Kirby Larson.
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith.
Tamar by Mal Peet.
Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Reviewed at Books and the Universe. Set in Lithuaina and Siberia. YA.
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow.
The Boy Who Dared: A Novel Based on the True Story of a Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti.
For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein.
The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum.
Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett.
The Winter Horses by Phillip Kerr.
The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages.
The Extra by Kathryn Lasky.
Up Periscope by Robb White.
My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve. Reviewed at Hope Is the Word.
Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II by Alan Gratz.

A Boy’s War by David Michell.
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.
Anne Frank: The Book, the Life and the Afterlife by Francine Prose. Reviewed by Girl Detective.
Night by Elie Wiesel.
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. Reviewed at Library Hospital. Reviewed by Alice at Supratentorial.
Lost in Shangri-La: The True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff. Reviewed at Sarah Reads Too Much.
South to Bataan, North to Mukden by W. E. Brougher. Reviewed by Hope at Worthwhile Books. More about the same book.
Winston’s War: Churchill, 1940-1945 by Max Hastings.
The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father’s Nazi Boyhood by Mark Kurzem.
We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance by David Howarth. Reviewed by The Ink Slinger.
W.F. Matthews: Lost Battalion Survivor by Travis Monday
High Flight: A Story of World War II by Linda Granfield. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko. A children’s biography reviewed by Nicola at Back to Books.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy by Eric Metaxis. Reviewed at 5 Minutes for Books.
The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin.
Home Front Girl by Joan Wehlen Morrison.
The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the impossible became possible . . . on Schindler’s list by Leon Leyson with Marilyn J. Harran and Elisabeth Leyson.
Helga’s Diary: A Young Girl’s Account of Life in a Concentration Camp by Helga Weiss, translated by Neil Bermel.

D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944 by Rick Atkinson.
The Story of D-Day: June 6, 1944 by Bruce Bliven, Jr. (Landmark Book #62)

Mission at Nuremburg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis by Tim Townsend.
Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks.
Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War by Lynne Olson.
Irena’s Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto by Tilar Mazzeo.
For the Glory: Eric Liddell’s Journey from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr by Duncan Hamilton.

More World War II reads and reviews at War Through the Generations.

What is your favorite World War II-related novel or work of nonfiction?

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Writen by Sherry

I'm a Christian, the homeschooling mom of eight (yes, all mine) children, married to a NASA engineer, and a confirmed bookaholic. I like old books, conservative politics, and new and interesting ideas. My hair is grey, my favorite clothes are red, and I love purple. Come on in and enjoy the blog. Be sure to tell me what you think before you leave.

4 thoughts on “World War II Novels and Nonfiction

  1. Unbroken, A Boy’s War, and The Winds of War were all great ones. A compelling novel I read not too long ago was Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner. A Fall of Marigolds by the same author was good as well. The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron was excellent, one of my top ten in the year I read it. Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson was very good, too.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful list. My all-time favorite WWII books (both non-fiction) are Unbroken and Helmet for my Pillow.

  3. Thank you for this marvelous, extensive list.

    Any book by Pam Jenoff is a favorite. I see you have listed The Kommandant’s Girl.

    One from this year was The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan.

    Snow Falling on Cedars was excellent.

    Thank you.

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