The best books of children persevering through WWII

Sharon K. Mayhew Author Of Keep Calm and Carry On, Children
By Sharon K. Mayhew

Who am I?

My life has been blessed by having British grandparents who lived very long lives. Grandad was in the RAF and Nanny sewed for the War Effort during WWII. They rarely spoke of their experiences until they reached their early 90s. Their memories, other family members, and friends inspired me to research the children who persevered through Operation Pied Piper. I also visited related locations in England gathering more information. The Greatest Generation had a huge impact on who I am as a person and how I treat others. My recommendation list is a sampling of some of my favorite books about perseverance. 


I wrote...

Keep Calm and Carry On, Children

By Sharon K. Mayhew,

Book cover of Keep Calm and Carry On, Children

What is my book about?

Everyone faces challenges in life. Some when we are young and some when we are older. Keep Calm and Carry On, Children is a story about how British children, during WWII, persevered and overcame their situations.

The books I picked & why

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Black Radishes

By Susan Lynn Meyer,

Book cover of Black Radishes

Why this book?

After reading Susan Lynn Meyer’s book I sought her out. I didn’t expect a response, I needed to tell her how much I appreciated her book and how I adored the bond she had with her characters. It felt like she was sharing a family story. She validated my theory. Her book is based on her family’s history. Gustave is a French Jewish boy living in Paris at the beginning of the book. He watches and documents the Nazi party taking over Europe. She shares precise small details…you feel connected to what’s going on in Gustave’s life. You understand his fears as they move to a “safer” part of France. 


Good Night, Mr. Tom

By Michelle Magorian,

Book cover of Good Night, Mr. Tom

Why this book?

This is an exceptionally good middle grade book! It tells what really happened to British children who were evacuated from the cities to the countryside during WWII. It caused me to question my English grandparents about their experiences during WWII. Imagine how people would react today if the government ordered them to put their children on a train to go live with strangers in some other part of the country.


Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

By Anne Frank, B.M. Mooyaart,

Book cover of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Why this book?

The Diary Of A Young Girl is an amazing story of perseverance through terrible hardships during WWII. You feel like you are in the attic with the Frank family trying to live in complete silence and relying on the goodwill of others to protect and provide for your needs. This book began a journey for me...I had to find out what happened to children of all different nationalities and religions during WWII. The Greatest Generation is called that because they pushed forward at every challenge life presented them with.


Yellow Star

By Jennifer Roy,

Book cover of Yellow Star

Why this book?

The author does an outstanding job telling her Aunt Sylvia’s story. Sylvia was one of the twelve children to survive the Lodz Ghetto during the Holocaust. This book will capture you from page one through the end. Parts of the book literally took my breath away. By the end, I was in tears. There are no words to describe the heroes who survived the Holocaust.


An Evacuee's Journey

By Peter Hepplewhite,

Book cover of An Evacuee's Journey

Why this book?

This is an excellently organized non-fiction, kid-friendly (or adult) book about WWII. It explains everything from an evacuee’s journey, to ration books, how everyone helped in the War Effort, various battles, a super timeline, and a glossary. It even offers titles of other books to find more information.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the German occupation of Europe, the Holocaust, and World War 2?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the German occupation of Europe, the Holocaust, and World War 2.

The German Occupation Of Europe Explore 35 books about the German occupation of Europe
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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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