The Best Books On War Through The Eyes Of Children

Lois Lowry Author Of On the Horizon
By Lois Lowry

The Books I Picked & Why

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

By Anne Frank, B.M. Mooyaart

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Why this book?

No book breaks your heart as this classic diary does. The intimacy and intelligence with which this doomed teenager reveals her day-to-day life and her hopes for the future makes the reader so aware of the impending tragedy and the magnitude of the losses of the Holocaust.


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All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

Why this book?

The interweaving of the lives of a young blind girl in Paris and an orphaned German boy—so beautifully told by the author—is illuminating, as the title implies. As readers we see so much, learn so much, care so much about how lives connect.


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No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War

By Anita Lobel

No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War

Why this book?

Five years old when the Nazis invaded her homeland of Poland, Anita Lobel spent the war years in hiding. Her memoir is intimate and suspenseful and even occasionally funny.  Here’s a glimpse… through the eyes of a real child…of what survival means, and of those who helped her achieve it.


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Pink and Say

By Patricia Polacco

Pink and Say

Why this book?

I love this book, which combines a true story from the Civil War with gorgeous illustrations by the amazingly gifted author.  Pink, who is white, and Say, who is Black, are two young Union soldiers, little more than boys…as my own great grandfather once was.  Their survival depends upon their relationship, and the story, as retold by Polacco, reminds us—as all these books do—of our interdependence.


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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

By Eleanor Coerr, Ronald Himler

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Why this book?

Sadako Sasaki was a real child, one who survived the bombing of Hiroshima but who died from its aftereffects a number of years later. Hospitalized and terminally ill, she folded origami cranes, hoping magically, and fruitlessly, that they would bring her luck and save her life. A statue of Sadako stands outside of the Peace Museum in Hiroshima; I visited there a few years ago and was reminded again of the tragedy of war.


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