100 books like The Diary of Laura's Twin

By Kathy Kacer,

Here are 100 books that The Diary of Laura's Twin fans have personally recommended if you like The Diary of Laura's Twin. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Johanna van Zanten Author Of The Imposter

From my list on how the Second World War affected regular people and their families.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child with older sisters, I read their books beyond my age level under the blankets with a flashlight in bed at night. I became a reading addict. Raised in The Netherlands with the Second World War casting its large shadow on our lives, I only became interested, after my parents were gone, in how people survived and had to find their courage under impossible circumstances. They would never talk about those occupation years. My search into history led me to find the answers.

Johanna's book list on how the Second World War affected regular people and their families

Johanna van Zanten Why did Johanna love this book?

I loved this non-fiction book, and reading it, I often broke down in tears, realizing this personal and innocent true teenage story was all leading up to the tremendous death of millions of innocent people.

This is the only Anne Frank book that I recommend to everybody from a young age. It is THE introduction to the real events of World War 2.

By Anne Frank, B.M. Mooyaart (translator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Anne Frank as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

With 30 per cent more material than previous editions, this new contemporary and fully anglicized translation gives the reader a deeper insight into Anne's world. Publication of the unabridged Definitive Edition on Penguin Audiobook, read by Helena Bonham-Carter, coincides.


Book cover of The Book Thief

Mark A. Biggs Author Of Love Letters From Dresden

From my list on stories that help shape who we are.

Why am I passionate about this?

Storytelling wields the power to transcend time and place, connecting us through shared experiences and emotions. It shapes our understanding of the world and ignites the imagination, making it an essential part of the human journey. As a psychologist, I understand how the stories we tell about ourselves are crucial in defining who we are and that books and good people can help shape our character. The books I've chosen celebrate the human spirit and our ability to face adversity, adapt, and ultimately choose our destiny. As Stephen Covey wisely stated, “Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”

Mark's book list on stories that help shape who we are

Mark A. Biggs Why did Mark love this book?

This book by Markus Zusak is frequently named one of the best WW2 books. I like it because it’s a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of hope in dark times. It’s a haunting and beautifully written novel set in Nazi Germany.

Narrated by Death, the story follows Liesel, a young girl sent to live with a foster family. As she navigates a tumultuous world filled with fear and cruelty, Liesel finds comfort in books and words. I loved the premise of stealing forbidden books and sharing their stories with others. Through Liesel’s experiences, I explored the themes of love, loss, and the power of storytelling in the face of adversity.

By Markus Zusak,

Why should I read it?

32 authors picked The Book Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

'Life affirming, triumphant and tragic . . . masterfully told. . . but also a wonderful page-turner' Guardian
'Brilliant and hugely ambitious' New York Times
'Extraordinary' Telegraph
___

HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT…


Book cover of I Am David

Jonny Steinberg Author Of A Man of Good Hope

From my list on exile, refugees and people on the move.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2010, I met a Somali refugee in Cape Town. His name was Asad Abdullahi. He told the tale of his life with a richness bordering on genius and I was hooked. I spent the next two years tracing his childhood footsteps through the Horn of Africa, looking for anyone and everyone he had encountered. In the course of writing a book about him, I read countless other books about exile, migration, and human beings on the move. My five recommendations are among the books that helped me imagine the experience of exile best. 

Jonny's book list on exile, refugees and people on the move

Jonny Steinberg Why did Jonny love this book?

My mother read this book to me over the course of several weekday afternoons. I was nine, maybe ten. The book’s protagonist, David, is a boy who escapes from a concentration camp somewhere in Eastern Europe and walks to Denmark in search of his mother. Lying next to my own mother, on her bed, listening to her voice, cocooned by her love, I identified so very powerfully with this unrooted, solitary, questing boy. It stirred me more than anything else I read as a child. There is something in a refugee’s tale that is so primal, so hard to shake off. There but by the grace of God go I, I thought, every time my mother opened the book to read some more.

By Anne Holm, L.W. Kingsland (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked I Am David as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

This is the story of a young boy's journey through Europe after escaping from the camp where he has lived all his life. Faced with a host of new experiences, David gradually begins to understand the world around him.


Book cover of After the War

Kathy Clark Author Of Ivan's Choice

From my list on youth during the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a child of Holocaust survivors. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I truly appreciated the horrendous circumstances that they lived through. But even more than their plight and will to survive, I was impressed with the heroism of the people willing to sacrifice their lives in order to help others. It is their story, above all else that I want to tell in my books.

Kathy's book list on youth during the Holocaust

Kathy Clark Why did Kathy love this book?

I like this book because it shows in an exciting and engaging way, that a war is not over, just because it is declared to be over. For many survivors, such as Ruth Mendenberg, it is the beginning of a new war in which they fight to re-establish their identity and their right to a place to call home once again.

By Carol Matas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked After the War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

"Didn't the gas ovens finish you all off?" is the response that meets Ruth Mendenberg when she returns to her village in Poland after the liberation of Buchenwald at the end of World War II. Her entire family wiped out in the Holocaust, the fifteen-year-old girl has nowhere to go.
Members of the underground organization Brichah find her, and she joins them in their dangerous quest to smuggle illegal immigrants to Palestine. Ruth risks her life to help lead a group of children on a daring journey over half a continent and across the sea to Eretz Israel, using secret…


Book cover of Chance: Escape from the Holocaust: Memories of a Refugee Childhood

Allan Zullo Author Of Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust

From my list on about children in the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have penned more than 120 nonfiction books on a broad range of subjects for general audiences and middle-school readers, including five books about the true-life experiences of young people during the Holocaust.  The most heartbreaking, yet inspiring, moments in my decades-long writing career have been my interviews with Holocaust survivors, who, as children, relied on their courage, their faith, their smarts—and sometimes their luck—to endure years of unbelievable terror.

Allan's book list on about children in the Holocaust

Allan Zullo Why did Allan love this book?

Through his poignant words and stark drawings, Uri—a renowned children’s book author and illustrator—recounts his harrowing eight-year childhood ordeal when he and his Jewish family fled from the Nazis.  The book is an absorbing first-person narrative that describes his constant fear, daily hunger and recurring loneliness as he and his family eluded the enemy at every turn.  Uri’s haunting, imaginative drawings help bring this riveting true story into sharp, emotional focus.

By Uri Shulevitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

From a beloved voice in children's literature comes this landmark memoir of hope amid harrowing times and an engaging and unusual Holocaust-related story. With backlist sales of over 2.3 million copies, one of FSG BYR's most acclaimed picture-book creators details the eight-year odyssey of how he and his Jewish family escaped the terrors of the Nazis by fleeing Warsaw for the Soviet Union. It was during those years, with threats at every turn, that the young Uri experienced his awakening as an artist, an experience that played a key role during this difficult time. By turns dream like and nightmarish,…


Book cover of Album of My Life

Sylvia Maultash Warsh Author Of Find Me Again: A Rebecca Temple Mystery

From my list on Holocaust memoirs to understand what real people experienced.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a child of Holocaust survivors who spent three years in slave labour camps. My mother told me stories of her experiences a child should probably not hear. The result is that my philosophy of life, and sometimes my writing, can be dark. It’s no surprise that this period of history imbues my novels. I chose to write mysteries to reach a wider audience, the Holocaust connections integral to the stories. During my research, I discovered a wealth of information on the Holocaust but learned that memoirs revealed best what happened to people on the ground. Memoirs draw you into the microcosm of a person’s life with its nostalgia, yearning, and inevitable heartbreak.

Sylvia's book list on Holocaust memoirs to understand what real people experienced

Sylvia Maultash Warsh Why did Sylvia love this book?

Ann Szedlecki’s richly detailed memoir starts: “I am the daughter of nobody... Who am I? My past is gone, disappeared.” As a student in my writing class for seniors, her slightly-accented voice read out excerpts of her poignant manuscript. How do you remember all this, I used to ask. She would just smile sadly. Her story begins in pre-war Poland, showing us the loving family later destroyed. When the Nazis invade, Jews are beaten and killed at random in the streets. At fourteen, she and her older brother head east to the Soviet Union, ending up in Siberia. A gifted writer, she depicts the brutality of life in a labour camp but also the kindness of strangers; then the heartbreaking description of returning to Poland to find none of her family survived.  

By Ann Szedlecki,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Album of My Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ann Szedlecki was a Hollywood-film-loving fourteen-year-old when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 and she fled to the Soviet Union with her older brother, hoping to return for the rest of her family later. Instead, she ended up spending most of the next six and a half years alone in the Soviet Union, enduring the harsh conditions of northern Siberia under Stalin’s Communist regime. Szedlecki’s beautifully written story, which lovingly reconstructs her pre-war childhood in Lodz, is also compelling for its candour about her experiences as a woman in the Soviet Union during World War II. As a very young…


Book cover of A Wolf in the Attic: The Legacy of a Hidden Child of the Holocaust

Helen Epstein Author Of The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma

From my list on trauma and recovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a longtime American journalist and former New York University Professor of Journalism who has written 10 books of non-fiction, several addressing issues of trauma. I was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia to two survivors of the Holocaust and was a baby immigrant to the U.S. after the Communist take-over of 1948. Although I have written a lot about the arts (music, books, and theater), I have also had a long-term interest in the psychological effects of psychic trauma in survivors of racism, antisemitism, sexism, genocide, war, illness, and natural disaster. My upcoming book is The Year of Getting Through It about being diagnosed with and undergoing treatment for endometrial cancer during COVID.

Helen's book list on trauma and recovery

Helen Epstein Why did Helen love this book?

A Wolf in the Attic by Sophia Richman is a book written by a psychotherapist who was hidden in an attic in Poland as a Jewish child during the second world war. She describes this experience (she was told to never utter a sound) as well as its impact on her relationship with her parents and her life after the war in Paris and then in New York City. She maintained her reluctance to speak in public until very late in life and this book is a kind of coming out for what is now known as a “hidden child” or “child survivor.” I found it fascinating to read how a psychologist analyzes her own childhood and the life choices she makes as an adult.

By Sophia Richman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Wolf in the Attic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wolf in the Attic: Even though she was only two, the little girl knew she must never go into the attic. Strange noises came from there. Mama said there was a wolf upstairs, a hungry, dangerous wolf . . . but the truth was far more dangerous than that. Much too dangerous to tell a Jewish child marked for death. One cannot mourn what one doesn't acknowledge, and one cannot heal if one does not mourn . . . A Wolf in the Attic is a powerful memoir written by a psychoanalyst who was a hidden child in Poland…


Book cover of The Twins of Auschwitz: The inspiring true story of a young girl surviving Mengele's hell

Allan Zullo Author Of Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust

From my list on about children in the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have penned more than 120 nonfiction books on a broad range of subjects for general audiences and middle-school readers, including five books about the true-life experiences of young people during the Holocaust.  The most heartbreaking, yet inspiring, moments in my decades-long writing career have been my interviews with Holocaust survivors, who, as children, relied on their courage, their faith, their smarts—and sometimes their luck—to endure years of unbelievable terror.

Allan's book list on about children in the Holocaust

Allan Zullo Why did Allan love this book?

In this engrossing first-person account, Eva Mozes Kor tells the horrifying story of how she and her twin Miriam were ten years old when they lost their family to the gas chambers and were subjected to the sadistic medical experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele, the personification of evil. Written for young adults, Eva presents a unique and chilling child’s-eye view of how she and her sister persevered despite suffering under the madness of the Angel of Death.

By Lisa Rojany, Eva Mozes Kor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Twins of Auschwitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

The Nazis spared their lives because they were twins.

In the summer of 1944, Eva Mozes Kor and her family arrived at Auschwitz.

Within thirty minutes, they were separated. Her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, while Eva and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man who became known as the Angel of Death: Dr. Josef Mengele. They were 10 years old.

While twins at Auschwitz were granted the 'privileges' of keeping their own clothes and hair, they were also subjected to Mengele's sadistic medical experiments. They…


Book cover of Survivors: Children's Lives After the Holocaust

Helen Roche Author Of The Third Reich's Elite Schools: A History of the Napolas

From my list on childhood in Nazi Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

Why did I end up spending almost a third of my life researching Nazi boarding schools, and childhood under the Third Reich more generally? I sometimes wonder if it was because I myself was sent to boarding school at the age of nine – somehow, I can sympathise with what these children had to endure, as well as knowing full well from a historian’s perspective which hardships were truly unique to a National Socialist elite education, and which were simply the kind of heart-ache that’s common to any institution which takes children away from their parents at a young age… 

Helen's book list on childhood in Nazi Germany

Helen Roche Why did Helen love this book?

I first had the privilege of reading Survivors when we were searching for a new professor of transnational history in my department at Durham University; Rebecca is now a treasured colleague, and her ability to tell these child survivors’ stories is second to none! Her writing is humane, passionate, and exquisite. I would recommend this book to anyone who truly wants to understand the impact of the Holocaust on those who survived it as children.

By Rebecca Clifford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Survivors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the 2021 Wolfson History Prize and a finalist for the 2021 Cundill History Prize

Told for the first time from their perspective, the story of children who survived the chaos and trauma of the Holocaust-named a best history book of 2020 by the Daily Telegraph

"Impressive, beautifully written, judicious and thoughtful. . . . Will be a major milestone in the history of the Holocaust and its legacy."-Mark Roseman, author of The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting

How can we make sense of our lives when we do not know where we come from? This was a pressing…


Book cover of Good-Bye Marianne

Kathy Kacer Author Of Under the Iron Bridge

From my list on the Second World War and the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the child of Holocaust survivors. I grew up with parents willing to talk about their survival experiences and do so in a way that wouldn't terrify me. I asked a million questions that my parents willingly answered. I grew up passionate about this history and determined to write their stories and the stories of other survivors. I'm aware that this generation of survivors is aging and passing away. Their "voices" will soon be gone. I feel a responsibility to capture these stories and write them for the next generations. I'm about to have my thirtieth book about the Holocaust published! And I've got more book ideas on the go.

Kathy's book list on the Second World War and the Holocaust

Kathy Kacer Why did Kathy love this book?

I love historical fiction that reveals little-known elements of real history. That's why I loved this book so much. It tells the story of the Kindertransport - an initiative to save thousands of Jewish children by sending them to England just before the outbreak of the war. The protagonist of this book is modeled on the real-life story of the author. Irene Watts was only 7 1/2 years old when she was sent to England by Kindertransport. I could feel this young child's fear and uncertainty oozing from every page of this book.  

By Irene N. Watts, Kathryn E. Shoemaker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good-Bye Marianne as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A heartbreaking story of loss and love.

As autumn turns toward winter in 1938 Berlin, life for Marianne Kohn, a young Jewish girl, begins to crumble. First there was the burning of the neighbourhood shops. Then her father, a mild-mannered bookseller, must leave the family and go into hiding. No longer allowed to go to school or even sit in a café, Marianne’s only comfort is her beloved mother. Things are bad, but could they get even worse? Based on true events, this fictional account of hatred and racism speaks volumes about both history and human nature.


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