100 books like White Eagles

By Elizabeth Wein,

Here are 100 books that White Eagles fans have personally recommended if you like White Eagles. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of My Long List of Impossible Things

Amanda McCrina Author Of Traitor: A Novel of World War II

From my list on unusual YA books about WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a degree in history and political science, with a particular interest in military history—especially World War II history, and most especially Eastern Front history. My family has Polish roots, and my own stories tend to focus on the Polish and Ukrainian experiences, but I keenly feel the need for more YA books not only about the Eastern Front but about other, even lesser-known theaters of World War II.

Amanda's book list on unusual YA books about WWII

Amanda McCrina Why did Amanda love this book?

This is a haunting and uncomfortable book, in the best way; it’s one that you can’t stop thinking about because it raises difficult questions without providing easy answers. Barker writes about the immediate postwar period through the eyes of a German girl who must come to terms with what her country and her own family have done during the war. This book doesn’t gloss over anything; we see firsthand what the Soviet occupation means for the German civilian population, and we must grapple with questions of culpability and justice, of who deserves judgment and who has the right to mete it out.

By Michelle Barker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Long List of Impossible Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brilliant historical YA that asks: how do you choose between survival and doing the right thing?

The arrival of the Soviet army in Germany at the end of World War II sends sixteen-year-old Katja and her family into turmoil. The fighting has stopped, but German society is in collapse, resulting in tremendous hardship. With their father gone and few resources available to them, Katja and her sister are forced to flee their home, reassured by their mother that if they can just reach a distant friend in a town far away, things will get better. But their harrowing journey…


Book cover of This Light Between Us: A Novel of World War II

Amanda McCrina Author Of Traitor: A Novel of World War II

From my list on unusual YA books about WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a degree in history and political science, with a particular interest in military history—especially World War II history, and most especially Eastern Front history. My family has Polish roots, and my own stories tend to focus on the Polish and Ukrainian experiences, but I keenly feel the need for more YA books not only about the Eastern Front but about other, even lesser-known theaters of World War II.

Amanda's book list on unusual YA books about WWII

Amanda McCrina Why did Amanda love this book?

I loved this story about a Japanese-American boy who accidentally becomes pen pals with a French Jewish girl. Alex isn’t thrilled to find out Charlie is a girl, but as time passes, their friendship becomes an unshakeable bond—and then Charlie’s letters stop coming, and Alex’s family is forced into an internment camp by the US government. Alex siezes an opportunity to volunteer for a Japanese-American infantry regiment (the highly decorated 442nd), hoping all the while that he can somehow, miraculously, find Charlie.

This book is bittersweet and infuriating, cleverly juxtaposing the prejudice and mistreatment faced by Alex’s family with the ever increasing restrictions and cruelties faced by Charlie in German-occupied Paris, and it contains some of the best depictions of combat I’ve read in a YA novel.

By Andrew Fukuda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Light Between Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki, from Bainbridge Island, Washington, exchanges letters with Charlie, a French girl in Paris, building a budding friendship across the Atlantic. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force both young people to confront the darkest aspects of human nature. From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.


Book cover of The Hunger Between Us

Amanda McCrina Author Of Traitor: A Novel of World War II

From my list on unusual YA books about WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a degree in history and political science, with a particular interest in military history—especially World War II history, and most especially Eastern Front history. My family has Polish roots, and my own stories tend to focus on the Polish and Ukrainian experiences, but I keenly feel the need for more YA books not only about the Eastern Front but about other, even lesser-known theaters of World War II.

Amanda's book list on unusual YA books about WWII

Amanda McCrina Why did Amanda love this book?

Marina Scott’s The Hunger Between Us fills a curious gap in YA fiction about World War II: This is the only YA novel I’ve ever read that deals with the Siege of Leningrad.

But it’s not really about the Siege of Leningrad; it’s about a girl searching doggedly for her lost friend, refusing to give up hope in a city where hunger has turned neighbor against neighbor, father against daughter, and nobody can be trusted. A profoundly character-driven war novel.

By Marina Scott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hunger Between Us 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?

In a city ruled by hunger, the black market is Liza's lifeline, where she sells or steals whatever she can get her hands on just for enough food to survive. Morality, after all, has become a fluid thing during the brutal year her city has been under siege. But when Liza's best friend proposes that they go to the secret police, rumored to give young women food in exchange for 'entertainment,' Liza thinks there surely must be some other way. Then her friend disappears, and Liza devises a plan to find her, entangling herself with two dangerous young men -…


Book cover of The Blossom and the Firefly

Amanda McCrina Author Of Traitor: A Novel of World War II

From my list on unusual YA books about WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a degree in history and political science, with a particular interest in military history—especially World War II history, and most especially Eastern Front history. My family has Polish roots, and my own stories tend to focus on the Polish and Ukrainian experiences, but I keenly feel the need for more YA books not only about the Eastern Front but about other, even lesser-known theaters of World War II.

Amanda's book list on unusual YA books about WWII

Amanda McCrina Why did Amanda love this book?

Unexpected for a book about kamikaze, this is a quiet and gentle story, about two young people—Taro, a kamikaze pilot, and Hana, one of the Nadeshiko Tai, assigned to serve the pilots—who meet through a shared vital love of music. They both know the inevitability and finality of Taro’s upcoming mission; they both are at the mercy of circumstances beyond their control. Yet their hopes and dreams remain larger than the war. This is another one that will stay with you for a long time.

By Sherri L. Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Blossom and the Firefly 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?

Japan 1945. Taro is a talented violinist and a kamikaze pilot in the days before his first and only mission. He believes he is ready to die for his country... until he meets Hana. Hana hasn't been the same since the day she was buried alive in a collapsed trench during a bomb raid. She wonders if it would have been better to have died that day...until she meets Taro. A song will bring them together. The war will tear them apart. Is it possible to live an entire lifetime in eight short days?


Book cover of And Where Were You, Adam?

Matthew Murphy Author Of A Beckoning War

From my list on the war within: the mental strain of modern warfare.

Why am I passionate about this?

War has interested–and frightened–me ever since I was a little boy in the latter-day stages of the Cold War, when I learned that the fate of the world depended on a couple of old men who, to paraphrase Carl Sagan, were standing knee-deep in gasoline and holding lit matches. From then I sought to learn about war, why and how it occurs, and what pushes people to fight. I knew from a young age that I was going to become a novelist, and that one of my novels (my first one, it turns out) was going to be about war. The following books helped me in writing Beckoning War.

Matthew's book list on the war within: the mental strain of modern warfare

Matthew Murphy Why did Matthew love this book?

Boll, a Second World War veteran, tells this episodic story from the perspective of a German soldier during the last year of the war. Loosely episodic and propelled by a kind of grim, fatalistic absurdity, it follows the hapless infantryman Feinhals as he lurches from misadventure to misadventure on the Eastern Front. What really stuck with me is the awfulness of the predicaments Feinhals finds himself in, such as the moment when a soldier sets out to surrender a hospital full of wounded men, only to accidentally set off a dud shell beside the hospital’s cesspool. The Soviets, thinking they have been attacked, respond by levelling the place. "This war’s a load of shit," says one cynical character, and with a magnificent kaboom, that statement becomes literal. 

Book cover of The Forgotten Soldier

George Bearfield Author Of Foursquare: The Last Parachutist

From my list on real, epic journeys of survival.

Why am I passionate about this?

After my Grandfather died in 2000 I set myself the challenge of building as complete a picture as I could of his incredible life story. He had travelled by foot across occupied Europe and the Middle East in 1940, before fighting on the front line in France, and ultimately behind enemy lines in Czechoslovakia. I envied his life experience and the high stakes he was required to live his life by, whilst also being grateful for the peace that he and others like him had delivered to my generation. Whether reading or writing I’m captivated by true stories of courage and fortitude aiming to immerse myself in them. 

George's book list on real, epic journeys of survival

George Bearfield Why did George love this book?

When I was researching my grandfather’s actions fighting for Czechoslovakia in World War Two, for my own book, including his time of the front line in France in 1940, I grew tired of academic history books and sought out a firsthand account of the realities of combat. Guy Sajer’s story of his experiences as a German soldier on the Eastern Front provided exactly what I was looking for: As I read it, I could feel the mud caked on my fingers, the shrapnel wound stinging my arm, and the trench foot creeping up my leg. The fact that Sajer was fighting, somewhat unwillingly, with the Nazis gives a whole extra layer of interest too.

By Guy Sajer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An international bestseller, this is a German soldier's first-hand account of life on Russian front during the second half of the Second World War.

When Guy Sajer joins the infantry full of ideals in the summer of 1942, the German army is enjoying unparalleled success in Russia. However, he quickly finds that for the foot soldier the glory of military success hides a much harsher reality of hunger, fatigue and constant deprivation. Posted to the crack Grosse Deutschland division, with its sadistic instructors who shoot down those who fail to make the grade, he enters a violent and remorseless world…


Book cover of War Without Garlands: Barbarossa 1941 - 1942

Richard Hargreaves Author Of Hitler's Final Fortress: Breslau 1945

From my list on page-turning narrative history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Narrative history isn’t about dates, kings, and queens. It’s about deeds, actions, experiences, decisions of people great and small. It’s about putting the reader in the middle of a drama and watching events unfold around them as if they were there so they can understand, observe, and perhaps ask: what would I have done? The best history writing shouldn’t just inform, but inspire you, make you feel: laugh, cry, feel angry, flinch at horrific sights, cheer the heroes, boo the villains, because history is made by ordinary people, good and bad, who possess many similar traits to the reader.

Richard's book list on page-turning narrative history

Richard Hargreaves Why did Richard love this book?

I’m an Eastern Front buffespecially the beginning of the war and its end. And this is the very best book on the first six or so months of the titanic clash between Hitler and Stalin. Robert Kershaw is one of the best (largely) WW2 historians because he gives the ordinary soldier a voice. There are other books that go into greater detail on specific actions, and it is more German than Russian focused, but for an overview from Leningrad to the Crimea, with the emphasis on the Moscow axis, it’s the best general read by some distance.

By Robert Kershaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked War Without Garlands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Kershaw, Robert J.


Book cover of The Red Army and the Second World War

Jeremy Black Author Of A History of the Second World War in 100 Maps

From my list on WW2 in Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jeremy Black is a prolific lecturer and writer, the author of over 100 books. Many concern aspects of eighteenth-century British, European, and American political, diplomatic and military history but he has also published on the history of the press, cartography, warfare, culture, and on the nature and uses of history itself.

Jeremy's book list on WW2 in Europe

Jeremy Black Why did Jeremy love this book?

The Eastern Front has not always attracted the most readable scholarship, while two of the major works by British writers are by those who cannot read Russian. Hill is a welcome relief. His scholarship is impeccable and his book is readable. An important contribution.

By Alexander Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Red Army and the Second World War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a definitive new account of the Soviet Union at war, Alexander Hill charts the development, successes and failures of the Red Army from the industrialisation of the Soviet Union in the late 1920s through to the end of the Great Patriotic War in May 1945. Setting military strategy and operations within a broader context that includes national mobilisation on a staggering scale, the book presents a comprehensive account of the origins and course of the war from the perspective of this key Allied power. Drawing on the latest archival research and a wealth of eyewitness testimony, Hill portrays the…


Book cover of The Great Crusade: A New Complete History of the Second World War

Robert Kirchubel Author Of Atlas of the Eastern Front: 1941-45

From my list on WWII theater: the Nazi-Soviet War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested in the Nazi-Soviet War since my high school years, and I am happy to say my views have become more sophisticated in the intervening 50 years! During the Cold War I served as a US Army Armor officer for 28 years and globally across 18 time zones (retired lieutenant colonel). Thereafter, I earned a PhD in modern European history, specializing in the 20th-century German military, from Purdue University. I have researched, taught, and written extensively on all aspects of military history, particularly WWII. My latest book, an operational level [of war] history of Barbarossa for the Campaigns and Commanders series (University of Oklahoma Press, in preparation as of mid-2024).

Robert's book list on WWII theater: the Nazi-Soviet War

Robert Kirchubel Why did Robert love this book?

This is an updated edition of what I consider the best single-volume, manageable history of WWII (<500 pages). Willmott offers keen analysis in every sentence; not a word is wasted.

I include this book here because he does such an excellent job of both covering the Nazi-Soviet War and contextualizing it within the greater WWII. The benefits of reading this book, even for those familiar with WWII, are many.

By H. P. Willmott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After 50 years, World War II still looms large in contemporary thought as a great crusade which kept the world free from the tyranny of the Axis Powers. How the Allied Powers managed to forge their victory, and defeat the enemy, is an oft-told story which has changed little since 1945 when the first memoirs and histories began to appear. Now, in this original and provocative book, H.P. Willmott offers a fresh examination of the two concurrent conflicts that led up to war. Interweaving episodes from the European and Far East theatres chronologically, Willmott narrates the entire course of the…


Book cover of Winston's War

Anthony Tucker-Jones Author Of Churchill, Master and Commander: Winston Churchill at War 1895-1945

From my list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anthony Tucker-Jones, a former intelligence officer, is an author, commentator, and writer who specializes in military history, with well over 60 books to his name. His work has also been published in an array of magazines and online. He regularly appears on television and radio commenting on current and historical military matters.

Anthony's book list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with

Anthony Tucker-Jones Why did Anthony love this book?

Churchill is perhaps best remembered for his bulldog premiership during the Second World War. Max Hasting’s excellent study graphically portrays the enormous political and strategic stresses and strains endured by Churchill. Coalition warfare was one of vigorously competing interests and Hastings shows how Churchill achieved a quite remarkable juggling act.

By Max Hastings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winston's War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I would choose this account over and above the rest. It is a fabulous book: full of perceptive insight that conveys all the tragedy, triumph, humour and intense drama of Churchill's time as wartime leader; and it is incredibly moving as a result' James Holland, Literary Review

In this vivid biography, #1 bestselling historian Max Hastings tells the story of how Churchill led a nation through its darkest hour.

A moving, dramatic narrative of crisis and fortitude, Hastings offers one of the finest biographies of one of Britain's finest men.

When Churchill took power as Prime Minister in 1940, it…


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