Living Books For Kids  – World Wars

WW2

Modern History in the Curriculum

The period of history covered in Year 10 of the Australian curriculum is from 1918 to present day. It includes studies on peoples rights and freedoms, the globalisation of the worlds populations, pop culture, immigration and refugees and the environment movement. You do not need to study all of these you can just pick three.

Booklists for this period are:

Australian history is usually covered in primary school but the other topics are not required subjects in primary school. However many children like to study this period of history in their early school years. To use these topics in your planning you can record them as part of your literature, geography and history studies.

General Overview

World War II for Kids by Richard Panachyk
Excellent pictures and chapter book full of WW2 history. Activities includes. Ages 10 – 17 yrs

World War II  Battles by HP Willmott
DK Eyewitness Book with lots of pictures and information. All Ages

For Valour – Australia’s Victoria Cross Heroes by Nicholas Brasch
The stories behind 21 Victoria Cross recipients who were awarded their cross after their death. All Ages

Between the Wars – Living Books For Kids World Wars

Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is a consummate summary of the “roaring twenties”, and a devastating expose of the “Jazz Age”. Through the narration of Nick Carraway, the reader is taken into the superficially glittering world of the mansions which lined the Long Island shore in the 1920s, to encounter Nick’s cousin Daisy, her brash but wealthy husband Tom Buchanan, Jay Gatsby and the mystery that surrounds him.

Eric Liddell: Something Greater than Gold – Janet and Geoff Benge
From Liddell’s Olympic running career to his obedience to the call to preach the gospel in China, you will be challenged by this ordinary man who dared to take God at His word. Ages 8 — 18 yrs

That Wild Berries Should Grow – Gloria Whelan
With her father unable to obtain work in Detroit during the Depression, Elisa is sent to recuperate from a long illness at her grandparents’ farm by Lake Huron. As a city girl, she is determined not to like the country, but learns many valuable lessons about life from her grandparents, as well as notices the effects of the Depression on the rest of the world and the unfolding drama in Germany. Ages 9— 15 yrs

Blue Willow — Doris Gates

A Frost in the Night – Edith Baer
A Jewish family (the author’s) share their last years together on the eve of the Third Reich. An honest, eloquent picture of a family whose graceful existence is doomed. Simply beautiful look at Germany in the 1930’s and how attitudes gradually changed. Ages I I yrs – adult

Katie’s War – Aubrey Flegg
A story of the Irish Civil War. Katie’s father returns from WWI, shell-shocked, needing some peace and quiet to recover. However an uprising against those Irish who want to accept Conolly’s Home Rule “Free State” appeasement plan is about to begin, and his family will be caught up in it. From the bravery of the Irish and the Welsh in the WW I trenches to Irish against Irish in the Nenagh countryside and the slate quarries, this book will hold your attention to the end. Ages I I —16 yrs

My Story: Our Don Bradman
A fictional diary about the cricketer, the Depression and the building of the Sydney harbour, Bridge. Ages I I — 17 yrs

The Impossible Journey – Gloria Whelan
25 years after the Communists take over Russia, Stalin is ruling. The children of Katya, herself a child in Angel on the Square (p. 3 1), set out to find their parents who have disappeared into Siberia as political prisoners. Aided by unexpected kindnesses, they travel a thousand miles on foot through beautiful countryside. The best book I have seen about normal people living under Stalin, which is still suitable for children. Touching and eye-opening. Ages 9 — 16 yrs.

Stalin, Russia’s Man of Steel – Albert Marrin
A spell-binding, eye-opening biography of Stalin the dictator of Communist Russia. The man who made Russia the “prison of the people”. Ages 9 – 17 yrs

My Story: Fords and Flying Machines – Patricia Bernard
In 1919, two WWI pilots setoff in an automobile from Katherine to Longreach. The Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial service (QANTAS) is about to be born. Thrilling Australian story. Fictionalised, but real events and people. Ages 10 — 17 yrs.

My Story: Who Am I? – Anita Heiss
A fictional story about an aboriginal girl who lived in the Bomaderry Aboriginal Children’s Home in 1937, one of the ‘stolen generation’. Shows well the attitudes of the day, as well as what happened to the children. Fair-minded to both sides of the story. Ages 9 — l6 yrs.

The Family with Two Door by Anna Ciddor

Based on the authors real family this delightful snapshot of 1920s Poland gives a glimpse of Jewish culture during a happy time before the Holocaust of WWII. Interesting description of a family and their intriguing adventures and rituals. Read aloud from Ages 8 and Read alone Ages 11-adult.

WWII – Living Books For Kids World Wars

The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler by William L Shirer
Highly acclaimed author on this topic has written this book especially children.

The Little Ships – Louise Borden
A picture book about a boy who, with his father and their small fishing boat, become part of history as the English bring their soldiers home from Dunkirk. Each soldier in their fishing boat is described as an individual, and all the while, the boy hopes his own older brother, fighting in France, will also be rescued by a boat. Part of Churchill’s rousing speech is in the back as well as a historical note. Ages 8 — 13 yrs

Twenty and Ten – Claire Bishop
Twenty French children are brought for refuge to a mountain school. One day a young man asks if they can hide ten Jewish children. How can they hide them? Ages 7 —14 yrs.

The Small War of Sergeant Donkey – Maureen Daly
A heroic story of Chico, an Italian boy in the days of the German occupation, and his daring rescue of an American officer with his surefooted donkey. Bethlehem Book. Ages 7 —14 yrs

The Little Riders – Margaretha Shemin
In occupied Holland, a family works to save the centuries old clock next door. Large print chapter book. Ages 6 — I 0 yrs

Pigeon Hero – Shirley Raye Redmond
A Step into Reading large print story. Can a carrier pigeon get a message to the American pilots in time to save innocent civilians? True story from Italy in WW2. Ages 5 — 8 yrs

Escape from Warsaw – Ian Serraillier (Also known as The Silver Sword)
After the Balicki children’s mother is taken by the Nazi’s, they head for Switzerland from Warsaw – alone, determined to survive. Thrilling. Ages 8 — 15 yrs

The Winged Watchman – Hilda van Stockum
Marvellous story about how a Dutch family survives the Nazi occupation of WW2, and how the Dutch resistance worked. Suspenseful. A Bethlehem book. RA 8- I4 yrs, Rr I I – I 7 yrs

The Enemy – James Riordan
Maman and her daughter, minding their farm in France while their men are away fighting, befriend an English soldier passing through. When he is wounded he finds his way back to the farm and they care for him. Soon afterwards, the Germans force them to take in one of their own wounded soldiers, and they try to keep them apart. What happens is surprising proof that kindness can dwell in both sides. Includes true account of the Dunkirk rescue. Ages 7 —12 yrs

Snow Treasure – Marie McSwigan
Some Norwegian children’s attempt to sabotage the Nazi war effort in their country seems as remarkable as it was brave. Ages 8 — 14 yrs

A Father’s Promise Donna Lynn Hess
Warsaw, 1939. Christian Jew, Rudi Kaplan, escapes beneath barbed wire to the forest where he lives to see the end of the war. Full of profound Christian truth, in a realistic story about Hitler’s dealings with Polish Jews. Excellent story. Ages 9 — 17 yrs

A Traitor Among Us – Elizabeth van Steenwyk
Although the Germans have occupied Holland, the Resistance movement constantly undermines them. 13 year old Pieter van Dirk knows there is a traitor in his village. Who is it? Inspired by real people and actual events. Ages 8 —14 yrs

My Story: The Battle of Britain – Chris Priestley
As the German Luftwaffe attacks Britain directly, the RAF rises to the occasion in defense of their country’s existence. The story from the point of view of a young British pilot. Ages I0 — 17 yrs

Soldier Boys – Dean Hughes
Spence is a 17 year old from Utah; Dieter a 16 year old from Bavaria. Both want to bring honour to their countries and look forward to the glory of battle. But in this coming of age novel, as their illusions are shattered at the Battle of the Bulge, they find that the true test of manhood is not in fighting but in helping. A moving and worthwhile book, looking at an actual battle from both sides. Ages II — 18 yrs.

Never Give In – Stephen Mansfield (OOP)
A biography showing the extraordinary character of Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister during WW2, whose speeches roused a nation to win the war. The first part of the book is an interesting biography, the second half, Churchill’s opinions (largely in his own words) on all aspects of character and other things – like duty, the Bible, destiny, loyalty, home, faith, death and more. An inspiring man who changed history. Ages 12 yrs -adult

Soldier X – Don Wulffson
Erik Brandt is drafted into Hitler’s army at age 15, and sent to the Russian front as an interpreter (his mother’s family being Russian). Thrown quickly into frontline trench warfare with other boys his age, he soon finds himself alone ‘ behind enemy lines, his fellow Germans all dead. He has to use his wit to survive. From working in a Russian field hospital, to escaping overland to a German hospital, Eric finally makes the long trip to America and freedom, along with his Russian wife whom he met in the Russian hospital. Based upon the experiences of many German soldiers caught behind enemy lines, the author urges readers to look past the outer trappings of an enemy to the human inside the uniform. Excellent book. Ages II — 18 yrs

The Complete Maus – Art Spiegelmann
A classic biography in cartoons, the author tells his grown up son the story of his life — from a Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, to Auschwitz concentration camp, to a new life with his wife in America. Only he draws himself and his fellow Polish Jews as mice, the Nazis as cats and Polish Gentiles who served the Germans as pigs. An epic story told in tiny pictures. A powerful depiction, excellent character development and shows well the aftermath for those who survived. It will be read dozens and dozens of times over. 2 vols 12 yrs —Adult

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers – Maria von Trapp
Don’t think if you’ve seen the movie you know the story. The movie is only a delectable taste of the true story of this joy-filled family. How Maria adapted to living in the von Trapp household, the effect of the Anschluss (the swallowing of Austria into Germany), and how the new migrant family struggled to make a new life for themselves in America is all here. A MUST read book. A positive look into the lives of a devoted Catholic family. Photos included of the real people. Ages 9 yrs — adult

Enemy Brothers – Constance Savery
A British airman discovers his long lost brother in Germany. Raised under Nazi ideology, Anthony neither recognises his brother nor wants anything to do with him. He has nine chances to escape his new ‘family’ before the truth is known. Gives an inside view of the confusion war brings and the triumph of the human spirit in the midst of it. Bethlehem Book. Ages 9 18 yr

Hitler—Albert Marrin 
From a penniless tramp he rose to wield more power than most in history, reshaping the minds of a country and building an unstoppable army. A lively biography full of personal anecdotes. Ages 9 – 16 yrs

ww2 booklist

War In The Pacific

The Forgotten Pearl by Belinda Murrell

An account of the Japanese bombing of Hawaii & Darwin from the perspective of a young girl from Australia whose grandma visits from Hawaii. Ages 9 -12 yrs

Air Raid: Pearl Harbor! -Theodore Taylor
By the author of the acclaimed The Cay comes a well-researched and interesting account of the lead up to December 7, 1941 and the day itself. As good as any documentary movie. This book answers the why, how and when of the explosive Japanese entrance into the war. Ages 8 — 16 yrs

Victory In The Pacific – Albert Marrin
The story of World War Two’s Pacific Theatre. Beginning with the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbour, Marrin tells in a vivid manner about the battles in the Philippines, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, the Mariana Islands and the final bombing of Japan. This is an American account, so does not go into details on Australian battles such as Kokoda, Singapore and Darwin (we have other books on some of these places), however it is a thrilling overview of the winning back of the Pacific region overall. Ages 9 – 16 yrs

The Bombing of Darwin (My Australian Story) – Alan Tucker
Exciting story about a boy who moves to Darwin just before the Japanese bomb the town in their attempt to take over Australia. Great look at Australian town life in the 1940’s. Ages 10 – 17 yrs.

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Captain Ted W Lawson
Written by one of the pilots who dropped a bomb on Tokyo. – Ages -12 and up

Horohito by Karen Severns
The story of the Japanese emperor at the time of WWII. Ages 10 and up

The Flying Tigers by John Toland
The war in the Pacific really began between China and Japan in 1937. Ages 12 and up

The Fall of Singapore by Conrad Stein
This was the worst defeat the British had seen. Ages 12 and up

Gaudalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis 
Written by a war correspondent who witnessed this battle in the Solomon Islands. This was one of the turning points in the war. Ages 12 and up