Erinn Batykefer, MLIS

An online professional portfolio

War and WWII Books for Teens

Reading a historical fiction title can be a great way for students to learn about a time period or a historical conflict, because they can see it through the eyes of a character like them.  The perennial request for books about war is also a great readers’ advisory opportunity– sometimes by recommending really excellent and exciting books for school, you can hook new readers.

Click to access a PDF version of Erinn's War Books Pathfinder

We often get requests at the Middleton Public Library YS Help Desk for books about war.  These come from both traditional and home-schooled students; the local high school curriculum includes an extensive study of WWII and the Holocaust, and students are often required to find a related book about war for book reports in English and History courses.

During my Youth Services Practicum, I had the chance to research YA Lit about war in order to create a pathfinder bookmark for readers’ advisory.

My research was much more extensive than the top ten war titles included on the bookmark, however– especially when it came to WWII–so I’m including links to full PDFs of the reading lists I generated below!

  • My WAR pathfinder bookmark includes at least one title for each the following wars for a broad sample of history:  The Revolutionary War, The Civil War, WWI, WWII, The French Revolution, Rwanda, and Iraq.
  • My War Books for Teens PDF includes over 50 titles that address 9 different wars, and includes graphic novels, DVD versions of books, and all series titles.  I specifically searched for new titles published from 2000 on, so nearly every title is current!
  • My WWII Books for Teens PDF includes 25 titles about WWII divided into different categories, including Classics, The African-American Experience, The European Resistance, The Homefront & Post-War, Japanese-American Experience, Jewish Experience, Native-American Experience, and the Russian Front.  Again, I specifically searched for titles with pub dates no older than 2000.

Nota bene: I had to be judicious in selecting the final titles, since we could only include ten on the bookmark. If it was up to me,  Across Five Aprils would never go on a reader’s advisory bookmark– the book is nearly FIFTY years old (it was published in 1964) and in my opinion, there are much more engaging and recent titles on the Civil War.  But it’s still included on the school reading lists, so on the bookmark it went. Sigh.


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This entry was posted on April 26, 2012 by in Reader's Advisory and tagged , , , , , .
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